• 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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  • The newcomers were the representative delegates of the committee led by Ashley.
    They were definitely determined to prevent the war from happening after hearing Alys’ story about the recent events.
    Ashley went down her motorbike and walked to Sen Maa Kloud:
    - Step out of this for now. Let us talk a bit with them.
    On the opposite side the squad officer chuckled:
    - Know of your place it’s too late for talking.
    Ashley shot glance at him:
    - Hellmet Pitsbulk is responsible for everything, right? If so he has to be bring to justice to pay for his crimes.
    - It’s none of your business. We’re in state of war you know.
    - I know so well. Why do you think we’ve come all the way here for? Now that we’ve get a chance to arrest Hellmet Pitsbulk before he could follow through his ambition of taking control over the world we won’t step back so easily.
    - Who do you think you are to threaten the regime?
    - Who do you think you are to have shattered democracy by killing the Prime minister?
    - You insolent… !
    Ashley lifted a hand:
    - Calm down and stop it. You do admit you’re acting as irresponsible children, don’t you?
    You know you’re guilty but you will never surrender.
    The man blushed of anger and turned to his soldiers:
    - What are you waiting for to open fire?
    - Yes sir!
    Ten rifles took aim at Ashley. Sen Maa Kloud couldn’t help to intervene:
    - You shouldn’t have meddled in this war. Provoking them recklessly means to be dead meat even before the real fight has begun.
    Ashley smirked slightly:
    - Choose your side. I’m only telling the truth but apparently it is too difficult to admit and too heavy to bear. That’s why I’ll make things clear.
    She looked back at the boulevard behind the battlefield. All the looks turned to the direction of her gaze. A Jeep was crossing the distance fast in the horizon lifting a huge dust cloud from the ground.
    When the military car stopped abruptly everyone could recognize Isha as the conductor.
    - Wh- wha- what the heck? the Official officer stammered.
    Isha slammed violently the car door and stood next to Ashley:
    - Are you surprised? I have demissionned from my job of mandated healer.
    - Who gave you the right to do that? The medical squad belongs to the army so until I’d grant you this favour you’re still under the government’s orders.
    - Do you think I’ll submit to whatever I’m asked to manage? I was considering so right after I’ve got out jail not to make trouble but lately I’ve changed my mind.
    - Have you ever thought it could be considered as an act of treachery? The consequences will be even worse for you and your family than you can ever imagine.
    - I won’t surrender because you’re using blackmail on me.
    The Official gave the green light to his men to fire the vehicle like that they would make sure the other side was out of supplies.
    Isha gritted her teeth. At any cost the car and its passengers had to be protected.
    She took off her medical white coat revealing a gun hanging at her belt.
    She unchained the holster and pointed the weapon at the military:
    - One bullet into this vehicle, you’re a dead man!
    - You threaten me, don’t you? Why are you making such mess? Can’t you admit your helplessness? Because armed with this toy you won’t harm anyone you know.
    Isha gulped but didn’t loose her countenance:
    - I’m responding to my own will and my inner voice told me your men would attack the Lonesome basement sooner or later. What did I do in that case? What I was supposed to do as a responsible healer during war, protecting and healing the civilians no matter they are political opponents or simply citizens.
    - Hmph it’s ridiculous. Willing to save everyone is wishful a war is often won by doing a few sacrifices.
    Isha ignored that hint of sarcasm, her finger put on the trigger.
    Ashley grabbed her wrist with conciliation to force her to let hold of the gun:
    - It’s not that way we’ll get the chance to win by stiring up their anger. All you’ll gain is to be the first to die.
    Isha trembled. She remembered the vision of Hitori lied in his own blood. Him several years before bowed on bended knee to her feet for being helpless what was not a crime.
    Her foolhardiness gave out. The gun slipped off her hands and fell on the ground.
    The officer looked condescendingly at her. He knew in what consisted her main weakness.
    She loved deeply that man named Hitori, so deeply that she was ready to endure the worst torment to save his life.
    He ordered the Official military unit to launch the first assault.
    Knowing Hitori in mortal danger because of Hellmet Pitsbulk’s selfishness stirred up the anger and the resentment of Isha.
    On the Lonesome side she was the first to open fire.
     
    Hellmet Pitsbulk watched the scene with satisfaction from the roof of the Pitsbulk Estate Building. Everything was going according to his plan.
    On the exchequer almost all the expected pieces were set in place. The rest depended on the battle’s outcome but he wasn’t worrying too much. If everything went well as planified his henchmen were sure to win.
    The adversay side should better surrender. The white king was missing ever since the game has begun. The other pieces were playing a mere puppet show.
     
    Ever since he was a child Hitori was considered as an impossible boywonder.
    He was rebellious and refused to submit to any kind of authority.
    He was a little genius but also a great slacker. Nothing annoyed more his mother than his average school results: if he had worked harder he would have attend a great politics institute but Hitori was an effortless student highly bored by school.
    Or else…
    The death of his father must have traumatized him. It happened the day of his twenties birthday on July 14th, 2030.
     
    July 14th, 2030:
     
    It happened in the middle of the day during a press conference at the presidential palace.
    It had been so sudden, the matter of a few minutes that shattered the last foundations of the so fragile and peaceful world mankind used to live in.
    The Prime minister was such a dedicate person for the sake of the citizens, always concerned about spreading the good around him. His benevolence was definitely selfless.
    So why did he got killed in the end?
    That was the question that still lingered on everyone’s lips over the time.
    No matter ideas or political standings most people loved him because of his caring personality. Thanks to his great sense of diplomacy now the country had stopped going on war at every opportunity to seek for new ressources and therefore regained peace and prosperity for long, in another way.
    That’s why it provoked a true shock when the gunshot blew. A single hit yet precise and neat. There were so many people that it was impossible to determine where it came from.
    Obviously the meeting had been immediately suspended, the crowd evacuated as fast as possible. Panic had spread what made it hard to solve the case rationally.
    In the following days a national mourning period has been settled until the murderer had been found.
    Politicians and esteemed private detectives were clueless since any terrorist activism has claimed the murder. During that period all flights and trains going abroad were cancelled.
    In that special circumstances, border checkings were carried out more regularly than usual.
    It was in that tensed, delicate political context that Hellmet Pitsbulk made a comeback.
    He had set a subtle stageplay to win the trust and the sympathy of the high sphere of politics once again.
    He used to be a mediatized personality. He was an ambitious would-be minister in his early thirties young, go ahead and seductive.
    It was said he was so far the most capable person to take the title of Prime minister.
    Yet he has been put aside the political stage because of his controversal positions he symbolized the changing being the figurehead of the new political generation.
    Ten years older than Hitori he was sure to have no troublesome competitor to get across the way.
    In any case according to appearances Hitori didn’t seem to show an interest in becoming the next Prime minister for the time being.
    He was rumoured to be a lazy student that would never get the chance to attend any political institute and things were convenient that way. Hellmet Pitsbulk would get enough time to carry out his plan.
    However it appeared witnessing helplessly the murder had changed Hitori to the deep.
    Him who used to be a shy slacker revealed his true self.
    Instead of becoming a real serious competitor he chose civil disobedience.
    He was well aware he could never overcome Hellmet Pitsbulk but was not blind about the would-be minister’s ambition. Everything was false in his gentle smile, his concerned words.
    His only aim was to sit down behind the presidential desk one day.
    Hitori couldn’t state why but already had a very bad feeling about that guy who was seeking greedily for more power than just being the future Prime minister.
    A lack of resolve was of no good too much ambition could twist a man’s heart.
    In the case of Hellmet Pitsbulk crawling fast and successfully through political ladders to indulge his consuming thirst for acknowledgement had perverted him.
    At first it didn’t appear clear, politically nothing much happened within the following months.
    That’s what remained before Hitori met Isha.
    Should they have met?
    They met quite awkwardly in the middle of December sat on a bench.
    He was drinking a glass of hot wine.
    She was sat on the other side reading a medicine book.
    He checked his phone.
    She looked eagerly at her watch
    Both were waiting for something or else someone.
    - Who do we have here? a shifty voice chuckled.
    Hitori startled. He didn’t turn around though just in case one could recognize him.
    - Aren’t you Isha?
    Hitori gulped. Surely it was a policeman from the political police speaking
    - Be careful a price may have been put on your head.
    - Leave me in peace I have no interest in making trouble regarding the government.
    - Ow why are you suddenly so strong headed? Why don’t you just come with us to talk a bit?
    - I did say I’m not intending to cause trouble.
    - Fast said. Come on.
    Hitori gritted his teeth. By dint of squeezing his fists the glass he held exploded.
    - You dare bothering an innocent woman? He mumbled. What sense of justice is this?
    - Huh?
    - What?
    Hitori turned around to face his interlocutor.
    The policeman looked with a quizzical eye at that young man dressed in dark clothes wearing sunglasses at the beginning of winter. He smirked:
    - Know of your place little brat, I am the law. Strange that I feel like your face is familiar, who are you?
    - Does it matter to know who I am? Think of me as a casual university student going out after class, that’s all.
    - Is that so?
    - Geez it can’t be helped then I’ll introduce myself to make things clear between us. If you’re the law I’m the power.
    - What nonsense is that?
    Hitori took off his sunglasses to reveal his olive green eyes.
    - Your higher ups will be pleased to know how lucky you are to have bumped into me by hazard. I have to tell them something really important.
    - What are you talking about?
    - Name: Hitori Kokuboheki. Age: 20. Reward? 100 000$ dead or alive. That is what the research notice says. The one said to be a lazy, careless student son of the late Prime minister Kokuboheki stands before you and won’t surrender so easily.
    - Stop kidding me!
    Hitori held his breath to remain calm but lost his countenance:
    - Do you think I’m kidding? Do you think I would have been enough selfish not to raise my voice when I witness abusive arrestations? My answer is a twice no I’m not a coward nor an opportunist.
    - Well then the young lady can make her way. But you Hitori Kokuboheki you’re under arrest for being a bothersome troublemaker.
    What seemed another casual day turned out for Hitori to be the right time to make a choice that was going to turn his life upside down for the better.
    He absolutely shall make himself the attorney of the citizens, using his name and his fame to fight for their sake and their cause.
    It was a hard and heavy task to handle but whatever given he had to raise his voice just in time before Hellmet Pitsbulk had achieved his Machiavellian plan for obtaining the full leadership of the country.
    After thinking hard he came to the conclusion he couldn’t fight alone. He had to find followers who shared his will for change and his moral standings to be credible.
    That was how on what purpose he brought to life the Lonesome revolutionary later on.
     
    July 15th, 2040:
     
    Thinking about it twice, how could things came to the point of nearly provoking a civil war?
    That was not what he was looking for nor he was fighting for.
    He turned to look at Alys and winced because of the pain. She startled and laced an arm around his neck to let him rest against her shoulder.
    - How are you feeling? She inquired gently.
    He didn’t answer right away. Obviously he was in pain. Fortunately he has been entrusted between the hands of benevolence.
    Yet guiltiness still consumed him. Why was he not fighting at the side of his comrades? Why was he starting to feel truly helpless?
    - Calm down you may start overreacting. It’s okay for every human being not to be always strong and confident.
    How much she tried to she couldn’t really understand what his heavy cross felt like.
    Slowly his eyesight turned blurry.
    Words came from far away. He couldn’t understand what she was saying but it seemed like she was calling him out loud.
    His body gave up. His consciousness faded away.

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  • July 17th, 2050:
     
    Yet useless, always late the “White Rabbit” had not took his part in the war for now as the last joker he had always been.
    As usual everyone has left Nokira the dumb odd jobber behind.
    He smirked slightly while he mopped the hall of the presidential palace.
    No one noticed him but he was there at the right place, the right moment before the uprising.
    The President has had the full powers for twenty years but soon his dictatorship was going to end.
    Nokira regretted not to have travel along with Alys and Mikael to the world of 2040. It felt like Alys ignored him ever since she had reunited with her brother.
    He wasn’t brave, he wasn’t incredible but he was simply Nokira and that was enough.
    He didn’t seek for any more acknowledgment than being respected and accepted by others with his strength but also his weaknesses. He looked back at the floor he had just finished cleaning. In less than a minute Official people would go in and screw up his hard work done to make the place clean and pleasant for them.
    It was a price to pay for his status as Lonesome not being discovered by accident but it splitted him between two sides. Pretending being an ordinary worker and then switching back to his real self as activist seemed false: who did he want to be in the end? What side would he choose?
    He was usually honest to himself: clearly this state of mind pictured him as an opportunist who was collaborating with the regime by interest, that interest being to stay alive at any cost. It didn’t fit his moral standings him who valued honesty and loyalty to himself and others.
    All that wealth showed off in every corner of the presidential palace yet earned at so much sacrifices.
    Where that gold decorating the walls came from and how it has been acquired? The same could have been asked for those luxurious decorations?
    It made him sad to think about the people who died trying to denounce the regime’s dealings. The Lonesome people were quite a few these days but used to count more fighters in the past and unfortunately it couldn’t be helped otherwise everyone would have been arrested. It was obvious to tell one was conscious of the duty implied when joining the revolutionary.
    But still there was the fear of jail and/or death and not everyone was able to dwell with such personal risk. Only a few people were enough selfless to vow allegiance to the cause.
    And even less people to take part in that special squad known under the name of “Wonderland Squad”. Those who did were the first names listed on top of the Official blacklist.
    The dangerous matter was Nokira was really playing cat and mouse with the devil. Oficially he was identified as Nokira but under the mask he was most called the “White Rabbit”.
    The other members of the squad were Sempai the “Mad Hatter” with Sen Maa Kloud the “March Hare” and Moto Rorola the “Queen of Heart” in reference to Lewis Caroll’s characters given it fitted accurately the purpose of the squad, protecting the Wonderland family.
    Among the family members there were famous intellectuals who were pursued by the regime for their subversive works that made people conscious of the absurdity and the unlegitimacy of such political disaster as the regime of Hellmet Pitsbulk.
    The Official class had almost localized all the members of the family but failed in finding the youngest inheriters Alys and Mikael.
    Nokira sighed heavily. It was time to take a break. He unpacked his lunchbox and sat  on the palace’s staircase.
    He was surpassed by the flow of events how Society’s balance has been turned upside down so fast, so easily. His cell phone vibrated interrupting his thougts.
    A message showed up from Moto Rorola. She asked him to head back to the mansion right away regardless all other priorities.
    He assumed something terrible must have happened her calling him in emergency while he was still at work.
     
    July 15th, 2040:
     
    His pulse dropped and fainted.
    Her heart tightened. He rested peacefully his forehead embracing the curve of her neck.
    He wanted to fly higher beyond the line defined by his condition of average being but fell on the ground, fallen angel, wings broken.
    She lied him down beside her and wrapped his body in a gold blanket although he had already passed away.
    Alys kissed Hitori on the forehead and closed his eyelids for eternity.
    The sadness formed a hole in her heart. They had done everything possible and yet it had been useless in the end. Seeing his pale skin shining flawlessly in the sunlight broke her from the very inside.
    Eyes wide open she was screaming silently in pain her cheeks streaming of tears.
    “- No way… no way… NO way!”
    She slammed the car door in a bang.
    The battlefield had became a mess of miscealleanous wrecked buildings and gunshots.
    She coughed because of the dust:
    - Monsters… You have… no shame. Why on earth, WHY?
    When the smoke faded she could glimpse sight of her comrades.
    They were barely hanging on, out of energy, cornered by Offcial military men.
    The Official army…
    She clenched her fists, gritted her teeth.
    - MONSTERS! She yelled.
    Everyone startled. Alys jumped off the ground and ran into the Official army wihout a thought.
    - Idiots you are only a bunch of shameless idiots!
    Stolid the squad officer stepped forward and grasped her fist.
    - Hold back a battlefield is not a playground for children, young lady.
    Alys swept her tears with foolhardiness:
    - Some say I’m a crying baby, others that I do everything wrong but honestly I don’t care.
    I am who I am but no longer an innocent child you can put aside the real battle.
    Do not think I come to you without weapons but the one I’m carrying is not physical nor originally made for provoking war.
    He pushed her away like a weightless little bird.
    - Oh well I have a better idea.
    He turned to look at the Lonesome fighters:
    - Let’s see how much they valued their precious cause.
    He grabbed her by the waist and kept her temple at gunpoint:
    - Give up weapons or she will be the first to die!
    At hearing that, Alys bit her lower lip to stop it from shivering.
    Mikael was willing to intervene but Ashley stopped him on time.
    The squad officer chuckled madly:
    - At last you are starting to realize you can do nothing against the army. It would be wise of you to surrender right now.
    - Why? Why him? Alys whispered.
    - What are you talking about?
    Alys lifted her gaze to look into the sky. It seemed the sun was brighter even hidden by clouds.
    - Just say why this world is unfair. Why we still need needless wars to maintain peace. Why death is the end of life. Why people are persecuted because of their ideals. Why am I feeling hopeless but revolted, guilty but regretful, sad but alive all at the same time.
    - Isn’t the job to find answers yours?
    - You will fall if you let hatred consume your heart. You did give the order to shoot, didn’t you?
    - I fear I don’t see what you’re talking about.
    - You sure know what I mean.
    The soldier lowered his gun and put her back to her feet.
    - It was an order delivered by the almighty Hellmet Pitsbulk in the first place. It’s unlikely I would have done this according to my own will.
    - So do you think all your actions are accredited by obeying blindly to Hellmet Pitsbulk?
    But the one justice calls murderer is rightfully you because you and your men were the ones to carry out the supreme orders of Hellmet Pitsbulk and commit the assassination, right?
    Yes before you complain about it I called it assassination because it was none of a legitimate penalty. A man’s life is priceless and can’t be worth repaid with simple apologies.
    Sen Maa Kloud and the others were soeechless. Alys never showed so sincerely and so truthfully her feelings before. She was more of a shy and calm character, very caring about others.
    To let her lose her countenance something serious must have happened.
    It was flames he saw burning in her eyes.
    He noticed blood stains tainted her hands.
    Eyes mid closed she clasped her hands over her chest and breathed deeply:
    - Real heroes are ready to sacrifice themselves even before the beginning of war but still we should ask ourselves why it has became so easy, too easy, to take a life away. The world will change after the defusing of the “Shovel of Death” for the better or for the worse but it won’t substitute to emptiness and regret. We will think if only things went that or this way but it will be too late to step back. Heaven is a no return journey. Today mankind has lost a great man who has found in his fight the true meaning of life, how to feel human.
    When families were shattered, when power overwhelmed justice, when helplessness was a crime he stood alone, no matter the risk for himself, the outcome or the pain to handle.
    Truth was talking through his golden heart. And so this is why I hereby ask you to cease this war. The price is too high for earning the new world we all dream of by fire.
    Silent, Sen Maa Kloud nodded.
    Isha smiled and lowered her gun.
    Ashley and the committee reprensentatives approved and stood up next to Alys.
    Mikael agreed, feeling proud of his little sister’s bravery.
    The ceasefire didn’t last long though, the interval of a heart beating.
     
    July 17th, 2050:
     
    Nokira came back as fast as he could.
    Before he grasped the handle, Moto Rorola hastily unlocked the main door.
    - Hurry up come in.
    - What is so serious that I had to quit work right away? If they were to discover my real identity, I am a dead man.
    He turned around and regretted to have talked so harsh.
    Moto Rorola gulped. She was pale, her eyes swollen.
    - I- I’m sorry I didn’t want to…
    - Never mind. Follow me.
    - Yeah.
    She preceded him upstairs, entered in the guest room and so did Nokira.
    Sempai was bedridden, his head resting peacefully on the pillow.
    His hands were abandoned on the blanket, cold as ice.
    Nokira shook his head in disbelief.
    Moto Rorola nodded silently.
    - I want you to join the war.


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  • Makeup checked. Waiting for the cab called half an hour ago to be sure to arrive on time.
    Going before all to the ministery to gather the needed papers. Looking eagerly by the window at the streets unfolding fast. The cab driver had to be paid, he was a good driver he could keep the change. Slipping out the cab in a rush. Walking hastily towards the committee’s main corridor. Greeting politely the other diplomats.
    Theodora Kokuboheki sat down with a sigh of relief. She crossed her hands under her chin and breathed deeply to redeem her composure. As foreign minister participating in the public debate about Society’s status was one of her many duties.
    However this time the debate was going wrong. Surprisingly the comittee’s president had some difficulties to silence the assembly.
    - Keep calm! Keep calm or we won’t be able to debate reasonably! He yelled from his desk.
    Mrs Kokuboheki looked at the situation with a quizzical eye. What was going on there? Those people usually so serious were suddenly gossiping like children in a playground.
    The president turned his gaze to her. He stood up and came to her:
    - I’m sorry Theodora. It was too late we have failed.
    She looked up. She could really read consideration but also pity in his eyes.
    - We can still hope for a new beginning but not everyone will see that prospere time coming.
    She raised an eyebrow:
    - Be honest, I think I am quite capable of overtaking everything after losing my beloved as well as my son and enduring the consequences of the Traumatism.
    - Seemingly Hellmet Pitsbulk refuses to negociate whilst there is no one to stand against him as the official opposition anymore.
    Theodora blinked. Her eyes widened in shock. She stood up abruptly:
    - What- what are you saying? No- no way… Hitori… is dead?
    - Yes.
    She clenched her fists. She bit hard her lower lip to restrain her anger.
    And so Hellmet Pitsbulk pretended to be The President, the figurehead of changing but what “new world” was Society his parody of democracy?
    The public debate went on for one hour. She barely paid attention to what was said while only taking notes mechanically to make her report to the minister council.
    Back in her apartement at lunchtime she couldn’t eat anything.
    She drank a few cups of coffee to get better and fell upon the sofa.
    Eyes opened she looked at the sky beyond the window.
    “What I’ve done to deserve such life?” she thought with despair.
    She didn’t like to remain single. It made so many memories to resurface.
    Emptiness was so painful.
    Alone she could let go of her tears. She felt desperate, weary, sleepy, melancholic all of these emotions at the same time.
    She was exhausted she needed a break and everything would restart better as planified.
    Her cell phone vibrated awaking her with a start. She rubbed her eyes and realized it was already 3 in the afternoon. It was the Prime minister calling her personally.
    - Hello?
    - Good afternoon sorry to bother you in such a hard time Theodora. Can you come to the presidential palace as soon as possible? I have a peculiar favour to ask you.
    - Sure, you know I’m the right person to call for such things.
    - I’m not joking.
    - Neither do I. You want me to engage negociation with the high political sphere of Society don’t you? I have nothing to lose trying to conciliate both parts after all.
    They met within the next hour. The Prime minister explained his strategy and inquired if she could do it. She nodded:
    - Right it will be done.
    - Well then good luck. See you in the next world.
    Now she had the key for the defusing. The future of the world lingered between her hands.
     
    July 15th, 2040:
     
    Both sides fought head on. The battlefield had become a storm of movements, light and shadows.
    Sun disappeared behind clouds. The temperature dropped.
    The steam coming from the ground settled a ghostly atmosphere.
    Out of supplies and weapons in shorter time than expected the Lonesome people were panting.
    All of a sudden Sen Maa Kloud startled and looked behind. The air was different from before. It felt like it was going to explode the wind had stopped blowing.
    - What’s wrong Sen? Ashley inquired.
    - Seems like one is trying hard to leap through time.
    A red light lit the air, giving life to an interdimensional portail.
    A silhouette took shape in the threshold. The person standing there was a mid aged woman with mid length golden brown hair and azure blue eyes.
    Out of breath she landed and collapsed on the ground.
    Diligently Sen Maa Kloud caught hold of her before she had fallen face ahead.
    She pulled herself together and walked ahead to face the Official army.
    - Wait… Ashley intervened.
    The newcomer shot glance at the Official troopers and clenched her fists.
    - Who is your chief?
    - Here milady, said the squad officer from before. What is your business here?
    She sketched a faint scowl and crossed her arms over her chest:
    - You dare ask me carelessly that sort of things? Ask yourself who I am the answer will be pretty self-explanatory.
    - Who are you?
    - You don’t remember me, do you? Or you must be stupid that’s it. You have killed my family and you expect me to remain silent and stolid. No I won’t. I have had enough of faking smiles when everything went wrong and liars and nonsense commitments. Bear in mind within a few years I’ll become the co founder of the United Countries Committee and the foreign minister of the Afterward Republic. But for now I’m mostly known as Mrs. Theodora Kokuboheki. Do you see better whom you are dealing with right now?
    The squad officer raised an eyebrow. Kokuboheki? He knew this name from somewhere. The late Prime minister’s he realized in shock. This woman called Theodora… could she be?
    - His wife?
    Theodora nodded:
    - Smart cookie yes you got it right.
    - And what are you going to do? Standing there and wait for a miracle? Reality is they won’t come back. Your husband and your son are gone you should bear it in mind.
    Theodora sighed but remained impassive:
    - We can still negociate. It is not already too late. If you let that bomb explode this is the end of everything. The world will never be the same. Its balance will be tipped. Temperatures will come up and down, back and forth from the lowest to the highest and then again from the highest to the lowest. Continents will no longer exist. Made from their scattering there will be only isolated lands gathered together by floating roads on the sea. Undersea the government will build a huge world called Society where most survivors will make a new living for themselves. Families will be shattered. Is this what you want?
    - Obviously not.
     
    All motors roaring the Jeep swallowed kilometers fast crossing the road to the nuclear power plant right to left, left to right to dodge the bullets.
    The passengers were rolling around, just lucky that they didn’t fall off the vehicle.
    All was Isha focused on was to protect Hitori’s body tightened against her heart.
    They got around the nuclear power plant fast.
    Sen Maa Kloud parked the vehicle nearby.
    The nuclear factory was a giant building made of metal, glass and concrete.
    It was disproportional as all other official buildings ordered by Hellmet Pitsbulk.
    In the end it looked like a fortress.
    - Everybody may wait here I’ll go first he could only say feeling impressed and scared awhile.
     
    An alert message showed up on Fritz Davis’ screen to notice him about the presence of intruders. They have entered by Ground G at the back of the station now running through Ground E. He was supposed to guard the main laboratory located three floors up on Ground B. A confrontation was inevitable in the next hour however their weapons disadvantaged them. The single blow of any high volt or fire weapon could wreak havoc in the building by provoking an explosion.
    Fritz was tempted to move towards them but a better strategy was to take them by surprise from behind so that they were cornered and unable to escape until their arrestation.
    Ambushed behind a reactor Sen Maa Kloud analysed the battlefield in a single round look: fortunately the coast seemed to be clear. However he ordered his people to wait for green light to make their move.
    They have reached the station too fast, too easily. Their enemies shouldn’t be far.
    Find just in time the access key to the machinery room.
    Switch on the control panels and understand their functioning.
    Defuse the “Shovel of Death” in a very short time before the explosion.
    That’s all they had to do and the world was saved.
    Obviously it was not going to be as easy as they thought it would be.
    Fritz was cautious but not stupid. Though he resented opening fire a gun was hanging at his belt just in case the adversary side would be stronger than expected.
    His enemies have now reached Ground C. They were approaching really fast.
    It left him no other choice than leaving his action station.
    He went downstairs by the emergency exit, laid low behind the door in wait for their coming. He possessed the key. They couldn’t do anything without his help and he was not going to give up that easily.
    Sen Maa Kloud went ahead through the corridor as advance man. There was no one around. He was completely alone. Weird.
    - You won’t pass. You can’t defeat me with the weapons you are currently using.
    Sen startled and turned around. A young man wearing a mechanic coat was glancing at him. Cables and various pieces of metal and machinery spouted out his pockets. His dishevelled hair gave of him the image of a mad scientist.
    He moved forward.
    And so did Sen Maa Kloud.
    They had exactly the same movements. They could oversee each other’s intentions very precisely. Like they were looking at each other in a mirror.
    Sen Maa Kloud saw this fight as a battle against himself.
    Who did he want to become: the coward or the hero?
    Time ran back along the flow of his memories.
     
    The smoke darkened the sky. Clouds had surrounded the sun.
    Despair and destruction best described the scene.
    Buildings were replaced by rubble. Electric cables sizzled. The strength of the explosion had provoked a general blackout all over the city. There were not enough nuclear shelters to welcome everyone. People were fighting each other for a piece of food, for any small reason just to survive at any cost.
    Fritz stood in the middle of the wreckage of Pitsbulk City. Voiceless he stumbled and fell ahead towards the ground. Everyone said it was an accident, a damn accident.
    - Dammit! He uttered coughing dust.
    He looked at his hand, the hand to have pushed the ultimate button.
    He executed the orders without thinking about the consequences.
    He groped around him for something hard and sharp. There was a piece of glass.
    He slid it around his wrist. A drop of blood streamed along his arm.
    The pain anyhow unbearable was the price to pay according to him.
    He blacked out. Next time he awoke he found himself in a submarine, bundled into a sterile medical unity.
    His wrist was bandaged. Upon the bandage he wore a bracelet saying his new name was Sen Maa Kloud. “New name?” he thought with a start. He realized then he had no memories. He couldn’t remember who he used to be.
    That world called Society was going to be his new home where he could restart everything and make a living.
    But still reality haunted him in his nightmares. In the depth of the night he recalled the circumstances that charged him heavily.
    He woke up in sweat and tears, unable to continue sleeping for a while.
    He had been stupid to obey blindly the orders given. The person responsible was he and not his higher ups. He thought he deserved to be arrested but no one cared about him any longer. So he settled in Society’s surroundings and opened a backstreet hardware store. It turned out to be a good deal. He didn’t attract attention and made a quite good living to provide for his needs. He didn’t want to cause trouble hoping he could get a neutral and peaceful life. He became publicly as invisible as a ghost. He never left the shadows of his quirky store. He was almost waiting eagerly for death to take him to repay for his dealings.
    The balance changed when he met Sempai one ordinary day.
    Sempai could use him as a sneaker. It was not well paid but the job could let him come back to the good side. He just had to sneak information for the Lonesome revolutionary. That way he could take revenge against those who asked him to cross the line and push the button. Moreover he could repay for his debt towards mankind.
    He did not accepted at first. It was too easy. You made yourself responsible for the end of the world, earned a living from a good deal based on your cowardice and your fear of being arrested and then come back to the good side so soon? No way people would not accept this.
    But, thinking about it twice, was it not as well his aim to denounce the regime? Why did they give him the order to launch the bomb in the first place?
    Forcibly it was too late but he could still try to understand the causes according to the consequences. It was at that time he began to carry on experimentations about time travelling.
     
    He got a hit what pulled him out his thoughts.
    He looked at Fritz Davis in other words at himself.
    To win he had to accept this part of him that told him he was not a hero. Not really a coward either, just himself an ordinary mechanic involved in a trail of events that went far beyond his knowledge and his understanding.
    He sighed. It was going to be hard but he must bore it.
    When the merging occurred he got back his memories from the old days.
    When his eyes opened again he smiled.
    Admitting his mistakes and his responsibilities was the least he could do. Now he got the improbable opportunity to come back to the past and repair his failures.
    But… was it the right thing to do?

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  • July 17th; 2050
     
    He hid among the crowd and lowered his hood when policemen patrolled nearby.
    Everything seemed to go according to his plan. The changing was on the air.
    He allowed himself to smoke a cigarette though well aware it was bad for his health.
    He sighed. The time he was a keen and conciliate diplomat was definitely over.
    Hellmet Pitsbulk had crossed the border once and forever. He clenched his fists. He couldn’t bear that failure of a President.
    « Why did Mikael had to fail? » he thought stopping in front of the main gate to subdue to the regular ID checking.
    “ACCESS DENIED”
    “What the heck? What’s with me?”
    - You! Follow us.
    “Never, it’s not like I’m simply an ordinary citizen idiots!”
    A man dressed in black looked eagerly at that standstill weirdo:
    - Would you rather prefer to be dragged by force? Come on.
    He was compelled to obey otherwise it would cause a fuss if anyone was able to recognize him on regards to the last twenty years since his disappearance from the regular society. If the truth was uncovered, right now he could easily get in trouble.
    - Uncover your head.
    Said a rough voice.
    He looked up. Absent-minded he had indeed get to the entrance of the precinct.
    Slowly he lifted his hood. His hair had turned to a fading golden brown shade but his turquoise blue eyes were still careful and alert, the eyes of an experienced and sneaky strategist.
    - Why am I here? What are my charges?
    - Don’t talk brash in that high tone. It’s not your turn to ask questions.
    He stood up and shot glance at the young man in front of him:
    - You were still in your tender early childhood while I struggled to become the head of the country. Be careful about who you’re talking to little brat.
    Anger had overcome carefulness and it was already too late when he realized what he had just said. He sighed at his own stupidity and sat back on his chair.
    - So you’re suspected of having stolen the “Shovel of Death”. It’s enough charge to condemn you, don’t you think?
    - I think so.
    He sighed and crossed his arms:
    - Guess what I plead guilty.
    - Is that so?
    - How to be ashamed of that? I did it for the sake of the world…
    - Ohoh who do we have here?
    That voice he would have preferred to never hear it again.
    The young policeman stood up steadily:
    - Good afternoon Mr. President.
    - Sit down and quit the formalities. I have an even more important matter to carry out here than greeting my subordinates.
    The young man gulped frightened and obeyed.
    The President stared at the man before him:
    - Well then, greetings Marcus, I almost had a heart attack finding out you were alive all along. Now you have to explain yourself about everything and I won’t let you go until I get to understand the real cause of this wonderful mess.
     
    The interrogatory carried out by the President himself lasted for one hour. At the end of It Marcus was allowed to leave right away.
    Hellmet Pitsbulk was simply stunned by the twist in the flow of events.
    It was unpredictable his worst enemy was still alive, hiding in the shadows of clandestineness for twenty years. What to do now?
    Marcus was the trump card, clearly the last trump card willing to reverse everything to the right way.
    He just had to speak and everyone would follow his path.
    There was nothing to do against him, nothing against the true leader of the opposition.
    If even his death was a fake how far could he go as the upholder of justice to defeat him?
    Hellmet Pitsbulk admitted for once he had lost.
     
    Marcus felt uneasy as to know where the events headed.
    Hiding in the shadows for so much time had definitely disadvantaged him.
    He bought the daily release of the New World Telegraph: dissimulating behind the newspaper’s pages he looked around. He could oversee Hellmet Pitsbulk had sent more than one hit man to his heels.
    He bumped unknowingly into someone and mumbled shyly a word of apology.
    The atmosphere was tense and unpleasant as though someone pressed the butt of a weapon against his ribs.
     
    He walked fast. His identity discovered he was no longer safe.
    He trembled because of every glance, every suspicious look people too curious shot at him.
    Isha rushed to be at the hospital on time, it has been quite a bit of time since she last came to work again.
    Someone bumped into her and mumbled an apology. She swirled and saw a man wearing a dark red cloak walking fast towards the crowd.
    His silhouette seemed oddily familiar.
    - Wait! She exclaimed.
    The man startled and turned to look at her. His eyes widened.
    Marcus hadn’t expected to meet Isha here in that particular place.
    He looked around swiftly and put a finger on his mouth:
    - Sssht, let’s talk elsewhere.
     
    Marcus was stunned. He stopped in the threshold before making his way into the guest room. He came to the bed and stared at his dead son whose face expression was soft and peaceful.
    Marcus leaned forward and gave Hitori a kiss on the forehead.
    - May you rest in peace, he whispered his throat tightened by emotion.
    He stood up and bent over the balcony his head into his hands.
    He couldn’t let himself cry even if he so wanted to. Disappearing without giving news during twenty years had to be repaid one way or another.
    Moreover the bandages told themselves the infamous truth.
    He preferred not thinking about how Hitori had been tortured to death even though he was innocent.
    - What are you going to do?
    He swirled and saw Isha stood near the bed.
    He sighed heavily:
    - What to do? Today I’ve lost a son and you’ve lost your beloved.
    Guess I have to meet again with Theodora first. I have sure a lot to tell her.
     
    July 15th, 2040
     
    Sen Maa Kloud and his comrades got unexpectedly easy to the machinery room.
    Mikael was suddenly nervous.
    - What’s wrong? Ashley inquired
    - Nothing much, he answered turning to look at Theodora. To be honest we have only one half of the key.
    - What? Seven voices screamed.
    - Wh- why- why don’t you tell us earlier? Ashley yelled.
    - The strategy was able to work but the Official class acted faster than us.
    - No way! No way! NO WAY! What I’ve done to make such a careless son!
    - It was Marcus’ idea at first.
    Ashley calmed down and looked at her son with a quizzical eye:
    - Did you just say Marcus?
    - Yeah.
    Ashley looked at Mikael, then Theodora, Sen Maa Kloud and Isha:
    - Who is Marcus?
    - You seem to know him, why do you ask?
    - Do we talk about the one I think about? He is supposed to be dead if you see what I mean.
    - He sure was alive the last time we met not long ago. He asked me to give the first half of the key to the Lonesome people.
    Ashley frowned:
    - From any point of view it is strange if you are telling the truth.
    - Possible or impossible the big deal is now we can’t defuse the bomb.
    - Wait Mikael was it that thing you entrusted to me while I was leaving my former office at the New World Telegraph? Alys asked.
    - Yes it was.
    - I had to return it back in exchange for Hitori’s freedom.
    - Very good Alys, very good and now what are we supposed to do knowing that?
    - To our charge Nokira and I were not aware of the nature of that object otherwise…
    Theodora sighed:
    - Now we should wait.
    - Congratulations for getting there but your path ends here.
    Finally they faced Hellmet Pitsbulk their worst enemy.
    Fritz went ahead towards Hellmet Pitsbulk while reloading his weapon. The President remained calm and lifted a hand:
    - You won’t pass.
    Fritz walked faster then began to run.
    Hellmet Pitsbulk blocked his movements at the very last by an arm lock forcing him to let go of his weapon.
    - Is it him you’re calling leader?
    - Release that man Hellmet!
    The President startled: who dared call him by his first name?
    He looked up and skipped a breath.
    Presumably a time traveller who was not there the minute before had arrived.
    He wore a dark red cloak, head covered by a large hood.
    In the shadows, bright turquoise blue eyes shot glance at him.
    To redeem his composure, the President stuck out the chest:
    - No one is allowed to call me by my first name or else the few ones are my nearest collaborators. So who are you to miss so badly with manners?
    His interlocutor squeezed his jaw. He stepped forward and took the man by his collar:
    - Stop kidding me, WHO misses the most with his duties out there? Who is that opportunist student who came to me several years ago to study politics, took my place in the end and is doing everything possible to knock me out furthermore break me apart?
    - Me?
    - Yes you, so much you, the worst of you.
    - What of it? I’m not even sure you’re that person. Marcus Kokuboheki is forever dead once killed and for eternity.
    He knew he had hit the sensitive point of the man standing before him who drapped the cloak over his face to wipe any emotion in his face expression. Marcus felt his lips shiver and straightened the jaw to stop it from shivering:
    - You get a point. Killing coldly because it’s the most proper adjective the dearest being I ever cherished is killing me as well, once and forever because a father’s love for his son is absolutely irreplaceable.
    Slowly Marcus lifted his hood.
    - It’s been a while Hellmet. Be sure I won’t go easy on you.
     
    - It’s been a while Hellmet. Be sure I won’t go easy on you.
    A dead silence weighted the atmosphere. Everyone was shocked.
    Theodora raised hands to her mouth taking a step back:
    - Why? Just… why?
    - I’m sorry Dora, really sorry.
    - Don’t tell me you’re sorry! She screamed. Sorry for what? You were absent for the past twenty years and you dare saying you’re sorry!
    - I do not seek for your forgiveness. I know, know so well I did things the wrong way.
    - Where were you all this time? What were you doing?
    - I can’t tell yet. When the bomb will be defused and the world saved we will have all the time necessary to talk.
    - Have you ever thought it could be too late to just apology and go on?
    - Please don’t rub it in. I know so painfully what you’re feeling right now.
    He lowered his guard and breathed deeply:
    - That’s why we can only look forward if we don’t want to fall apart Dora.
    Let’s walk together. Again. If you wish so, I will not force you.
    - You…
    - I love you.
    He said those words without looking imploringly at her. His confession seemed sincere.
    The man talked before the hero.
    However Theodora was not for all that touched. All that pain, that time loss made no sense. She didn’t even want to listen to his story later on.
    If the key was complete to manage the defusing or if the world blew up whatever, all she wanted to was coming back to reason and reality.
    What if the unreal had became the real?

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