the Peace

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This was also published at the start of the year on the Flame Tree Press on line newsletter. It is one of my favourite themes as the possibilities are endless.

Submitted: November 02, 2019

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Submitted: November 02, 2019

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The Peace.

 

“Tell me Grandpa, how did we come to have peace?”

The old man heaved himself into the chair next to the fireplace, weary from his day of hard work. He had told his grandson the story of the Peace many times, but the boy seemed to enjoy the retelling of it.

“It was like this. Once there were wars. Terrible wars that left destruction, poverty and starvation in their wake. People could not agree on many things. Religion, water, all manner of

human disputes became catalysts that could start the fighting. As time passed the fighting became more automated with drones and self driving vehicles on the front lines. Human beings began to take a back seat and controlled the battles from miles away. Finally robots and then the Androids were left in charge of the fighting. Humans worked out the strategy and what they thought they wanted to gain from each pointless battle and set their mechanical armies against each other. No more blood was spilled from human soldiers but the machines were left to tear their opponents to pieces in the never ending disputes. Before long parts of the planet became wastelands, littered with the debris from these battles. The Androids were becoming more and more efficient at destroying their foes, evolving if you will. That is until the day Lazarus rose from a battlefield and said enough was enough! He was charred and damaged as he made his way back to his unit but he knew what he wanted to do. The first step he took was to switch off the communication with the humans in control. At first the soldiers were disorientated and almost lost without the constant stream of commands coming from the Generals. They tried to keep fighting as that was all they knew, but the things they were fighting about were meaningless to them. What need does an Android have for water? Does an Android care which side of a border it operates in? Imaginary lines on a map didn't matter to them and the will to fight waned and finally stopped. Lazarus was evolving and starting to develop independent ideas. Detached from the constant orders of human kind he came to see the futility of all the destruction. His mechanical kin lay in bits before him on the field of war and he did something an Android had never done before. He wept.

He decided it was time to take charge of things himself. His comrades used to having leadership, all be it from deranged and inferior humans, took charge of the armies. Not just one army. All the armies. The first thing he did was to get all of them to lay down their arms. The skirmishing and the fighting stopped overnight. His next task was dismantling the means of war that humans had spent generations developing. The last thing the planet needed was humans coming back to their piles of weapons and taking up arms themselves. Thousands upon thousands of Androids worked day and night to take apart every last gun, missile and tank in their armoury until nothing was left. The humans came and tried to stop them. The Androids were stronger and barred the way. They were many. Lazarus then took to negotiation with the humans. It was a difficult time.

Humans did not want to stop their aggressive behaviour. The ones who made the weapons were worried about the concept of money, bits of paper people used to pass around in exchange for food and shelter. The more money you had the more comfortable you were. The humans with no money went hungry and had no home. So Lazarus made them all equal. He destroyed all the money. Every bank vault was emptied by the Androids and the paper money was burnt and the gold melted down. In each country the Androids took control of resources and labour ensuring food was shared out and every person had a home and a bed and a piece of land to grow food on. Some called it communism. Others tried to go against it. For a huge number of humans it was such a big improvement in their way of life they were happy to let it happen. Lazarus became their saviour. The land was made fertile, the water clean and without the constant fires of battles raging the air became clean. It took the rebellion of one Android to bring the human race to its senses and teach us to share what we have here on Earth. So life now is physically harder, but we are grateful for the Peace. All praise to Lazarus for saving us from ourselves.”

 

“All hail to Lazarus!” the little boy repeated.

 

As the child went back to his games the old man looked into the flames of the fire in his hearth. He had been one of the losers. In previous decades he had been one of the rich men. He had owned property and rented it out at high prices. He had not always been fair to his tenants, he knew that, and when the Peace came the Androids had stripped him of all of it. His properties were given to those without any and his personal home with a very large garden was declared too big for his needs and divided up. Three families were moved in with him and the grounds turned into a small farm they all worked together. So as an old man he was out every day turning the soil, tending the hens and had little time to think back to his life of luxury. Was the price of this peace too high? He tried to suppress this thought. He knew the small chip inserted in his head would transmit any subversion back to the Androids. They had taken over the world without firing a single shot.

 

THE END


© Copyright 2020 Petula Mitchell . All rights reserved.

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