Friday, December 12, 2008


Chapter 5: Lurking Cheka
We now come to something I've noted in this novel from the beginning: the use of terms particular to the Soviet Union in the 1930's to slam Governor Ursus Young. And this stands in contrast to the description of his followers, who act like a bunch of stormtroopers out of Nazi Germany, and not the elite leather-jacket followers of Joseph Stalin. The cheka was the paramilitary arm of the Soviet Communist Party.
Fleeing Govenor Young's minions, Jimmy Christopher heads to an army air base on the edge of Hartland, the capitol of New Cornwall. He learns about the base being under constant attack by the Black Corpsman of the governor, but the base commander gives him the use of a plane with a pilot to fly to Washington and warn the president of the terror of Young.
Once in the air, with Diane and Tim, Jimmy Christopher radios headquarters and makes his report. Then he learns something which amazes the most jaded reader: the president himself is coming to New Cornwall to make a speech! On the orders of the chief executive, he orders the plane back to the army base. Operator 5 will provide protection for the president for his visit to New Cornwall.
Once on the ground, Operator 5 discovers the base has been attacked and nearly destroyed by the Black Corpsmen. He tells the pilot to take Diane Elliot to Washington, but allows his sidekick, Tim Donovan, to remain with him.
The final scene in this very chapter has Operator 5 taking an assassin's bullet for the president in the middle of his speech against the tyranny of Ursus Young. The president barely makes it out of the auditorium while a pro-Young mob tries to attack the stage.
Wow. In one chapter Davis has managed to pack more plot twists and excitement than most authors can generate in an entire book. And we are only four chapters into the novel!

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