Time Train - Empire of Time
Agent Joe ‘Mack’ Mackinson’s nightmare adventure starts on a lone San Diego desert stakeout. He hopes to snare a Baja drug lord. Instead, he stumbles on a battle between rival UFO agents from the far future, is forced into service under the tyranny of Amerika's Great Shepherd in a neo-Orwellian 2084, and fights to save Carly, the love of his life. Paranoid, philosophical SF thriller for our time. More
DEA Special Agent Joe ‘Mack’ Mackinson’s nightmare adventure starts alone on a stakeout one night, in the desert outside San Diego, hoping to snare a Baja drug lord. Instead, he stumbles on a battle between rival UFO agents from the far future, is forced into service under the tyranny of Amerika's Great Shepherd in a neo-Orwellian 2084 Amerika, and fights to save Carly, the love of his life. This novel is a node in the Empire of Time series by John Argo, where Time Trains journey through worlds beyond time and space in the Temporale (more info at clocktowerbooks.com/johnargo and related websites).
Mack's brilliant and terrifying adventure begins one dark and quiet night in the desert east of San Diego. Meteorites streak by, as he eats a tuna sandwich lovingly made for him by his beautiful young wife Carly. It’s spooky along the trickling river, among rustling oak groves and swamps, with night life on the prowl all around. The beautiful desert sky is clear and starry. Cool, fragrant air whispers with rooting animal sounds—some rather odd. Mack draws his gun and steps out to investigate. Walking along the trickling river bed, he stumbles upon a pond in a hollow. Around a half-submerged, battered UFO, rival, silver-suited agents from uptime do mortal combat. Mack is captured, abducted, and drawn into their war amid the Time Trains and rival agents from the distant future.
Uptime agents minutely tweak the past to save their fabulous city at the end of time. As an unwilling Temporale agent, brainwashed and in a false identity, Mack is forced undercover in the korporate theocracy of the Great Shepherd in 2084--an Orwellian 2084 Amerika ruled by lies and terror.
The stakes shoot sky-high for Mack when he learns someone has murdered Carly back in our present time. Can Mack serve Time Town, elude the secret police of Long War Amerika, and save Carly despite strict orders not to, without causing changes that could lead to a Contradiction in time, fatal to all? There’s a much vaster picture. Time Town, a city at the edge of the Cosmopause, is fighting for its very existence. A terrifying cosmic war destroyed the fabric of space-time. Agents travel billions of years to tweak the past so the future may live longer.
Mack’s Byzantine manipulators are Hon. Lady Chivet Betize, Third Postal Lord, and her assistant, General Tenc Hoseth of the City of En. In a well-appointed library, they give Mack a window tour of their cosmopolis. They fill him with meme juices for quick insights into futuristic cosmology, their city, and the Temporale in which the Time Trains run.
Brainwashed and reborn, Kensington ‘Kenny’ Del Sol (Mack) awakens in the Great Shepherd’s 2084 Amerika. He must help a leading senator defect to the free world across the heavily armed, well-defended Great Wall circling Amerika. Mack, the senator, and the senator’s family must get past hordes of paranoid, trigger-happy troops guarding 10,000 miles of the Magnum Line. Fortress Amerika hides from the world and the truth. People are slaves without knowing it—‘free’ from contamination by outside truths that will poison their hearts, kill their children, and earn eternal damnation (so says the Great Shepherd)--death panels and all the rest of the korporate lies undermining the former republic, land of the free.
Mack finds a world at once beautiful and terrible. We meet wealthy ruling families, and commoners who walk its poverty-stricken streets just staying alive if they can. Mack moves amid rulers and rebels, agents and cops, families and dispossessed, believers and heretics. Millions dare not dream; a few hide, resist, and escape; and some tragically end their lives, unable to cope with crimes and contradictions.
As Mack’s identity returns, he acts as his own man, no longer manipulated by forces and counter-forces. Will he recover his memories and get his identity back, or will his life become merely another discarded dust speck in a vast and uncaring cosmos?