Brock Daniels is the hero of HL Wegley’s new political thriller, Voice in the Wilderness. Here’s an interview that’s not in the novel, but it could easily have happened “off-stage.”
Background: A reporter is sent to interview Brock Daniels, after he clears customs at LAX. He’s returning from a mission trip to Guatemala, where he encountered Ebola in a place the disease has never been seen. Though cleared to travel, the media’s reporting that Brock might have been exposed.
REPORTER: Mr. Brock Daniels?
BROCK: Yes, ma’am. Who’s asking?
REPORTER: I’m a reporter for a local newspaper. May I have a few minutes of your time?
BROCK: This is LAX. What you mean by a local newspaper?
REPORTER: I work for the LA Times. Do you have a few minutes?
BROCK: I’ve got more than a few minutes. We just missed our flight due to spending eight hours being poked, prodded, and interrogated.
REPORTER: That’s one of the things I wanted to ask you about. We heard that the W.H.O. was here talking to you. Is it true that you were exposed to Ebola in Guatemala?
BROCK: Bad news travels fast. But we don’t know that we were exposed to Ebola.
REPORTER: We? Does that include the young lady with you?
BROCK: Yes. This is Julia Weiss.
REPORTER: So are you two a couple?
BROCK: I, uh …
JULIA: Brock, I think I’ll excuse myself and let you talk to this nice lady.
BROCK: Thanks, Julia … I think.
REPORTER: Okay, Mr. Daniels. What were you doing in Guatemala that exposed you to Ebola?
BROCK: Like I said, we don’t know if we were exposed. Four adults from my church were chaperoning a team of high schoolers on a short-term mission project helping people in a remote village. One of the young girls in the village became very sick. I had heard Ebola symptoms described by missionaries who had seen the disease in Africa. There’s never been a case of Ebola in Central America, but I was suspicious. So, we found medical help and a doctor confirmed that she had Ebola.
REPORTER: How many people got sick?
BROCK: As far as I know, just the one girl. Look, I’ve been up for twenty-four hours, and I’m really tired. I’ll answer a few more questions for you, unless I don’t like where the questions are going.
REPORTER: Fair enough. Didn’t you plan to pitch in the major leagues? Someone said they clocked your fastball as high as 105 miles-per-hour.
BROCK: Someone has a big mouth. Things change. So do plans.
REPORTER: They sure do. Now you have quite a reputation as a blogger. What do you write about?
BROCK: I write about the truth—truth in morality and ethics, in theology, history, philosophy, and religion. And I write about the state, what it should and should not be doing. Every few weeks I make a prediction about what will happen in the USA, based upon recent events and trends. Those posts tend to go viral.
REPORTER: How many people does your blog reach?
BROCK: Over a million.
REPORTER: My, oh my. A million followers? I understand that your posts are heavily critical of President Hannan.
BROCK: He’s certainly given the citizens of the United States plenty of reasons to criticize him. He violates the Constitution at every turn, using policies in the agencies and departments, coupled with executive orders. He’s emasculating our military and bankrupting the nation. Now, he’s prosecuting people of faith for simply living out their beliefs as they’ve always done in America. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
REPORTER: It sounds like you have it in for the president.
BROCK: Ma’am … I think he has it in for us, the citizens. And, especially, for me.
REPORTER: Some people call Brock Daniels a prophet, the voice crying in the wilderness. What do you say to—
BROCK: I can’t control what people say about me. But the truth is, I’m just a struggling writer who’s a bit of a Christian apologist.
REPORTER: Changing the subject. You never did tell me … are you and Ms. Weiss a couple?
BROCK: No. Julia’s a wonderful woman, but not for me.
REPORTER: So is there a special woman in Brock Daniels’ life?
BROCK: I don’t know. I thought there was. But she’s been away for a long time.
REPORTER: Can you give us a clue who you’re talking about?
BROCK: She’s going through some pretty tough times. Her mother and her father, a US senator, were killed in a plane crash a while ago.
REPORTER: The daughter of a dead US senator … you must be talking about Katheryn Banning?
BROCK: Yeah. KC and I have known each other since we were kids. We were pretty close growing up, then … well, things happened. Her father moved the family to DC and, after he intentionally split us up, we haven’t gotten back together.
REPORTER: You don’t sound very happy about that. Were you two—
BROCK: Now, I don’t like where your questions are going. Are you sure that someone in the Hannan Administration didn’t put you up to this? Probing into the life of Abe Hannan’s public enemy number one, Brock Daniels?
REPORTER: Well, actually … uh—
BROCK: That’s what I thought. How much is he paying you? Am I next on his hit list?
BROCK: Okay. Tell you what … since you’re so interested in my love life, maybe you’d like me to kiss you. I hear it’s a really fun way to spread Ebola. Hey, Ms. LA Times! There’s no need to leave. I think I feel a coughing fit coming on.
What if your blog could save the nation, but posting to it might cost your life?
Two extraordinary people …
As catastrophes drive the US into martial law, all eyes are on America, waiting to see what emerges. KC Banning, network specialist, discovers President Hannan’s tyrannical plans and is branded a terrorist, sending her fleeing the Beltway to find her childhood soulmate and protector, Brock Daniels. Brock, a writer and man of faith, gives CPR to a dying nation through his blog, which is read by military members still loyal to the Constitution. But starting a grassroots insurgency while reconciling KC’s and Brock’s broken relationship proves difficult. When Hannan sends Special Forces to kill Brock and KC, starting a war in the Central Oregon desert, reconciliation, like staying alive, might be impossible.
born for a time such as this.
Set in Washington DC and near Crooked River Ranch in the Central Oregon desert, Voice in the Wilderness, Book 1 of the Against All Enemies Series, is a political thriller, with romance, about two people who must decide if they’re willing to sacrifice their lives to prevent the USA from becoming the Dystopian States of America.
H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for 20 years before he and his wife of 50 years retired near Seattle. He is a multi-published author with a 4-book inspirational thriller series, 2 nonfiction books, and 4 more novels on the way.
Link to the author’s website: hlwegley.com