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FREE EARTH DAY - A.R.I.

Short story By: ARTHUR HOWE
Science fiction



One second, King was standing smiling and applauding the crowd, and the next second, a big, black, dot appeared in his forehead. King twitched, smiled a nervous sort of smile, and then collapsed in a heap behind the podium.


Submitted:May 17, 2007    Reads: 106    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   


It would be almost twenty years to the day, from the end of the Big War of 2008, until noon today, when the Free Earth Day ceremony would be held in Harare.

Harare had been chosen unanimously, as the most suitable choice of venues, it being a widely held belief, that the Origin of Man was somewhere in this region. This re-birth would also come to be known as the Second Origin - Free Earth Day.

Harare had also been largely unaffected by the fall-out that drifted around the globe for many months.

John had lived through the worst of times, including the Big War and more than anything else, lived with the hope that he would see this day within his lifetime.

John had turned 82 three days ago and had prayed constantly to wake up on this eventful morning. His old heart was not what it used to be and sometimes he had to take three or four tablets a day. His Doctor had told him to take it easy and to not get too excited.

That was rather difficult nowadays.

His mind drifted back to when he was still a young and active campaigner, and back even further to that fateful day when the truth began to be exposed. That day was September 11th, 2001.

At first, the world believed every bit of propaganda distributed by the Bush Administration, taking for granted, that the World had been attacked by Terrorists, and that this "Radical Muslim Uprising" was the root of all evil, lead by one Osama Bin Laden.

Even when the American Troops confirmed the death of Bin Laden in 2003, the White House and the Pentagon hid the facts from the public, maintaining that this very real Threat was ever-present.

Even the British Government had been taken in by these "Facts," and openly supported the Americans and their Allies in their war on Terrorism.

A second "Terrorist Attack," this time on the transport systems of England, strengthened the Bush case with his Allies and sent the world into a state of constant fear.

Around that time, John remembered seeing an article in one of the dailies, inviting people to attend a rally in Trafalgar Square. This rally had been organised by the local chapter of the A.R.I. Research Institute, a relatively unknown group advocating a "cooperative model, sharing the resources of the planet for the welfare of everyone." John, like most of his mates down at the local pub, was pretty fed up with the world as a whole and listened enthusiastically to the speakers who, one by one, described this manipulative society right down to the daily problems John experienced.

He told a few of his colleagues at work about the meeting, but most of them just sneered and told him that Mao Tse Tung had tried and failed horribly in his attempt at Communism. As much as John tried to explain that this was different, he didn't have too many listeners.

At the same time that John became a fully-fledged Member of A.R.I. some months later, several changes in the American Houses of the Senate and the House of Representatives, lead to some amazing revelations.

It was revealed that, not only was 911 a totally manufactured event, down to the controlled implosions on the lower floors of the World Trade Centre, but that the attacks of the British Systems had been orchestrated by the CIA and planted, rogue elements of MI6, bent on retaining control over the world economies.

Oil, minerals, wealth and general greed, were exposed as the true terrorists.

The parties loyal to the Bush administration rallied and within months of beginning to try to maintain a military curfew, the people rose up and the Second American Civil war had begun.

Not content with fighting a war within the United States, Bush was adamant that the World had not been lied to, and that the "Axis of Evil" still lay in the Middle Eastern Countries and was being fuelled by Iran, amongst others.

The first nuclear warheads hit Iran in October 2007 and sparked military retaliation from around the world, England being at the forefront.

John had only been involved from an organisational point of view and had not seen action on the front line, except in those transmissions, which came in by Satellite from the war Zones.

John's two Son's had been casualties in the first assault on Washington along with almost 2000 other British troops who were chemically gassed as they made their way through the streets to the White House.

A second wave of Troops came better prepared, and took strategic targets within a very short time.

Supported by the "Confederate" Americans, the Administration was captured and held in the Hague, pending what was to be the longest War Crimes Trials in History.

By the time the Big War had been won, more than 9000 "manipulators" were to stand trial. Amongst the accused, skulked the "Chosen 100," a collection of the world's richest people, all of whom claimed to be direct descendents of Jesus Christ.

The justification for their actions stemmed from this claim and to their right to the wealth of the World.

The trials revealed their manipulation and involvement in every conflict around the World, from the times of the Roman Empire until the end of The Big War.

The world stood in a state of destruction and chaos for more than three years whilst the infrastructures were re-built and a World Parliament was constituted.

During this time, John had built the U.K Chapter to a level where almost 92% of voters chose the route of the A.R.I.

The Scandinavian Countries soon followed with their votes and Europe and the Middle East were allied in their respect for transparency, democracy, and an accountable system.

However, old habits proved to die hard, and even though the Kingpins in the old War machine were behind bars, many saw this as an opportunity to take over where the others had left off.

These battles were just as long and hard and over 60 000 Kings of Industry, involved in graft, corruption, assassination and murder, were eventually brought to book.

John also recalled that eventful day in February 2012, when the factory in which he had worked for more than 30 years, was finally handed back to the people.

John was proud of the way the world had embraced the new Theory and had abandoned the old regimes.

When John's Wife had died in 2007, mainly due to a broken heart, because of the loss her precious Son's, John had wrapped himself up in the development of A.R.I. in the U.K.

In 2008, he married his Co-worker Sally, who although almost twenty years his junior, became his lifeline, his strongest supporter and his reason for living.

Their Daughter, Juliette, came in the later part of 2009 and today, was John's Protégé, actively supporting the sustenance of the A.R.I. Philosophies.

At 19, Juliette was the youngest Committee Member in the U.K. and John's chest swelled with pride at the thought of her attending the Second Origin - Free Earth Day, opening ceremony in Harare.

Yes, the total costs in terms of sacrifices and young lives lost were great. On reflection, it was all worth it, regardless of the costs, he thought. John's life, and the lives of every one around him had changed for the better.

Social services were freely available and the need to end pain and suffering, of paramount importance.

Gone were the days of the Super-Rich versus abject poverty. Gone were the times of manipulated food shortages, petrol queues, and hyperinflation.

A.R.I. had stabilised the economy and everyone who breathed had the right to a decent lifestyle and the respect of his neighbours.

A barter system had taken over most of the economies and value of all goods was determined according to needs. It would be almost unbelievable twenty years ago, to think that a Sony Portable Viewman could have the same value as three loaves of bread or that a trans-continental flight could be exchanged for six months supply of Organic vegetables.

Yes, life was good and John reassured himself that all had not been in vain. Once today had been formalised, he would be happy to move on to that final meeting with his Lord and Maker. Hopefully, he would find a similar system in Heaven!

The FreeView communicator on his Plasma console gave an alarm signal. John had programmed the device to warn him of the pending live Podcast, at fifteen-minute intervals, starting one hour before the event.

This was John's last alarm call and he readied himself by grabbing the container of his Heart medication capsules and settling down in front of the Console with a large pot of herbal tea. Two Ladies from the local Tunnel Farm had been dropping samples of the new organic brew Teabags to householders in the area yesterday and he was looking forward to receiving a regular supply when he requested it.

John voice switched the console to the "On" mode.

The A.R.I. news channel was covering other items but bore the banner in the lower screen announcing the pending live broadcast.

Good news for learners was announced saying that the Education Board has extended its wireless network to cover almost 92% of the British Isles, making free educational access possible even in the remotest areas. John, mainly out of occasional boredom, was studying for his Masters degree in Environmental Engineering using the very latest media technologies, beamed wirelessly into his Console, his Electric Vehicle or even his Bathroom if he asked for a connection.

Juliette had completed her Master's in Industrial Methodology before she was 16 using this fantastic system. Once the manipulators of the worlds dominant Computer Operating Systems had been denounced for their part in the atrocities, Freeserve technology became available to all.

The next article covered advances in sustainable, renewable energy sources and made a big show over the ethanol from plant conversion Factories that now took all organic waste in most countries around the world and generated 80% of the fuel sources. The article was bragging that England would have a 7% surplus by the end of 2021. The previous Regime's had hidden these technologies for years to protect their Fossil Fuel investments.

The announcer, touching his earpiece, advised viewers that the Podcast would be switching to the Second Origin - Free Earth Day ceremony shortly.

When the picture switched to the Harare stadium, John sat forward in his chair. As the Camera panned around the stadium, John's pride swelled as it passed over the main stage where it briefly, caught Juliette, sitting smiling and animated only three seats away from the Committee Chairperson for the event.

Probably twenty thousand people filled the stadium, John thought, quickly scanning the crowds.

What was wonderful for John to see, was the melting pot of different people from different races, creeds, cultures, religions and social groups, all standing around, smiling, waiting to join in the celebrations of such a wondrous event.

The Master of Ceremonies was taking the podium and John recognised a somewhat older than he recalled, Kofi Annan, as he stepped up to the microphone. The retired United Nations Head had been willingly brought back into the limelight when the Big War ended. Apart from providing a familiar, trustworthy face to the millions, he had played a huge stabilising part in the War Crimes Trials, seeking justice and compassion where others may have faltered.

"So, Ladies, Gentlemen and Members of our World Community, I take great pleasure in asking our first Chairperson, to take the podium for this momentous occasion. Let us give a warm welcome to Martin Luther King Junior, the Fourth." Annan announced, as he applauded and turned to greet the incoming Chairperson.

The camera focused on King as he left his seat and stood before the podium to the tumultuous applause of the crowd.

John found himself applauding the Podcast, so engrossed was he with the day that had finally arrived.

What happened next, defied John's comprehension.

One second, King was standing smiling and applauding the crowd, and the next second, a big, black, dot appeared in his forehead. King twitched, smiled a nervous sort of smile, and then collapsed in a heap behind the podium.

John stood up rapidly, his heart racing, trying to understand what he had just seen.

"Oh My God, please don't let this be true!" he thought as the camera darted around the grounds and the stage, looking for the source of this disturbance.

The screen went back to a black, blank picture.

"We interrupt this Podcast, to bring you some breaking news........." the announcer said, a shocked and serious tone to his voice.

John felt tightness in his chest, squeezing him almost from the inside outwards.

John's knees felt suddenly weak and he stumbled backwards into his easy chair, trying to steady himself.

The pain was sharp now, right across his chest and under his arms.

He reached sideways to the small table trying desperately to find his heart medication but realising that in his attempt to sit down, he had knocked the table over. The pain was so intense that he couldn't even move from the spot he was in.

"Yes....... We now have confirmation......." The announcer continued.

John's heart stopped beating.

"The tragic news is that Martin Luther King Junior, the Fourth, has been assassinated and has been pronounced Dead at the scene by Doctors in the stadium............." the announcer continued.

"Officials at the ceremony have just announced that a single, sniper, has been detained on the outskirts of the stadium and that he is claiming to be a member of the Right Wing Radical group known as "The Brothers of Bush", a rebel group, still active in small cells around the world".

John's brain stopped functioning a couple of minutes after his heart lost its beat.

"Oh God, please......... Please don't let history repeat itself..........." was John's final thought as he slowly faded out of this world.





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