A CALL TO ARMS
It was 1994, but William Forte was an entrepreneur of the old school.
Twenty three disabled Veterans needed a reason to live, so he gave them a rusty hulk - the battleship USS Texas - and unlimited funds to make her beautiful and seaworthy in time for Independence Day, 2000.
But the world changed quickly and for the worse.
By 1998, the Texas and her supermodern weapons were needed for duty far more important than guarding the National Monument in which she rode at anchor.
AGENDA FOR SECESSION
"It is for us, the lawmakers, to propose. It is for you, the people of Texas, to decide, in accordance with law. At 9.25 PM, those who favor Texas' remaining in the Union that submits to the Russian yoke - if any such there be - will step outside into the night and show a light. A match, a flashlight, even the glow of a cigarette will be tabulated instantly, such is the resolution of TexCom Satellite 23 LBJ. I say again, anyone who wishes to remain a citizen of the craven, misguided, gutless United States will step outside and, in his loneliness, show his feeble beam."
He paused several seconds, then resumed.
"At 9:35, those in favor of a proud, independent Republic of Texas, ready to fight anybody and everybody who would deny us the honor we will die to preserve, will step proudly out into the velvety blackness of the Texas night and light the lamp of freedom."