Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Moose Pass Journal/Books/ 9-20-2011

Bill Says: This synopsis is for my second book in the "Badge and the Cross" series and is entitled, "A Political Action". I have recently finished editing it and was surprised to see I had written this story in 2005. I have never sent it out, but will enter it into some contests in the future, unless I acquire an agent or publisher beforehand.

Synopsis: Terrorism strikes in the heart of downtown Toronto, with an early morning explosion. The Provincial Parliament Building is decimated by a device similar to the one used in the Oklahoma bombing. Dozens of people are killed and hundreds more injured. Is this the act of al-Qaeda fanatics or domestic terrorists, or possibly a despicable plan put into action by greedy men, who wish  to masquerade their heinous crimes of insurance fraud under the guise of international terrorism?

This story begins in May 1969, when a UH-1 Huey helicopter is shot down north of Chu Lai in South Viet Nam. A Marine patrol is sent out to locate the crash site and finds only two survivors. Evidence shows how an 8-man Viet Cong unit had reached the site first and was apparently taken by surprise; thinking everyone was dead they are caught unaware and killed by a seriously wounded Army chaplain, Captain Anthony Rogers. Hoping to protect the wounded soldier with him, Rogers uses the man's M-16 before loss of blood renders him unconscious.

The tale jumps ahead to present day and the Toronto bombing by terrorists claiming to be the infamous Front de Liberation du Quebec ( Liberty for Quebec); a faction, which in real-life actually operated in Eastern Canada in the late 1960's and early 1970's. But this new faction, known simply in the story as the FLQ, are not working for some great cause, but in fact they are paid mercenaries. This group is being financed by five wealthy French-Canadian industrialists, who intend to use the FLQ to mislead the authorities in a basic grand scheme to defraud provincial and federal governments, and property insurance companies to the tune of 300 Million dollars. The FLQ will attack and destroy occupied or empty buildings; mostly under long term lease to the the government and where property values have soared. Their plan is to rebuild massive office buildings, malls and apartment complexes on this land, with no concern for the dead and injured brought about by their scheme.

Leader of the 12 men and women of the FLQ is Steve Munroe; a half-crazy militant radical of French-Canadian and Sioux bloodlines. His second-in-command is an explosives expert with an alias of Hugo Rice; former East German Army Officer turned cold-blooded mercenary.

Captain Jean-Paul Leon, Sgt. Steve Adler and Sgt. Brady Wilkens of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Intelligence Division are assigned to investigate the bombing and work with the Toronto Police Department. After a second bombing of a massive multi-level parking garage, killing a woman and reducing the structure to rubble, Captain Leon angers the FLQ with his derogatory comments made during a TV interview. This infuriates Monroe and results in the FLQ fire-bombing Leon's home and killing his wife and two sons.

Upset over Monroe's personal vendetta against the RCMP captain and his poor attitude in general, the financiers no longer have faith in Munroe's ability to carry out the rest of the operation. They have a change in plans and order the FLQ to Alaska.

Due to salmon fishery concerns, Canadian fishermen use their boats to surround the Alaska ferry, M/V Columbia inside Prince Rupert Harbor. A US Coast Guard vessel is sent in, causing the Canadians to respond with a Canadian Navy vessel. Within hours of their arrival, Canadian fishermen cease their blockade and the ferry sails north. But due to rising hostilities in Canadian and Alaska waters between fishermen, the Canadian Prime Minister travels to Alaska to meet with the Governor. Travel arrangements are made; they will meet in Fairbanks and travel by VIP train car to Anchorage, with an overnight stop at Mt. McKinley National Park.

Broken up into teams and traveling different routes, the FLQ meets in Fairbanks with plans to stop the train south of the park and kidnap the Prime Minister and Governor. Hugo has stopped in Montana and met with local militia to acquire weapons needed for the operation and this includes two-stinger missiles.

Fearing the current Prime Minister, who supports a free Quebec, is too weak politically to be re-elected, the five industrialists put this operation into effect to make him an international hero and hopefully sworn into office for another term. The FLQ will hold him for ransom for 5-days and then allow him and the Governor to escape. After which, Hugo has orders to kill the members of the FLQ, including Munroe.

The FLQ use explosives to cause an avalanche and stop the train. The ambush results in the killing of 13-people and wounding another 7. While they hold 8 passenger cars filled with tourists under their guns, the FLQ remove the politicians and vanish into the woods to a prearranged location. This now includes an Alaska US Senator, who was along for the meeting. But after the ambush, things go bad for the FLQ. An 800-pound grizzly sow protecting its cubs attacks and kills two of the terrorists, including Munroe's girl friend. Munroe begins to going insane from losing his girl friend and takes his anger out on the US Senator, killing her. When he threatens to kill the other two politicians, he is put in restraints. Hugo shoots down a State Trooper helicopter with a stinger missile and kills the four troopers in it. The FLQ is now on the run as a forest fire results.

A vengeful Captain Leon goes on leave and travels to Fairbanks. Relying on friendships he made with local Fairbanks Police years ago, he is put in touch with Alaska Railroad Special Investigator Greg Hansen. A former Trooper, Greg is sympathetic with the RCMP captain's plan to locate and kill the FLQ. Wishing to avenge the four dead troopers and not wanting to see the terrorists paraded before the international courts and made into heroes, Hansen joins with Leon and they travel to Cantwell, Alaska. Looking for a guide, a trooper friend from the Cantwell Post introduces them to a partially disabled trapper by the name of Anthony Rogers, ( former Army Chaplain, who resents God for what happened to him in Viet Nam and the 8-men that haunt his dreams).

For the past few nights, Tony Rogers was plagued with nightmares, unlike the ones he had grown accustomed to  from his Viet Nam experience. He sees himself leading two complete strangers through the bush. When he meets Leon and Hansen, he knows that God is once more at work here and he finally agrees to take them to where he suspects the FLQ are holding the hostages. He has hunted and trapped this area for years and knows all the trails and where several cabins were built by trappers.

Meanwhile the FBI's prestigious Hostage/Rescue Team has arrived and they are on the trail, assisted by members of the Alaska Army National Guard, US and Canadian Secret Service and Alaska State Troopers.  
Hansen had earlier attempted to join the rescue party but was told to remain in Fairbanks.

Fearful of losing another helicopter, surveillance is being done by high flying Alaska Air National Guard jets.
There is also a boy scout troops in the area, with no idea anything is going on and they stumble into an ambush site set up by Alaska National Guardsmen.

Unauthorized and unexpected, the three man rescue team of Rogers, Hansen and Leon locates and then takes on the FLQ. In the shoot-out that follows, Rogers is wounded and a terrorist loses his life to protect the Governor; a bond had developed between the two men. Hugo has wounded Leon and thinking him dead, holds the Canadian Prime Minister hostage. Hugo orders Rogers and Hansen to surrender, the the Prime Minister would be killed. Fearing for the lives of the two politicians, they offer up their guns. but before Hugo can shoot Hansen, a blood-curdling cry of rage comes from behind Hugo; Captain Leon comes flying from behind and impales a surprised Hugo with his sheath knife. Both Hugo and Leon stumble backwards and over a 50-foot cliff and to their deaths. Moments later, the FBI rescue party arrives on scene.

Back in Toronto, Sgt Wilkens and Sgt Adler's investigation uncovers the five industrialists and arrests are made. The investigation also reveals 9 provincial and federal employees, including the Prime Minister and his Chief of Staff, were on the payroll of the five men. Certain properties and contracts were routinely awarded to one of the five industrialist's many shadow companies.

In the conclusion, Captain Leon is posthumously decorated for valor and buried with his family. Tony Roger begins to pastor a small church in Cantwell and at the Governor's request, Hansen returns to his former lieutenant's position in the troopers.

In another planned story, Lt. Hansen and Pastor Rogers will be brought back together for a murder case in Cantwell.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moose Pass Journal/Book Synopsis/9-15-2011

Bill Says: I've completed two manuscripts into a series I entitle, "Badge and the Cross". This first one is subtitled, "Stronghold".

Synopsis: 1989 Klondike Gold Rush- Skagway, Alaska and final port-of-call for dreamy-eyed fortune hunters; miners, get-rich-quick con artists and covetous opportunists in frilly dresses. They lived in a muddy tent city of 5,000 people, located on the rocky shores of the Upper Lynn Canal and farthest northern point of the Inland Passage.

From the earliest days, Skagway was a sin-filled town and the only law was handled with the fastest gun or the blade of a knife. Right or wrong was often decided by dangerous gangs of thugs, who controlled the prostitution, gambling and liquor sales. Many a miner died, either from natural hazards in climbing the treacherous Chilkoot Trail, or by the hands of evil men and women waiting to get rich off the hard labors of weary men. As the town grew wild with its heinous acts of debauchery, Skagway's cornerstone was laid in murder, suicide, insanity and lust,violence and mayhem, prostitution and thievery.

This tale begins aboard the Alaska ferry M/V Taku, heading north  and out of Seattle. Jake Roberts, (primary character), is returning to Skagway following a lengthy absence. While en route, he recounts those 10-months he served as a police officer in Skagway and how, on a Halloween night, he was seriously wounded from a young assassin's blade. The incident left his life in shambles and a long painful recovery.

Jake was a brand new Christian and fairly new civilian police officer when he stood alongside his bible believing wife, a former occultist, and faced down a collection of dark spiritual forces. Meanwhile, a satanic cult held Skagway in a tightening grasp of demonic oppression.

With a constant flow of bar fights to break-up, seasonal soft ball tournaments with rowdy ball players, attempted suicides and a murder investigation to handle, plus deterring prostitutes from operating in town, Jake is called upon to investigate serious and occasional fatal accidents, between chasing ghosts from haunted hotel rooms and bars, and dealing with an unruly gigantic stuff grizzly bear. He has his hands full, as Skagway comes under siege with the arrival of over 250,000 summer tourists. He is later grieved to investigate a teenage homicide of a local youth and struggles to keep his job, while working under an anti-Christian Police Chief, who belongs to the town's Masonic Order.

Things take a turn for the worse when Jake is called upon to investigate  the desecration of an historic grave site at the request of the US Park Service. Human bones were used for occultist altars and members of a secret clan make violent war against Jake and eventually attempt to murder him in order to keep their identities secret.

Now after years of recovery, therapy and later attending Bible College, Jake returns to Skagway. He is the new pastor and with his wife by his side, they will do whatever is necessary to bring the Lord's Salvation to the lost people of Skagway. They also desire to dethrone the Dark One who has reigned over this Alaskan coastal community for far too long.

Note: With the exception of the attempted murder of Officer Jake Roberts, all of the police cases used in this story actually occurred in Skagway, between February 1982 and September 1984. Names were changed. But the haunts and ghosts are on record, including the references to the stuffed 7-foot tall grizzly bear mount that often roams through the museum at night- even though it is secured to the wall by a length of heavy steel chain. The Skagway Asylum, built to handle the many depressed and insane miners of 1898-99, was torn down in the 1950's and only a few blocks of ruble remain. The U.S. Marshall's Office of the early 1900's, which once held Eric Stroud, "Bird Man of Alcatrz", was used for a recorded 12-suicides and is still used by the Skagway Police Department.   

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moose Pass Journal/Thoughts/9-5-2011

Bill Says: I guess you could add this to my wife's post concerning my mother and the pain and down right exhaustion of watching her die ever so slowly. In my lifetime, which involved losing my father, an earlier wife in the war, my brother and too many fellow soldier friends in the war, I have seen my fare share of death. I experienced even more in my years as a cop. But in this case, watching my mother slowly dwindle away, pound by pound, over a period of months has really and gradually just zapped the life out of me. The depression of impending death hangs over the house like a fog. Yet, it has also given me a time to think so-called deep thoughts, while I hold her hand and play solitary on the computer, concerning the relationship between parents and kids. But I wish to begin with saying how fortunate I am to have a beautiful and loving wife, who is capable of great giving, who has offered up some 21-years by taking care of my mom. I think of her sister Sally, who has done much the same thing over the years for her mother-in-law. These ladies came from good stock and I hope my children will learn from this experience.

Most of this is simply my putting my thoughts onto this record and I sincerely hope I do not bore the reader too badly with my wanderings. I will return to my books in the next blog.

My dad, who was often thought of as my hero, next to John Wayne, suddenly left our home in California when I was 9 years old. My older brother and I never saw my parents fight and later, my mom wished she had forgiven my dad for an affair. But she ordered him out and sought a divorce and then she was alone for the next 20-years. He moved far away to Arizona and eventually met and married my mother # 2- Bea.

In those early years I saw him two weeks out of the summer and the occasional Christmas. He rarely called, and seldom wrote, both of which were hard for him. Yet I always knew he was there. He was prompt with child support payments and paid for my braces. Later, as a teenager I was able to spend whole summers with him and we had great adventures across the Arizona desert.

But when I graduated from high school and he wasn't there, I was really hurt. He never saw me wrestle, play football or toss a 12 lb shot-put through the air. He wasn't there for the varsity letter ceremonies or when I simply needed advice about girls. My mom did it all. She was at every game, every wrestling match and often came to weekend practices to gauge my distances with that hefty lead ball. We had a very special friendship. My siblings, who were older, were all gone by the time I entered high school, so it was just the two of us.

After high school, my dad and I grew apart and we often fought over the phone or through the occasional letter. He rarely liked the women I chose to marry; Mary, when I was 18yrs old and she was 16- who Dear John'd me in Viet Nam.... maybe he was right about her. Then there was Nancy, who gave birth to John and Micheal. Oh, he loved the kids and was over joyed that we arranged it somehow to have John born on my Dad's birthday.

When I became a Christian, Dad and I reconciled and I was baptized in front of him in his boss's jacuzzi. He came to love Mona, because she stood up to his brashness and foolishness. And he loved Elizabeth, James, Joshua and Micah Sue very much. He was a much better grandfather than a dad.

When he died in 1990 and I stood over his coffin, I was in anguish over the the months and years we wasted in fighting. We were so much alike- too stubborn and unable to compromise. As a result, we wasted so much time apart. I was to later learn he had died with a major lie in his thoughts concerning me and which made him think poorly of me and this again, hurt.

Nancy, upon our break-up, had gone to live with my Dad and Bea- his wife and my friend, along with the two boys. They paid for Nancy to go to beauty school for a year and took care of the boys this whole time. I never knew of this and he thought I had simply abandoned them. Had I known, the boys would've joined us in Alaska and life would've taken a different turn for both of them. But he never approached me by phone or letter to discuss this. Now I know he's in Heaven and knows the truth, but it was rough on Mona and I in learning of this lie and how hurt he and Bea were in thinking so poorly of me.

So, I was raised without a dad and I told myself I would do better with my kids, yet I ended up doing much the very same thing to John and Micheal. Then came along our other four kids and I swore I'd again do better. That I would try to be there for them and I guess I failed pretty badly because of work, church and helped other youth through our church youth group. I was a cop and I put a lot of time into it while the kids grew. I missed some games and pushed one son into a sport he did not want to do, but tried to honor his father by joining in. There were apparently times when they needed to be protected and I wasn't there, but only learned of it years later. The times they needed to talk with me about serious things and I wasn't there, learning of this too years later .

Of late I have seen some of the results in how injured, hurt and silent my children have become toward us. I can only hope they will forgive me or us, and learn from the mistakes we made. I hope they are capable of doing better then their parents. One of my children is silent, as I was and another is angry, as I was. So many blood traits can be passed along. Yet some of the children have forged ahead and do well and I pray they all will.

I am immensely proud of my children and what they have accomplished. I am proud of the kids who have come into our lives by situation and choices. We may not always agree with the decisions they all make, but they are all now adults and some with children to raise.

I look back through my dad's life. His father deserted him at an early age and he tried hard not to repeat it. A blood curse has followed the Casselman's first born son for at least 4 generations I know of and now down through my oldest son, John. I can only pray that God breaks this curse and Tariq will not be another father to pass it along. I wish I could learn of how it came about, but I do know my Great-Great Grandfather was murdered on a train in Canada and the family fled to the USA. This curse may be involved. I do not know, but I pray against it.

I desire all my sons and daughters stand proudly, to be strong Christians and charitable to their fellow man. I also pray for them to be loyal and giving spouses and parents, who listen to their kids and are there to support them.  I wish this for all of you. God Bless!