Posted July 11, 2012


A Naptown Tales Sequel by Altimexis

Chapter 14 - Washington Express - Brad Reynolds

Monday, March 23, 2043
Three Days after the Assassination

“Goddamn it!” I exclaimed as I wiped the sleep from my eyes, and then uncharacteristically added, “It’s fuckin’ early!”

As I heard chuckling and Simon came into focus, I blushed furiously from having been caught using an expletive - not that I hadn’t before, particularly when we were in our teens and twenties.

“Sorry to disturb you, Governor, but breakfast’s in a half-hour, and then we’ll be leaving right after that,” said Simon.

“What time is it?” Kayla asked as she started to sit up in bed.

“Three-thirty, ma’am,” Simon answered.

“It is fuckin’ early,” she replied, and then we all broke up.

“I’ve already arranged for your things to be packed, so we’re good to go when you’re ready,” Simon added. Simon was a superb chief of staff.

A half-hour later we stumbled into the dining room of the safe house where we were staying. Not surprisingly, my parents and the Kimballs were already seated and helping themselves to the food arrayed on the table. As we sat down, the Kimballs’ two older children and their children joined us. Brian and Chris staggered in a few minutes later and seated themselves as well. We were all dressed in our best clothes as from now on we would be in the public eye.

Clearly the boys were even less awake than Kayla and I were, but that sure didn’t stop them from heaping their plates with large portions of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast with real maple syrup, and hash browns. I served myself a bagel spread with light cream cheese, and some fruit salad, and Kayla took three slices of French toast and a couple strips of bacon. We all had multiple cups of coffee with our breakfasts.

At precisely quarter of five, we were all loaded into two nondescript white vans. They were both large, with three rows of three seats each plus the driver’s seat and passenger’s seat up front, which was reserved for a secret service agent. All the other secret service agents were positioned in cars traveling in front of and behind the entourage, as well as between the two vans.

“It might not look like much,” the secret service agent who was traveling with us in the van said, “but this van’s equipped with the latest thin armor and bullet-proof glass. A direct hit with a missile wouldn’t even leave a scratch.”

The trip back to the city took about an hour and a half. We took it slowly, and our group was being particularly cautious. After our arrival, we were taken to a secure area of Union Station where we waited for the train ferrying David’s body to arrive. The train was supposed to have left St. Louis the day before but travel had been slow due to all the people who lined the route. It was kept guarded at Union Station overnight but would not be brought to us until just before we were ready to leave.

As we entered the waiting area, Mayor Tom Franklin came up to me and offered his sincere condolences. Apparently, he and his wife would be traveling with us to Washington.

In a separate area of the same room, the members of the press corps who would be traveling with us were gathered. No sooner did we enter the room than they were all shouting out my name and trying to get my attention to ask a barrage of questions. We all pretty much ignored them but then I spotted a familiar face in the crowd.

“Hey Bruce!” I shouted out, and motioned for the secret service to allow him through. I was surprised when a young teenage boy followed him.

“Good morning, Bruce,” I said. “I should have known you’d be traveling with us.”

“I’ve been covering the governor’s office for a long time, now,” he replied, “ever since this young and unknown reporter was asked to cover an aspiring candidate who didn’t have a chance in hell of winning the election. That was the last time anyone underestimated David Reynolds. ’Course I met him when he was just a teenager and even then, he had a presence. So did you.”

Bruce and I went way back ourselves. We were almost the same age - he was a year older - and I often ran into him at events his father was covering for The Star. Bruce was a charter member of the citywide gay youth alliance I helped found and he became the president of his high school’s GSA. Even though we went to different schools, we were close friends throughout our high school years.

“Oh, I don’t know if you ever met my son,” he said as he pushed the young teen forward. “This is Harry, our youngest,” Bruce announced with pride. “He begged and pleaded to come along with me, much to my wife’s horror. Thank God our daughter was more sensible but Harry practically went on a hunger strike until I agreed to see what I could do. I called in quite a few favors, but I managed to get him a place on the train with the press corps.”

As the boy shook my hand, he said, “Nice to meet you, Governor Reynolds. Your brother was my absolute hero. He showed the world that a gay man can do great things in the world.”

“You make it sound like it’s personal,” I commented.

“Well duh,” the boy said, “I’ve only known I’m gay since I was, like, eleven,” he explained.

“Which is when he came out to us,” Bruce added with a chuckle.

“Pretty young to come out,” I replied. “Actually, I think President Reynolds knew it back at that age, too, but he didn’t come out until he was fourteen… well, actually I outed him to our parents, but he was planning to come out anyway and came out at school after that.”

“Yeah, I know the whole story,” Harry stated with enthusiasm. “The way you stuck up for him during the scandal was fantastically awesome!” he exclaimed.

“How old are you now, Harry?” I heard Chris ask from my side. I hadn’t even noticed he’d come up to us.

“I just turned fourteen last month,” the boy answered.

“Cool” Chris exclaimed. “I’ll be fifteen in July. So I take it you’re in the eighth grade?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Harry answered. “New Augusta Academy,” he added.

“That a private school?” Chris asked.

“Nah, it’s like a charter school, but it’s part of Pike Township schools. It’s a ‘K through eight’ school, so it’s the only school I’ve ever known.”

“You have to score well above average to even get into Kindergarten,” Bruce explained, “and even then, there’s a lottery.”

“That’s really cool,” Chris said, sounding impressed, and then he added, “I’m a freshman at Broad Ripple High.”

“I heard that’s like the top high school in the city, now,” Harry exclaimed.

“Number one in the state on last year’s achievement tests,” Chris confirmed.

“It’s amazing how the city schools turned around under Sam Austin,” Bruce commented.

“The suburban schools, too, once he talked the state legislature into approving the merger,” I added.

“Dad, do you think maybe… what was your name again?” Chris asked.

“I’m Harry,” Bruce’s son answered.

“He’s named after my dad,” Bruce added.

“Anyway,” Chris interrupted, “do you think maybe Harry could spend time with us on the train?”

Realizing my son would probably enjoy the companionship of a teenager other than his older brother, and a gay teenager at that, I answered, “I’m sure we can work something out.”

At that moment, a secret service agent came up to us and announced, “The train will be here in five minutes, and then we’ll begin boarding.”

“Sounds good,” I answered sleepily, and then I asked, “By the way, my son was wondering if his friend, Harry Warren, could ride with us instead of with his dad in the press corps.”

“That should be fine,” the agent answered. “There would be no problem from our end.”

“That’s great,” Chris beamed. He obviously knew Harry was gay, but I wondered if Harry knew that Chris was gay. I had a feeling he’d know soon enough if he didn’t already. I also wondered just how close Chris really was to Greg, his boyfriend.

True to their word, the train arrived a few minutes later and they began boarding the press corps, who were situated in the front of the train. Next came a large contingent of secret service, although there were agents spread throughout the train. Next came VIPs and guests of honor, such as the mayor. Finally, the family was allowed to board. We occupied the back cars of the train, farthest away from the noise and vibrations of the locomotives.

David’s flag-draped coffin was situated in the second-to-last car, just in front of the caboose, which housed another large contingent of secret service agents. When I saw David’s coffin, I just about lost it. Seeing it up close made it all so real.

I was surprised by the luxury of the train cars the family would be occupying for the journey. There was a very plush lounge car with a staffed full-service bar at one end, a series of comfortable reclining chairs, each with its own holoprojector, taking up the bulk of the space, and a pair of lavatories at the other end. Adjacent was our own private dining car and three sleeping cars. Each sleeper contained only four sleeping compartments, each with real bunk beds, a lounge area and a lavatory, complete with a shower stall. This was unlike any train I’d ever ridden on. We certainly were traveling in style.

Once we were all on board and our luggage was stowed, we began our journey.

The railway was lined with people as far as the eye could see, all of them waving and cheering as we passed. Although the ‘hearse’ car was opened up so that all could see David’s coffin, we weren’t allowed to leave the confines of our train cars due to security concerns. We therefore watched the passersby from the lounge car, which had very large windows that covered the entire upper half of the car, wrapping around to nearly meet in the middle of the ceiling and leaving only a narrow strip at the top for interior lighting. They were tinted, which I’m sure made it difficult to see inside, but we waved to the crowd from our lounge chairs nonetheless.

Chris and Harry were having an animated conversation and, although I intended to give them their privacy, my curiosity got the better of me. I quickly realized they were comparing notes on which teen stars of the male persuasion were ‘hot’. At least I knew it would be Brian who would be sharing a sleeping compartment with Chris and not Harry. Otherwise I might have to worry about the two gay boys getting into a little after-hours mischief. Not that I thought it inappropriate for teens to engage in sexual exploration, but this was not the time or place, and what parent doesn’t get a bit concerned at the thought of their kids being sexually active?

It was obviously going to be a long journey as we slowly made our way to Washington, where David’s body would lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. As the train slowly chugged its way along, my lack of sleep caught up to me and the rocking motion lulled me into a semi-conscious state. My mind wandered and I thought back to when my brother was finishing his first term as a U.S. Congressman and was running for Senate. Jeremy was running for David’s old congressional seat, too. I was in the State Assembly and making my first bid for a state senate seat.


Friday, October 13, 2034
Nine Years Earlier

“Hello, my name is Scott Clemmons, and I’d like to talk to you about a friend of mine who’s running for State Senate,” I overhead as I walked by the phone bank in our campaign headquarters. Both he and Simon, my best friends from way back in my freshman year of high school, were serving as volunteers on my campaign to add a seat for the Democrats in the State Senate. Kayla, the love of my life, was taking time from her busy law practice to run my campaign.

“Brad Reynolds has served our citizens’ interests exceptionally well for the past twelve years in the House, and now he’s poised to make a difference in the Senate on behalf of the many people who work for a living,” Scott continued, “people like you.

The work involved in a political campaign is no less intense at the local and state levels than at the national level. The constituency may be smaller, but it still amounts to going door to door, pressing flesh, holding babies and having an extensive staff of volunteers who man phone banks like the one I was observing.

“No, no,” Scott spoke into the phone, “That’s his brother, the former Governor and current Congressman, who’s running for the U.S. Senate. We’re all excited about David Reynolds, too, but it’s his brother, Brad, that I’m calling you about. Brad’s another great political leader who’s been active in politics since he was thirteen years old and led a caravan of fifteen busloads of children to Washington in a show of support for his brother.” After a short pause, he replied, “No, Brad’s not gay, not that it matters. David Reynolds did an outstanding job of running the state and he’s been a real advocate for us in Congress, and I think you know that. Brad’s always been a strong advocate on behalf of the rights of our gay citizens, but he’s married with three children.”

After another pause, Scott continued, “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir. All I ask is that when you step into that voting booth in two weeks, ask yourself what Darren Hamilton has ever done for you. Does he put food on your table? Is he doing anything to make sure your kids get a good education and can go to college?”

After listening some more, Scott added, “There’s a lot more to putting money in your pocket than keeping taxes low. What good is lowering your property tax rates if you end up paying more for healthcare, more fees for school supplies, more tolls for roadways the state sells to private contractors and much higher interest payments on the bonds sold to make up for the shortsighted fiscal policies of the current governor’s administration?” And then he said, “Oh you do? So how much are you paying in new tolls, just to go to and from work every day?” Whistling, Scott said, “That’s an extra twenty dollars a week you’re paying out of pocket. Think about it, that’s more than $80 a month and a grand you’re paying over the course of a year.

“May I ask you how much you’re paying in property taxes?” Scott asked the constituent on the other end of the phone. “So now you’re paying an extra thousand in tolls on top of your property tax bill. The bottom line is that the Republicans in the State Assembly sold your commute to a private contractor who’s charging you an arm and a leg, all in the name of saving you pennies on your property tax bill. I bet your property tax bill hardly went down at all, did it?

“It went up!” Scott responded incredulously, “and you’re still planning to vote for this guy?”

“Let me set the record straight, right here and right now,” Scott said as he went into his pitch. “Brad Reynolds believes in low taxes. Thirty-eight times in the last twelve years he’s voted to hold the line on taxes or to cut taxes, but he believes in looking at the whole picture. Whereas the Republicans use smoke and mirror gimmicks to hide the true cost of running the government, Brad takes an above the board approach, factoring in all the taxes, fees, tolls and other expenses you have to pay. Tripling the license fees for your doctor as the governor did last year with Mr. Hamilton’s support, for example, only resulted in your doctor charging you more for an office visit, didn’t it? So that did not really lower your taxes after all.

“We believe in a level playing field. We want to keep taxes low, but we want everyone to pay their fair share. We’ll limit the size of government every bit as much as our opponents claim they will, but we aren’t going to put off critical infrastructure improvements that the state desperately needs to attract industry to the area and, with it, jobs. And we surely won’t shift the tax burden to our children and grandchildren by selling valuable assets, selling bonds to finance operational costs or deferring maintenance. In short, we’ll be honest with you, every step of the way. You’ll be able to sleep with confidence, knowing your hard-earned tax dollars are supporting the true costs of living in this great state of ours, and not a penny more.”

After another pause, Scott said, “I understand your reluctance, but please consider what I’ve said. If you really want to keep as much money as you can in your pocket, seriously think about voting for Brad Reynolds, and thank you for your time.”

Scott hung up the phone, threw his arms onto the table in front of him and laid his head on them. He held the position for only seconds and then raised his head back up and looked at me. “Man, I never realized what hard work this is. When that guy actually asked if you were a ‘faggot’ like your brother, I came close to letting him have it. I almost told him I was a faggot. The sad thing is that he’s probably been so brainwashed by what his minister’s told him and the lies he’s heard from Hamilton’s camp that he actually believes you’d raise his taxes and initiate gay orgies in the public schools.”

“You only need to change a few minds, Scott,” I countered, “and it will be enough to defeat Hamilton. Reason can win out and the best way to reason with our constituents is to talk to them, one-on-one. You can’t reason with people in a sound bite. What you’re doing right now is what matters.

“By the way, when you get someone who brings up that their preacher is telling them how to vote, try to engage them and find out where they go to church. Sound interested or do whatever you have to, to get the information. The IRS has finally gotten serious about revoking the tax-exempt status of churches that support specific candidates, and we’ve been instrumental in letting them know when we encounter a constituent who attends a church where this sort of thing happens. That doesn’t mean that churches can’t advocate particular political ideologies as being consistent with their beliefs, but telling their members whom to vote for is definitely crossing the line.”

“Thanks, Brad,” Scott replied, “I’ll keep that in mind.

“The other thing that burns me up,” he continued, “is that everyone I speak to assumes I’m calling for your brother’s campaign. I suppose it’s to be expected - two Reynolds, both running for Senate, and elections to the State Assembly just aren’t on most peoples’ radar screens. A lot of people still just don’t like David ’cause he’s gay, and they’re automatically voting against you too because of your association with him.”

“People who would vote against David because of his sexual orientation rather than looking at what he’s done and what he could do for them, wouldn’t be voting for me either,” I pointed out. “If they’re that bigoted, they’re probably not voting Democratic, no matter what. There are a lot of folks, on the other hand, who really like what David did during his eight years in the State House and what he’s done in Congress since. Those people may well cross party lines and vote for me because they see me as a younger version of my brother.”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” Scott replied.

“That’s probably why we’re not as far behind Hamilton as we might be otherwise,” I reasoned. “If David does well in the election, chances are we will too. We can’t count on his ‘coattails’, however. We’ve still gotta get out there and remind our constituents just how little Hamilton cares about those with less than a seven-figure income. They say people vote with their pocketbooks, but a lot of folks are gullible enough to believe the shyster that promises to lower their taxes, even as he or she steals from them to do it. Just like you did with that guy who’s paying a thousand a year in tolls and has yet to see his taxes go down. The more we keep hammering home the message that Hamilton’s using smoke and mirrors to accomplish his so-called lower taxes, the better our chances of pulling off a win.”

“Well, you still have the debate coming up. Perhaps when the voters see you two, side-by-side, they’ll realize just how pathetic Hamilton is compared to you. No one can debate as well as you do… no one besides your brother, that is.”

“Well there is that,” I admitted. “Speaking of which, I need to make tracks. David’s debate is in just a little over two hours, which barely gives me enough time to grab a bite to eat.”

“You gonna come back here and watch it with me?” Scott asked.

Shaking my head, I said, “Nah. David’s made arrangements to get me into the theater. I’ll be watching from off-stage.”

“It’s at the Circle Theater, in the symphony hall, right?” Scott asked.

“You got it,” I replied. “Anyway, I’ll see you in the morning and we can discuss David’s debate, and then use it to develop our own strategy.”

“It’s cool that ours is gonna be held at our old high school,” Scott commented. “Two days and people will see what you have to offer.”

If anyone actually shows up,” I pointed out. “After all, it won’t be televised and most people just don’t take an interest in elections to the State Assembly.”

“Here’s hoping,” Scott replied. “You never know…”

A couple of hours and an order of Mickey D’s chicken strips later, I was backstage with my brother, talking about our mutual campaign strategies. Kurt came up to us and said, “Gentlemen, it’s time.”

“Thanks Kurt,” David replied, and then he squeezed me on the shoulder and said, “We’ll talk more after I’m through here.”

“Count on it, Bro, and good luck!” I said in return. The love David had for me was evident in his eyes. We were as close as any two brothers could be.

David walked out onto the stage to the sound of thunderous applause as his opponent did likewise from the other side of the stage. After the announcer introduced the candidates and went over the rules, and after each candidate gave their opening statement, as per a backstage coin toss, he fielded the first question to the incumbent.

“Senator, with the Supreme Court’s recent decision effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, leaving it largely up to the individual states to determine how the few remaining tenents of abortion rights will be protected, what steps would you take and do you feel are necessary to ensure uniformity at the national level.” What a loaded question! Predictably, the incumbent recited the party line.

As I think everyone knows, I’ve long been a supporter of the rights of the unborn. I applaud the Supreme Court for finally acting decisively to protect the unborn and stop the senseless slaughter of the innocent. My opponent,” he said, as he pointed his finger at David,” has consistently been anti-life. He believes the senseless slaughter of thousands upon thousands every year is justified, all under the guise of ‘reproductive rights’. To him a fetus has no rights. To him it’s no different than an iguana. It’s not even human.

I commend the Supreme Court for finally recognizing that so-called privacy concerns, the very foundation of the Roe v. Wade decision, must take a back seat when it comes to human life. However, they still haven’t gone far enough. So long as loopholes remain that guarantee a woman’s right to abortion under conditions in which privacy is not the primary issue, no fetus is safe. No human is safe.

For the past three years in a row, I have introduced legislation to grant the unborn equal rights under the constitution from the very moment of conception. I am fully committed to expunging the last vestiges of the immoral Supreme Court decision embodied in Roe v. Wade. Murder is murder, regardless of whether the victim has been born yet or not.

After a smattering of applause, David began to speak.

It would be nice if my opponent had bothered to answer the question.

There was a little laughter from the audience.

The question was not whether or not the Supreme Court made the right decision in scrapping the basics of Roe v. Wade, nor was it whether or not we as individuals support or oppose abortion. The question was, now that the Supreme Court has chosen to ignore sixty years of precedent, what can we as members of Congress do to ensure that standards are applied fairly.

Some states will, undoubtedly, write laws banning all abortions outright, even though the Supreme Court specifically made it clear that a mother’s safety must be protected no matter what. Other states will likely write laws specifically protecting the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion. In short, the situation will likely revert to what it was before 1973… the very situation that led to Roe v. Wade in the first place.

Women who can afford it will simply go out of state, get a doctor’s certification of extreme mental duress, or do whatever it takes to obtain an abortion legally. Those who can’t and are desperate, as they often are in such situations, will resort to back-alley abortions using coat hangers, dangerous drug cocktails or whatever else they can get their hands on. The one thing that is virtually certain is that women will die as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision, and it’s not even clear that any more fetuses will be saved than had already been accomplished by the tactics of intimidation used by the so-called ‘Pro-Life’ movement over the last several decades.

I don’t think that anyone truly wants to go back to what we had in 1972, even as many of us seek to find a way to make sure that abortion is an absolute last resort. My opponent has a simple solution… make everyone suffer. Criminalize all abortions so that women who obtain one are tried for first-degree murder. Forbid abortion, even to save the mother’s life, so that both mother and fetus may die. Force babies with lethal birth defects to be born into a world in which they will only know suffering during whatever short lives they have. Force children to be born to parents who aren’t ready to have them, who have little hope for adoption and who are at very high risk of growing up to be drug addicts, criminals or both.

Don’t get me wrong… abortion should not be an easy decision. It should always raise difficult and troubling ethical issues. No matter how well intentioned we have been, our past attempts to paint the rules in black and white have proven to be a mistake. Look at Prohibition, the ‘Three Strikes’ laws and so on. Every one of them has ultimately been repealed. Just as importantly, if we truly are a society that believes that government should get out of the way and govern only as absolutely necessary, then what business do we have in imposing the will of one segment on the rest of the population?

A slim majority of Americans may be opposed to abortion in principle, but the overwhelming majority believes it should be available in cases of rape and incest, to protect the life of the mother and in cases of serious birth defects. My opponent’s approach would eliminate even these so-called abortions of desperation. By granting equal rights to the unborn, which would probably require a constitutional amendment, a child could likely sue his or her mother for smoking or drinking during their pregnancy. Do we really want to go down that slippery slope?

My opponent says I’m ‘anti-life’, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m very much pro-life for the living, pro-family, pro-equal-rights for all and in favor of a person’s right to make difficult decisions that have no easy answers, themselves. Now that the Supreme Court has gutted Roe v. Wade, it’s up to us in Congress to pass legislation to ensure that no state takes away what little protection a woman still has and that, my friends, is the answer to the question.

What a fantastic answer, but would it resonate with the voters the way it did with me? The announcer continued, asking, “Mr. Senator, your rebuttal?” The incumbent responded pretty much as expected.

My opponent’s complete disregard for human life speaks for itself,” the senator answered. “No matter how you look at it, abortion amounts to killing a human life and the state has a vested interest in preventing murder, no matter what the circumstances.

“And Congressman Reynolds, your rebuttal?”

If I act in self-defense and kill someone who is about to kill me, that is not considered murder. Self-defense is a legitimate excuse for taking a life. Yet my opponent would deny that very defense to a woman whose safety is compromised by pregnancy. How is an abortion to protect the life of a mother different from taking a life in self-defense, or in the defense of a loved one? That is but one example of why a single approach to abortion cannot and should not ever be acceptable. Congress has at least as much responsibility to protect the rights of the mother as it does the rights of the fetus.”

Man, that was a really tough question and David’s handling of it was superb. He may not have swayed many people’s opinions on abortion but he certainly held his own. He stuck to his guns, he explained his position better than anyone I’d ever heard, and he deftly exposed the fallacies of his opponent’s viewpoint. Even an abortion foe would be hard-pressed to explain why protecting a mother’s health isn’t self-defense. What a brilliant answer!

The rest of the debate was even more lopsided as David undermined his opponent’s answers at every turn. No matter how hard he tried, the incumbent senator just couldn’t put a dent in David’s answers. It was clear the senator had been heavily coached and his answers were often little more than cookie-cutter responses intended to appease his constituents, but David just wouldn’t let him get away with failing to address the actual questions.

Two nights later it was my turn and I was sweating bullets. I was surprised that we actually packed the auditorium. I didn’t think that many people would show up but, perhaps because I was David’s brother or perhaps because I used to attend high school there, people came.

The race may have been for an Assembly seat but the questions I faced were no less tough than those David had had to answer. In fact, I was even asked about whether or not the state should implement a ban on abortion and I was able to incorporate some of David’s response into my own to explain why it should not.

Fortunately, there were a number of questions on the economy and I took every advantage to point out how my opponent, the incumbent senator, was playing tricks to make it look like he was cutting taxes when he was in reality increasing the cost of living for the vast majority of his constituents.

Afterwards, Simon told me he thought my performance was every bit as good as David’s had been. Personally I didn’t think so, but I felt I did OK. Soon it would be in the hands of the voters in any case.

Come Election Day, David won his senate seat with 54% of the vote, Jeremy won his husband’s old congressional seat with 52% of the vote and I won my state senate seat with a remarkable 57% of the vote. I was on top of the world, and started seriously thinking about setting my sights on the governor’s mansion.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing, Low Flyer in proofreading and Ed in beta reading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Nifty for hosting them.

DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional account of the assassination of the first openly gay president of the United States. Except as noted, all characters are fictitious and the reader is cautioned against attributing anything from the story to real individuals. There are occasional descriptions of consensual sex between underage boys and it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure the legality of reading this material. The author retains full copyright.