Writing fiction that attaches even obliquely to us here in the real world has it’s attractions, but it also has it’s drawbacks.
I let my personal politics express themselves a bit too much. I pulled the story back inline a bit. The story itself didn’t change much at all, but connectivity to the real world has been reduced, and things have been better explained internally in three chapters with problems.
I can’t touch even tangentially on modern politics without the risk of offending people. The US won’t stay in it’s current condition for long (in story). Either internal or external forces will force a different path soon. I won’t say which, because I’m still thinking about it, and how opposing forces will resolve themselves.