Genesis 1,3-4: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
EY8 (Event Year) – New DC Northwest Quadrant
Evening in New DC. In a busy bar glasses are heard clinking in the background as most people drink and pay attention to the television awaiting a major announcement. Although on mute, the news crawl at the bottom of the screen reads, “The High Supreme Court of Three announce that government officials have God given constitutional right to execute National Terrorists on sight as enemy combatants. The office of the State petitions NATO to lift all remaining financial sanctions to allow Russia to join…” A curly haired brunet in a red dress sits down by herself at the bar adjusting as she puts her purse on a hook beneath. A man in a blue three-piece well-tailored suit walks up to her, pauses for a moment the leans over and whispers in her ear. She lets out a little chuckle
“You found me? I’m not sure who you think you are but you’re either really brave or really stupid to use a line like that”
“Why don’t you let me buy you a drink and let’s figure it out?
“Sure, why not… The way this day is going.”
Moments later with a couple of empty glasses between them they’re both laughing. He turns to her,
“So help me understand this? You’re some kind of super spy or something?”
“No, that’s blowing it way out of proportion” she answers.
“Then how do you go from the Israeli army to art historian to Journalist?”
I think you’re getting lost on the army part. It was Israel before EY4 everyone was required to enlist and serve. Then I went to school to study art but after graduation and debt I needed a job that pays the bills so here I am. It’s no different than you majoring in history and accounting two polar opposites wouldn’t you say?”
“Ok, you’ve got me there.”
People start hushing around them, the bartender turns up the volume on the television that’s tuned into a news channel.
News anchor: “Breaking, we’ve got confirmation from the Superior Senate that they’ve voted unanimously to extend the term of the Lord Emperor indefinitely or until the Unification of The Great America’s is finished.”
The crowd explodes in to cheering. She turns to him,
“So, this is how Democracy dies? With Thunderous applause?”
Wait, did you just quote Star Wars to me? Who are you?”
She smiles, “well I thought it was appropriate under the circumstances. Besides I loved the original 15.”
“Yeah, me too it’s too bad he had them band from viewing and destroyed all known copies of the 21 films.”
“Well I heard there’s a copy left but it’s in the National Library along with other banned material the state has outlawed or deemed offensive.”
“Alright now you’re blowing my mind. Army, Art and Star Wars lover. Marry me and have ten thousand of my babies.”
“Ten Thousand! You’re mighty sure of yourself, aren’t you? Most guys would just ask for my phone number or at least a first date.”
“Well why fight it when you know; you know. I mean with your brain and my looks we’d make an excellent power couple.”
“Really, you’re saying YOURE the good looking one between us?”
“Fine, I’ll settle for your number… and four kids. Quid pro quo Clarice… quid pro quo.”
“Wait, did you just Hannibal Lecter me? I’m not sure how courtship works here in New DC but I’d avoid quoting famous movie serial killers.”
“Oh, you’ve seen Silence of the Lambs?”
“Ok we’ll go on one date, what do you have to lose?”
“She laughs, I don’t know isn’t that the phrase the guy that just turned this country into a dictatorship used once?”
“Ha, you’re right let me rephrase, Worst Case Scenario what could go wrong?”
The Last Supper – In the Beginning
EY22 – Blue Electoral District 3 – N.Virginia
In a rundown dilapidated mansion lit by lanterns and candle light the couple sits at a large dining room table. Older now, grey visible in his beard and she has short buzz cut. On the table, there’s a variety of military grade weapons, bullets, bomb making material and a few asthma inhalers. The couples four children are milling about helping with the assembly. Cassius 13, Themis 11, Rahab 8, and Little Hannibal 6. Little Hannibal has a mask around his neck attached to a small canister of oxygen.
Themis hands the woman a gun, “here mother the Desert Eagle is clean all we need now is for Hannibal to hurry finishing loading the clip with the hollow points”.
“Shut up! I’m going as fast as I can but they’re super slippery!”.
“Thank you dove, take it easy on your little brother, you weren’t the fastest at loading clips yourself at that age, now start on the Beretta please.”
Rahab to the man, “Father, I finished polishing the scope for the M4 It still feels a little off though.”
“Thanks darling I’ll take a look after I’m finished sharpening the bowie. Go ahead and begin packing C4 into the back pack while your brother Cassius finishes loading grenades into the Kalashnikov.” Cassius looks up at the man,
“father, tell us again what it was like pre-event.”
He thinks deeply while continuing to sharpen the knife against the whetstone. “People were free to do or be whatever they wanted to be. Your education wasn’t chosen for you based on your citizen class, you could try one job or work for one company and then switch to a completely different job or work for another company. Job termination wasn’t punishable by execution. Corporation didn’t have rights or ownership to people. Before Lord Emperors and Holy families’ leaders took turns ruling for no longer than eight years at a time. When their time was up they’d ask the people to pick a new leader based on if they did a good job or not. There was music & art created by anyone freely and not assigned and never subjected to State Treason Inspections.”
Little Hannibal speaks up, “then what happened next Father!”
The woman questions him, “how would you say that in slave tongue?”
He thinks for a little while, concentrating on verb tenses and gender in his mental rolodex until the words come to him. “Entonces, ¿qué pasó después? Padre?”
“Good job my angel, Rahab remember to keep practicing with him after your Father and I are gone.”
The man continues, “although everyone was free not everyone was truly equal. Some groups had more power and influence than others. In the final years before the event the most powerful group felt that they did not have enough power, that smaller groups with less power were becoming too much of a threat. So, in haste and as a protest to those groups they freely elected the Lord Emperor. Back then we still called our leader’s presidents.”
Themis shakes her head, “why didn’t they fight then? Why did they just give away their freedom?”
“In the beginning freedom is never taken from anyone the people bargain it away slowly, piece by piece until it’s too late. When he was elected, there were people who had your mother’s job called journalist who pointed out that him and his family had business in different parts of the world that they would control while they would be running our government. This would create a what… Rahab?”
“A conflict of interest, she answers.”
“Do you remember what that means?”
“A situation in where one’s decisions based on duty may be conflicted or compromised due to divergent interest based on personal ambition or interest.”
“Correct! That’s my girl”
He continues, “Soon after that journalist and all media establishments they worked for were deemed liars and charged with spreading propaganda against the State. A government news network was set up to supply sanctioned news to the citizens.”
Themis starts coughing and wheezing in deeply for air. She instinctively grabs an inhaler off the table, pushes down and breathes in deeply. She catches her breath. Little Hannibal asks,
“mother why don’t you and father ever use the air tubes?”
“Remember what happened in the Mexican War of EY10?” She asks
Hannibal’s face lights up, “yes. Lord emperor said that too many unwanteds were tunneling under the great American Wall so the ultimate solution was decided to drop a nuclear bomb on former Mexico.”
“Good job! Well By that point we had disbanded all environmental agencies. Climate change and global warming were considered capital heresy. A few years later babies started being born with smaller and smaller lungs the closer you got to the wall and the zero zone. The government announced they had a cure to offset the birth defects. Expecting mothers were supposed notify the government immediately for special prenatal vitamins. After birth, new born would be given biological implants that would help fix any further defects. That’s when their citizen class would be picked for them along with a last name number based on class and zone.”
Themis questions, “is this why they call us freeborn mother?”
Hannibal joins in, “is this why we don’t go to the citadel for learning?”
“Practice saying that with the second tongue Hannibal.” The Woman asks
Again, he looks off and thinks before the words come to him and he slowly speaks in Russian, “Yavlyayetsa li eto, pochemu my neidem v shkolu”
“Da moy syn.”
The man continues, “after the government outlawed private news companies it was harder and harder to know who was telling the truth and what was fake news. People used to back up their debate with facts found in books so then all books and written learning material were confiscated and only allowed to be viewed by certain citizens in the highest class. The government took over all internet publishing and monitoring where manipulating information and access was easier. Without books, history and information became passed down by word of mouth.” Cassius interrupts (angrily),
“Is that why this mission is so important! Is this why you’re not coming back!”
The man and woman exchanged worried glances. Before either can answer there’s three loud knock on the doors. Everyone reflexively grabs a weapon from the table. The man motions to the group to lower them as he walks to the door.
Who is it?
A voice from the other side answers back, “Mission Eden… five minutes”
The woman stands up and puts her bullet proof vest on over her head. “All right children it’s time”. They gather around her except for Cassius who stand off slightly. “You’ll be on your own till it’s safe enough for someone from the alliance to check on you. Remember the code verse John 8:12. If it’s troops and you’re surrounded, then drink the sleep tea from your canisters. The children begin crying she pulls them all in as her eyes start to tear up. Don’t cry now remember, your father and I will always be with you, there’s a light in all of you, if you lose us we will find you. We promise. Don’t forget to tell each other your favorite pre-event stories.”
“Like Hannibal Barca’s who invaded Italy with the extinct War Elephants?” little Hannibal questioned. “Yes dear.”
“Or the War of the Stars?” he asks again.
“STAR WARS!!!” the other children quickly correct him.
“Yes, those too. Now go say goodbye to your father.” Cassius visibly frustrated has had enough.
“This is bullshit!”
He runs out of the room. The woman goes to follow calling but the man tells her, “let him go there isn’t enough time.” He hugs the children and kisses them on their foreheads. The man and woman open the door and walk outside, each carrying a duffle bag filled with weapons in hand. The street is empty except for a large meta black military convoy of three transportation vehicles with their lights on. They walk towards the back of the last one, halfway there. Cassius suddenly comes bursting out of the house running full speed towards them. He’s wearing a small bullet proof vest, a rucksack and carrying an M16A2 that’s almost as big as he is. As he gets closer to his parents
“Father mother, wait let me come with you! I’m ready.”
The couple turn around shocked and in awe. The man kneels to his level, “what’s that champ?”.
“Father, I’m ready I want to fight with you and mother! I know you think I’m small but I’ve been doing my exercises, my lungs are strong I won’t slow you guys down I promise! I know how to aim small and shoot big just like you taught me!” Tears start falling from his face, “I can watch your six! My light is bright, you guys need my help! If I come you have a better chance of coming back! You named me after the greatest fighter of all time, the heavy weight champion of the world. This is it, let me fight”
The woman tears up as her son makes his case. The man turns away from him to wipe his face then turns back with a trembling voice,
“Aww champ you’re right, you are ready but this isn’t your fight, not yet. The best way you can watch our six is here protecting your sisters and brother. They kneed you now more than ever, their light isn’t as bright as yours yet. Remember how the greatest fighter alive won most of his fights?”.
“By using his mind and outthinking his opponents”, Cassius answers.
“That’s right, we need you to be smart and think now for everyone. If you’re gone they won’t have a leader their light will never get the chance to be as bright as yours. You’re mother and I have to do this now to give all of you a chance to make your lights even brighter. You can fight but you’ll make an even better leader. And how does a leader lead?”
“By making the best decisions for the whole never the few or the self”
“And what does a leader never do?”
“Use fear to divide the group and keep control”
The woman bends down to hug both of them. They take turns kissing the boy on his cheek and through her tears she tells him,
“You’re so brave, we’re so proud of you, you’ve learned so much. We love you… we’ll find you”