• 13- Declaration of war

    At the end of the extraordinary assembly it was decided that the committee had to intervene in any way possible to put an end to anarchy.
    One had just to look at how Society was blatantly a political mess.
    Presidents were dictators.
    Innocent people were unfairly tortured. About that the committee stated the President had to be punished without delay.
    Fear and obedience maintained an illusion of political balance and economic growth. That’s why he United Countires had never been aware of the regime’s dealings.
    The list of charges was not exhaustive.
    But what unabled them to act was actually the source of all that mess, the “Shovel of Death”. In fact the President possessed its key. If anything happened against his will, if anything was done to discredit his regime he was able to take control over the whole world by pushing a single button.
    Cornered the committee couldn’t do anything without provoking a nuclear world war.
    Not in the year of 2050 at least.
    Usually pragmatic diplomats, the country delegates resented resort to such unrealistic and irrational thing as time traveling.
    Modifying the past had great consequences on the future, good or bad.
    Give or take it appeared to be the last but not least way to bring everything back to nomal in the world stage.
    By a consensus those who chose voluntary to go were immediately nominated as the passengers of the committee’s secret weapon stored deep inside the building on the sixth under floor. That machine should remain secret, especially because it was meant for emergency use only.
    It has been long since that time reload device has been last activated.
    July 15th, 2040:
    It felt like the calm before the storm unless Hellmet Pitsbulk had planified something great and dangerous behind his first strategy. It was exactly like they were playing a video game but they were not supposed to.
    Therefore Alys was immediately the person chosen to look after Hitori: she should better take care of him than fight on the battlefield where she wasn’t of any help.
    She considered very seriously her task, delivered personnaly to her by Isha who couldn’t stay with her any longer otherwise their hideout would have been discovered.
    Mikael promised he would come back alive and safe but Alys couldn’t help to feel scared when she saw his motorbike disappearing at the end of the boulevard.
    She was especially frustrated by her helplesness in that situation: indeed she was a woman but it was not a good reason to justify her inability to fight.
    Isha faced a difficult dilemma to conciliate her career and her bieliefs.
    She was split between two possibilities, either she decided to abandon her career as Official for the sake of Hitori or she resigned herself to slip in her role of mandated healer. However the answer was not so obvious.
    In the end she considered her values prevailed over everything else. It broke her heart to collaborate with a government blatantly inclined to dictatorial tendencies.
    Instead of hesitating any longer she chose for once to listen her own will.
    After all she had only accepted this job in order to get out of jail’s horror and make a decent living. It was a game of intertwined relationships and bribes what implied leaving aside the road the “bothering” people. Just in time, just for what they did to her and Hitori she had to act to denounce those out of morality dealings
    At the main shelter the healing squad chief executive was negociating subventions with Official representatives when Isha entered in a fury pestering about Hellmet Pitsbulk.
    She was amazed to see how far her boss was corrupted to accept money from the regime.
    - Better late than never, Isha reporting! she said abruptly.
    He turned to look at her. A smirk curled his lips:
    - What were you doing all this time? Do you have consideration for your teammates or even for me who is trying to obtain new subventions to carry out proper emergency hospitalizations? Who do you think you are to talk to me in that high tone?
    - I’m a mandated healer. I can’t deny I’m your subordinate either but have you ever think twice about what you’re doing?
    - Answer my question… who do you think you are to disobey my orders and abandon your comrades and patients?
    - Do you want me to tell the truth about what’s really going on lately?
    - What are you talking about? Or I should ask… are you crazy?
    - I’m talking about how that scandal brought into play people, bombs and democracy. I can’t stand shutting my mouth and faking my faith in the regime’s legitimacy when I see great people dying in front of my eyes and little dictators taking blatantly the leadership as though it had always belonged to them.
    - Calm down Isha don’t tell me you still feel resentment and revenge. You could be thrown back in jail for a few more years to have lit the uprising you know.
    - Who cares of being arrested if it’s for world’s goodness?
    - Say it.
    - What?
    - I was expecting that reaction from you one day. It can’t be helped since he ended up thrown in jail while trying to save you.
    Isha clenched her fists and gritted her teeth:
    - If I were a man you would have already tasted the strength of my fists. How can you dare?
    - I can’t help to feel sorry for you, that’s all: no bully, no reproach. Anyway focus on your main task for now. We may continue this conversation later if possible.
    By the way not to offend you but go to the bathroom before doing anything you smell blood slightly.
    - Tch, I’m doing the job most healers are supposed to do.
    She teared the clean white coat he held out to her from his hands and added:
    - You don’t even know what you’re doing. From the Official people’s point of view, you’re a mere pawn seeking for money with puppy eyes inclined to do whatever they ask for obtaining subventions. Just a small advice: consider that it will never benefit you to take their sudden hint of generosity at face value. You run into the lion’s den voluntary while they are enough selfish to think only about their interest. And their interest put the safety of the whole world into the game. Think about it twice. Do what is fitting for the sake of your consciousness. Or else, here is my demission letter if you may take a look at it. It’s all about me talking at the first person: the reasons why I came to raise my voice and refuse to side with a regime that has stolen from my heart the right to get to happiness.
    Unitl recently I used to be a caged bird into the darkness itself and like never before I felt like even a tiny ray of hope couldn’t reach my eyes and bright my future
    Sometimes loneliness can be such a scary emotion. I just want to let the world know that.
    Sen Ma Kloud was not cut out to be a charismatic leader at first.
    He used to be a passive revolutionary, mere shopkeeper of a casual hardware store to some extent.
    But in that context he couldn’t remain neutral. However how to defeat a bunch of savage troopers when you were so frightened by death?
    The problem was you paid twice the price for playing around with the flow of time. First time travelling didn’t offer eternal youth. Second among the ones who had tried to trick with time some had ended up lost in translation physically and psychologically.
    Overused abusively for no valuable reason that ability was quite dangerous as though you were addicted to a tough drug.
    The city floated out of time in a dead atmosphere.
    People had deserted their homes, cars were immobile, here and there public equipements were either destroyed or deformed.
    Casually it would have been reported as the consequence of an earthquake by the official medias but this time no need to deny any longer the war has been declared.
    Alys heard footsteps approaching. She shouldn’t have lowered her guard. She clenched her fists and stood up. Anyone willing to capture Hitori would know what a woman is capable of to protect someone dear.
    - Is there anybody?
    Alys startled: her mother’s voice. She thought she was hallucinating until she saw shadows taking shape on the floor.
    Seemingly she hasn’t come alone. Alys hesitated to go meet her in case of it was a trap.
    - We don’t mean to fight or to threaten anybody. Is there someone?
    - Hello mother, it’s Alys. Come over there.
    - Alys? I’m glad to hear your voice, where is Mikael?
    - Mikael has gone out.  Hopefully he will be back soon.
    Ashley appeared at the entrance of the storehouse. She groped for the switch:
    - It’s incredibly dark in there, why don’t you switch on the lighting? All that mess… It’s dangerous to hide alone you know…
    - Mrs Wonderland calm down, we’re not there to hear you arguing with your daughter. Keep in mind we have to make contact with the ten years ago self of the Prime minister’s son as soon as possible.
    - Let’s go elsewhere, I’ll try to explain a few things about the recent events, Alys objected.
    - Be fast, we don’t have much time left.
    Alys gulped. A faint smile curled her lips:
    - Beware to explain things quickly you’ll have a shock. You can bear with blood, can’t you?
    - What?
    Alys sighed and grasped the door handle:
    - Is it Hitori you’re looking for?
    - Yes we are. What’s going on?
    - To tell the truth Mikael and the others have gone to the battlefield on the front line. Official army have already launched the assault sooner than expected. Panic is about to wreak havoc all over the city at each minute. Such exhibition of violence is nonsense but they are determined to show off the strength of the regime to regain their legitimacy in the eyes of the crowds.
    Alys restrained her tears with difficulty while she was talking. She tried as best as she could to hide her emotion. However it was visible through her words, beneath her strained face expression.
    Ashley walked to her and forced her gently to let go of the handle. She embraced her daughter sweetly inside her arms:
    - I’m here to put all that fear to an end.  Be honest with yourself, it’s all right to show your emotion when it feels like you need to cry to feel better. By the way what happened to Hitori? You seem to have voluntarely omitted this part of the story.
    The familiar wild flower perfume of her mother redeemed her mood like a pleasant balm to the heart like in the old days of her childhood.
    She should tell them everything. She didn’t want Hitori to die by her fault.
    - Like a hero he tried to protect everyone but has failed in the end. If Sen hadn’t intervened at the very last I wonder what would have happened.
    On one side the Lonesome activists, on the other side Official troopers acting in the name of Hellmet Pitsbulk.
    Forces were inevitably unequal and both sides already knew it so well.
    Compared to the Official army armed to the teeth the Lonesome peoples were ridiculously helpless even equipped with guns.
    This was quite a battle already lost.
    Actually not when unexpected reinforcements riding motorbikes arrived just in time before the start of the battle.

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