Season of the End Times, The Rapture
Chapter 1 – 46th. President – Jan. 2025
At 6:00 a.m., the alarm on his cell phone went off, Ben slowly drifted up out of a dreamless deep sleep and startled awake. He felt as if he just laid his head on his pillow. “Six and half hours of sleep, not enough,” he mumbled. Being the newly sworn-in President of the United States, he had one busy job. The days started early and ended late. The pay was nowhere as good as his previous position as an investor in social media, private space launches, and internet streaming. He had been well on his way to becoming a billionaire before he found himself becoming a politician. In his previous life, politicians were a step below a bottom feeder, mostly low-lifes who sold their souls for a fleeting feeling of power. These people were owned by a mega corporation or controlled by some behind the scenes multi-billionaire puppet master. But Ben never sold out. He was his own man.
The past three years had been a non-stop whirlwind adventure for Ben. He had been recruited to help start a new political party in 2022; a group of investor friends figured he could do better than the career politicians who were currently in office. The previous president had opened the door for business professionals in politics and spent eight years going toe to toe with swamp creatures who refused to go away quietly. He hoped his political party’s aspirations would stand the test of time and not become a part of history, like Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party. The United American Party was started at the right time and by
the right people with the catchy slogan: “A house divided cannot stand.” The USA was divided and in political turmoil after the 2020 election when Trump was reelected for a second term and Covid-19 still had the world in its grip. The country was divided, with no foreseeable solution for a peaceful outcome. The Republican and Democratic parties were in lock step—no, goose step more like it, marching forward or so they thought, kicking each other in the butt every chance they got. They were so opposed to each other that they couldn’t agree on anything after the virus recession; government budgets were impossible and nothing got passed through Congress. There was even violence in the streets between ANTIFA and conservative activists, with numerous deaths in several northwest cities. With the mainstream media blaming President Trump for everything that went wrong in the country or the world, even the coronavirus was his fault. Conservatives were accused by the liberal media of wanting a second civil war. While they turned a blind eye to the left wing, anti-fascist gangs of thugs calling anyone who didn’t agree with them Nazis, bigots and racists as they beat, berated and bullied innocent bystanders in the streets.
United America was based on a one-party system, with the responsibility to approach issues from the right and the left to compromise, resulting in mutual agreements. Party members were required to take liberal or conservative positions on every other bill or law, to maintain balance so no side could have an unfair advantage. Politicians and voters flocked to the new party, fed up with the existing two-party system that divided the country. Benjamin Arnold soon rose to the top of the new party; he was nominated and entered the 2024 race for President of the United States. The Democrats nominated a socialist leaning candidate and the Republicans an ultra-conservative candidate—politics as usual. The debates with the three
political parties were a circus, with the two major parties attacking each other over immigration, Second Amendment rights, and draining the swamp, mistakenly not taking the United America Party candidate seriously. The United American Party’s stance was simply stated that changing the Second Amendment would require changing the Constitution. Immigration issues would simply follow and enforce the current laws on record. All the poll numbers seemed to favor the new party, to the dismay of the mainstream media and the entrenched career politicians.
The United America platform was simple: term limits for Representatives of eight years in office, with a single term to be extended from two years to four years. The Senate would also be limited to two terms, for a total of twelve years in office. Campaign spending was limited to one million dollars for the House per election and five million per election for Senate races. The Presidential campaign was capped at fifty million dollars, with no contributions of more than one thousand dollars from individuals or organizations. Candidates would not be allowed to self-fund or use any personal monies for campaigning. This would be the top priority for the United America Party if Benjamin Arnold was elected, and he vowed he would make sure his campaign promises would be carried out. Big money had corrupted politics, elections, and the American government; it was time for election and government reform.
Election day evening—Tuesday, November 5th, 2024—was like a second revolution for the United States, the mainstream media reluctantly recognizing Benjamin Arnold as the President-elect leading by fifteen electoral votes over his two opponents. The Democratic and Republican candidates’ concession speeches were grudgingly respectful to President-Elect Arnold. The United America Party also won twelve Senate seats, thirty-three Representative
seats, and five State Governor races. No party held a controlling numerical voting majority in the House or the Senate. Bipartisan cooperation would be required for any new bill or law to pass.
The Presidential inauguration, on Tuesday, January 21St, 2025, was on a cold, blustery gray day, with rain in the U.S. Capital. The viewing stands and the podium were covered to protect the invited dignitaries from the inclement weather, and the bulletproof glass shields in front of the podium and dignitaries were streaked with rain water. The media cameras and commentators were in position, military bands played patriotic music and thousands of citizens and their families were in attendance with umbrellas and rain gear to witness Benjamin Arnold take the oath of office and become the 46th President of the United States of America. The Democrats and media were beside themselves with joy after eight years of unprecedented lies, two impeachment attempts, dirty politics and fake news. Trump was out of office, and he respectfully handed over the reins of government to the duly and fairly elected new president. President Arnold’s acceptance speech was cordial, thanking his predecessor for establishing a great foreign policy, exceptional leadership during the pandemic and a rejuvenated economy. Trump’s administration made it possible for essential manufacturing to come back to our shores, a rebuilt military and a health care system in our country that would serve as a model for the world. Arnold also promised that his first goal as President would be to institute term limits for the House of Representatives and the Senate. He would also streamline and put into effect campaign spending limits. That evening, the traditional inauguration parties, receptions, and balls took place in the capital. The Washington elites and the surviving deep state players thought at last they were going to be in control again.
Benjamin’s wife Martha rolled over in bed and poked Ben in the side. “Get up you slug a-bed. No rest for the weary,” she said. Ben sat up, rubbing his eyes. He slowly stood, stretched and walked to the shower. Martha watched through sleepy eyes. At six feet two inches, one hundred and eighty pounds, he was in great shape for being forty-five years old. She rolled out of bed, grabbed her robe and followed him. First Lady was a totally new position for her also and at forty-one years old, five-foot ten inches, fitness was always a priority for her. Hand on her tummy, she wondered why she was developing a nervous stomach. ‘Just stress, probably,’ she thought. For both of the Arnolds, life in the White House was going to take time and a lot of getting used to.
When the President and First Lady opened their bedroom door at 6:45 a.m., they were greeted by two Secret Services Agents on duty outside their bedroom door. The senior agent spoke softly into the button microphone on his right sleeve, “Ben & Martha on the move.” Ben said to his wife, “Wonder what’s good for breakfast this morning,” giving the Agents a clue regarding where they wanted to go. Secret Service was something they both hadn’t gotten used to yet. There was no privacy in the White House, or really anywhere they went since winning the election. Also, how to deal with White House staff was a major learning curve. In the dining room, they enjoyed a quick and excellently prepared breakfast of over-easy eggs, crispy hash browned potatoes, bacon and black coffee. They finished their meal and enjoyed the coffee in silent comradery, knowing they wouldn’t be alone together again until late in the evening. Ben was soon on his way to the morning security meeting with his Chief of Staff Genie Talbert who handed him a large envelope and his daily schedule. Martha was being briefed by the Chief Steward as he led her to her first appointment of the day with the house staff to learn
more of the history and daily operation of her new home. She missed their house and property in San Diego; it was so much simpler. She especially missed southern California weather.
During the morning security meeting, Ben was briefed on the latest situations and incidents affecting the country and the world that had taken place the last twenty-four hours. One particular item that had the world watching was the Catholic Pope’s very successful accomplishment of bringing all the world’s religious leaders together in order to form a one world religion. This included Orthodox Christians, the Church of England, Lutherans, nearly all the Christian protestant denominations, Jews, Muslims (Sunni & Shiite), Hindus, Buddhists and many others. The Pope had issued the proclamation that all religions worship the same god and that there were many roads leading to heaven. The Pope was being recognized and accepted as the leader and undisputed authority figure by the world’s religious leaders, who were currently working on incorporating a theology from all their denominations’ holy books to encompass all the world’s beliefs into one text. Daily updates in the international media suggested that the world’s clerics would complete this awesome task in the very near future, with many proclaiming this to be the road to world peace and safety, leading humanity to the end of religious, racial, and ethnic persecution throughout all nations of the world. The main dissenters to the one world religion were the fundamentalist Christians, the majority of whom resided in the United States. They claimed Christianity’s gospel as proclaimed in the New Testament was the only way to God, through his Son, Jesus Christ. The One World religion claimed it was time for ancient ideas to evolve and the world to come together. Everyone was living in the 21st century and religion was aimed at bringing all together, not continuing as a cause for division, hate and separation. It was thought that salvation by devotion and good
works should be for everyone; it should not be divisive. All faiths were of God and would lead to Heaven. President Arnold had been brought up by Christian parents, but he never considered himself to be as religious as his wife, who prayed daily. The Pope appeared to have found the solution the world needed and could accept. Ben figured he would stick with politics and science, which were so much more logical.
Chapter 2 – Tic Tac – Feb. 2025
06:00, Luke AFB, Phoenix, Arizona—pilots stepped into the line truck from the flight operations building where they had just gotten their morning briefing for that day’s training mission. Captain Charles Wright was glad he had worn his nylon flight jacket over his flight suit and G harness; February mornings in the desert before sunrise were cold. The other three pilots sat quietly holding their flight bags, staring out the huge front windshield of the step van. Charles had acquired his call name, ‘Tic Tac’, in 2023 when he scrambled to intercept an unidentified aircraft spotted by base radar operators in a restricted air space over the southern Arizona military bombing range. Private civilian pilots flew by Visual Flight References, navigated by compass headings and recognizable landmarks such as roadways and urban areas. They often mistakenly entered restricted areas. Stray pilots were regularly escorted from these Military Operation Areas they had unknowingly entered, posing a flight safety hazard to themselves and military aircraft on training missions.
Tic’s F-16 Falcon was guided to the intruder by ground based radar operators. The Air Force was always in fighter training mode, and pilots enjoyed surprising their unsuspecting targets. Tic’s on-board radar system was on standby mode. As he got closer to the unknown intruder, if required he could light them up with his radar and weapon systems. He had never had to do that when a single engine Cessna discovered an Air Force Fighting Falcon on his wing tip. The fighter had their complete attention. Warning them on the radio that they were in restricted air space put the fear of the U.S. Government in them. Amazingly, the aircraft Charles encountered was not a Cessna; it was something he was hesitant to even try describing,
let alone communicate what he was seeing to base command. Captain Wright switched on his ‘Forward Looking Infrared’ (FLIR) tracking systems, which recorded this kind of action using a camera locked on to the target. As soon as he had locked on the target, it instantly accelerated. Tic pushed his throttle to full military power while lighting up the afterburner, the sudden acceleration pressing him back into his seat. The oblong-shaped metallic craft broke the lock instantly with an impossible ninety-degree left-hand turn. Tic could feel his G harness tighten on his legs and lower body as he held a deep breath to keep from blacking out. He slapped the control stick to the left, and the Falcon responded like an extension of his body. He leveled out, feeling the G-force lighten up on his body. The camera locked back on to the unidentified craft. He zoomed in the focus for a closer look at the unknown craft, getting a better detailed image of the intruder. The unidentified craft was out-accelerating his F-16 until suddenly it blinked out of existence. Charles backed off on the throttle, pulling his thoughts together. What had just taken place? What had he seen? He was aware of how pilots who reported seeing UFO’s were ostracized by both their peers and superior officers; they also soon found themselves removed from flying status. He reported back to base that the intruder had left the area, and base radar confirmed they were no longer tracking the signal. Charles informed base control that he had recorded visual images and was returning to base.
The step van came to a stop, interrupting Charles’ thoughts. The flight line air ground equipment (AGE) was arranged around four F-16’s; the waiting Crew Chiefs saluted and greeted the pilots as they approached their assigned aircraft. Tic was well acquainted with Staff Sargent Ross; they had been deployed to the Middle East together. The Sargent was in charge of the aircraft while on the ground. Ross handed the aircraft log book to Tic, who familiarized himself
with all of the recent maintenance performed on the plane. As the pilot and chief did the preflight walk around, AGE drivers were hooking up their tugs to the mobile lighting units to remove the units as soon as the pilots were strapped into their cockpits. The assistant maintenance tech had external electrical power connected to the aircraft, ground wire and all safety equipment, pins and covers were removed. He was standing by to assist in the launch procedures. Tic was strapped in, the boarding ladder was removed, and the chief had the voice communication headset on. The engine was started and flight control checks completed. External power and the chief’s headset were disconnected. The assistant tech was standing by under the plane while Chief Ross stood in front of the aircraft making eye contact with the pilot, who gave the signal to remove wheel chocks. Chief Ross signaled his assistant. Pointing his thumbs outward, the assistant pulled the yellow wooden chocks from the wheels. The chief held both arms crossed over his head to signal the pilot to hold brakes and maintain position. Tic’s craft was the second in position to taxi, waiting for the first jet to clear its parking area. Chief Ross held both arms straight up over his head, twirling one hand—the signal to increase power. He then motioned for the plane to move forward. Ross then pointed to his right while motioning with his left arm for the plane to turn, following the yellow painted line leading from the parking spot. When Tic’s F-16 was centered in the taxiway, Chief Ross came to attention. He snapped off a salute, giving Tic a thumbs up, signaling all was good and to have a safe flight.
As Tic taxied to the runway, he flashed back to his return to base from his UFO encounter two years ago. During the debrief he was hesitant to say what he had seen; his description was very generic when referring to the unidentified craft and its unusual flight maneuvers. The next day he was summoned to base headquarters and escorted by a Security
Policeman to the Base Commander’s office. Several Air Force Generals along with Colonels, Majors and CIA credentialed plain-clothes men were present. They played back the video recordings from Tic’s encounter, and asked him questions while discussing his responses among themselves. Due to the shape of the unidentified craft, someone stated it looked like a flying Tic Tac (candy mint). Surprisingly, the recording was used as a training film for other pilots in the Air Force; that’s how his call name originated. He took a bit of ribbing from his squadron comrades, but no one could deny what he had seen and encountered. They had all viewed the UFO training video. He was a bit of a legend among other base pilots and enjoyed telling the story at the Officers Club when asked how he got his call name.
Chapter 3 – Allen Family – Feb, 2025
Don Allen had been retired for eight years, a former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employee retiring as a maintenance superintendent after thirty years of service. He turned into the driveway and coasted his Harley Davidson motorcycle into the three-car garage, put down the side stand—enjoying the unique rumble and the loud exhaust note. He blipped the throttle before pushing the engine kill switch. The garage was suddenly quiet except for the ticking of the Big Twin’s cooling engine and pipes. The door from the garage to the interior of the house opened and Joan, Don’s wife of forty years, and their two dogs came out to greet him. Joan asked, “How was the ride? Are you cold?” The dogs wagged their tails with their tongues hanging out from doggie smiles; they were always excited to welcome him home. At seventy years old, it was not as easy for Don to dismount his bike as it was ten years ago. In the back of his mind, he realized that if he wanted to continue this hobby, he was going to have to downsize to a smaller, lighter, easier to ride motorcycle. Seeing his bride, the mother of his four children and his best friend, brought a smile to his face and joy to his heart. At sixty-five, she was a beautiful woman with a little gray in her longish brown hair and a kind gentle face that the ten grandchildren and he found irresistible. Don gave her a kiss on the cheek, replying, “It’s a bit cool, in the high forties—not bad for late February. Glad I had on my leathers and the fairing helps a lot deflecting the wind. Next time you’ll have to go with me. It’s more enjoyable with my riding partner.” Joan had a Harley Sportster. She had been riding and accompanying Don for the last thirty-five years. Don stepped away from the hot, clicking bike. His two little dogs knew it was their turn for some attention. They jumped on his legs, demanding pets and
ear scratches. He reached down, rubbing their fuzzy heads and giving them praise for being good dogs. Their tails wagged even faster. As he walked to the shelf to set down his helmet and gloves, the dogs went over to investigate and sniff at the large bag of doggie kibble by the steps leading from the garage into the dining room. Joan and Don walked into the house with the dogs at their heels. She said, “Just made a pot of veggie soup. Would you like a bowl?” Don replied, “Why certainly. It smells really good. Should warm up my tummy. Do we still have some of the French bread?” Joan nodded yes with a smile, ladling him a steaming bowl of soup. Before he started to eat the soup and buttered bread, he gave a silent thanks to God, then dipped the crusty bread into the rich broth and enjoyed his wife’s handiwork. She was an excellent cook and enjoyed creating delicious meals. Don considered himself blessed because he enjoyed eating those meals.
While eating his lunch, he listened to Joan telling him their children would like to go to the new Indian cuisine buffet that recently opened on Carson Avenue after church on Sunday. Carson City, Nevada, hadn’t had a decent Indian eatery in several years. Joan made excellent curry dishes, but preparing enough for the whole family was a major challenge. The buffet was much more convenient and the variety insured that even the small grandchildren who usually complained, “I don’t like that. What else is there?” would find something familiar they liked and would hopefully eat.
The Allen family was blessed. They were born-again Christians who had attended Carson City’s Baptist Church for over four decades. Contrary to popular belief, Nevada is conservative in every county except for the counties of Clark and Washoe, where Las Vegas and Reno are located. These were the two largest metropolitan areas in the state and where the majority of
the population lived. There was a reason why the state had legalized gambling, prostitution and recreational marijuana laws. The two largest cities in the state controlled the ballot boxes, money talks, and legalized sin rules. Being a Christian in a liberal state like Nevada is only an issue if you live in Vegas or Reno. Don prayed that the new president, Benjamin Arnold, would continue to guide the U.S. back onto the path of Christian values.
Chapter 4 – Doug & Sheila – Feb. 2025
Doug Lewis and Sheila Thompson lived in Panama City Beach, Florida, with decent weather in late February, unlike the summers with the combination of heat and humidity. Their two-bedroom bungalow was on Dupree Street just off of Front Beach Road, several hundred yards from the beach. They were not married and had been living together for ten years; they moved in together after high school. They both grew up in hard-working, blue-collar families and were good students from grade school to graduation. When they began dating during their junior year in high school, they were the perfect couple; their friends would comment on how lucky they were. At twenty-eight years old, they completely lacked moral values and had no apparent sense of right and wrong, nor evidence of a conscience. Growing up, they were exposed to uncensored internet, social media, porn, alcohol, sex, drugs and peer pressure, with the attitude that if it feels good, do it. They enjoyed everything in excess, everything that was over the top: alcohol binges, daily drug use, living the high life.
They both visited the local methadone clinic every day to get their fix. They had been doing this for over a year since they stopped shooting up heroin. When drug addicts went in for addiction help, the medical system and government hooked them up with a painless way off of heroin. They got introduced to a new addiction: methadone! On methadone, you are controlled and monitored by the state and it’s free! There were no withdrawals and you didn’t have to go through agonizing cold turkey; the local heroin dealer didn’t control you anymore— Big Brother did. Doug worked fast food in the service industry and Sheila sexually exploited herself as a dancer in strip clubs. They were still young and misguided enough to think they
were going to get university degrees and start a career in the health industry, if only they could motivate themselves. Instead they were stuck in addiction, instant gratification, searching for answers they could not seem to find.
Sheila called from the bathroom, “Doug! Hurry up! We need to leave in five minutes. The appointment is in forty-five minutes and I have to fill out paperwork before the procedure.” Doug was staring at his shoes on the floor in front of him. While sitting on the couch, he replied, “Just putting on my shoes and I’ll be ready.” He thought to himself, ‘Another abortion. Can’t believe it’s the second one. Two times—what’s wrong with us? I’m such a loser. I need a bong hit.’ Sheila walked into the living room where Doug sat. “Dude, why are you still sitting there? Get your friggin’ shoes on. We have to go.” Doug put on his Nikes. He already had on his hoodie and headed out the door, making sure it was locked. They didn’t need another break-in. He got in on the driver’s side of the rusty twenty-year-old Honda Civic and started the engine as Sheila put on her seat belt and said, “Let’s go. I want to get this over with.” Being on methadone qualified her for free medical care, which included abortions for addicts. This was a loophole in the law that freedom of choice backers had insisted on since Planned Parenthood had been defunded and closed down in 2022. Backing out of the driveway, they were on their way to the medical plaza. Doug wondered to himself what being a father would be like.
Chapter 5 – Jerry Schwartz – Feb. 2025
Jerry Schwartz lived in the small Midwest town of Ludlow, Kentucky, located just west of Covington. It was on the south bank of the Ohio river directly across from Cincinnati’s lower west side. The Ohio river had its daily barge traffic, multiple barges connected together being pushed through the muddy waters. Jerry was always fascinated by the sight of the powerful tugboats traveling up and down the wide river. He often wondered what it would be like to work on the boats, and imagined where they were going and where they came from.
Ludlow was a great place to raise a family: a small friendly town with all of the conveniences of being in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. Jerry was born and grew up in Ludlow, graduating from Ludlow High school in 2020. His family was one of three Jewish families living in town; the other two families were older couples whose children now had families of their own. His family regularly attended Synagogue on the Sabbath at the Plum St. Temple in downtown Cincinnati, which was only a couple of miles and maybe fifteen minutes from their home in Ludlow. He enjoyed going to Synagogue and looked forward to seeing his Jewish friends when attending services. He had enjoyed his Hebrew classes when he was younger. Jerry mainly hung out in Ludlow with the guys he went to school with; he considered them his true friends. Most of his buddies didn’t attend any of the half dozen churches in town. They also didn’t seem concerned with their lack of religious knowledge or having God in their lives.
Jerry considered himself lucky. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier, stationed out of the Covington Post Office. He had applied for the position over a year ago in
2023, while working as a bagger and stock person at the IGA grocery store in Ludlow. He had been working in the supermarket since graduating from high school. He now was a full-time sub carrier since he didn’t have enough seniority to bid on a permanent route, having only been on the job less than a year. He enjoyed the position, which had him mostly working outdoors and interacting with the public. The changing of the seasons guaranteed every day was different, not like being stuck in a factory, office or grocery store.
His life and priorities changed when he met Sylvia Turner. She was a very attractive young lady he met while delivering mail on a Saturday in the Covington business district. She was a salesperson at an upscale jewelry shop located on Madison Avenue. Their first meeting was a special moment for them both. Jerry only delivered mail there one day a week, when he delivered the business district route. He was immediately attracted to her. When they met, she asked, “Are you the new carrier for us?” He replied, “I am, but I only do this route on Saturdays.”
The following week, George—the regular carrier on the route—had jokingly mentioned to Jerry how a certain attractive young jewelry shop clerk was asking a lot of questions about him. His co-workers who overheard George had fun teasing him with hoots and good-natured comments about fraternizing with the customers. Jerry kept quiet, sorting his mail, wanting to ask what she had said but not wanting to let anyone know how excited he was. She was asking questions about him! It appeared she was interested in him, which was good because he was definitely interested in her. Jerry was nervous anticipating seeing her on Saturday when he carried the business route again. He wanted to get to know her, but didn’t want to appear forward and make a bad impression.
Then he thought of his mother. She was always telling him about some nice young Jewish girl she had met at a wedding or a baby shower, or some social event she had attended. Jerry noticed that Sylvia wore a silver chain with a cross necklace which was a sure sign she wasn’t Jewish. Why did life have to be so complicated?
He finished casing and pulling the mail for his route, then put all of the bundles of letters and flats in gray plastic trays. Stacking the trays in the canvas lined cart, he pushed it to the parking lot and loaded his truck. The low gray clouds looked like a good chance of rain, but it was late February in the Ohio-valley: if you didn’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes.
Chapter 6 – Pastor Peter Thomas – March 2025
“May the Lord bless and keep you, in Jesus’s name we pray, Amen. Thank you, everyone. See you next week and have a blessed day.” Pete picked up his notes and Bible from the podium and switched off the wireless microphone attached to his belt. He took the two steps down from the small sanctuary at the front of Saint Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, located in the small farming town of Ginger Hill California, about one hundred miles south of San Francisco.
Several of the parishioners greeted him with hugs and handshakes as he made his way to the main entrance, where he met and spoke with families, couples and parishioners on their way to the parking lot at the end of the service. After ten minutes of thanking and wishing everyone a good day as they exited the church, Peter walked across the parking lot to the parish hall for a cup of coffee and a sweet roll. The senior citizens of St. Matthews sponsored this activity and were very proud of the service they provided for the church members after the liturgies at 9:00 and 11:00 every Sunday. Pastor Peter got his usual coffee with cream and sugar and an apple fritter, spending several minutes speaking with the ladies behind the counter. The volunteers normally cleared over five hundred dollars a week, which they donated to the homeless outreach program sponsored by the church. Parishioners made weekly visits to homeless camps in the area.
California’s liberal state government in 2021 had required that all communities designate rent-free zones so that the homeless and working poor could camp or live out of their vehicles for free. The housing prices and rents in the state made it difficult for single
income families to afford housing, transportation, food and healthcare. Local city and county governments were now required by law to clear the streets of the burdensome homeless population and sanitary issues they posed. During the 2020 pandemic, thousands of homeless people died due to not being able to self-isolate or access health care while living on the streets. This caused chaos, riots and lawlessness, which overburdened the civil authorities’ ability to maintain control of the situation. The state failed to provide enough funding to take care of the hundreds of thousands who were forced to live in the rent-free zones, so churches and non-profit organizations had their hands full trying to fill in the gaps. Adequate water and sanitation were some of the main issues these camps faced. Backlogged, over-regulated California building codes made upgrading these systems overpriced and drag out for years.
Peter sat at small table where his partner Charles Fox was waiting, nearly finished with his hot tea and glazed donut. Pete touched Charles’ hand in an affectionate gesture and said, “Sorry for the delay. Duty called. Did you enjoy the message of today’s homily?” Charles sighed and replied, “You have a God-given talent. No worries; I understand it’s your job. You know I always enjoy how you deliver your message of hope and love.” Saint Matthew’s Church proudly led the way for equal rights in the local gay community; all were welcome and accepted. The church wasn’t as accepting when Pastor Peter first arrived in the summer of 2019. The church members were not at all happy with an openly gay pastor from San Francisco being assigned as their parish pastor. The first six months of his residency saw a thinning out of attendance, a lot of open space in the pews and a substantial drop in the weekly tithing.
The word soon spread through the local gay community that Saint Matthews was open to all, non-judgmental and accepting with a new pastor who was openly gay and lived with his partner
in the parish housing unit attached to the church. Membership began to change. The attendance of predominately seniors and young families with children dropped, while the singles and same sex couples’ attendance grew.
Over the past five years, the church had utilized its facilities for counselling services for those with mental health issues, teens struggling with sexual orientation and identity problems, and safe sex education. Free testing for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV-AIDS was offered every Saturday by the local AIDS foundation. Saint Matthews Church and Pastor Peter had become a beacon of hope and change that religion could evolve to accept the new world values and the one world religion the Pope was proposing. They embraced people for who they were and only judged them by their good deeds and works.
Chapter 7 – The Honeymoon is Over – April 2025
“What’s the media’s spin on the new term limits proposal?”, President Arnold asked his Chief of Staff, Genie Talbert. She was a stocky, gray haired mother of three in her mid-fifties who had worked her way up from a receptionist in the Human Resources Department to Assistant City Manager for the City of Tucson. Benjamin had met her at a political rally while visiting the city during his campaign. She was very politically astute with amazing organizational skills. He had recruited her to join his personal staff for the campaign, and when elected, he offered her the Chief of Staff position. She accepted. Genie replied, “Exactly how we expected. Career politicians and network media do not like change. They especially don’t want to give up their power, influence and control over the American people. This includes party members from both sides of the aisle.” The President and the United American Party were the new kids on the playground, and to the surprise of everyone, the Democrats and Republicans could agree on something. They were not going to let the new upstart political party come in and change the rules of the game without a fight.
Ben responded, “We knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Sure wish the founding fathers would have anticipated the concept of corrupt and entrenched career politicians.” Genie offered a possible solution: “The City of Tucson during the seventies, before my time, was having difficulty retaining their best employees. The local copper mines were thriving and offered better pay and benefits, and the city had a problem with employees leaving for the mines. So, the city began a new benefit they called ‘Longevity Pay’. This consisted of twice a year bonus pay of ten percent of their annual salary payed in July and December. This incentive
worked and employee retention improved. During the eighties’ economic recession, copper prices dropped, the mines began to close, and the city’s budget belt tightened. The longevity pay was dropped. New city hires would not receive longevity pay, while employees hired when longevity was in effect would continue to receive this benefit until they left service. How does this history lesson apply? As a compromise, we have term limits that apply only to those newly elected Congress members. If you were elected before the term limit law was adopted, it doesn’t apply to those members. But, the campaign spending limits go into effect immediately for everyone upon adoption.” Ben nodding slowly, replying, “I like the idea. Maybe this will appease the entrenched congress members. Have it written up and sent to the legal staff for input.”
He then asked, “Okay, what’s next on the agenda?” Genie turned to the next report in her packet. “Climate change,” she said with a sad grin. This was a topic they had differing opinions on. Genie was a Fundamentalist Christian. She wasn’t impressed by or buying into the differing and often conflicting scientific opinions and political agendas by experts who offered their solutions. She summarized the main points of the reports: “The fish dying off in the Indian Ocean is not slowing down. It’s estimated over ten million fish of multiple species have washed up on beaches along the coast of India. The local governments are declaring health alerts and are having difficulty cleaning up the environmental catastrophe.” The President replied in a dry serious tone, “Well, that stinks.” Genie looked up over the rims of her reading glasses and continued with her report. “Australia’s summer temperatures continue to set record breaking highs with the drought having adverse effects on their agricultural production.”
Benjamin was scanning his copy of the daily briefing paperwork. He asked, “What’s your opinion of the latest news coming out of the Vatican?” Genie understood his question; he wanted her Christian point of view. She respected his request and knew he valued her opinion. She replied, “I say this as a born-again Christian who believes in the Gospel as written in the Bible and accepts it as the true Word of God. It appears the Pope is an apostate for defecting from the teachings of Jesus. The one world religion is an abomination of the Word of God. It was prophesized two thousand years ago as a falling-away. A conglomeration of many false religions doesn’t make it right. The fact it is being glorified by the media and accepted by the major world religions and governments is no surprise. People want a religion and a belief system that tickles their ear and fits their idea of what God should be, not what He is. I would suggest you bring in some fundamentalist Bible scholars they can explain this much better than me.” The President replied, “I’m sure that’s a good suggestion and we may do that, but for now would you provide me with information of the Bible verses so I can familiarize myself with some of these prophetic writings you are alluding to? We both know how leaky the White House and Washington D.C. is. Wouldn’t the Press have a field day by spinning a story on the President and Christian scholars. Thank you, I appreciate your point of view and insights.” Genie nodded her understanding. The President replied, “Would you please invite the General in? It’s time for the latest updates on our military endeavors.” Genie stood and walked towards the door.
General Mark Dillion followed Genie into the Oval Office looking as if he were on the parade grounds of Camp Pendleton, every inch a Marine. He nodded respectfully to the President and said, “Good morning, Mr. President.” Benjamin stood, extended his hand and
said, “Good morning, General. Hope you weren’t waiting long. Please sit. Would you care for something to drink?”
Mark Dillion replied, “Some coffee would be appreciated, Sir.” Genie spoke softly into the phone on the table next to the sofa where she sat after greeting the General. Genie had her note pad in her lap as the three discussed the latest cold snap and snow flurries for the first day of Lent, the Catholic holy day of Ash Wednesday, which fell on March 5 this year. There was a light knock on the door, which opened just enough for Murry of the White House staff to make eye contact with Genie. She motioned for him to enter. He pushed in a cart that held a silver coffee service, then placed the service on the table between several sofas and winged back chairs. Murry nodded towards the President and asked, “Would you like me to pour you a cup, Mr. President?”
Benjamin replied, “Not for me, Murry. Would you please fill a cup for the General? How about you Genie?” he asked.
Genie nodded. “Yes please, thank you very much.” Murry filled two cups, placed them on saucers and sat them on the table before the General and Genie. He asked, “Is there anything else I can get for you?” The President looked for any response from his advisors, smiled towards Murry and said, “I believe we’re all set, thank you.” Murry responded, “Very good, Sir,” and left quietly, closing the door as he exited the Oval Office.
President Arnold sat back and crossed his legs. “What have you got for me today, General?” General Dillion opened the top of the expandable file envelope he carried in and removed several packets clipped at the top by black and silver paper clamps. “Top Secret” had been rubber stamped in several places of the cover sheet. He handed a packet to Benjamin and
Genie, then—flipping over the cover sheet—he cleared his voice for emphasis. “Were you ever briefed, sir, on the ‘Tic Tac’ incident in southern Arizona that took place several years ago?”
Ben shook his head in the negative. “Not as President, but I do recall seeing something about it on a cable news station.” Dillion continued, “There are some pictures in your packet. In short, an Air Force F-16 was dispatched to intercept what he thought was a civilian air craft that had entered restricted airspace. To the pilot’s amazement, it was an unidentified craft of unknown origin more commonly referred to as a UFO.” The President raised his eyebrows in acknowledgement, stating, “Please continue.”
General Dillion responded, “During the last year, there have been sixty-six documented encounters by U.S. Military aircraft of unidentified craft of unknown origin. Also, with numerous sightings reported by our allies around the globe. I wanted to let you know personally that this is unprecedented and highly unusual.” Benjamin sat quietly for several moments, then asked, “Do you believe this to be a threat to our national security, General?”
Dillion replied, “Sir, I believe we should be prepared for any contingency.” Ben asked, “Are we prepared?” The General stated, “No Sir, but with your permission I’ll put together a plan for your approval.” President Arnold, nodding his head, said, “Make it so, General, and put it on a fast track.” General Dillion, with simple military efficiency, replied, “Yes Sir. If you have no other requests at this time, Sir, may I be dismissed?” Benjamin simply said, “Dismissed, General.” Genie stood after the General had left the office. Looking towards the President, she smiled and said, “What a day. It’s good to be the President.” Ben smiled back, thinking, ‘never a dull moment.’
Chapter 8 – New Orders – March 2025
Captain Wright was sitting on a gray metal folding chair in a hangar with all of the flight operations personnel for the F-16 squadron at Luke Air Force Base. A sense of excitement could be felt as the Officers, NCOs and Airmen waited, speaking in hushed voices for the hastily and mysteriously scheduled briefing to begin. The First Sargent standing at the double entry doors came to attention and called out in a commanding voice, “Squadron, Attention!” with the last word sounding like, “Aten ‘Hut.” The sound of over one hundred and fifty chairs squeaking, sliding and Airmen standing and coming to attention could be heard, followed a moment later by total silence. The Base Commander, Squadron Commander, Executive officers and several other high-ranking staff officers entered the hangar. They strode up the three steps of the raised platform equipped with a podium, microphone, and chairs. A large projection video monitor was mounted on the wall behind them.
General White, the Base Commander, walked to the podium and spoke. “As you were, gentlemen.” The gathering immediately sat down with everyone’s attention focused on the Base Commander. General White looked around at the upturned faces. “Good morning, everyone. Thank you all for being here this morning, I understand the inconvenience this causes for you second and third shift workers.” He took a moment to look around the hangar and began, “The notification for these new orders was received from the Pentagon late Friday afternoon with instructions to implement today, Monday, March 17, 2025. I know, Saint Patrick’s Day,” the General said with a smile. “Everyone is Irish today, right?” There were smiles and subdued laughter among the gathered service members, an ice breaker for the tension in
the room. “Like I mentioned, these new operation orders come from the highest authority and will be implemented immediately. Starting now, any and all unidentified craft in U.S. air space will be challenged by a minimum of two air superiority fighters. Why two? For confirmation, and safety a wing man back up will be required. Assigned aircraft and pilots will be on continuous standby duty to scramble and intercept any intruders detected on a moment’s notice. This practice was the norm during the early days of the Cold War; we are now being ordered to make it happen again. We are dealing with what some may call a new threat, but we have been aware of the intruders for at least seventy-five years.”
Captain Wright felt a tingle go up his back and thought to himself, ‘Is this going where I think it’s going?’ He knew the government and the military was approaching the UFO phenomenon from a new angle and wondered what had brought this all about. The General continued, “All air branches of the military are participating: The Navy, Marines and if I may say so myself the best, the good old U.S.A.F. Also, all aircraft will be armed!” Everyone was focused; the General had their undivided attention. “Who, you are wondering, are these intruders in our air space? That is the mystery. We want to get to the bottom of the mystery of unidentified crafts of unknown origin, better known as UFO’s.” On the screen behind the command staff, still pictures of UFO’s from the last seventy years were presented: grainy, out of focus black and white photos to more modern color pictures, different images appearing every few seconds. After a minute, the now familiar video recorded by Capt. Wright was showing. White spoke, “In the last year, the U.S. military has experienced sixty-six encounters with these intruders. These are the ones we have documented. How many total intrusions, we have no idea. Your mission is to challenge every unknown craft detected and let them know we are
aware of their presence and they are not welcome. I’ll turn this meeting over to your Squadron Commander, who will brief you on your new orders. Thank you.”
Lt. Colonel Williams stepped up to the podium. He had been flying fighter planes for the past fifteen years and was respected by all the pilots in his squadron for both his piloting skills and leadership abilities. He spoke into the microphone, “Good morning, everyone. As General White said, we will challenge all unknown craft in our air space. All our air craft will be armed, but weapons will be switched to standby mode. Weapons will not be switched to hot without specific orders to do so. To date, the unidentified craft have not directly attacked or taken aggressive action. Should this change, pilots will need to notify ground control and request permission to go weapons hot.” Motioning to the NCO who was operating the video playback, Tic Tac’s recording began playing again. Williams continued, “Capt. Wright’s encounter in 2023 we believe was successful in part to being directed to the target by ground based radar, and not turning on his on-board tracking systems until he was in visual range of the target. The immediate reaction of the UFO was to take evasive action. Capt. Wright gave chase until the target disappeared from all tracking, ground radar and onboard systems. We will continue to use this method to intercept the unknowns as long as it is successful. Your job is to get within visual range before turning on onboard tracking to record visual images. Would it be possible to lock on weapons? Maybe, but we don’t know as of yet. Are the unknowns hostile? We don’t know, and if they are, do we want to provoke them? These are the many unknown questions we need answers to. We will follow our current orders, which I’m sure will be updated as we gather more information from our encounters. That is all I have at this time. Rotational duty assignments for pilots and ground crews on standby alert will be posted on all
bulletin boards. These assignments will be on twelve-hour rotation. God’s Speed and good hunting.” Colonel Williams turned from the podium and nodded towards the First Sargent who called out, “Squadron Aten ‘Hut.” The Airmen once again stood to attention as the Staff Officers exited the hangar. When the door closed, the First Sargent shouted, “As you were,” and the room erupted in movement and conversation. The First Sargent walked to the bulletin board, removing the prepared orders from a file folder he carried and attached the sheet with push pins to the board. Pilots and staff gathered around the bulletin board, opening a path for the First Sargent to pass through on his way out. The airmen closed in, crowding around the board to see the duty roster and if their names were on the rotation.
Chapter 9 – Unusual News – March 2025
Joan Allen, with a surprised look on her face, asked Don, “Is this for real?” They were watching the local news at noon from Reno, Don slowly shaking his head back and forth. “Well I’ll be. After all these years of the government denying they even exist, now the military admits they are chasing UFO’s.” The news anchor was commenting on the military’s new orders from the Pentagon. All Air Force, Navy and Marine air units throughout the country were to participate. The government was concerned with the number of confirmed unidentified craft of unknown origin being reported in U.S. air space. Military aircraft were now being sent to investigate all unknown radar contacts or suspected UFO sightings and required to make video recordings of the encounters when possible. No mention was made if the jets were attempting to communicate with the unknown intruders. At the end of the news piece, Joan muted the TV and looked at her husband. She asked, “What is this world coming to? Climate change, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, gender identity issues, Covid-19 virus and now this, little green men?” Don, still shaking his head, wondered out loud, “The Lord only knows, because I sure don’t.”
The twenty-four-hour news cable channels were all over this breaking news. What a sensational topic. They asked each other questions, interviewed expert witnesses and scientists, and pulled out old footage of UFO sightings and Hollywood Sci-Fi movie clips from their archives. News vans with film crews were doing live feeds outside of air bases and naval air stations, showing military aircraft taking off and landing. The Pentagon was not commenting, and a press conference was scheduled for the Pentagon to speak on the subject
that coming Monday, March 28th. Since it was only Friday, the news organizations had the whole weekend to hype and spin this story.
Chapter 10 – They’re Back – April 2025
Doug was sitting on the couch watching TV and doing bong rips while watching reruns of COPS when FOX News interrupted with an emergency broadcast. The young female news person on remote assignment looked nervous and excited as she held a microphone while standing in front of an eight-foot high chain link fence. “This just in. I’m outside of Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Thirty minutes ago, two F-16’s were scrambled.” Video played of the jets roaring off the runway side by side with afterburners lit up in multi-colored rings of flame blazing from the rear of the aircraft. She continued, “Our sources on the base have informed us of reports that several confirmed sightings of an unidentified craft of unknown origin were spotted between Phoenix and Yuma. We currently have called Base Operations for confirmation. As of yet there has been no official response from the Air Force.”
Doug remained sitting on the edge of his seat, his blood shot eyes glued to the TV screen. He mumbled to himself, “I’ve got to call Sheila. She isn’t going to believe this crap.” Sheila was working her exotic dancing job. Saturday night was always busy at The Wild Hare Club. Doug had second thoughts and texted her instead. Typing with his thumbs, he wrote, “CALL A.S.A.P. CRAY-CRAY.” Picking up the remote, he began surfing through the cable news channels hoping for more information. Nothing yet on the other channels. Flipping back to FOX News, he saw that the story was being discussed in the News Room. The commentator was speaking with the on-site reporter while the video of the launching jets played on the split screen.
Doug’s phone rang and Sheila’s name and number appeared on the smart phone screen. Doug answered, “Hey babe, have you seen the news about the UFO in Arizona?”
“What!” Sheila exclaimed. Doug could hear the loud dance music in the background. He repeated, “UFO on the News, Air Force jets scrambled in Arizona!” Sheila replied, “Yea I heard you the first time. That is crazy. Any videos of the flying saucers?” “Not yet,” Doug said. “I’ll text you if they show something.” Sheila responded, “OK. I have to go. I’m up next, bye.” Doug’s phone showed she had disconnected. He switched off the screen, “This is so cool,” he said out loud as he reached for the water pipe.
Chapter 11 – First Date, – April 2025
Saturday—Jerry couldn’t believe it was here already. It had been a week since Silvia agreed to go out with him. He had seen her earlier that day at 2:00 when he delivered mail to the jewelry store. They were both all smiles, and he didn’t want to leave the shop, but he had more mail to deliver. He told Sylvia, “I have to get back to work. See you at 7:00.” He smiled and gave a little wave as he backed to the door, bumping into the door handle. He turned and walked out to the sidewalk. ‘Five hours until I see her again,’ he thought. Reaching into his satchel, he grabbed the next bundle of letters to deliver. ‘Only five more hours’.
It was their first date and Jerry wanted it to be special. He wanted quality time with her to be able to talk and get to know her better. He suggested they go to the Newport Aquarium, a million gallons of saltwater and glass tunnels to walk through; they could talk the whole time. Then a quiet dinner with some Italian food, nothing too fancy or expensive, at the Tuscan Grille on the Levee next to the aquarium.
Jerry parked his Hyundai Accent in front of Sylvia’s parents’ house located in Park Hills. It was 6:55. As he was getting out of the car, Sylvia stepped out of the front door. She had on slacks with a bulky turtleneck sweater. Jerry let out a sigh of relief. He was wearing khaki pants with a long-sleeve button up shirt and a light jacket. She waited for him as he came up the walk to the door, saying in a low voice, “Hope you don’t mind—my parents would like to meet you.” Jerry gave a nervous smile, replying, “I’m looking forward to meeting them also.” With a look
of relief, she led him into the living room where her parents were sitting together on a leather couch. Sylvia said, “Mom, Dad, this is Jerry, who I have been telling you about.”
Her parents stood up as Jerry walked over to greet them. Mr. Turner, in his early fifties, was five foot, eleven inches with graying brown hair; he appeared to weigh about two hundred pounds. Mrs. Turner was ageless-looking. She stood at five foot, seven inches and weighed maybe one hundred and twenty pounds. She had dark brown hair, and Jerry now knew where Sylvia got her good looks. Jerry extended his hand to Mr. Turner and said, “Very nice to meet you, sir.” After a firm handshake, he nodded to Sylvia’s mother while gently taking her hand. “So nice to meet you, Mrs. Turner.” She smiled and said, “Nice to meet you Jerry. Sylvia has told us about you. She mentioned that you work for the Postal Service?” Smiling, Jerry replied, “Yes Ma’am. I met your daughter delivering mail to the shop where she works.” During the greetings, Sylvia had picked up her jacket and small purse. She said, “It’s getting late. Time for us to go. I’ll be home no later than 11:00.” Jerry, catching the hint, replied, “It’s been a pleasure to meet you both. I’m looking forward to meeting you again soon.”
Jerry walked beside Sylvia on the way to his car, opening the door so she could get in. He then hurried around the rear of the car, sliding in to the driver’s seat. Starting the vehicle and pulling out onto the road, he said, “Your parents were very nice.” She smiled, replying, “They were on their best behavior. My dad is a Deacon at Ludlow First Christian Church. If he gets the chance, he will ask about your religious upbringing and beliefs.” Jerry got a big grin on his face. She asked with a chuckle, “What’s the grin about?” He said, “How does he feel about Jewish folks?” She snorted, putting her hand to her face, hiding an embarrassed smile. “Sorry, I don’t know how he will react. Do you practice your religion?” It was Jerry’s turn to be put on the spot. “The sabbath started last night at sunset. I went to the Synagogue yesterday evening and today is the day of rest, but the Post Office works on Saturday and so do I, so I got to do
what I got to do. The sun has gone down, the Sabbath is over at sunset, and being Jewish requires that I live in two worlds. Hope you are okay with that.” Sylvia, shaking her head, said with a grin, “I am very okay with that. Many of the people I meet think I’m different for being a practicing Christian. Are you okay with that?” she asked. Nodding with a big grin, Jerry said, “Yes.” He knew this was the beginning of a very special and interesting evening.
Chapter 12 – Palm Sunday – April 2025
Palm Sunday was a busy day for the staff at Saint Matthew’s Church. Pastor Peter spent the last hour relaxing in his overstuffed recliner with a tall glass of iced tea. At 4:00, Charles was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on a kettle of beef and barley stew they would enjoy for their evening meal.
Charles came into Peter’s home office and sat down. Pete said, “The stew smells really good.” Charles replied, “I think we deserve some comfort food. It’s been a busy weekend. Next week is going to be even busier being Holy Week, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.”
Peter closed his eyes nodding yes, replying, “This is what it’s all about, what the church was founded on, how we get people in the door.” Smiling, Pete spoke on, “The concept of God I can understand, a son who sacrificed himself for sin, who was born of a virgin and he had a father named Joseph, claiming to be the Son of God—that’s a stretch. No wonder the Jewish Pharisees didn’t believe him and cried heresy, Son of God, blaspheme. But the apostles still took his story and turned it into Christianity. If it was the gospel truth, why don’t we see miracles being performed today? I believe the Pope has got it right: combine all the world’s religions and make religion a unifier of men instead of a divider. Too many people have died over the centuries in the name of religion. Let religion lead us to peace and safety for all peoples and countries of the world.”
Charles replied, “With all the people worshiping together, can you imagine what we could do? World peace, God would be pleased. No more religious terrorism or wars. All the good works a unified world could accomplish, and no more hunger or prejudice.”
Peter said, “I’m going to incorporate the Pope’s message into this Easter’s celebration, still keep Jesus’ resurrection and dying for sin but also update to how happy he would be to know that after two thousand years, his people are going to finish what he started.” Pastor Peter closed his eyes, enjoying the aroma of the beef stew simmering in the kitchen. He thought to himself, ‘Being a Pastor is a good gig.’ He remembered applying for the position as a pastor with the Lutheran Church, the looks on the faces of elder church leaders when he professed being a practicing homosexual. The church had been in turmoil regarding women pastors, accepting openly gay parishioners, and gay clergy! Peter thought of himself as a pioneer helping people, taking the old church to a new level—the evolution of the church.
Chapter 13 – A New World – April 2025
Genie Talbert was working late on Saturday, the day before Easter. It was seven o’clock. She was in her office for the Chief of Staff in the West Wing of the White House entering some last-minute updates in her computer for Sunday’s traditional children’s Easter egg hunt. She normally took Sundays off for church and family time, but this would be the Arnolds’ first Easter since taking office and she was looking forward to seeing the President and First Lady with fifty children hunting Easter eggs in the Rose Garden.
Also, the First Lady had announced a week before that she was three months pregnant with their first child. The nation was excited for the first family, and the media were always asking for updates during press conferences. The First Family and nation were surprised to learn that only two Presidents had children born while in office: President Grover Cleveland in 1893 had a daughter named Esther, and John F. Kennedy’s son Patrick was born in 1963. Martha and Benjamin’s parents were excited to become grandparents again. The Arnolds both had siblings who were parents, and now it was their turn. This was going to be a special event for the President and First Lady, their first child, and for the country—a First Baby. Since July 2022, when the Corona-virus was defeated with the help of the Chinese vaccine, the world had experienced a mini baby boom. After two years of death and economic collapse, the world was now rejoicing, welcoming new life and a brighter future.
Genie shut down her computer and cleared off her desk, securing all of her paperwork. She turned off the lights, locking the door on the way out. She checked out with the uniformed officer at the staff entrance and headed for her Toyota Camry in the secured staff parking lot.
She remotely unlocked the car and popped the trunk lid open, putting her briefcase inside and closing the trunk door. Sliding into the seat, she started the engine and buckled in. The dash clock read 7:47, and thought to herself, ‘I’m not going to get home until after 8:30.’ She put the car in reverse, backed out of the parking space and headed for the exit. The sun was setting behind the trees. Genie heard what sounded like a continuous trumpet note that just kept getting louder. She felt this intense feeling of joy, love and calmness. Jesus was saying her name while embracing her. She felt tears of happiness on her cheeks.
The Camry crashed into the security barrier at the parking lot exit, air bags exploding open from of the steering column and dashboard. Two Secret Service Agents came at a run with weapons drawn, their ear bud speakers buzzing with loud confused voices speaking over each other. To their surprise, no one was in the car, just a pile of clothes in the driver’s seat.
Agents assigned to the First Family stormed through the door of their private living quarters. President Arnold was standing and staring at the wing backed chair Martha had been sitting in, eyes wide with tears running down his face. The first Agent entered the room. His eyes darted in different directions looking for any possible threats. Pistol held in both hands pointing towards the ceiling, he asked, “Mr. President, are you hurt?” Ben, slowly shaking his head, mumbled, “She had a smile on her face and just vanished. Only her clothes are left. Where did she go?”
Other Agents were now in the room. Ben heard voices from the other areas of their suite calling out, “Clear, from the next room Clear!” Two Agents took the President by each arm saying, “This way, Sir.” Two other agents led the way with two more following close
behind, all carrying pistols or submachine guns. Ben cried out, “Wait, I can’t go! Where is my wife?”
The Lead Agent said, “We will find out what happened, Sir. But first we have to make sure you are safe.” The President was led down the hall to the elevator where the door stood open. Four agents entered the elevator car with the President. The Lead Officer used his pass key to access the underground bunker located fifty feet below the White House.
Ben felt the car drop down the shaft to the bunker. The car jolted to a stop. The stainless-steel door slid open. The room was loud with voices and communications operators receiving status reports from White House security, while others were taking reports from around the country. Agents and housing staff were also missing clothing, jewelry, glasses, and dental work was all that was left from the personnel who were missing. Eye witnesses’ reports said these people just vanished and their garments fell to the floor; also, everyone heard the trumpet sound. It appeared to come from everywhere. Reports were also coming in that similar disappearances had occurred around the country. An emergency national security alert had been sounded, and a security council meeting had been scheduled for an hour from then. The Senior Agent who had taken charge began issuing orders: “Get the in-house doctor here ASAP. Have him check out the President. Also, I want the ranking elected or cabinet official here to take charge of this situation so I can do my job of protecting this facility and the President.” President Arnold looked up from where he was sitting. He said, “Thank you, agent. I’ll take it from here. Get me in touch with the Pentagon as soon as possible. We have a national emergency and I need to know what is going on! Also call the Chief of Staff and tell her I need her here pronto.” The Lead Agent replied, “Sir, her car crashed into the gate a few
minutes ago. Only clothes are in the vehicle. She and other staff members have just disappeared. This phenomenon appears to be happening all over the country.” Ben hung his head for a moment. Looking up, he said, “We have to know what’s going on. Call in all of the available cabinet members.” The lead Agent, feeling a sense of relief, replied, “They will be here within the hour, Mr. President.”
Chapter 14 – God is Real – April 2025
Major Wright was finishing his dinner in the base chow hall: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, lima beans, carrots and gravy on the meat and potatoes. Apple pie with vanilla ice- cream for dessert was next. Charles could live off base if he wanted to; he could afford it, especially with the increase in pay from his recent promotion to Major. But he liked his single life. Officer base housing was comfortable and chow hall food was good. It was what he considered one of his best benefits: no wife, no cooking and no dirty dishes. He checked the time. It was 16:45 and he started work at 18:00 hours, a twelve-hour shift at the flight shack. He was on duty to intercept any unidentified craft in his assigned air space. Finishing his dinner, he pushed back from the table. Time for the dessert bar. As he walked from his table, a loud trumpet sound blared.
In an instant, several airmen seated in the dining area appeared to just vanish; one second they were there, then their uniforms fell into the empty chairs and the floor. There was the sound of dishes crashing to the floor in the kitchen area and then silence. A moment later, everyone who was left jumped up from their chairs. Charles was the ranking officer in the mess hall. He saw the panic on the faces of the men in the room, and he knew that he had to take charge.
Lifting both arms over his head, he called out, “Everyone, listen up!” The room grew quiet. Charles yelled to the Staff Sargent behind the serving line, “Call the Security Police. If you can’t get through on the phone, send a runner.” Sirens could be heard on the base. He told everyone else, “Report to your duty stations now.” In a moment, the room cleared out. In an
emergency, airmen need a sense of purpose, a job to do. Major Wright left the chow hall. Outside on the base were several single vehicle accidents. Airmen were at the scene of the crashes taking control of the situation. Charles heard an F-16 overhead. As he looked up, the plane was out of control, coming down fast in a flat spin. A moment later he heard the explosion and saw the fireball with black smoke rising into the sky from the crash.
“What the hell is going on?” Charles shouted. He took off at a brisk jog towards the flight line. Hearing a vehicle behind him, he waved for it to stop. The Master Sargent, who was driving, called out the window, “How can I help you, Sir?” Charles, feeling stressed, replied, “Tell me what’s going on and give me a ride to the flight operations building.” The Sargent said, “Hop in, Sir. This is going to sound crazy, but I believe this is Biblical, Sir.” Charles got into the passenger seat of the car, closed the door and asked, “What do you mean Biblical? I just witnessed men vanish in the chow hall. Poof, they were gone.” The Sargent replied, “I saw someone driving in front of me. They ran off the road and crashed into a building. I stopped to check on them, but no one was in the car, just clothes on the seat. The trumpet sound, people disappearing, the Rapture—it’s all in the Bible, that explains it. I never took that stuff seriously, Sir. If I’m right about this, we are in for a world of hurt. God is real, Jesus is real, all the stuff in the Book of Revelation is real. I have got to call and check on my wife and children. She is a God-fearing Christian.” The Sargent fumbled for his cell phone. Charles ordered, “Get me to flight operations first, then call your family.” The Sargent put his phone back in the console of the car. “Yes Sir, sorry Sir,” he replied. They drive on in stunned silence. Several minutes later the Master Sargent stopped in front of the gate leading to the flight operations building, Charles said, “Thank you, Sargent. I hope everything is okay with your family.” The Sargent
nodded to the Major. “Thank you, Sir.” As Charles got out of the vehicle, the Sargent dialed his phone. After thirty seconds of the phone ringing, his wife’s voice mail message answered. Tears welling in his eyes, he asked, “Please call me.”
Chapter 15 – Going Home – April 2025
The Saturday-before-Easter motorcycle ride to Lake Tahoe started at 10:00 a.m. after breakfast at Peg’s Ham & Eggs restaurant, the meeting place for the riders. The ‘Around the Bend’ riding group consisted mostly of senior citizens who tried to organize an outing a couple of times a month, weather permitting. Most of the snow had melted in the High Sierra Mountains. The roads were clear and the tourists hadn’t shown up yet. The planned route was to head up U.S. 50, ride around the lake from the Nevada side in to California, and circle around the lake back to Nevada. It was a beautiful ride with amazing views. Temperatures varied in the mountains during early spring, so everyone was dressed in layers with riding suits or leathers. There were twenty-seven bikes and thirty-five people on the ride, the first of the season. Everyone was happy winter was over.
Joan and Don had spent the day before cleaning and waxing their Harleys. Now the black paint and chrome shone in the morning sun. It was always exciting riding with the group. The riders were in the parking lot doing last-minute preparations and suiting up. The Road Captain called everyone together for the pre-ride briefing, going over the staggered and single file riding formation, hand signals, and stressing rider safety. The briefing over, the group mounted their bikes. Engines started and idling, side stands came up. The lead rider gave the signal and led the group out of the parking lot onto Carson Avenue. Don followed Joan in the middle of the pack. He did a mike check of his helmet-mounted two-way communication system, “Do you copy, Joan?” Joan replied, “Yes, I hear you.” Don responded, “Roger that,”
with a laugh. He knew it bugged her. She was not a big fan of the little radios and Don talked too much.
The group made several stops while circumnavigating the lake. The first stop after coming up the mountain from Carson City was Round Hills Marina. The bikers parked in a long row side by side. It was an impressive example of senior citizen organizational and riding skills. Don pulled the thermos of coffee from his saddle bag and poured himself and Joan a steaming cup. The cup was also an excellent hand warmer. They spent about a half an hour admiring the boats at the marina and catching up with fellow members they hadn’t seen since the last ride in the fall. The Road Captain rounded up the members for the second leg of the cruise. Continuing on to the next planned stop at Kaplan Beach, they spent an hour on the pebble- covered beach. Most shed some layers, enjoying the sunny day and the views of the snow- capped mountain peaks. At 1:30 p.m., the group mounted their two wheeled machines heading for King’s Beach, where they stopped at the local Denny’s for a late lunch and a soft seat that didn’t vibrate. The club president and officers gave the latest updates and planned the next group ride, and reminded everyone of the upcoming annual election for the club officer positions that would be open in June.
Don mentioned to Joan, “It’s 4:00. Are you ready to head home? If we leave now, we should be there by 5:30.” Joan replied, “I’m ready. It’s been a long day, and tomorrow after church all the kids and grandchildren will be over for Easter dinner.” Don knew she enjoyed the family get-togethers, but it was a lot of work for her in the kitchen even with their children bringing side dishes. They said their farewells to their biker buddies and headed for the parking
lot. By 4:15 they were on Route 431 heading down the mountain to connect with Route 580 to take them home to Carson City.
They were almost down the twisty mountain road when Don heard Joan’s voice on his intercom. “Don, do you hear that? What is it?” Don replied, “Sounds like a trumpet. It’s so loud.” Suddenly the two Harleys, boots, helmets, leather chaps, jackets and clothes went skidding and sliding down the two-lane blacktop road. Joan and Don were being safely held in the loving arms of Jesus, who smiled and said, “Welcome. I have prepared a place for you.”
Chapter 16 – What’s Going On – April 2025
Sheila was putting on her make-up in the bathroom. It was 5:49 p.m. on Saturday, and she had to be at the club by 7:00 for her exotic dancer job. She called to Doug, who was in the kitchen finishing up dinner, “What is that loud horn noise?” Doug called back, “Don’t know, but it sure is loud.” A moment later, they heard a crashing sound and the house shook with the sound of breaking glass in the living room. Doug moved the pan he was boiling spaghetti in off of the hot burner. Running into the next room, he saw a VW Jetta, smashed halfway through the living room wall. Sheila behind him cried out, “Oh my God, what the crap?” Doug ran out the front door to find out who smashed into the house. It was hard to see the car with the smoke and steam from the leaking radiator. As Doug pulled open the door, a medium sized dog ran out and up the street towards Dolphin Avenue. He was surprised there was no one in the vehicle. ‘Odd,’ he thought. The seat belt was fastened and clothes and shoes were all he saw in the front seat area. He reached in, put the gear shift in park, and turned off the protesting engine. Sheila, who was behind him, asked, “Where is the person who did this?” Doug, shaking his head, pointed into the front seat. “Your guess is as good as mine. The seat belt is still buckled and there are clothes all over.” Sheila angrily said, “I’m calling 911. This is a bunch of B.S. Jack up my house and run away? Someone is going to pay for this crap.”
Going inside, she got her cell phone and dialed 911. To her surprise, she got a busy signal. She hit redial and got another busy signal. “What the heck is going on? This doesn’t make sense. 911 is busy?” Other neighbors were coming out of their houses. Mary, who lived next door, came out, saw what was going on and asked, “Have you seen my kids? They were
playing video games in their room, but now they’re gone.” Doug shook his head. “No, I haven’t seen them. Just this car sticking out of my house.” Panicked screaming could be heard down the street. Doug was thinking, ‘What is going on? It’s like the whole street is going crazy.’ Loud jet engine sounds screeched a hundred feet above the neighborhood. Everyone outside was looking up. The plane was heading towards the Gulf. Doug took off at a sprint down Dupree Street. Crossing Front Beach Road, running down the wooden board walk to the beach, Doug saw that the airliner was only ten feet above the water, five hundred yards out, water shooting up into the air behind the plane like a wake. The nose of the 737 hit the water, dug in and the plane cartwheeled across the Gulf of Mexico. The wings, engines and tail ripped off, with parts, passengers and debris flying in every direction. Doug sat in the sand, arms and hands over his head, crying out, “Dear God, make this stop.” Looking up, he saw other people on the beach looking shocked and pointing to the smoldering wreckage slowly sinking below the surface of the water. Doug heard an older lady slowly walking down the beach calling out, “Bill, Bill, where are you? This is not funny. How did you just disappear?” She was crying, carrying a wad of clothes under her arm. “Bill.”
Doug slowly walked back to his house. Neighbors were outside. He caught snippets of conversations as he walked up the street: “loud trumpet sound”. “says her children just vanished before her eyes.” Sheila saw him walking up and exclaimed, “There you are. One minute you’re here, then you just disappeared. Where did you take off to?” Doug looked at her. “To the beach. Something weird is going on here. We need to get some answers. Did you get a response from 911?” She shook her head. “No, I’ll try again in a minute. Mary next door says her kids are gone. She’s freaking out.” Doug walked into the house and picked up the flat
screen TV off of the floor. It didn’t look like it had been damaged. He grabbed the remote and turned it on, saying to himself, “Good, didn’t break in the crash.” He turned on CNN. An Emergency Alert was scrolling at the bottom of the screen the news person said, “Disasters are being reported from all around the globe. This could be a higher death toll than the Covid-19 pandemic.” Doug sat down on the couch. This was a lot to try and wrap his head around. ‘Is this the end of the world?” he wondered.
Chapter 17 – Stood Up – April 2025
Jerry pulled out from his house in Ludlow at 6:30 p.m. He was on his way to Park Hills to pick up Sylvia. Saturday was date night. They were going to a jazz bar on Main Street in Covington that served up New Orleans style cuisine. It was a popular night spot, so Jerry had made reservations two weeks in advance. The owner of the club was a local celebrity. A renowned jazz guitarist, he was known for sitting in on at least one set with the house band during the evening.
Driving up Sleepy Hollow Road from Ludlow to Park Hills, Jerry heard a loud trumpet sound. Turning off the radio and rolling down the driver’s window, he still couldn’t tell where the sound was coming from. It didn’t seem to get any louder, but it emanated from everywhere. After thirty seconds it abruptly stopped. Jerry mumbled out loud to himself, “That is really weird.” As he approached the stop sign at the top of the hill, he was surprised to see a pick-up truck crashed into a parked car on the side of the road. Wondering, ‘why has someone just let that sit there?’, he continued on to Sylvia’s place. People were coming out of their houses, looking up and down the street. Others were looking panicked, using exaggerated hand and arm movements. He slammed on the breaks of his Accent as a sedan rolled backward out of the driveway in front of him, crossing the road and knocking down a mailbox before coasting to a stop on the neighbor’s lawn. Slowly moving up the street, he was nearly to Sylvia’s parents’ house. He pulled into the driveway and turned off the engine.
Walking up the stone pathway to the front door, he rang the doorbell, noticing through the glass storm door that the entry door was ajar. After a minute, he rang the bell again. He
could hear the chimes going off in the house, but still no one came to the door. He could hear the next-door neighbors’ raised voices, sounds as though someone was missing in their house. He opened the glass door, then the wooden entry door, calling in, “Hello, is anybody home?” There was no response. He opened the door and slowly stepped into the living room. ‘Odd,’ he thought. There were men’s clothes spread out on the inclined recliner. “Hello,” he called out louder. No other sounds were in the house. Walking into the kitchen, he saw something simmering on the range. A pile of women’s clothes and a pair of shoes were in front of the refrigerator. Jerry was getting very anxious. He turned off the gas burner of the range. “Sylvia, are you here?” he called out. He went to the stairs leading to the second floor. “I’m coming upstairs,” he yelled. At the top of the stairs, he checked the first door—the master bedroom. No one there. Knocking on the second door, he opened it and looked into a sewing room. No one there, either. The third door was not latched. He pushed open the door. ‘This has to be Sylvia’s room,’ he thought. Clothes were on a small stool sitting in front of the vanity. He could see her cross and chain necklace lying on the floor, but Sylvia was not there.
Not knowing what was going on but knowing in his heart that he would never see her again, he stooped and picked up her necklace. Tears ran down his cheeks as he slowly descended the stairs to the front door. Stepping outside, he closed the door behind him and sat on the front steps of her house. Closing his eyes and hanging his head, great sobs of grief racked his body. He sat there until the tears had dried. Getting up, he walked to his car, praying to God for the soul of his lost love.
Chapter 18, Moment of Truth, (4/19/25)
The Easter Vigil service would begin in three hours at 7:30 p.m. Pastor Peter Thomas
had been busy earning his pay this holy week leading up to tomorrow’s Easter Sunday services. That evening at 7:00, the parishioners would begin gathering outside of St. Matthew’s Church in the parking lot. Then at dusk, candles would be distributed and lit, and a procession would solemnly enter the darkened church. The sanctuary would be lit only by candle light; after the singing of the first hymn, the house lights would be gradually turned up. The homily Peter had prepared would recount the complete Passion of Christ’s death and Resurrection. He and a group of volunteer parishioners had been working for several hours preparing the church with fresh cut flowers and decorations for the evening worship service.
At 4:30, Peter gathered together the workers. “Hey everyone, I’m going let you finish up here,” he said. “I’ve got to go home and get ready for tonight’s service. See you all at 7:00. I’ll be at my house if you need me. Thank you for all you do.” He walked out the side door and around the church to his private dwelling. As he entered the house, he announced with a chuckle, “Honey, I’m home,” and went to the kitchen looking for something to eat. His partner answered with a smile, “Hello dear. You’re in luck. One of the parishioners brought us a veggie quiche for dinner. Would you like some?”
“Sounds good,” replied Pete. “I’ll take a double serving. I’m really hungry.” Charles got the dish out of the fridge, placed a large slice on a plate and sat it on the rotisserie in the microwave. “Be ready in a jiffy,” he said. Ninety seconds later, the microwave beeped. Charles brought the hot plate, silverware and napkin and sat it on the table in front of Peter. “Thank
you. It smells really good,” Pete remarked as he took the first bite. He looked up at Charles. “What is that loud noise? Sounds like some kind of a horn.” Both men look at each other in bewilderment. Suddenly they heard breaking glass and screams coming from the direction of the church, second later crashing sounds and a car alarm going off in the parking lot. “What the heck is going on now?” Charles asked. Pete, looking worried, headed outside to find out what had just happened. In the parking lot, someone had slammed their car into a parked vehicle. He hurried over to see if anyone was injured. To his amazement, the car that hit the parked vehicle appeared to be empty and the doors were locked. The driverless vehicle had come from the street, bumped over the curb without slowing down, and was stopped by the now totaled parked vehicle. Pete then rushed into the church asking, “Is everything okay in here? Is anyone hurt. What’s going on?”
“Pastor, there was a loud blaring horn-sounding noise and then people just vanished!” exclaimed a panicked middle-aged woman. “Swear to God, what’s going on? See, their clothes are on the floor. This is crazy. Am I going nuts?” Suddenly the electric went off in the building. Pete mumbled to himself, “Great, what next?” “Someone with a phone please call 911 and report this,” he said. “Also, there has been a bad car accident in the parking lot. We may need paramedics.” As Peter turned to look at the piles of clothes and broken flower vases, he noticed that Charles was standing behind him with a worried look on his face. Charles asked quietly, “Pete, do you have any idea what’s going on here?” Peter sat wearily in the nearest row of wooden pews, leaning his head on his hands on the back of the pew in front of him, and closed his eyes. He spoke softly, “I think I do, Charles. I believe the snatching up of the bride just happened. God’s Church taken up, the Rapture; we all heard the sounding of the Trumpet.
Those who are Born Again were called up in a twinkling of an eye. True believing Christians have ascended to Heaven. What have I done?” Peter slowly shook his bowed head and continued on in prayer, “Lord God, I’m such a sinner. Forgive me Lord for doubting Your Gospel. I am truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing, an apostate, deceived by the world and my pride. Oh Lord God, forgive me.” He cried aloud with tears of sorrow streaming down his face. He stood and ran from the church, lost in his self-loathing and anguish. He needed space, some time alone to pray and reassess his life choices.
Chapter 19 – Message to a Shocked Nation – April 2025
President Benjamin Arnold was sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office with a stressed and drawn look of sadness showing in his eyes. The nationwide Presidential broadcast had been scheduled for 5:00 pm. Eastern Standard Time, and today was Easter Sunday. The President looked into the TV camera and stated, “My Fellow Americans, before I begin this evening I would like for us to pause for a moment of silence in celebration of Easter, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ nearly two thousand years ago. Also, to pray for those who we lost yesterday in this unprecedented disappearance of an estimated thirty million American citizens, together with untold millions more around the globe.” The President lowered his head, closing his eyes in silent prayer for his wife, unborn child, parents, friends and acquaintances who were no longer there.
Looking up, Ben continued, “Saturday, April 19, 2025, is a day that will not be forgotten by history. At 7:49 pm. Eastern Standard time, our world changed forever. All over the planet at the same instant, people vanished before our eyes, graves exploded open in cemeteries with no remains to be found. Vehicles, planes, trains, boats and ships crashed when the operators simply vanished. There were fires in homes and businesses when cooks and workers disappeared in an instant. The Worlds News channels and social media have offered many reasons and theories in an attempt to explain what has happened. I have spoken with many world leaders today, also government advisors, military experts and clergy from numerous religions, seeking the reason to explain this unbelievable event. My conclusion as to what took place yesterday through extensive investigation, soul searching and input from many resources
I will share with you today with the knowledge that many will disagree, scoffing at and ridiculing my beliefs as to what took place.
“We as a nation are all grieving the loss of our loved ones through the disappearances and the numerous deaths from the catastrophes that occurred from this event that has shaken the lives of so many. The one bright point of hope is that those who vanished may be the lucky ones. In my opinion, they are now with God in Heaven. Theologians, pastors and Bible scholars have been warning the world for years that we are living in the season of End Times, the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Rapture of his Church and the coming of the Tribulation. I, like so many others, scoffed at the idea of a Living God. Having been programed by society and the world that people controlled their own destiny, we believe that we are an evolved species. Logic and science can explain everything. But I was wrong. The Bible has prophesied the event that took place yesterday and also tells of God’s wrath and judgements on those throughout history who disregarded his existence and authority. For example, the Great Flood during Noah’s time that destroyed all in the world, Sodom & Gomorrah destroyed for the abomination of their sinful ways, the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and the many plagues inflicted on the Egyptians. After these many Signs and Wonders of God’s Power and Might, humanity soon forgets and God once again becomes a secondary issue.
“The supernatural event that took place yesterday can only be explained as an Act of God, The Rapture of the true believers of Jesus Christ. This Sign and Wonder must be taken with the utmost seriousness. Our lives and souls depend on it. Our missing loved ones are depending on us who are left in the world to change our ways and to believe God is real! The Rapture has taken so many, all the innocent children of the world gone in an instant from
newborns to eleven-year olds. They have been snatched up, which has devastated parents and families. I personally lost my wife and unborn child, both of my parents, a brother, nieces, nephews and many friends. I know that everyone who is watching and listening to this broadcast has lost loved ones and friends. Don’t let this warning and loss go unheeded. If you are here, you need to pray and ask God for salvation and forgiveness. Our country was settled and founded by those who believed in God and were seeking a new life with religious freedom to worship God as they choose. Our country has stumbled and lost that vision, rejected Him under the premise of the separation of Church and State. We have taken a path that rejects all that is good and called it bad, and all that is bad and sinful we have embraced as good. Our founding fathers would not recognize who we have become. Our nation needs to repent and move back to the path of righteousness, put God first in our lives so that someday we to can join our families and loved ones who have gone before us and someday we to can have eternal life with them in Heaven. My heart is broken and grieves for all of us who lost their loved ones. We are not abandoned, only lost. Open you heart, eyes and ears for the truth and salvation of God’s Word.
May God Bless the United States of America and Our World. Thank you, and good evening.”
Chapter 20 – Message from the Chaplain – April 2025
Major Wright hadn’t slept well the night before with the disappearance of so many people and all the young children. The country was in chaos, with massive pileups on the freeways. Nearly every major airport in the nation was a disaster area due to loaded airliners crashing on runways and adjacent areas nearby. There were massive, out of control fires in New York City, San Francisco and Little Rock, and numerous fires in other cities had been extinguished or were under control. It had taken several hours for Luke Air Force Base to become operational, with a third of the officers and enlisted personnel unaccounted for. Major Wright watched disaster reports from around the world on cable news for most of the night while trying to comprehend the explanation of the Master Sargent the day before: ‘it’s Biblical, Rapture, we are in for a world of hurt’ kept going through his mind. He nodded off into a restless sleep around 3:00 a.m. while sitting in a recliner in front of the TV in the ready room. Fortunately, last night he had not been called out to chase down any unidentified intruders in his air space. He was woken at 6:00 am. by the next shift coming on duty.
On the way to his dormitory for some more needed sleep, his first stop was the chow hall. He hadn’t eaten in fourteen hours and breakfast was his favorite meal. He had home fried potatoes with sausage gravy, bacon, two eggs and a side of pancakes. When he got to his room, he tossed his flight suit and small clothes in the hamper, put on his robe, grabbed his shaving kit and towel and headed for the shower room. When he got back to his room, he lay in bed. He thought of all the events that had taken place and how much the world had changed since yesterday, ‘God is real.’, he dozed off into sleep.
Tic’s alarm went off at 11:00 am. He sat on the edge of his bed for several minutes before heading to the showers to wash the cobwebs out of his head. The last time Major Wright attended an Easter Service was when he was in flight school eight years before in 2017. He arrived at base chapel at 12:20. It was no surprise the place was nearly full. He found an open seat in the front row of pews. Most of the attendees looked uncomfortable, lost in their own thoughts, which he understood. He felt out of place himself. On a large screen behind the pulpit, a video was showing an aerial view of Jerusalem. The words of a hymn appeared and recorded music began to play.
After the song, a robed Rabbi slowly walked to the pulpit. He began, “Thank you for being here today. This is a first for me conducting an Easter Service. If you will bear with me, I’m accustomed to doing a Passover Service, so if it’s okay with you I will refer to today’s worship as Resurrection Sunday. Yesterday’s unprecedented events has shaken our world. The Messiah has called his people home; your Christian chaplains are no longer with us, but I am. It is appropriate that I’m with you today, the Jewish people. God’s Chosen are hard-headed, stubborn people. Throughout history, their superior, prideful attitude has incurred God’s wrath for their total disregard and refusal to follow the Lord’s Laws and Commandments. Over the last few hours, I have concluded that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the Messiah. It has taken me my whole life of thirty-five years to realize this in my heart. I can only pray that the Chosen People of God and the nation of Israel will believe after the great Sign and Wonder of the Rapture of His Church.
“So today if you feel in your heart, like I do myself, I ask you to join me in professing our personal faith in Jesus Christ. Join me today and be Born Again with Jesus as our Savior. If you
are ready in your Heart and Soul, repeat after me: Lord God, I’m a sinner and not worthy of your salvation but for Your Son Jesus, the Lamb of God. Through His sacrifice for the sins of the world, He was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day, He was resurrected in fulfilment of the scriptures. I believe Jesus is the Son of God, my Savior who died for the sins of the world, that whoever believes in Him, professes with their mouth, repents and confesses their sins shall be Born Again into everlasting life. Saying these words is the easy part. Accepting Jesus as your Savior and believing in your heart will change your life. Living for the spirit of God and not the world is not easy and will change your values. Realizing how many sinful acts the world accepts as good is disturbing. Today I, as a Jewess Rabbi, have accepted Jesus in my heart as the Messiah and my Savior. I thank my Christian Chaplain brothers who are no longer here for their friendship and teachings of the Gospel so that I now know and accept the truth. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your Salvation and Grace and the forgiveness of my sins.” Looking around at the congregation, the Rabbi now understood what his new calling in life was: to evangelize for Jesus who is Lord, and to save souls for God.
“One more thing before we are finished here. At 16:00 hundred hours today, I will be baptizing new Christians at the base swimming pool. If you have accepted Jesus today, I hope to see you there. Also, the first who I baptize will have the honors of baptizing me,” he said with a smile.
Major Wright sat in the pew as the chapel slowly cleared out. He was lost in thought when he noticed someone standing in front of him looking up to see the Rabbi. “Hi Rabbi,” he said. The Rabbi nodded and said, “Hi, I’m Adam Cohen, and if I’m correct you are Charles Wright, a.k.a. as Tic Tac?” Charles stood and shook his hand. “That’s me. Nice to meet you,
Adam. I was surprised to see a Rabbi here for the service today, but when I thought about it, not so surprised.” Adam nodded, smiling. “I have done a lot of soul searching since yesterday. I hope all of my Jewish friends understand, and if they don’t, Yeshua will. How about you? Were you going to the pool today?” Charles slowly nodded in the affirmative. “Yes Sir, I’m going.” “Excellent,” smiled Adam. “May I baptize you first?” he asked.
Chapter 21 – No Body is Home – April 2025
Stan Lishka had a hot car, a trunk full of loot and a pocket full of cash. The pickings were just too easy in Reno, at least for the last twelve hours since all the people disappeared. He was getting nervous. He didn’t want to get caught and arrested, not when everything he always wanted was there for the taking. Wrecked and abandoned vehicles were on the streets with piles of clothes, pockets full of wallets and purses full of cash and jewelry. The perfect plan popped into his head: check out Uncle Don’s house in Carson City. If he and Aunt Joan disappeared, he would have a house to live in. Getting on the 580, he headed for Carson City. He kept reminding himself to go the speed limit. He passed several Highway Patrol SUV’s that were working crashed vehicle scenes.
Half an hour later, he was taking the Carson Avenue exit, and ten minutes after that he was parking in the driveway of his uncle’s house. The closest neighbor was across the street, over a hundred yards away, and the large three-bedroom house was surrounded by old growth trees. Going to the front door, Stan rang the doorbell and immediately two dogs were barking on the other side of the door. The barking stopped, and a few seconds later the dogs were in the yard barking and jumping on the side yard gate. Stan rang the bell again, and still with no answer, he climbed over the gate into the yard and squatted down to pet the dogs who seemed happy to see him. Going to the back of the house, he checked windows and doors. Everything was locked up. Looking through the garage window, he saw that two vehicles were parked inside. He didn’t want to force his way in, not yet. It was Easter Sunday and maybe they were
at church. He decided to go get something to eat and come back before dark to see if they had returned home.
At 7:20 pm., Stan arrived back at his uncle’s house. The sun was on the horizon and the shadows were long. No lights were on in the house or outside. He called Don’s phone and hung up when the voice mail picked up. He tried Aunt Joan’s number, but got voice mail again. He went to the side garage entry door, and using the end of his pocket knife, he broke out one of the small panes of glass. He carefully removed the shards of glass from the frame, putting them into an empty noodle box he had gotten out of the recycle bin in the driveway. Reaching inside the door, he unlocked the deadbolt and entered the garage. He could hear the dogs whimpering in the house. The door from the house into the garage wasn’t locked. When he opened it, the two dogs were slowly wagging their tails. As he stepped into the house, he looked around. The place felt empty with no one there. Walking into the kitchen, he picked up the dog’s empty water bowl and filled it up at the sink. Both dogs’ tails were moving much faster now. Sitting it on the floor, they begin tanking up; obviously, they had been out of water for a while. He looked through cabinets and found a large plastic dog food bucket full of kibble. Using the small scoop inside, he gave them both a double serving. Both dogs gave their full attention to the crunchy meal. It was obvious the dogs hadn’t eaten today. Time to check out the rest of the house. Stan noticed keys on a wall rack next to the door from the house to the garage. Examining the rack, he found keys for the car and pickup in the garage, and what looked like door keys. He picked them up, sliding the ring into his front pocket. There were no Harley keys on the rack and he didn’t see the motorcycles in the garage, what a shame. Stan walked through the whole house. It was clear the keys he picked up worked on the backyard
door. Possession was nine tenths of the law, he thought. As long as Uncle Don’s goody two shoes kids weren’t around, he should be able to hang out here as long as he wanted.
Stan picked up a pad of paper and a pen off of the desk, sat on the couch, turned on the lamp next to him and picked up the remote, switching the TV on. He found a twenty-four-hour news channel to catch up on how the rest of the country was dealing with the disappearance. On the pad of paper, he printed on the top “To Do List” and began making a list of what he had to do tomorrow. The first item: replace broken window pane.
Chapter 22 – What’s Going On – April 2025
Doug Lewis had been in a state of mental confusion for the last day, ever since the car drove through the front of his house the day before. During a phone call with his frantic mom last night, she told him that his dad was missing—so was his Dad’s brother and sister, his Aunt Mary and Uncle John. Watching cable news wasn’t much help. It only added to his stress. There was speculation of a Biblical Prophecy called the Rapture, which the news anchors and most of their guests were skeptical of. Other opinions were suggesting that the Chinese Communist Party or the Russians had created some new unknown super weapon. He had just watched President Arnold’s address from the White House. Doug knew he needed to make some major changes in his life. Too much was going down. These disappearances were happening around the world, even in Russia and China.
He walked into the back yard where Sheila was sitting in a lounge chair drinking a beer and surfing on her phone. She looked up as Doug said, “We need to talk.” Sheila looked at Doug with raised eyebrows. He began, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, more so in the last day. I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels not getting anywhere. I’m still working fast food, and even as an assistant manager, it’s just a job, not a career. I’ve decided I’m going cold turkey on the Methadone and when I’m clean from that, I’ll stop smoking weed too. I was also hoping you would stop doing drugs with me and when we’re clean, maybe we could get married.”
Sheila held up her hands saying, “Whoa cowboy, I’m not ready to get married. I also enjoy getting high. What if I don’t want to quit?” Doug replied, “Think about this for a couple
of days before you make up your mind. Also think about what just happened with the disappearance, the Rapture of so many people.” Shaking and lowing her head, she continued, “What? You’re buying into the religious angle? I don’t think you can follow through. In two days, you’ll be back at the Methadone Clinic. You’re just freaking out.” Doug said, “Even the President believes that this is an Act of God. It was predicted in the bible to happen two thousand years ago by Jesus. Yeah it scares me, and it should scare you too. I’ve got to do something and the first thing is to clean up my act.” Sheila stood up while walking back into the house. She remarked, “Sure thing, Big Guy. I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Doug sat on the edge of the lounge chair, lowering his head and closing his eyes. He said in a whispered voice, “Dear God, I don’t know if I’m doing this prayer thing right or not. I have not lived a very good life and don’t have much to show for it. I’m hooked on methadone and smoke pot every day. The disappearance of maybe my dad, uncle and aunt is scary, the people who were killed in the plane crash I saw yesterday—it was so horrible. I need help to stop doing my bad habits. I was hoping that Sheila and I could do this together, but I don’t think she wants to. I don’t want to die scared. Please help me if you can, Amen.”
Doug’s phone began to ring in his pocket. He looked at the screen. His mom was calling, he pushed the accept button. “Hello,” he answered. His Mom said, “Hi Doug, it’s Mom. Can you talk?” Doug said, “Sure, what’s up?” His Mom hesitated for a moment then went on, “I don’t know how to say this other than to just say it. Some neighbors and I want to have a Bible reading and prayer meeting tonight. I thought of you. I would really like it if you would come tonight at 7:00. I know your Dad would be happy if he knew you were coming.” Doug felt a big lump in his throat. He didn’t hesitate in his reply. “I’d love to come. Should I bring anything?”
His mom said, “Ask Sheila if she wants to come.” Doug replied with a sad tear on his cheek, “Okay, I’ll ask her. Thanks Mom. See you at 7:00.”
Chapter 23 – Dazed and Confused – April 2025
Jerry was sad, angry, confused and most of all lost. Sylvia was the first girl in his life who he felt attracted to; he had never even told her he loved her. Now that she was gone, he could never tell her. There were so many things he felt inside himself that he would never get to share with her. He was empty. Life had lost its wonder. The world looked the same but he felt invisible, like a shadow of himself. If God had done this, how could He be so cruel to take away his first love and leave him in so much pain.
His mom knocked on his bedroom door and asked, “Jerry, may I come in?” He didn’t really want to talk, but knew she was concerned about him. “Come in,” he said. His mom came in and opened the window curtains, then sat on the chair next to his bed. She reached out and held his hand. Hot tears rolled down his face and deep sobs of pain and grief racked his body. When the grief subsided, he was aware that his mother was sitting on the edge of the bed holding him in comforting silence. He said to her in a halting voice, “I miss her so much. I hurt so much inside. Why?” His mom whispered, “I’m sorry you’re in such pain, but I promise it will get better. It will never go away, but it will get better.” She held him at arm’s length looking into his eyes. “I love you so much and am so proud of you. I wish that I could protect you from all hurt, but that’s not possible. I can only be here to comfort you and offer a loving ear. When you want to talk about this, I will be available. You need to get up now, take a shower and I’ll fix you something good to eat.” Jerry gave a small smile, nodded his head and said, “Thank you, Mom. I love you.” Leaving his room, she pulled the door closed. Jerry stared at the ceiling for
several minutes, sat up on the edge of the bed, took the robe hanging on the back of the door and walked down the hall to the bathroom.
Twenty minutes later he came down the steps. His dad met him at the bottom of the stairs and said as he held him, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Jerry replied, “Wish you could have met her. She was so beautiful.” His dad said, “Me too, son. Me too.” They walked into the kitchen and his mom asked, “One egg or two?”
Chapter 24 – A New Beginning – April 2025
“Thank you for being here this morning. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you,” Pastor Peter Thomas announced as he began the 9:00 am. worship service at Saint Matthew’s Church. “Welcome to our Easter Sunday Services to celebrate the glorious Resurrection of our Savior who died for our sins. We who are present here today are sinners who haven’t accepted Jesus into our hearts and are not Born Again, as evidenced by the fact we weren’t snatched up yesterday in the Rapture.” Peter looked at all who were present with a saddened heart. The church was full, with many standing in the rear of the sanctuary.
“I will confess to you today that I have lived a sinful life, in a relationship with another man that the Bible clearly says is an abomination to God,” he began. “In my pride, I deluded myself by believing that I was a good person. I spread God’s Word that he is a loving God, and that I do many good works. We have been deceived by the father of lies, who has convinced us that we must be accepting, and if you accept the deception then you must embrace the lie or be labeled a hater.” Several people stood in the pews and joined others who were heading towards the door. Someone shouted, “Traitor, we thought you were on our side. Gay Pride Lives!” Attendees watched, shaking their heads, while others lowered their heads in humiliation. Peter continued with his homily, “I am not a good person. I’m a sinner. We are all sinners who are born into sin. I have been an apostate who picked and chose what I wanted to accept from the Gospel, what I thought the truth should be. I have been self-justifying and deceiving myself and others, teaching lies. I was wrong and am not worthy. I have been an unwitting, willing disciple of the god of the world, the father of lies, satan. God’s great Sign and
Wonder yesterday with the Rapture of the true believers has opened my eyes to God’s Word for what it really is: truth, a guide to how to live our lives. The purpose of our lives is to love and worship God with all our hearts. He gives us free will to make the choice, the way of the flesh or the way of the Spirit. The flesh is temporary but our spirit is eternal. When our time in these temporary bodies is over, where will our souls be for eternity? God has given us the choice. Our time is short; we here today must make that decision NOW! God is real. We have seen his great power when He took his believers yesterday. Obviously we have not made the right choice or we wouldn’t be here today. If you are ready for a new life in Jesus, you must believe in your heart, confess and repent for your sins, asking God to forgive you. If you are sincere, you will see and want to make the changes in your life to live as God wants us to live, for Him. If you want to accept Jesus as your Savior, repeat this prayer with me.”
“I accept Jesus Christ the Lamb of God as my personal Savior for the forgiveness of sin. He was crucified, died and was buried, and on the third day he was resurrected in fulfillment of the scriptures. That who so ever believes in their heart that He is the Son of God and says with their lips and repents for their sins shall have everlasting life.”
“The Book of Revelation tells us of the trials and tribulations that the world is about to enter. The Restrainer—who has been holding back the prince of darkness, who is now able to empower his antichrist, who will deceive the world—shall be removed. A one world government and religion shall be formed. Many will be deceived by the signs and wonders of the beast who will lead this false religion. But there will also be the greatest evangelical revival of Jesus and God’s Word in the history of the world. All of these things will come to pass. Our
most important task is discernment to learn and know God’s true Word so that we will not be fooled into believing the deceiver’s lies and false teachings.”
“Let us pray, Lord God Heavenly King, we worship You and praise You for Your Glory. Forgive us our sins and may the Holy Spirit be with us during the days to come. Give us wisdom and discernment as we study your Word and may we walk in your Salvation and Grace. In the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, we pray. Amen.”
“Thank you everyone for attending today. I pray that you and your loved ones may find peace in your life and have God in your heart. Please reference today’s bulletin for information on our Bible study classes during the week. There is a question and answer seminar with the Pastor scheduled for this evening and Wednesday evening; all are invited. May the Lord be with you and have a blessed day.”
Peter went out the back door of the sacristy. He needed to talk with Charles about their relationship and how he was rededicating himself to his spiritual beliefs. He hadn’t gone home the night before. He had spent the night in a nearby orchard praying, confessing and repenting for his sins to God. When he reached the door, he was surprised to find it was locked. Using his key, he entered and called out, “Charles, are you here?” There was no answer. Walking into the kitchen, he saw an envelope on the table with his name written in neat cursive. Opening the letter, he read, “Dear Peter, when you left the church and didn’t return last night, I knew in my heart that we would never be together again. I wish the very best for you and hope you reconcile your life to your true calling of serving God. I will always cherish our time together and hope you find happiness and joy in your life. Yours Truly, Charles Fox.”
Peter folded and returned the note to the envelope. He sat at the table clasping his hands together and prayed that Charles would find Jesus and forgiveness.
Chapter 25 – Visitors from Afar – April 2025
Walking from the White House conference room to the Oval Office, President Arnold was looking forward to some alone time, a light lunch at his desk, and reading over his daily mail and correspondences. His security team stopped him in mid-stride. Listening for several moments to their ear bud receivers, the Lead Agent said, “Mr. President, Priority One Alert. We must vacate the White House immediately.” Ben’s first reaction was to ask, “What’s going on?” The Agents each grabbed an arm and hurried him towards the garage area, saying, “We will be briefing you in route to the safe house.”
In the garage, agents were preparing two armored SUV’s with escort vehicles. The Vice President was led to one of the SUV’s in a four-vehicle convoy. Making brief eye contact with Ben, he shrugged his shoulders in bewilderment as to what was going on. The vehicles sped from the building towards Pennsylvania Avenue. Several members of Ben’s administrative staff were loaded in the second SUV, and another four-vehicle procession left, going in the opposite direction of the first. Ben could hear the Presidential Marine One helicopter taking off in the distance. He asked again, “Would you please tell me what is going on?” A blacked-out Dodge Charger rumbled into the garage and stopped in front of the President and his security detail. An agent opened the rear door and said, “Get in, Mr. President.” Ben got in the right rear door of the car. The seat was a wrap-around bucket seat with a five-point safety harness, the kind used in racing cars. The agent connected the harness for him with deft hands. There were three other Secret Service Agents in the vehicle with full tactical gear, body armor and sub machine guns. The agent sitting next to Ben said, “We will be taking you to a safe house, Mr.
President.” The car backed up and left through the staff parking lot exit. As they pulled out on to the street, Ben looked out his side window and was shocked by the sight of an enormous stationary circular craft appearing to float in the air above the city. Ben, staring in disbelief, said, “What in the world is that? No wonder you guys are going all mysterious on me.”
“Our apologies Sir. Using this armored speedster is for a worst-case scenario and this unprecedented event qualifies. We don’t know what’s going on. That’s why we’re using decoys to attempt to confuse whoever is in that craft,” said the agent sitting next to Ben.
The Charger took back streets through the city to a secondary two lane black top road and drove though the suburbs into rural Maryland. The Agent next to Ben began, “Mr. President, reports are coming in from all over the country that UFO’s have appeared over every major city.” At that moment, two fighter jets were heard roaring overhead towards Washington D.C. Ben twisted in his seat, watching the aircraft until they were out of sight, saying, “Lord, watch over our brave pilots in their time of peril.”
Agent Andrews in the front seat turned on the speaker system for the vehicle’s elaborate computer system, saying, “Just tied into those pilots’ radio frequency.”
“Langley, Strike One locked on weapons hot.”
“This is Langley. Permission confirmed, fire at will.”
“Roger that. Missiles away, four tracking and on target. Langley, we have a problem,
missiles have detonated while in flight. Repeat: all ordnance has been neutralized.” “Roger, Strike One. All missiles downed. Approach target. Guns hot.”
“Copy that. Langley approaching target now. Langley gun pass on target negative, 20 millimeters deflected approximately 100 meters from impact.”
“Roger that. Strike One, take up position and orbit 10 kilos from target, return to base when relieved by Strike Two.” The agent turned off the audio and said, “Those Air Force guys are some brave dudes. Sure am glad whoever is in that floating giant craft only played defense.” Ben responded, “That’s for sure. Any word if we have confronted these craft anywhere else in the country?”
“Will let you know if I hear anything, Mr. President,” the agent replied.
After an hour, the car turned off the pavement and drove several miles down a gravel road that dead ended at double wrought iron gates. There was a security camera and a call box with ten number push button pad. The driver lowered his window, entered a code, and the gates opened. As they slowly drove in, a security guard dressed in camouflage fatigues carrying an M-4 assault rifle stepped out of the tree line and waved to the vehicle. The Dodge drove another half a mile to a heavily wooded area and stopped in front of a small cabin. Two of the agents got out and entered the cabin, leaving Ben and the driver in the car. Five minutes later, one of the agents came to the car door, saying, “All clear. Please come with me, Mr. President.” Exiting the Charger, Ben followed the agent into the cabin to the bedroom. The bed and the floor were hinged open and Ben followed the agent down the concealed steps into a small stone-lined basement. There was a heavy wooden door opened, disguising a modern steel bank vault door on the inside. Ben entered the well-appropriated underground shelter with the two agents; the door was closed and secured.
Ben was shown the sleeping room where two bunk beds were located. He was happy to see that it was stocked with extra clothes and toiletries. He then made his way to the modern, nicely equipped small kitchen to find something to eat. Agent Andrews called from the desk
top computer, “Mr. President, the UFO’s have taken control of all of our media and social media!” The Agent opened a YouTube App. The message loop repeated, “People of Earth, we have come in peace. We mean you no harm. Our intentions and wishes are to bring peace and safety to your world and health and prosperity to your people. In three days, we invite your world leaders or their representatives to meet with us in New York City at the United Nations Building in order that we may share with you our message of mutual cooperation, trust and understanding”. The message loop began to repeat. Andrews turned down the audio. The three men looked at each other in suspicion and awe. Ben said, “Get me in touch with the Secretary of State ASAP. I have a country to run, which is going to be difficult hiding underground in the middle of nowhere!”
Chapter 26 – Scramble – April 2025
During his third hour of stand-by, the scramble alert signal went off. Major Wright dropped the newspaper he was leafing through to the floor as he headed for the door to the flight line. Grabbing his flight bag and G-suit, he stepped out the door. The line truck step van pulled to a stop in front of the flight shack. The two pilots stepped in the open side door, sitting in the back. Both pilots put their G-harness’ on over their one-piece flight suits as the boxy truck took them to the waiting F-16’s. The ground crews had the jets ready to launch. The pilots did a quick look around, noting the weapons mounted under the wings, two air to air missiles mounted under each wing. The Crew Chief had the engine started and was climbing out of the cockpit. Tic Tac went up the ladder as soon as the Chief stepped off the bottom rung. While Tic was strapping in the ground crew cleared the AGE equipment from around the aircraft. The Chief was standing in front of the plane while the assistant was waiting underneath to remove the wheel chocks. Major Wright, looking up, gave the Chief a nod. The Chief gave the hand signal to hold brakes. Tic pointed his thumbs to either side. The Chief gave the same signal to the assistant, who pulled the chocks from the wheels as he hurried from under the jet. The Chief then signaled for the plane to move to the taxi way. As he came to attention and saluted, the Major returned the salute as he headed to the end of the runway while getting take off instructions from the control tower.
Charles pushed the throttle to full military power and ignited the afterburner, which pressed him back hard into the ejection seat. As soon as reached take off speed, he pulled back on the joy stick rotating the jet. The nose rose toward the open blue sky over Luke Air Force
Base. Ground control was giving the pilots instructions guiding them to their objective, an unidentified craft of unknown origin hovering over the City of Phoenix. The order was given to engage the intruder as a hostile, due to bogies being reported over numerous American cities. Tic and his wingman came in on the target low only several hundred feet above ground level with their missiles set in standby mode. The intruder craft was enormous and menacing, holding position two thousand feet above Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. At two miles from the target, Tic gave the order to his wingman “weapons hot” and both launched two missiles each as they peeled, one to the left, the other the right. Four missiles streaked forward, climbing upwards toward the bottom of the stationary craft. Two missiles exploded one hundred yards from the bottom of the craft. A moment later two projectiles struck the underside of the unknown craft, creating large fire balls and visible damage to the vehicle’s exterior.
Several moments later, both F-16’s instrument panels lights lit up, multiple warning alarms went off and engines flamed out. Major Wright called, “Mayday, Mayday. Flameout, controls not responding. Eject, Eject!” Reaching for the ejection seats D-ring between his legs, he pulled up. The rest was out of his control. The canopy ripped off of the aircraft, and the three-stage rocket motor under his seat went off, pushing pilot and seat out of the cockpit, clearing the aircraft by one hundred feet. Several seconds later, Tic is aware of a sudden jolt as his parachute opened and the seat released and fell away. Looking around, he saw the chute of his wingman. Less than a minute later, Tic Tac was rolling on the tarmac at Sky Harbor Airport. Ejecting from less than two thousand feet, it doesn’t take long to reach solid ground. Releasing his chute, he lay flat on his back, staring at the bottom of the huge alien craft overhead, thinking to himself, ‘we hit that bastard and they took us out in a matter of seconds’.
Moments later, Major Wright heard sirens approaching. Propping himself up on his elbows, he looked around. His whole body hurt. He gave a prayer of thanks that he was still conscious and breathing. The ambulance stopped next to Tic. A paramedic getting out of the passenger door said, “Don’t try to move and don’t remove your helmet. We need to get you on a back board.” Tic lay back with so many unanswered questions: Is my wingman Capt. Hobbs okay? Where did our planes come down at? The paramedic started asking questions of his own: “What’s your name? What day is it? When is your birthday?” Tic lay back, responding to the questions, letting the professionals do their job. As they loaded his stretcher into the waiting vehicle, one of the ambulance crew said, “Good job, Major. You poked that mother ship right in the eye. Your buddy made it down safe. He’s going to be okay.”
“Thank you,” Tic mumbled as the pain meds in the IV began to dull his senses.
Chapter 27 – Life is Strange – April 2025
9:15 am. Stan’s cell phone emergency alert woke him up from a late night of drinking beer and watching DVD’s from his late uncle’s collection. Through blurry eyes, he read the text about UFOs over every major city in the United States and military aircraft challenging intruders. Stan sat up on the couch, scrubbing the sleep from his eyes. Reaching for the TV remote, he turned to a cable news station. The commentators were showing live feeds of enormous circular crafts hovering over Washington D.C., New York City, Miami and Boston.
The scrolling banner named many more cities all over the country. “Holy crap,” Stan murmured as he rushed in to the hall bathroom. After a quick shower, he was fully awake and the cobwebs were cleared from his brain. He stood in front of the TV, experiencing sensory over load. What the hell was going on? A week earlier, thirty million Americans disappeared and graves exploded open in what most people were calling the Rapture. Now they were being invaded by aliens in giant space ships and the Air Force was attacking them. Stan dropped onto the couch. He moved the wadded-up blanket aside, discovering Harley curled up under it. He pulled the dog into his lap, giving him rubs behind his fuzzy ears while staring in wonder at the TV.
The commentators were interrupted with by an emergency alert from Phoenix, Arizona. Two Air Force jets that launched missiles that struck the unidentified craft over Sky Harbor Airport had crashed. The pilots ejected, and there was no word yet on their condition. Video showed four missiles streaking towards the UFO. Two appear to explode some distance from the craft and two hit the craft, exploding into fireballs, causing extensive damage to the exterior
of the ship. Further footage showed a pilot ejecting from his F-16 while the plane plummeted into the ground with a large greasy black smoke cloud rising from the wreckage.
Stan switched to the local news channel. A female newscaster was commentating on the Phoenix attack while showing a large UFO hovering over the city of Reno. Stan jumped up from the couch, shouting to himself, “Holy moly, I’ve got to see that!” While hurrying around the house, he dumped some food in the dog’s bowls, grabbed his car keys off the rack, and rushed into the garage. As he went through the door, he pushed the button opening the overhead door and got into the Subaru. He backed out, closing the door with his remote, heading for the freeway to Reno. He smiled when he saw the car he stole a week ago during the disappearance still sitting in the ranch supply store parking lot where he left it. Halfway to Reno, he caught a glimpse of the huge flying saucer on the horizon. “Oh my gosh, it’s real. Aliens are real,” he exclaimed.
His cell phone emergency alert alarm went off again. Looking at the screen, he read, “People of Earth, we have come in peace. We mean you no harm. Our intentions and wishes are to bring peace and safety to your world and health and prosperity to your people. In three days, we invite your world leaders or their representatives to meet with us in New York City at your United Nations Building in order that we may share with you our message of mutual cooperation, trust and understanding.”
Chapter 28 – Cold Turkey – April 2025
Doug was feeling terrible. The last week had been a nightmarish existence. He knew that the worse of his withdrawals were behind him, but the physical and mental symptoms were torture. His mom was letting him stay at her place in his old bedroom, and Sheila had come by every day to check on him. She would look at him with pity and wonder, telling him she was proud of him for following through to kick his methadone addiction. Doug’s dilemma was seeing her. It reminded him of the life he was trying to escape and how easy it would be for him to fall back into his old ways. This new path he was following was narrow and, in his pain, he prayed to God and Jesus to help him as he repented for his rebellious and lawless life. His dreams were vivid. He remembered the trumpet sound on the day of the Rapture. There was no one who was not affected, no one who did not hear the call from Heaven. The world had changed so much in the last five years: political divisions in his own country, the Black Lives Matter riots. The Covid-19 pandemic that brought global fear and death along with the worldwide economic collapse, and China’s military response to sanctions imposed by the western democracies with their hostile and bloody takeover of Hong Kong.
Doug’s mother rushed into his room, grabbing the TV remote from the bedside table, saying, “You are not going to believe this!” “What?” Doug asked. The news channel came on with an excited commentator saying, “Unidentified aircrafts of unknown origin have been reported over many major cities across the nation.” The split screen was showing large circular craft motionless over recognizable American city skylines. Several videos showed military aircraft firing missiles, with most exploding before reaching the UFOs. A video over the desert
southwest city of Phoenix showed two jets firing four missiles at the huge craft. Two exploded before reaching the hovering disc while the next two missiles struck the target with large explosions, damaging the craft. Moments later, both of the attacking fighter jets were seen going out of control, crashing and creating large black plumes of smoke rising in to the blue desert sky. Doug’s mom muted the audio on the TV, saying, “This is crazy. A week ago the Rapture, where over thirty million people in our country vanished, and now visitors from outer space show up. The videos I’ve been watching on YouTube—Bible scholars saying to use discernment and to not be deceived. How will we know if we are being deceived? Everything is so confusing. I miss your Dad so much.” Doug replied, “I miss him too, Mom. We will figure out what’s going on. We need to keep praying and studying God’s Word. The more we learn about the Gospel, the more we will understand and hopefully not be deceived.”
Chapter 29 – Heavenly Vision – April 2025
Jerry Schwartz was just going through the paces of his life. He felt numb inside, he ate, slept and went to work, but the disappearance of Sylvia had left a hole in his heart. The Rapture last week had also taken five of his co-workers from the Post Office who had bid rights on full time routes. This resulted in him being promoted from a sub carrier to a permanent position with his new route in the hills by the river of West Covington. Monday before noon while making his daily deliveries, he noticed from his elevated vantage point a large shadow across the river moving over the Cincinnati sky line. Glancing upward, he stopped immediately and stared in disbelief. An immense circular object was soundlessly hovering over downtown Cincinnati. Several cars stopped on the street, with drivers stepping out of their vehicles for a better look at the incredible spectacle.
As Jerry stood in awe watching the fantastic craft, he was suddenly in the presence of an awesome glowing being. He felt total peace wash over him. In fear, he fell to his knees with his face to the ground. He then heard Sylvia’s voice say, “Stand up, Jerry. It’s me, Sylvia.” Jerry stood up slowly, keeping his eyes downcast, then raising his gaze to look on the startling beauty of the Glorified Sylvia. She opened her arms and he stepped in, hugging her tightly with hot tears of happiness streaming down his cheeks. He whispered, “I’ve missed you so much, my love.” She replied, “I have much to tell you and time is short. Do not feel sad for me, be joyful, for I’m with the Lord Jesus, the Messiah who through his sacrifice took away the sins of the world. Listen and remember, do not be deceived by the fallen ones or their nephilim and demons with their amazing signs and wonders. The Restrainer has been removed. Many false
teachers will tickle the ear of the elect, to lead the flock astray. Beware all is not as it appears; discernment and wisdom of the Word brings truth and salvation. The time of the Tribulation is nigh; the second coming of the Messiah has been foretold.” Sylvia stepped back. Smiling, she said, “I love you, Jerry, and Jesus loves you. Open your heart and accept his grace and salvation.” The vision faded and was gone.
Breaking his gaze from the alien craft, Jerry looked around, saying to himself, “Where did she go? It was so real, so peaceful. She is so beautiful.” Lowering his head, he said a silent prayer of thanksgiving, realizing that his depression was gone, taken away. Looking at the hovering space vehicle, his wonder turned to dread as the message of his vision was revealed: don’t be deceived and misled by signs and wonders. He also asked himself who was the Restrainer and what was he holding back?
Chapter 30 – Courage & Strength – April 2025
Pastor Peter Thomas and the small community of Ginger Hill, California, had no UFO’s hovering over their heads. But the TV and radio stations were keeping them updated with what was happening in the country and the world. When the actual message from the visitors took over the world’s media platforms for an hour, the world listened. When the message ended and local control was returned to broadcasters, many stations went silent while showing videos of the invader’s crafts over cities around the world.
Peter closed and locked the door to his small house. He walked to the orchard where he spent the night alone in repentance after the Rapture. He sat under the same pecan tree he had on that night, leaning his back against the trunk. Closing his eyes, he prayed out loud.
“Lord God Heavenly King, Almighty God and Father, I worship you and give You thanks and praise You for Your Glory. Lord, in my studies of your word, many scholars have alluded that the UFO phenomenon are not alien beings from another world, but fallen angels—those angels who had been deceived and sided with Lucifer in his failed attempt to take over Heaven. Included with those are the two hundred angels known as the Watchers who watched over the earth. They formed a pact between themselves because they were smitten by the beauty of the women of mankind and took and married them, bearing children whom they loved. These children were the nephilim, also known as giants and the men of renown. This offspring of the fallen ones polluted the generations of God’s creations of both men and beasts, causing much evil and sin on the earth. God in his wrath destroyed and cleansed the earth with the great flood. The fallen ones who are immortal escaped the destruction, taking with them in their
ships of the heavens a remnant of their children the nephilim. Those nephilim and hybrids who did not escape died in the flood and their spirits, which were not of God, are cursed to wander the earth till the end of time. These disembodied spirits are known as demons. In the book of 2 Thessalonians, it is written that during the last three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, the Restrainer will be removed, allowing the father of lies and the beast to come into their full power.
“Lord God, give me wisdom and insight to recognize the deceptions that will be taking place in the world, so that I may be able to expose the lies. And let the Holy Spirit guide and help me in my mission to bring the truth of the Gospel to those who are lost and the courage and strength to face the persecution of your elect. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Chapter 31 – First World Contact – April 2025
The five-hundred-foot-tall United Nations (UN) building, located on the banks of the East River in Manhattan, was dwarfed by the huge circular craft hovering over the river’s surface adjacent to the structure. At 12:00 Noon, a smaller craft emerged from an open portal in the side of the ship and glided towards the main entrance of the UN building, landing a short distance from the entry doors. A red carpet was unrolled by UN security guards from the shuttle craft to the main entrance into the building. A welcoming committee of dignitaries formed outside of the building consisting of the UN Secretary General, US Ambassador to the UN and a Bishop of the Catholic Church. UN Representatives of all nations lined up on either side of the carpeted path. Media and Press members from around the world were behind the row of representatives televising and recording the historical event.
An entry door folded down from the side of the shuttle providing a ramp into the Alien vessel. The three UN Dignitaries slowly walked towards the craft to greet the Visitors as they emerged for this unprecedented first contact. The first to exit the craft were two five-foot-tall thin-bodied gray skinned humanoids with large heads and oversized black almond shaped eyes, wearing a metallic-colored, form-fitting coverall garment. They took up positions on either side of the lowered ramp. Next to step down the ramp came a seven-foot tall reptilian-featured humanoid with round faceted eyes, a large sharp-toothed mouth, and a protruding jaw. It only wore an elaborate harnessed vest over trousers with an exposed muscled upper body of scaled skin and large clawed scaled feet. He stood several feet in front of the ramp looking towards the approaching humans. A man in flowing white and gray robes came down the ramp next
and stood beside the tall, fierce-looking reptilian. He was six-foot-tall with long silver hair clasped into a braid at the back of his neck. His facial features were fair with an undetermined agelessness that glowed with warmth and wisdom. The last to exit the craft had to bow from the waist to clear the top of the door. Straightening to his full height as he stepped onto the ramp, he stood ten feet tall, a massively muscled man with dark eyes staring from below his heavy boned brow. He wore a metallic coverall garment similar to the Grays with exposed arms and heavy boots that came to the top of his calves. He stopped and stood behind the Robed Man and Reptilian, crossing him arms.
The UN Delegation stopped two paces in front of the Alien Emissaries. The Secretary General with an opened-hand gesture said, “Welcome Visitors. My name is Jorge Peron and as the elected Secretary General of the United Nations of our planet, I bid you greetings.” The being in the robes responded, nodding his head with opened hands. In a rich full voice for all to hear, he replied, “Greetings, Secretary General and Representative of the People of Earth. I am known as Azazel. Thank you for accepting our request to meet with you today. We come with an invitation for your world to join our Union of the One Essence, the united civilizations of the heavens.” Secretary Peron gestured towards the doors saying, “Please let us go in to the assembly hall and you may give your presentation to the World.”
The six Delegates walked together to the entry doors of the UN building, with the gathered world representatives following them as they walked past. The two Gray visitors reentered the shuttle craft and the ramp closed. The craft silently rose from the ground and returned to the large ship hovering over the East River. The six proceeded through the Assembly Hall to the raised podium as the world’s representatives took their seats.
Secretary General Peron stepped to the microphone. “Today will be remembered by history as one of the most significant events to take place in our world, and the whole planet is witnessing it as it actually happens. I’m honored to introduce Azazel, who is the spokesman for the visitors to our planet.” Stepping back from the podium, Secretary Peron gestured for the robed Azazel to step forward.
Azazel looked over the gathered representatives from all the member nations of the UN. He began, “It is so special to look out over such a diverse group of Humans, all the races and ethnic backgrounds of your planet together for a unified purpose. As you may have noticed, our diversity includes different species united for a common purpose. Our message to you three days ago was that we come in peace and mean you no harm. Our wishes and intensions are to bring peace and safety to your world and assist once again in your evolution. We have watched your world for six millennia, during that time we have kept our interference to a minimum to allow your species to evolve and grow. Our message also stated that we would assist in the advancement of health and prosperity for your people. We have already begun that process. Ten days ago, we set in motion the removal of the humans on the planet who had not evolved psychologically and were inhibiting the advancement of your race. Those who were taken are safe, well, and enjoying their new existence, knowing that soon they will be reunited with their loved ones. We had no way of knowing who these individuals would be. Our systems were programed to scan brain activity, removing for rehabilitation all who were below the evolutionary development standard. The younglings age eleven and below who were removed are safe and well, being educated and enhanced. They will be returned to your planet and their parents and loved ones when they reach the age of eighteen years. They will
be physically superior, so they will no longer be susceptible to sickness or disease and their mental capabilities can be updated as required by their needs. They will be the future engineers, physicians, scientists, teachers, galactic explorers and spiritual leaders of the human race, a great leap for your species evolution and spiritual fulfillment.
“We would also like to help your nations, your United Nations, to form a cohesive single governing body, a single world capital with an exceptional, acceptable and gifted premier for all. Your current Spiritual beliefs are the cause of too much turmoil and strife to be unified under a single cosmic essence. Currently, the religious leaders of your many faiths are well on their way to uniting their beliefs, and evolving from an ancient jealous God to an open accepting god who embraces all paths to his godhead. We will offer our services to all of your world’s varied needs, to help cure disease and the sick, end hunger, provide shelter to all, end the ravages of growing old and advance your civilization for the benefit of all.
“Over the next few days, our star liners shall contact all your nation’s capital to form and implement plans and measures to meet the pressing needs of your people and nations. My companions and I will be meeting with the members of the security council before we return to our vessel. I would like to offer supplication of thanks to the essence of the one spirit, and the united civilizations of the heavens. Bless this gathered assembly, and by your sign and wisdom rule over us all.”
At the bunker in the Maryland forest, President Arnold watched the UN meeting on a flat screen monitor as the Alien Delegation made their way to the meeting room of the UN Security Council. He spoke to the agents who were present, “Those self-righteous buttholes are saying they are responsible for my wife and family being taken away because they weren’t
evolved enough? They are going to raise our children and enhance them? All of the people who died due to the catastrophes of the disappearance and the mental anguish being suffered by those who lost families and loved ones, hog wash. Did you feel intimidated by that giant and the lizardman? It’s like a bad dream, instilling fear of the unknown while promising your wildest dreams. We are no more than grasshoppers to them, a science experiment. What if we don’t want to be a part of the united civilizations of the heavens? Do we have a choice? These guys don’t pass the smell test; something is not right here. The Gospels of the Bible talk a lot about not being deceived. These guys and their enormous star liners showing up so soon after the Rapture? I don’t believe in coincidences. These strange beings show up to help us move up the evolutionary ladder, these benevolent visitors, are not our friends. This is pure evil. Gentlemen, get that hotrod Charger of yours. We are going back to the White House.”
To Be Continued: Season of the End Times, The Four Horsemen