The small planes engine sputtered fitfully as it arced lazily through the dull
grey chilly mist that had settled over Lower Manhattan all morning.
People scuttled along 14th Street looking up at the small object in the kind of annoyed fear you would feel with the buzzing of a wasp in a room.
The local news had interrupted the morning programming with yet another special breaking news announcement of a yet another "unidentified terrorist" threat. This was the fourth such incident in the last week. The rumors were going around that this particular new series of incidents were just another bit of theater staged by the Homeland Security Public Relations Strategy Committee to keep the level of terrorism alertness up in a bored public. The rumor was that the planes, which were invariably shot down over the harbour or over the razed uninhabited acres of The Bronx, were being flown by desparate young people who had been rounded up in the latest Surge On Poverty. They had been told that their families would have a sure fire ticket out of the detention camps if they sacrificed themselves for a good show to keep the citizens on their toes.
The Surge on Poverty, the very idea gave Marvin a headache as he walked on down the Street, through crowds of pedestrians all, like him, trying to look anonymous and not too conspicuously poor. No one knew what the guidelines were anymore.
It had started with the Surge on Inner City Crime...
Three years into the first term of President McCain and hundreds of square miles of America's blighted inner cities had been leveled. The initial Surge on Crime had sparked an Urban Guerilla movement and using the techniques which had prolonged the War in Iraq, a door to door campaign of searches in the designated areas had provoked organized and violent resistance. This had all been made legal and approved by the new improved "Classic" Patriot Act '09.
It was with a heavy heart that President McCain declared another State of Emergency and ordered the areas cleared and razed. They were "depressing" he had said.
America didn't need to have its morale destroyed by the cycle of poverty.
There would be camps, happy places where people could learn how to live productive happy lives and almost daily, there were "feel good" features on the news broadcasts of people in the camps putting on talent shows and making interesting things out of recycled tires.
Marvin saw the plane circle around again, sputter and then start to slowly, gracefully with increasing speed head out over the East River. There was a small explosion as it was hit by a missle operated by the River Defense Unit. A cloud of smoke and the pieces all fell into the East River.
He felt a litttle reassured, but still, the thing that really was worrying him was the reports of young people becoming suicide bombs. The government reports tried to play up the terrorist connections and use it to fuel the fear that there were many terrorist training cells in our midsts.
A fifteen year old girl was stopped as she was about to detonate herself in a Mall in Pennsylvania. She had escaped from a Cindy McCain Drug Treatment Facility.
The only statement she made that was released by the press was an incoherent rant about "If you had to eat lime green jello with cottage cheese everyday and listen to that fucking non stop ABBA music...WHAT WOULD YOU DO?