“China Deception, Part 1” (Gatekeeper Press) by Leroy Field provides a chilling perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and around the world through the medium of dystopian fiction. During a time characterized by worldwide fear and placing blame on various members of the global community for inciting the virus, this novel explains how a quest for world domination can turn into one of the deadliest events in modern history. Let this novel serve as both a thrilling read and a warning.
To open this cautionary tale, Field backtracks to Wuhan, China in 2014, when Dr. Li Wen first was appointed to general director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Institute had spent many years studying various coronavirus strands, specifically focusing on whether viral cells in bats could be transmitted to humans, thus uncovering the root of the SARS virus in 2016.
Shortly after this discovery, Dr. Wen was approached by the Ministry of State Security (MSS). This highly secretive police agency assigned him with a singular task: to create a new strain of the virus with a long mutation period, high mortality rate and the ability to rapidly mutate. What Wen believed to be a practice in vaccine development ended up placing the weapon for “the largest biological mass murder in history” in his own hands.
THE FATE OF THE WORLD HANGS IN THE BALANCE
Fast-forwarding a bit, the story travels overseas to document the election of a new United States president, a candidate with minimal political background and a strong reputation in corporate America (sound familiar?). Weighing national debts and the country’s position as “well overdue for a recession,” President William Thomson meets with his staff to discuss the options for offsetting debt. Among these options are middle-class tax credits, an economic reinvigoration agreement with North Korea, additional tariffs on Chinese imports and interference with Russia’s control of the oil trade.
With America seeking to impose its will on these three nations, a multinational triad emerges with one primary goal: to defeat the new American leader in his advances. Armed with the recently-developed virus incubated in Wuhan, the leaders from North Korea, China and Russia decide to release the biological weapon.
BLENDING FICTION WITH REAL EVENTS
By this point, each has developed a vaccine to control the vector and extent of destruction among their own people. They are banking on two things to prevent America from containing the virus once it reaches its shores: the ego of the American president and the population’s resistance to what they will perceive as attacks on individual freedoms — such as, oh, following recommended guidelines for stopping the virus’s rapid spread. The fact that the virus is accidentally released ahead of plan doesn’t really make much difference in the outcome, which is as devastating as we know it to be.
From this point forward, the story progresses much like life has over the past 65 weeks or so around the world: hospitals become inundated with cases, media outlets struggle to keep up with breaking news, foreign leaders clash, and people around the globe anxiously await vaccines to hopefully reduce their chances of contracting the virus.
Field does an excellent job of blending fiction with very real events, allowing the reader to escape into its pages even as we see the first glimmers of hope that a return to normal is around the corner. This story is entertaining and eerie, but also expertly written and makes a very clear point: in the quest for world domination, no winner can emerge without far too many casualties.
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