Relations: Smash Your TV! (online version)
Jerod Brannigan 
Jerod was trying to appear confident. He was about to meet Janice Straub for the first
time and she had the power to get them into France if she wanted to. Thomas and Sandra
seemed very confident that Janice would just welcome them right in. Sandra had even known
Janice a little bit back before Janice had left UUtopius for France. But Jerod had been
trained, all his life, not to count his chickens before they hatched.
He had the books that he and Hotcha had stolen from the Hannigan library. That was his
ace in the hole. France was fighting back against the One World Government and he had
six books that could change the course of that fight. Six books, out of the seven that he
had been searching for for years and had finally found. Six books that he had risked
everything --lost everything-- for.
Jerod had been born to a secret society of Catholics called the Children of the Rose.
From it's humble beginnings as a local Pax Christi group to its eventual status as the
best hope for society, Children of the Rose always had Jesus' true teachings at the
core of their society. Jerod lived his early life very isolated from the cruel and hostile
outside world. The adults at Children of the Rose were all great examples of how people
could live together in harmony and be their brother's keeper. He and the children he grew
up with in the community took their studies very seriously. They were kept aware of the
fact that the best students were going to have the greatest role in carrying out God's
As they aged, the youth at Children of the Rose were taught about the outside world. They
were taken on trips to see it. It was horrific, awful beyond what the adult could describe.
The outside world was a selfish, aristocratic nightmare and a complete perversion of all of
Jesus' teachings. Jerod had been determined, from a very young age, that he would study
the hardest, learn the most, walk most closely with Jesus, in order that he would be
selected for the most important missions when he grew up. He wanted to be the one that
spread what was good about the Children of the Rose and the word of God to all of God's
Jerod heard the tone of the bell of the safe house they were staying at in Belgium ring out.
He assumed that it was Janice Straub finally arriving. She had come from UUtopius, the secret
society that he and the Wootens had just come from, and she had apparently become a fairly
important person in France. He heard voices from the outer room and realized that Sandra and
Thomas were already out there talking to her. He had assumed that she would be led in here and
he would do all the talking, but perhaps Thomas and Sandra were just as good a choice to
negotiate their entry into France.
Jerod really liked Thomas and Sandra a lot. They were not Catholics. They were Quakers.
Nevertheless, they understood the true teachings of Jesus much better than most. He had met
them at UUtopius. UUtopius had been founded by Unitarian Universalists and Native Americans.
UUtopius was much larger than the Children of the Rose had been, but it was less serious.
They were not studying the enemy, they were not leading the path of righteousness, in fact,
many there were very hedonistic and sinful. The Children of the rose had stolen much of 1WG's
technology and had infiltrated their DarqueOps organization. They had one of their operatives
that was now a high ranking DarqueOps emulator. And the UUtopians, on the other hand, had just
been content to hide. To seek truth in anything that passed itself off as a religion. To fill
their time with simple pleasures and sinfulness. He hoped that Janice was not going to be like
that. But since she was one of what must be the many girlfriends of UUtopius' leader, Danny
Fire, he was prepared for the likelihood that she was a capricious, barefoot bohemian.
Jerod began to realize that Janice was not going to be led into this convening room any time
soon. He heard laughter from the other room and decided that he needed to go out there in case
his help was needed in any way.
"Jerod!" Sandy exclaimed joyfully as he opened the door. "This is Janice Straub. She's
going to be escorting us into France within the hour.
Jerod stood there stunned for a time. He could not believe what he was seeing. He was
snapped back to reality by Thomas' hand on his shoulder. "Hope you're packed and ready
to go," Thomas grinned.
A few hours later Jerod found himself on the upper deck of an extremely impressive vehicle.
It was an ultra high-tech, slow moving aircraft that seemed like a flying boat. He was
uneasy about being around guns of any sort, and the enormous guns that adorned the sides
of this airship were very disconcerting. But he was told that this was where he might
find her, so he had to come up here to look. He held the satchel full of books in his hand.
He had not had the opportunity to tell her about the books yet. Or rather, he had not
capitalized on the opportunity to tell her. He had been struck dumb by the sight of her.
In all of the times that Janice's name had been mentioned, no one had ever mentioned any
of her physical characteristics. And in any of the hundreds of times he had imagined her
he had never once imagined her as black.
Why should that make a difference? It just did. Janice was not beautiful just because
she was black. She was beautiful because she was beautiful. But... But somehow, something
in his distant past. Visions he'd had ever since he was the only brown-faced kid growing
up in a community of kindly, God-fearing white folks. His perfect vision of the woman he
would meet and marry was always black. And it was something more than that. Janice had
stepped right out of his childhood fantasies and into reality. Her beautiful black skin,
her short black natural hair, her easy smile and disarming brown eyes, everything about her
was as it had been in his visions.
Janice was sent to him by God. If he had had any doubts at all about that, the crucifix
around her neck --a Catholic crucifix-- had erased them. That had to be a sign. Yes, Janice
was sent by God to be the perfect woman for him. And the fact that Thomas and Sandra
regarded her as Danny Fire's girlfriend now irritated him. It would not let go of his
brain. Danny Fire was probably somewhere in this world fornicating with Astasha and Hotcha
right this very moment. What need did he have for --what right did he have to-- the love of
Jerod spotted Janice along the rail of the upper deck. He would show her the books.
One step at a time. He would tell her about the plans he had to mass produce the books and
disseminate the information and that would lead to conversation. From there it would be in
"Hi, I'm Jerod Brannigan," he said coming up behind her.
She ignored him.
"Hello?" he said, trying again.
This airship's engines were pretty loud. Perhaps she didn't hear him. He tapped her on
"Oh. Hi Jerod," she said turning around. She flashed the warm smile that made him weak
every time he saw it. "What'cha got there?" she asked looking down at his satchel of books.
He straightened up and retrieved a book to present to her. "These six books are from a
secret list of books that the 1WG is trying to destroy. I brought these copies so that we
can reproduce them and distribute copies around the world."
Janice looked at the bag and he held it open since it seemed that she wanted a look at all
of them. "Oh. The books from the internet list. There are actually seven of them. We can
get you copies of the Dan LaBotz book that you're missing if you like. We're actually
filming ten books right now and dramatizing them for television, since most people in the
world can't read. Three of those books are on the list of books we're producing, but we've
also selected from different lists of books that are more relevant to what's going on now.
We're skipping over the stuff that's outdated."
"We've actually just entered into an alliance with Boeing," she continued. "They have the
power to disrupt and preempt tv signals. We had no idea how we were going to broadcast it,
we were originally filming it for broadcast here in Europe, but now it seems that we'll be
able to air it all over the world. Our production people have been scrambling to reshoot a
lot of stuff for a more global audience. But thank you for bringing the books." she said
politely. "It was a good idea." She smiled slightly and nodded to him and then returned
to her cabin.