Alternate history novels, free eBooks in PDF, Kindle, Mobi, ePub and many other formats. Alternate time lines, politics and sci-fi.
...STOP PRESS... US military edges towards a deployment to the Uganda/Congo border. Is that move to keep the peace, or for America to grab a piece of Ugandan oil - as well as a piece of the vast ore and mineral reserves under the ground in the Congo?
"...Africa is the world's greatest untapped resource, both in its peoples' potential - and what lays under the ground. In the decades ahead, a world short of resources will fight it out in the Congo ... unless we get in there first."
Magestic Created, October 2009. Free eBook series of 18 parts
* Now downloaded more than 150,000 times!
Magestic (c) part 1 is a very large free ebook, some 1.2million words, and details the efforts of a time traveler arriving in Canada back in 1985, his aim being to try and fix the world's political systems, their economies, and to avert numerous future wars. The traveler must arrange for the authorities to lock aircraft cabin doors, to save PAN AM 103, to prevent the Gulf War, to prepare for SARS, a petrol-dollar crisis and bad dollar politics, earthquakes and terror groups, as mankind inches closer to the final test.
A calamity awaits in 2025, the world needing to take a different course. Wars need to be prevented, certain politicians discredited before taking office. But the traveler spends most of his time and energy building up a medical rescue charity, torn between helping the needy, and fighting those that he knows risk the future of mankind.
Art imitating life: The traveler deals with the Greek financial collapse, and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. You'd better hope that the rest of the predictions don't come true...
The book is a political thriller with some sci-fi; action, wars, humour and some romance. It is a classic 'alternative history' ebook. Magestic part 1 is a very large book, presented in a series of large chapters. It has been split into several parts for ease of reading, and the formatting on certain websites.
Note. Magestic is a long novel, and deliberately so. It is aimed at on-site readers who want more, not less. So a passing "normal" reader may find it very long. It is aimed at those who have the time. Besides, human history from 1985 to 2025 could never be covered on a single novel of typical size.
Alternative formats avialable at www.geoffwolak-writing.com
Looking back, I sometimes think of when I changed, but I guess it was a long and gradual process.
As a young boy I was afraid to go beyond the end of my street in Richmond, London; I’d often make it as far as the big red post box, and no further. I remember long hot summers playing in the local park, and I remember the first time that I camped out with the local Boy Scouts; for the first time I was away from my parents. I stayed up late, I woke early, and I watched the dawn rise for the first time, over a still and silent forest.
As a teenager I discovered London, and I tried both my first beer and my first cigarette. I didn’t take up smoking, thankfully, but I did like the odd sneaky beer now and then during my school exams. In college, London shrank to the point where we knew the good places to go, and the suburbs were just where people lived.
My first job out of college was at a city stockbroking firm, starting at the bottom, and I spent my days trying to persuade people with money to buy shares in companies that neither I nor they had ever heard of, and I would practise lying convincingly. Then everything changed.
Looking back, I was in awe of London as a kid, afraid of the end of the street and the great beyond, and I stared hard out of the window of the family car when we drove across London, wide-eyed with excitement; all those buildings, all those people. The world really was a big place back then. When was it that the world shrank? When was it that I started to ignore US Presidents when the phone rang, and started planning invasions, wars, or speeches to deliver to the masses?
Somewhere along the line, a line of some forty years, I changed, and calls from the various world leaders were sometimes ignored. My mentor had once quoted something to me, and not even he remembered where he had first heard it.
‘A young man cares for his family, an old man cares for his tribe, but a great man cares for those he has not yet met.’
It may have been picked up on his travels through Africa, a long time ago. A very long time ago. As a young man, I looked at the world through nervous and excited eyes, and by time I started my own family I was already worrying about world politics, wars, pandemics, and the future of mankind.
Sometime later I was point-man for the entire plant, and I was worrying about those I had not yet met.
No 10. Downing Street, London. Summer, 1985.
The Prime Minister ran a quick eye over a letter, initialling the corner before handing it back to the waiting messenger.
Thirty minutes later a buff coloured file was being keenly opened by Jack Donohue at the Ministry of Defence. The letter, a tip-off about an upcoming IRA terror attack, now had the addition of TOP SECRET stamped onto it in blood red ink. He touched the edges of the letter reverently and squared it off to the file; neatness was next to Godliness for Jack. He curled a lip at the fingerprint dust still adhering to the paper, pursed his lips and blew delicately.
Jack read the brief letter over and over, trying hard to read between the lines. He attempted to judge the tone and the style of writing, trying desperately to glean some intelligence about the sender – his assigned task. Magestic with a ‘g’, whoever the individual was, had already caused him some sleepless nights. If only the letter had been signed “Majestic”.
Majestic had been the CIA campaign of misinformation about UFOs in the 1960s; a pet hobby of Jack’s. But why spell the word with a ‘g’? Was the writer simply a bad speller? No, the writing style had been exhaustively analysed by various linguists and experts. The writer was deemed to be well educated and cultured. So, it was a deliberate spelling mistake. ‘Magestic’ was a noun, a few references around the world, but none that seemed to be of significance or relevance.
This new letter, typed like the rest, had been numbered by the sender in handwriting as ‘12’ and detailed an elaborate IRA attack, so much detail that some in the government were certain that Magestic was in the community of spies, possibly a high ranking member of the IRA itself. Jack knew that to be nonsense, because lying next to him was a file of the first eleven letters, many detailing future natural disasters. Being an intelligence researcher, Jack knew the limitations of field agents and double agents, and predicting the next winner of the Eurovision Song Contest was not amongst the attributes of any spy he ever knew of. No, this was something quite, quite different.
The fact that the Magestic letters had been assigned to him was a great honour for Jack, his career not quite working out as anticipated in his youth. Thirty-eight years old, if he was going to do anything noteworthy, he figured, he would have done so by now. Civil Service retirement at fifty-five loomed as the only light at the end of the long dark tunnel as he sat in his basement office, longing for a window.
He smiled when considering why they had assigned him this task; a degree in psychology. Actually, it was a 2.1, not so clever. But still, here he sat, grinning smugly at his assigned task, a task that his superior resented Jack handling. His boss always read the letters first, just to make a point, but never gleaned anything of use outside of the obvious facts detailed. Like the other so-called ‘experts’, Jack considered, his boss was stuck in the detail, not the topics or in the style. Now, he considered again the detail of this latest message as he worked alone in his office, muttering to himself. ‘Playful, confident, sarcastic almost … yet important, direct, necessary.’ He made notes, comparing them to a previously prepared summary.
‘Terrorists actions … but only related to us, to the UK, not to any other country. Posted in the UK, in London, various central locations, plus Cardiff, Reading and Swindon. Our friend uses the train a great deal, a commuter like myself. Hell, I may have even sat opposite him, and I’m sure by the tone that it is a him. Mid to late forties, ex-military or similar I believe, and a powerful clairvoyant.’ Easing back, his chair issued a creak of complaint as he tapped his top lip with his pen.
He tipped his head back as far as it would go, stretching his neck muscles. ‘So why tip us off? Why not … bet the races.’ He raised a pointed finger. ‘Maybe he does. Note: look for big, consistent winners at the races - stock markets maybe.
‘So far … three IRA attacks, one faulty ship – which sank unfortunately, one spy escaping the safe house a day early, a rail crash averted – but disputed, an aircraft with a faulty fuel line – gratefully found in time, Reagan’s win at the polls, an attempt on our Ambassador in Angola – averted, the Eurovision Song Contest winner – just to make a point, the Iran-Contra affair…’
A thought surfaced, Jack’s features hardening quickly. He typed a hurried note and sent it directly to the Cabinet Office by courier, a deliberate breach of protocol.
The Prime Minister read the note, took off her glasses and eased back in her chair, staring out of focus for several seconds. ‘I want the intelligence chiefs. Tonight. Oh, and this officer … Donohue, fetch him as well.’
When the officers had assembled in Cabinet Office Briefing Room ‘A’, COBRA, the Prime Minister stepped purposefully in and sat quickly, placing down her handbag. Jack adjusted his tie, wondering just how annoyed his manager would be, yet not giving a damn. Deputy Director Sykes was in attendance for this meeting, and now eyed Jack suspiciously.
Straight to the point, The Prime Minister said, ‘This gentleman –’ she motioned toward Jack. ‘- has come up with a … very significant point: what if our good friend Magestic is sending tip-offs to other nations?’ She waited as concerned looks swept around the assembled faces. ‘Up to now we have assumed that this was just about us.’
Jack delicately raised a finger.
‘Yes?’ the P.M. curtly prompted.
‘I hope you don’t mind, but when I … er … got the idea I rang a good friend in the London CIA section, the researcher I’m supposed to co-operate with on the psychology of the Russian leadership -’
‘Yes, yes,’ the P.M. urged, beckoning Jack onward with her hand.
‘I figured that, if they didn’t already know, then they wouldn’t register anything about the name. I asked if he had heard the word Magestic…’
‘And?’ Sykes firmly nudged when Jack hesitated.
‘My contact went apoplectic at the mention of the word, demanded to know what I knew.’
Numerous whispered conversations broke out, the P.M. staring hard at Jack. She cut through the chatter with, ‘You have short-cut … what could have been a lengthy process. Now they know that we’ve been getting letters. But, more importantly, we know that this is not just about us.’
Jack forced a breath. ‘Prime Minister, we know that Magestic is probably London based, or a commuter along the M4 motorway. So … so if the Americans have had letters, they would, most likely, be posted to the US Ambassador here … in London.’
‘Are you suggesting … that we intercept the American Ambassador’s mail?’
Jack decided to be bold. ‘They can’t possibly know when the next letter will appear, so they won’t miss it if … it went missing.’
The P.M. stood, a nod toward Sykes before exiting quickly. A chorus of overlapping whispers began. Jack tentatively raised a finger.
‘Donohue, you don’t need to raise a finger like a schoolboy wanting the toilet,’ Sykes suggested. ‘What is it?’
‘Well … er … I firmly believe that our friend, well meaning that he is, may also be sending letters to others; Russians, Chinese…’
‘Jesus,’ Sykes let out.
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