Redfall: Fight For SurvivalBy: Jay J. Falconer
(American Prepper Series Book 1)
Simon Redfall kept his head down and eyes low as he took a seat in the general admission section of the sold-out National Execution Center in Washington, DC. If it weren’t for his long hair and unruly beard, certainly one of the twenty-thousand blood-starved fans would have recognized him before the start of the most eagerly anticipated event in pay-per-view history.
A sprawling stage with a lavish red curtain was the focal point of the venue and built specifically for the government’s new Execution Channel, dubbed EC1. The arena featured sweeping sight lines to give those in attendance a perfect view of the dying criminal who would soon be unveiled for the world to see. Every detail of the inaugural event had been planned and refined to ensure wide, cross-section appeal and massively high broadcast ratings. Nothing was left to chance, not when the most hated mass murderer in modern history was about to draw her last breath with all of humanity watching and cheering.
The US government had partnered with StarBright Networks to squeeze every last dollar from what was sure to be a media feeding frenzy. The government's take of the revenue split was reported to be somewhere north of four billion dollars, and that didn’t include the bonus profits from the new global wagering tax being levied by the world’s governments on thousands of betting houses across the planet.
The over-under line on the official execution time was initially set at three minutes, eight point two seconds by the wizards in Las Vegas. However, Simon hadn’t been following the betting line since it was first published, so he didn’t know the current odds of this inaugural event.
The National Execution Center, or NEC as it was called on the street, was designed like an upscale Broadway theater, but on an enormous scale. Simon counted at least thirty-two ultra-high resolution TV cameras and several dozen members of law enforcement, meaning he’d better keep a low profile if he had any hope of remaining anonymous and making it out of the auditorium alive.
General admission seating was located in the balconies and divided into three progressively wider sections, each with a clear view of the ultra-high resolution jumbo screen mounted above the stage.
Below him were two VIP sections of different sizes. The larger, unprotected area on the left was reserved for friends and family of the innocent victims, while the smaller, bullet-proof glass cubicle on the right was for the expected handful of supporters of the condemned, in this case, a middle-aged business woman. Not your typical mass murderer, but one nonetheless.
The lights in the theater began to dim as theatrical, heart-pounding music rose up through the impressive surround-sound system, sending those in attendance into a chanting frenzy. A plush, red curtain opened from the middle, then a single spotlight found the Master of Ceremonies walking to the front of the stage with a wireless microphone in his hand.
The jumbo video screen above the platform flashed his name in eye-catching white letters: Clarence Williams, III.
Red, white and blue lights flashed in a rotating spiral around the stage, sending a chill of unwanted patriotism into Simon’s spine.
Mr. Williams waved to the crowd as he walked to the center of the stadium’s platform and stood in front of the execution chamber—a twenty-foot square metal box built with a single, one-way viewing window along the front.
“Citizens of the world,” Williams said, his voice booming through the PA system, “the NEC and the G20 countries of the world welcome you to the greatest show on Earth!”
The crowd cheered in response, with raised fists pumping in the air.
“Let’s get started,” he said in an emphatic voice, raising his hand and pointing an index finger up to the video screen. “We all know why we’re here today, but I’d like everyone to take a moment to pay their respects to the victims of this most heinous crime. Please direct your attention to the StarBright screen above me and offer a silent prayer for each of those who’ve been lost.”
The music waned and the crowd fell silent in an emotional hush when a video began to play on the jumbo screen. A panoramic sweep of the camera showed dozens of bodies, each lying motionless on the street in pools of their own blood. Men, women, and children—all dead—an entire busload of visiting scientists and their families gunned down without mercy.