The Last Pirates on Earth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
In the year 2020, the FCC has ended all analog FM and AM radio stations and moved all the stations to online only. They can control what the stations broadcast so they can make the money out of the advertising. But Dave Coyle and Josh Breckinson decided to do something about this movement.

RATED R for course language.

Submitted: January 19, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 19, 2014




A short story by Anthony Messina

Through the ages of men who have had access to radios, they have had the tool to hear uncensored, amateur radio. The broadcaster risked their freedom to bring the people a new, more entertaining and enlightening form of radio, which was called pirate radio, or free radio. The ones who controlled what we heard, saw and read, hated these people. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would hunt these pirates day in and day out, just to take the transmitter and sometimes arrest the criminal. Yet, the FCC couldn’t stop all pirates across the country.

At the beginning of the year 2020, the FCC mandated that all analog AM and FM and Shortwave broadcasts be turned off and moved to online only. The FCC would mandate what is broadcasted and reserved the right to revoke the licenses if so desired. It seemed that the glory days of AM, FM, and shortwave were gone. But for two men, David Coyle and Josh Breckinson, they would realize that not only was analog radio dead, but the freedom to broadcast whatever was desired too, because the FCC could get rid of any station they wanted to, and tell the broadcasters what they must broadcast. Now, they set out to free the minds and ears of the U.S, and use the technology that has moved the world.




During the afternoon hours of June 13th, 2020, David and Josh were tuning in the last broadcasts ever heard on AM band. 720 WGN turned off their transmitter at 2100 hours, and 1520 WWKB does the same along with all the other radio stations as well. “Shit, dude what’re we gonna do now?” Dave asked. Both had looks on their faces that would make you ask them if they just saw a dead puppy. “I don’t know man. All’s we’ve done since we were 7 is listen to radio at night for DX’in and listening to the pirates, but the effin FCC took that away. The nerve of those god damn assholes!” Josh exclaimed. Dave got up from his seat in the living room of his mobile home to get a beer from the fridge. Nighttime in Kansas is a lonely one. The pitch black sky spotted with little dots that are stars, some million plus light years away, can have you in a comatose daze for endless hours. Dave and Josh met when they were 7 at the local kindergarten school, and instantly befriended each other. They shared their love for radio and would throw sleepovers just to tune the AM band and dx the 50,000 watters across America. Through junior high and into high school, they traded in old radios for new ones, that had more bands, buttons and knobs then they knew what to do with! They would try to out- catch one another, with Dave saying he caught a graveyard station from 350 miles away, and Josh saying he caught a 5 watt pirate over 1,000 miles away! They were practically brothers and shared everything. Though none of them ever really cared about girls in school, they always would find time to drive to California during the summer of their senior year and pick out the most gorgeous girls on the beach and share their ideas of what they’d do if they could bed her. But they both agreed that, 1- they weren’t nearly attractive enough for that to ever occur, and 2- she looked like she had the IQ of dirt and had no idea what the hell “Radio Free Whatever” was. Plus she probably was just like the rest of the girls; assholes. So, they decided that they’d meet up the next day and head out for breakfast the local diner and share ideas about what they should do.

The next day, after coffee, eggs, bacon, potatoes and doughnuts, Josh spoke his mind to Dave. “You know man, I’ll betchu we could start our own station. Hell, if Dickweed did it, why shouldn’t we? You wanna keep real radio alive right? Then let’s build our own transmitter and start a station. We’ll show the FCC who the hell they’re messin with, those little pussies.” Dave had a confused, yet intrigued look on his face. “Well, I guess after 18 years of listening to pirates, we know enough to start our own pirate operation. So yea dude, why the hell not. Let’s do it!” Dave said. After paying the bill, they both left the diner and went to Dave’s home to start the plans to build the transmitter. They wanted to make a 50 watt transmitter on 6925 kHz, and broadcast in lower side band, since LSB can travel much farther with less power. During the next two  weeks, they gathered the supplies they needed, and preceded to solder and cut away. After a few modifications, they were both pleased with the result. “Yo Josh, this’ll be kick ass man! You still got that huge vinyl collection?” “Of course, you think I’d toss out every Zeppelin album ever made?!” Dave said. “Awesome, so we can spin vinyl and take requests since we can use YouTube from our phone incase we don’t have a song that was requested” Josh replied. Later, josh left and returned home to gather his own vinyl’s and make dinner. The excitement they both felt was unprecedented even compared to there best DX catches.

A few days later, Dave and Josh met up again to set up the turntable. Josh had an old stereo mixer board from his dad’s old deejaying job. The only issue was that they had no microphones to use, so Dave went out in search of one. After checking the goodwill, he found two old CB radio mics and knew he could hook them up to the mixer board they were going to use. “Dave, what if the FCC catches us?” Josh asked. “We’ll tell em to go the hell!” Dave exclaimed. “Well man, I don’t know. I know we’re out here to keep real radio around, but I don’t feel like going to prison. God knows what happens if you drop the soap” “Yeah yeah, I know. Nah man we’ll corporate. To a point though, because if they start trying to sweet talk us into going online and telling us what we can broadcast, we’ll tell em to blow it out their asses.” Dave said. It’s been said thay the FCC has been doing that to pirate stations. They would tell the guys that they wouldn’t be fined if they went to online and complied with what the FCC told them to broadcast. Plus, they both knew the consequences of getting caught pirating. A friend of theirs named Carly ran a pirate station in San Francisco back in 2014. After a run-in with the FCC, she was fined $25,000. She had to sell nearly everything she owned and was spending a few months at the poorhouse just so she can eat. But, Dave and Josh both have no choice. If there’s one thing they are against, its communist controlled radio, and that’s what the FCC has turned AM and FM radio into.

It was August 1st, 2020 when “Radio Liberation” made its pilot broadcast. Dave came up with the idea of naming it Radio Liberation, because their goal was to liberate the ears of Americans from listening to un-entertaining, corporate controlled, crappy radio programs. They both fully know that the real people running America such as the big bankers and the media do not want free radio, because they have no control over what they say, and are taking the people away from the stations which are broadcasting the ads the bankers made to make money. Josh posted a note on to tell everyone that Radio Liberation would be on, so they can get an idea of how well the station’s signal would get out. Replies from multiple users said that the signal was blanketing the eastern side of the U.S, so R. Liberation was on its way!

For the rest of 2020, Dave and Josh were the only ones operating an analog radio station in America. But, now they were worried if they should continue into 2021. “Josh, are we really doing something important? Are people waking up and realizing that the FCC has ruined radio?” Dave asked. Josh, who was the controls of the mixer board, sipping on a beer, said “Well man, it’s our station. We started it, so we gotta stay on the train till it de-rails.” So that’s exactly what they did.

It was October 3rd, 2021. The whole year has gone smoothly, until a knock at the door was heard by both. Scared to death, Josh opened the door, and saw three tall men in black suits and shades staring back at him. “Are you Josh Breckinson?” the one agent asked. “Yes”, Josh said in a quiet voice. “We have proof that you’re running an illegal radio station, and broadcasting on the off- limits radio band.” Apparently the FCC now calls the AM, FM, and shortwave bands, the “Off- limits bands”. After stepping inside, the three agents dismantled the set-up and took it outside. They proceeded to throw the equipment into a trash truck, and they crushed the equipment. Dave and Josh, now called “Martyrs for free radio and the first amendment” were both fined $10,000, but not arrested.




The story you read was, obviously, not true. But its plot isn’t crazy. England is getting rid of all analog broadcasts in 2015. Recently, Russia has ceased all longwave broadcasts. To all who enjoy DX’ing, and the pirates, we mustn’t let the FCC turn off OUR radio bands. Yes, the radio belongs to the public, so the radio bands are ours to control. Keep analog radio alive, and keep free radio alive!

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