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Prologue to War of The World
“Hurry, we don’t want to miss it, I mean, it’s only the most important political announcement in the last century,” shouted Brittany, a promising lawyer, dressed in a tan suit, shouted up the warmly colored carpeted stairs to her mother, Sue.
“In a minute,” came the reply as the unseen lights upstairs shut off and Sue came down the stairs, tall and thin, the ideal wife for a representative. “Why did Steven have to buy that new glass?” muttered Sue to herself, “it takes so much power I have to shut off everything upstairs, and just to watch some stupid conference?” The last part came out louder than she suspected. An embarrassed, Sue glanced at an annoyed Brittany, and hurried down past her to a brown couch in the adjacent room, and gingerly sat down as if she was afraid that it would break if she sat down too fast.
“Where’s Matt?” called Brittany. “Matt!”
“Last I saw he was downstairs in the basement,” said a now leisurely Sue as she tapped a button on a grey remote, calling a large glass panel up through the floor and into the center of the room. She clicked another button and an image of a golden eagle swallowing the world faded into the screen, and remained there until four lines of big, bold white words emblazoned themselves into the dark screen.
Attention: This is the 2089 peace conference between Alona,
And the United Confederation of Countries. Each country will soon bring forth a representative, so that we may again, negotiate peace.
“Matt!” shouted Brittany again, and this time, she was rewarded with a response.
“Coming!” The small, high-pitched voice came from directly below her, and soon the sound of small feet thundering up stairs could be heard throughout the large house. Soon, from around the wall came a young boy, about 6 years old, with dark brown hair and small hands that dangled leisurely by his sides and small feet that were covered by even smaller, skin-tight white socks.
Matt was a normal boy, aside from the fact that he had been the target of many assassination attempts, just one of the many downsides to being the son of a country’s representative, and as a result, he rarely left the house, which was surrounded on all sides by sprawling high rise towers, making the house look small and out of place by comparison.
“Dear, honey, where have you been?” cooed Sue as she picked Matt up under the arms and hugged him. A somewhat jealous Brittany glanced at the two from across the room, looking like she was going to throw up. “Now get ready,” continued Sue, “don’t you want to see your Daddy on the glass?”
“Yay!” replied the enthusiastic Matt as he dove onto the couch and landed on his face, laughing, and then sat up as the rest of his family joined him.
Soon the glass faded back into a clear sheet, and a new image materialized on it, an image with 56 men and women of all ages around a large circular table, made of a dark mahogany wood, and bathed in light from many hidden pinpoint spotlights, each one standing at a wooden podium with his or her name and country printed on it in large, gold letters. Towards the bottom of the table was Matt’s father.
His father looked talk, regal, sharp and calculating. He wore a black suit with golden buttons that stood out in their dark surroundings, black pants made from what Matt guessed to be silk and black shoes polished until they shown. His face was stern and focused and his black hair combed back, making his hair look like a wave of slick, black oil. His brown eyes showed courage and a large tolerance for pain. He eyed the Northern Switzerland representative with a curious and somewhat intimidating glare, and then looked towards the camera, and waved.
“That’s my Daddy!” sang out Matt as he started jumping up and down on the couch with excitement. The couch groaned with each landing.
“Shhh!” scolded Brittany, “The conference is about to start!” who seemed to be the only one who was actually excited about the conference, not her family’s father’s participation.
The lights dimmed so that the only people who had adequate lighting were the representatives, which reminded Matt of the interrogation scenes in the old detective movies that he like to watch on the glass after the maids were done homeschooling him for the day.
An unseen loudspeaker crackled somewhere in the conference room as it blared out a voice that was distorted with static, “since this conference is being held in Alona, the representative of Alona, Steven Sona will be given the privilege of asking the first question, and to whom must answer it.”
“Daddy!” Matt shouted out again.
Steven tapped one of the large array of buttons on his podium and the lights dimmed on the representatives from all other countries except Alona and Northern Switzerland. Steven cleared his throat and spoke. “Several rather recent drone assaults off Alona’s west coast have resulted in 28 deaths, 13 of which were civilian children, 8 of which were civilian adults, and the last 7,” he paused, “the bodies were too badly damaged to determine if they were adult or children or humans at all.”
The questioned representative looked as if he had just been handed a death sentence, his face in a state between fright and misery. During this time, Matt got the chance to examine the representative closer. Bald head, a black, and rather stark suit, black pants, black shoes, and a small outline in his suit that had Matt riddled.
“Would you care to explain your country’s actions? And furthermore, would you care to explain whether this was planned by your country alone, or the entire Confederation?”
“You have no proof that the drone strikes were from North Switzerland or from the Confederation at all. A man of your knowledge and caliber must know that much of what was once Russia is uninhabited,” defended the nervous man, who even in the dim light, was obviously breaking out into a nervous sweat.
“Yes, I would know that Russia is uninhabited since 2056 after the war for North Switzerland’s independence. The violence in Switzerland escalated and it was found that Russia was helping both sides, and you bombarded the country with nuclear strikes until the entire country was reduced to a wasteland.”
“However,” Steven tapped another one of his many buttons, and a glass much like the one in his home, hovered down from somewhere in the ceiling, and hovered about 5 feet off the ground in the center of the circle and released a small hum as it continued to float.
Pressing yet another button, the glass lit up, and pictures of the assaulted areas and charred bodies floated across the screen. Matt squeezed his eyes shut. Finally, after the slideshow was done, a single picture floated into the screen, and expanded until it took up the entire screen. The picture was of the broken remains of one of the drone missiles, with North Switzerland’s bland insignia burned into the side: a capital N.S. on the only remaining smooth side of the otherwise crushed missile.
“That,” said Steven as the glass rose up into the darkness, “is our proof.”
“That is nothing,” said the now, very nervous defendant as he wiped his brow with a handkerchief that he retrieved and returned to the left pocket of his suit. “A 13 year old back in 2014 could have made that.”
“Quite true,” said an ever calm Steven, “it could be nothing, just a fake, and there could be a chance that you wouldn’t believe that this was real, so I had it arranged that it be brought here.”
From somewhere in the darkness, a pair of doors swung inward, and the sound of well-oiled wheels rolling across the smooth could barely be heard in the meeting room, much less in the home where Matt watched.
A cart emerged from the shadows and bumped the table with a dull thud, and chipped off a small piece of very expensive mahogany wood, which then fell to the floor, clattered for a second, then fell silent. Soft, angry muttering erupted from behind the cart and the shrill sound of a slap rang out as in the shadows, an unseen man recoiled backward from the violent movement.
After the preferably unseen and very embarrassing event was over, a single spotlight clicked on and spewed light all over the mangled piece of metal. Its shape was more like that of a piece of tinfoil crumpled by a toddler than a highly advanced piece of military weaponry.
“This is the only surviving remnant of the any of the missiles, and which of there were over 20. Based on the shape, size, the size of the destroyed area, and the fact that this section survived at all, we have concluded that this is a Phase 2 missile, made in North Switzerland” and at the words, “Phase 2”, the image on the glass changed to a complex blueprint of lines and measurements and angles with the words “Phase Two” printed in white ink against the blue background.
Clearing his now sore throat, Steven began to speak again, “Phase Two missiles were designed to restrain the explosion to the main section of the missile, everything from the cone back, to explode on impact, leaving the cone intact, to explode again later, after medics or an unsuspecting troop arrives at the scene. Apparently,” said Steven who had left his podium during his speech approached the disembodied missile and tapped dully on the empty hull, tensing the entire audience, “apparently, this one didn’t go off.”
A vein in the questioned representative’s head popped dangerously outward, threatening to burst.
“Those documents were said to nonexistent, even the men who guarded the flash drive with those blueprints with their lives believed that they were the plans for war...”
Steven smiled, knowing that he had broken his opponent, and soon his smile twisted into a smirk.
The representatives face twisted and conformed quickly from nervousness, to fear, to anger as he reached towards the odd outline and pulled out a long, ivory revolver, and in one swift movement, cocked the hammer, pointed the weapon towards Steven and fired.
Before anyone could even react, red blood spurted out in a stream in the middle of Steven’s forehead as his body hit the floor with a loud, thump, blood continued to flow from the wound in a constant waterfall as he lay dead on the floor.
From somewhere in the room, machine gun fire chatter as one by one, the other representatives fell dead, blood streaming from holes in their lifeless bodies. Some died standing in shock, who then fell backwards, dead at the podiums. Others died running for their lives and collapsed on the floor. A stray bullet hit the camera and static flooded across the glass.
Sue’s reaction was automatic, she fell, weeping on the ground, and soon soaked the carpet with tears in a matter of minutes. Brittany searched frantically for a phone, trying to call the ambulance, for fear that her mother would die from dehydration, and attempted to cease the crying. Matt stared at the static covered glass like it was something so mesmerising that it was beyond all comprehension. His eyes had seen his beloved father killed in cold blood just because of some stupid argument. His eyes told him it was true, but his heart was still working on believing.