This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” –St. Bernard of Clairvaux
An antibiotic is supposed to fight infection, NOT cause an epidemic. Likewise, a vaccination is supposed to prevent disease, NOT create a new one. It is certainly NOT supposed to be the prototype for a bio-weapon or worse, a weapon of mass destruction.
The research that gave the world its first antibiotic WAS well intentioned. There’s no debating penicillin DID work – as Allied soldiers on the World War II battlefields of Europe would testify. Likewise, polio vaccinations DID eliminate the scourge of its time – one that disproportionately affected the world’s children.
So how did successful, well-intentioned medical breakthroughs boomerang and put us on the path to hell?
“Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions” –T.S. Eliot
Wilderness of Mirrors is the story of good intentions going awry. Terribly awry. In the field of medicine, unintended consequences can be deadly. They are mistakes. If acknowledged, the problems can be fixed and the mistake forgiven. Lesson learned.
However, if no one acknowledges the unintended consequences, it ceases to be a mistake. By definition, the consequences become intentional – requiring a cover-up.
“A lie travels around the world six times before the truth gets out of town” –Mark Twain
Cover-ups begin with one lie. Then another. Over time, the lies multiply and the cover-up is less about the original mistake than it is the subsequent lies. A new cover-up guards the old one and newer lies compound the older ones. Moreover, they ALL must be taken to the grave.
When the lies and cover-ups result in human life becoming an expendable commodity –collateral damage – they are beyond human forgiveness. When the past portends the future of humanity, they are markers, forgotten at our own peril.
Wilderness of Mirrors is a tangled drama of mistakes and deceptions. Of lies protected by covert operations. Of “black-ops” supported by assassinations. Of assassinations followed by contrived inquiries resulting in diversionary – and fictional – reports. Of faux investigations and diversionary cover stories controlled by an unaccountable shadow government. Of a bullying corporate media and an intellectually dishonest education system conspiring together, creating a multigenerational doom loop with their collection of regurgitated lies.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures” –Ancient Proverb
The stakes could not have been much higher. Concluding the Great War, beginning WW II, and lasting through the end of the Cold War, Wilderness of Mirrors takes place during some of the world’s most desperate times.
On June 22, 1941, Germany invaded Russia, triggering Operation Barbarossa against a very-surprised Soviet Union. The Nazis were blitzing the Soviets – winning victories, occupying territory, and inflicting heavy casualties on their way to Moscow. Times were very desperate in Mother Russia that summer.
Six months later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, launching Operation Z against an inattentive America, almost wiping out the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Four days later, the Germans joined in the festivities, declaring war on the United States. Quite suddenly, times became desperate in America too. Such was the beginning of an unlikely alliance.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” –Ancient Proverb
Washington D.C. and Moscow – hemispheres apart, economically and politically. Adam Smith and George Washington vs. Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Capitalism vs. communism. Both countries birthed in revolutionary fervor – one replacing tyranny with democracy and the other trading one oligarchy for another.
No question, the coupling of the United States and the Soviet Union was an arranged marriage – a passionless betrothal. No love, just a desperate need by both to survive. Thrust together by a common enemy, they united behind a common purpose – to rid the world of Adolf Hitler.
As long as there were Nazis to kill in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union tolerated its new partner. As long as there were Germans to defeat in Western Europe, America bore with its unlikely ally. Together, as long as Hitler was still alive, the two powers coexisted in the uneasy, long-distance relationship.
Their incompatibility did not sever their affair until they finally met face-to-face in Germany’s capital at the end of the war. Soviet troops had just discovered the Fuhrer’s still-smoldering remains near his Berlin bunker. Hitler was finished. The common enemy was gone. Alas, also gone were the ties tenuously binding the hemispheres together. Quite suddenly, the Soviets and Americans were irreconcilable.
“History is on our side. We will bury you” –Nikita Khrushchev
In the post-war world, two antagonistic superpowers emerged – the Soviet Union in the east and the United States in the west. An icy rivalry between the two sides resulted in a decades-long Cold War between Soviet-style totalitarianism and American-style democracy, with Europe caught squarely in the middle. In the post-war reorganization, the two behemoths carved the continent into opposing east vs. west confederations. Separate alliances within these two blocs created a very bipolar Europe.
Though the US initially had the nuclear advantage, the Soviets soon caught up, raising the stakes in a direct military confrontation. The two superpowers raced to build delivery systems for their growing stockpiles of nuclear warheads, both adopting the strategy of complete and total annihilation. This insanity, called Mutual Assured Destruction – or MAD – for easy-to-understand reasons acted as kind of a perverse deterrent for almost fifty years. World War II had been appalling but a World War III would be Armageddon.
“The CIA and KGB, like God and Satan, fought Miltonic battles across five continents” –Paul Johnson
To prevent such an ending, both sides birthed massive spy enterprises to gather information about each other. Initially, that is ALL they were, faceless intelligence-gatherers. Over time however, secret missions soon crept into their job descriptions. Many of these covert operations or “black-ops” resulted in proxy wars, political subversion, assassinations, sabotage, and propaganda – the list is long. The goal of both intelligence communities was straightforward – to anonymously advance the interests of their side without turning the Cold War hot.
Joseph Stalin founded the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs – NKVD – in 1934. Twenty years later, the Soviet spy agency dissolved, reconstituting itself in 1954 as the Committee for State Security – the KGB. Likewise, Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Office of Strategic Services – OSS – in 1942, reorganized in 1945 as the Central Intelligence Agency – the CIA.
Sneaking spies into the United States became somewhat of a Soviet specialty after World War II. In fact, the NKVD, and later the KGB, became masters at it – aided tremendously by America’s sympathetic refugee and generous immigrant policies. Scores of Soviet agents strategically infiltrated refugee populations fleeing the ruthless Stalin and his Red Army. Some pretended to be dissidents or defectors. A few were legitimate immigrants.
Once in America, they blended into America’s melting pot, enjoying the same freedoms of movement and occupation that natural-born American citizens enjoyed, and protected – ironically – by the same Constitution they came to undermine.
The most successful KGB tactic, however, was its recruitment of native-born American citizens. The Soviets proved clever at targeting potential assets and “turning them.” The recruiters operated primarily on college campuses, incubators of America’s future political, social, scientific, and military leaders. There, they exploited the American version of capitalism for their own purposes, drafting cash-strapped college students intrigued by the prospect of earning extra income into Soviet intelligence as KGB moles.
The Americans had a much tougher time sneaking its spies into Communist territory. The Soviet Union was a closed country after the war. In a speech to forty-thousand people at Westminster College in 1946, Winston Churchill characterized Eastern Europe as a “world separated from the west by an invisible iron curtain.” In 1961, Soviets began constructing a REAL wall in Berlin, this one made of actual steel and concrete. Consequently, while the Soviets employed mostly human assets, the Americans had to rely more heavily on technological assets for its clandestine services.
“I didn’t shoot anybody, no sir…I’m just a patsy” –Lee Harvey Oswald
Often in the byzantine world of intelligence, dishonest entities with sinister motives intentionally compromise those assets, both human and technological. An example of this occurred in 1959 when the CIA sent a human asset to the Soviet Union as a fake defector. His assignment was to give up classified information on one of the most important technological assets the US intelligence community had in its tool kit. One year later – as planned – the asset crashed to the earth, felled by a Soviet missile. Three years later, the CIA set up the same agent to be the patsy in America’s Crime of the Century. In both cases, CIA assets – technological and human – perished as a means to a very important end.
When shadowy forces exert more power than the people’s elected representatives do and personal agendas trump the United States Constitution, we have reached a precipice. When we do not care anymore, we are in an abyss of our own making.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” –Jesus Christ
Wilderness of Mirrors takes place in such an abyss. The reader will begin to question what is real and what is not. A parallel universe of mirage and illusion. So many lies. What is truth? Is the truth really a lie? Is the lie actually the truth? Does truth even exist or is everything a lie?
Wilderness of Mirrors is the story of medical breakthroughs and their unintended consequences, followed by a willful perversion of medical science for political purposes at first and illegal CIA covert operations later.
Wilderness of Mirrors is also the story of unexpected truth, witnessed firsthand by America’s Cold War enemy, the story’s unlikely truth-teller. It is the story of freedom. Freedom from the bondage of some of the biggest lies ever forced on the American people.
“When we hang the capitalists, they will sell us the rope we use” –Joseph Stalin
Finally, Wilderness of Mirrors is a story of astonishing irony, with unexpected results and unpredictable endings. Scientific discoveries offering hope but causing epidemics. Medical research promising a cure – corrupted and misused instead as a weapon. Assassination plots that boomerang, targeting the conspirators. A very surprising end to the Cold War – one side ruined ultimately by its own hand.
Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
Pille: This has been a bit different genre from what I usually read but a real delight. I like the vamps being different from cliche. I like the intriguing and unpredictable plot and the quirky characters. The only complaint I have is that I want to read more but the book run out. I hope there's going t...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...
Cassie Jacobson: So many twists and turns. Keeps you wanting to read to see what happens next. The main character is detailed well. The struggles and growth of Joby makes you admire her. It gives you a proud satisfied feeling while reading it. A refreshing difference then most books out there today, and in a w...
annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...