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NAC-MFR.pdf [concept I'm working on, thriller]

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Something in the oven...


Door Kickers


I was listening to an album trilogy by Stone Rebel called The Indigo Trilogy. The MP3 was playing on my computer and was being fed to my Cambridge Audio AXR100 over a Bluetooth connection driving a pair of Klipsch Reference Premiere RF-8000F speakers.

The rich sound of the superbly crafted music filled the room as I wrote a review. For a little while, the beauty of the music forced the ugly memories to retreat.

For a while, I could forget. I could forget the IEDs. I could forget the burned, stinking bodies. I could forget the maimed children, the gaunt sunken eyes and the ever-present smell of death. I could forget the dead and broken friends.

All that combat. All that death. All the rules of engagement that had obviously been written by a retarded lawyer. All those battles fought with both hands tied behind our back that by some miracle, we won.

All for nothing so some pussy of a politician could say we were done.

The VA said I had PTSD. Well, fuck. Of course, I do. That’s what happens to sane people in war. The insane ones like the killing. I’d seen that shit too.

Unlike many vets of the Sand Box, I did not find my solace in a pill, baggie or bottle. I drowned the din of battle in my head with beautiful music played loud.

Like a lot of my fellows, I started out listening to metal. That worked for a while, but metal is… psychically jagged and I had bled enough. I needed something different. I found it in Progressive rock.

That’s what I was listening to when the FBI kicked in my door. Some REMFers pointed guns at me as they cleared the house, hooked me up and put a black bag over my face, and arrested me for treason.



The Prog Page


I started my page on a popular social media site when I go home. As a long-time fan of progressive rock, it was only natural that I created The Prog Page dedicated to progressive rock. Over the years it attracted seventy-five hundred fans of old progressive groups like Yes, Pink Floyd, Rush and new bands like Marillion, Possum Tree and Stone Rebel.

Like similar pages, I had to deal with spammers, scammers, trolls and off-topic posts. Some people had the idea that everyone, even people who belonged to closed moderated forums, needed to hear about their religion and politics.

At first, I tried to reason with them. This does not work with unreasonable people. The only way to deal with the true believers is to ban them. They are certainly entitled to their opinions, but our forum is not about their religion or politics and disruptive behavior isn’t welcome. Every year I had to ban scores of spammers, scammers and trolls. Posting the rules did not work. They had their mission, and it was incompatible with Progressive Rock.

I don’t give a rat’s hairy butt if you hate republicans, democrats, know for sure that 9/11 was an inside job, your conspiracy theories, insider information or know a guy who knows a guy. If it’s not about Progressive Rock, it doesn’t belong on the Prog Page.

I’m interested in the great albums. Fragile by Yes. 2112 by Rush. The Wall by Pink Floyd.  I’m interested in new music that sounds great and tickles something in my brain like imagination and wonder.

I’m not interested in crazy conspiracy stuff about the Federal Reserve, Vaccine depopulation, aliens from Roswell or Lizard People that control the government.

It got so bad, I had to create a series of questions any Prog fan could answer just to keep the spammers, scammers and trolls out. What is your favorite progressive album? What is your favorite progressive band? Those questions zapped most of them because they had no idea.

I do a decent job of keeping the Prog Page on topic.  Sometimes I miss an off-topic post or two and other Admins let me know. Ian from Manchester or Ariel from Tel Aviv are online when I sleep or am at work.

Social media is a strange place. There are the giants, and we all know who they are, and there are the midgets, smaller sites that cater to special interests. The giants are large and strange in the way they run things. They are a bit like me. Their response to most problematic users is simply to ban them. As the Prog Page is probably the least offensive of any group and I bounce spammers, scammers and trolls as soon as they pop up, I wasn’t on the moderator’s radar. For years the group performed its mission: to bring great progressive rock to anyone who wanted to find it.




In our forum there is a documents section. Pinned at the top of the list is Top100ProgAlbums.pdf that contains a list of the Top 100 progressive rock albums of all time. I’ve got sixty of them on vinyl and most of the rest on CD. The site that makes the list comes out with a new one every year, so it gets changed every February.

Other documents that land there are reviews, criticisms and lyrical analysis. Some people want to call other rock groups progressive, and that’s a long-running and unwinnable debate. Are the Who or King Crimson prog? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. That is a completely valid topic of debate for our page. If you make a good case and don’t get personal, debate away to your heart’s content.

Recently, we had many new people. Russell from Texas answered his favorite prog album was Close to the Edge and his favorite group was Yes. Al from Iowa liked Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Gus from Georgia liked Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. All of it old school, but respectable choices.

I accepted them all.

They liked posts most people liked. They participated in discussions. What I did not notice was when Gus from Georgia uploaded a file: NAC-MFI.pdf.




“Sergeant Daniel Clark, how long have you been in contact with the New American Congress?”

“I haven’t been a Sergeant in a good while, and I don’t follow Congress.”

A different voice said, “You need to answer our questions.”

“I would if I knew what you were talking about.”

The first voice growled, “These soldier boys have been trained to resist interrogation.”

The second voice said, “Mr. Clark. You had the New American Congress Manual for Insurrection posted in your Progressive Rock page. Could you explain that?”

“I’ve never heard of the New American Congress and, if I had noticed it, I would have deleted it and banned whoever uploaded it. I don’t want political shit on my page.”

The first voice said, “You’re going to have to do better than that Clark. You are arrested under the terms of the Patriot Act. We can hold you as long as we want.”

“You would be wasting your time. I stay out of politics. Period. Both sides are fucked up and… I’ve got problems of my own. I don’t need or want any part of that.”

The second voice said, “Clark, you fit a profile the New American Congress looks to recruit: you’re a veteran of the War on Terror. You’ve had problems since you got back. You are just the kind of angry, trained, decorated veteran that they want.”

I sighed and said, “Then they’re going to be disappointed. I’ve had all the war I want. I just want to run my business, live a quiet life and listen to good music. I have to be the most boring suspect you’ve ever picked up.”

The first voice said, “We don’t pick up many with a Silver Star, airborne wings and Ranger tabs. That’s why we’re interested in you. If a man like you were to go rouge, you could do a lot of damage.”

The second voice asked, “Do you know who Gus from Georgia is?”

I answered, “Nothing other than his favorite album was Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.”

The first voice said, “That was Colonel Jacob Henderson. He’s recruiting for the New American Congress.”

I swallowed and said, “Then you’ve got a much bigger problem than a wanna be hippie like me that don't want to make war no more if Havoc Henderson is on the other side.”

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