Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice

Shadows of War

Major Characters

United States

Josh MacArthur, scientist

Mara Duncan, CIA officer

Peter Lucas, CIA station chief, Bangkok/Southeast Asia

Major Zeus Murphy, former Special Forces captain, adviser to Vietnam

People’s Army

Lieutenant Ric Kerfer, SEAL team platoon commander

President George Chester Greene

CIA Director Peter Frost

National Security Adviser Walter Jackson


Lieutenant Jing Yo, commander, First Commando Detachment

Colonel Sun Li, commando regiment commander, executive officer Task Force 1

Premier Cho Lai


Premier Lein Thap

General Minh Trung, head of the Vietnam People’s Army


Jimmy Choi, Korean mercenary

February 2014

* * *

Fresh Riots Suppressed in Northwest China

WULUMUQI, NORTHWESTERN CHINA (World News Service) — Unofficial sources reported today that government forces had suppressed a riot near the town center, the third report of a disturbance in northwestern China over the past week.

While food riots have subsided with the selection of China’s new premier, Premier Cho Lai, Western analysts say Cho Lai faces a difficult task as China confronts devastating food shortages brought on by a third consecutive year of record drought. With food and other commodity prices soaring and the country already battered by the worldwide depression, an estimated forty percent of the Chinese male working-age population is out of work.

In Chinese-occupied Tibet, six persons were shot to death by soldiers during…

Housing Prices Hit New Record Low in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP-Fox News) — The FDIC today released a report showing that house prices in the U.S. had reached their lowest point in fifty years, when adjusted for inflation.

Analysts caution, however, that the statistics are somewhat misleading, as rampant inflation in the food sector over the past two years has skewed inflation numbers skyward. The unprecedented rate of inflation is due to decreased crop yields throughout much of the world, and the consequent pressure on American farm prices.

“If we were in a period of normal inflation, say only three or four percent,” said John Torano, analyst for the HSBC-Key-Banco, the world’s largest bank, “then the decline in house prices would be only about twice what we saw in early 2009.”

Still, Torano and others admit that the downward pressure on housing prices will put more families in jeopardy. The bankruptcy reform laws passed last year failed to lower the number of filings…

Brighton Beach Renaissance Continues

LONDON (Reuters-Gannet News Service) — Sally Smith frowned as she pulled into the parking lot B of the new Brighton Motor Park. The sign at the entrance flashed “FULL,” even though it was only half past eight.

“Balls,” said Smith in frustration as her two little girls complained sleepily in the rear seat that they wanted to get swimming. “It’s getting so you have to come an hour before dawn to get a parking spot.”

Smith’s problem is cause for celebration among the owners of hotels and tourist spots in this seashore town, which until two years ago was a boarded-up ghost, fifty years past its glory.

Now, thanks to a climate shift that has raised the average year-round temperature in southern England to a balmy seventy-eight degrees, Brighton is booming. In March, where once the average high temperature was a damp 8.3 Celsius, or 47 degrees Fahrenheit, sunbathers must be careful in the afternoons to avoid sunstroke. Last week, the temperature peaked at 32 Celsius, or 89 Fahrenheit — which would have been a near-record for August just two years back.

Scientists say the warm-up is due to a number of factors besides the general trend of global warming. In Brighton’s case, the combination…

* * *

Personal Chronicle: booking Back to 2014.

To my beloved grandson Markus:

Here is the continuation of our family chronicle I promised, picking up in the winter of 2014. It seems like only yesterday that this all took place — and yet the time before it seems buried further in the past than ancient Rome. So much has changed, and nearly all of it caused by the conflicts that erupted that year.

* * *

In the year 2014, the violent changes in the weather and climate began to take their toll on the world in ways that many had feared, but few had spoken of. Violence increased everywhere — in the cities, in the suburbs, even in farm country, where our family lived. But it was the violence between nations that came to dominate our thoughts and nightmares that year.

Our family had been one of the lucky ones. Like most of our neighbors, we had benefited greatly from the rising crop prices. Our corn was worth twice what it had been less than five years before, and the yields, due to the latest genetic advances, were practically three times as high per acre. Best of all, there were ready markets for anything we could grow.

Prices for nearly everything were shooting up fast, but we were still far ahead of the game, especially when compared to the people on the East and West Coasts. My parents had cut back quite a bit, but mostly on things that as a kid you hardly notice — eating out, new clothes, extras. For us, the fact that we couldn’t go see friends after school was probably the biggest impact. They cut back on the gas they used, though our four- year-old hybrid got what was considered decent mileage then. The real savings came with the fuel cell engines that had only just come out; we couldn’t afford one yet.

We saw on television and read on the Internet about what was going on in Europe and Asia. There were riots in Europe, but Asia seemed to be hit even harder. I remember downloading pictures for a class project that showed more than a hundred bodies floating in a narrow stream — or what looked like a narrow stream, since according to the caption it was really a road. The picture had been taken in China, of a flash flood in a village in a northwestern province. If I remember correctly it was particularly ironic, because the area hadn’t seen

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