• Home >> Archived content >> Year O:
    Originally published on July 15th, 2045 in the New World Telegraph:
    It’s been five years since Society was created. The truth has to be told about the Traumatism so let me tell you the story of the end of a world we know. I don’t care if this article will be censored. I can’t shut my mouth when the new world in which we are living is only an illusion of democracy. What do “they” expect from us? Forget everything about “their” shameful state blow? We can’t.
    We have everything we could ever wish for but it suddenly fainted into nothing and we weren’t prepared for that to happen. What lingered everywhere were confusion and fear, despair and sadness. And in the middle of our dying homeland there was us, thousands and thousands of refugees as many stars in a night clear sky.
    Back then, was it an apocalyptic prelude for the end melting together life and death in a single hope for survival?
    Fortunately life restarted where it all began, under seas, but how can we create a new world if we deny to look back at our failures?
    In fact history has proved bearing responsibility for the consequences of our failures to let the change happen makes us human and builds the foundations of civilization.
    Moreover because investing in dictatorships settled the threatening of a huge nuclear war, the Traumatism was meant to happen.
    If the “Shovel of Death” has blew up, that wasn’t the result of a mad scientist’s experiments. We can’t minimize it to a mere accident; all things considered it was definitely a warning before our precious so called Mother Earth would collapse into ashes again, ruined by the most powerful atomic mass destruction bomb ever created in history using nuclear energy.”
    No wonder if such articles depicted Sam Suung as too subversive in the globalized and normalized world Society was supposed to become.
    Maa Kintoche wondered why she had never been arrested because the President was well known to persecute rudely any opponent to the system.
    Exhausted Maa Kintoche switched off his laptop and went to bed. His heart ached with guiltiness and melancholy so much that he couldn’t sleep. Sitting on his bed in the dark he closed his eyes and cried.
    Behind his eyelids, all that appeared was his sister's teary face when “they” forcibly separated them by kidnapping Alys and buildings exploding everywhere.
    It made him to cry even more as he imagined what great woman Alys could have became if only she was not dead.
    He chose to ask for a meeting with the President the next morning to leave officially the government.
    A cup of coffee in one hand, her cell phone in the other Sam Suung looked at the sea over the guest room’s balcony with mixed emotions. It was impossible to decide: either she denounced Maa Kintoche to the President or decided to bear all the responsibility they wouldn’t ever be able to reunite.
    Doubting she stayed awake all the night long, unable to find an issue to this impossible dilemma.
    At seven the sun rose up and the heat too. It woke up Sam Suung who had slept less than an hour. She realized she hadn’t to rush because she was unemployed. It bothered her because she knew she would never find a better work than the position of daily journalist she held at the New World Telegraph. It was well paid. Most importantly she could slip into the Official District to spy the government, under the protection of Sempaï.
    Rightfully she looked at him. He was still pale but seemed to have miraculously recovered enough to be considered out of danger. She dressed up, addressed to Sempaï a small note to reassure him and left discreetly.
    At eight she was surprised to find Maa Kintoche walking hastily back and forth the presidential palace’s hall, most likely waiting for a private meeting with the President. He looked nervous and worried. When he saw her he calmed down and sat on a chair.
    She was going to greet him when the President’s secretary appeared in front of them to take Maa Kintoche to the President.
    “ If he’s going to denounce himself I hope he knows what he’s doing…” Sam Suung thought.
    Two hours later, Maa Kintoche left in tears the President’s office. Sam Suung was puzzled.
    - May I ask why do you come here for? The President inquired.
    Sam Suung didn’t answer and looked around.
    Maa Kintoche wasn’t to be found.
    The President had a lot to do and confined himself in his office without a word of goodbye.
    Rushing among the crowd Sam Suung wandered all around the Official District looking for Maa Kintoche.
    Finally she found him standing before the unending no man’s land the planet Earth had became outside Society.
    He noticed her and swept his tears with a hand, troubled
    She simply crossed the space between them and embraced him onto her arms tenderly:
    - You can’t be forgiven for what you did but I don’t hate you. You used to be more than a friend in my heart.
    Maa Kintoche stepped outside her arms:
    - You can’t understand my pain.
    - I’ll wait for you… Mickael.
    Ashley went on sail aboard her submarine, an old one previously property of the government that she had repaired and customized. She switched on and configured the control panels. Entitled as the representative of the few refugees that have been still living on earth since Year 0, she had a diplomatic meeting with the President.
    The submarine arrived safely nearby Society and slipped into the air bubble that rounded the city to let life to be possible.
    She parked her vehicle nearby the city on a wasteland.
    As she was wandering around she could eavesdrop murmurs:
    “Is she an outsider?”
    “ Do you think so? Why does she come here for?”
    “Who knows, she’s scary!”
    She felt an urge to find where was located the presidential palace before more rumours could have been spread about her.
    Moto Rorola found out the note left to Sempaï by Sam Suung. It felt weird that she didn’t tell him where she has gone.
    “ Where is she?” she asked herself looking by the window to the streets of the Official District.
    She remembered their first encounter ten years ago.
    Everywhere buildings were exploding. Cities had collapsed into ruins. With other healers she explored the wrecked houses and skyscrapers in search of wounded or dead people. They were told to manage the Evacuation fast driving as much people as they could to the submarines.
    It didn’t seem to scandalize anyone but it was obvious there weren’t enough ones to save everyone.
    Most of them had already gone on sail although they were almost empty.
    So the priority was to save before all women and children.
    Exhausted after hours spared on searching Moto Rorola and her comrades were about to give up when they heard someone crying.
    The sound came from a completely destroyed house. Drawing aside pieces of rock, wood and glass they found out a red haired little girl who cried even more when she saw them, frightened.
    Moto Rorola was the first to react when she noticed the child was holding something tight blocked by the rubble.
    It was not something but someone: with bravery she continued to dig out the ruins and discovered the body of a red haired teenager who was probably the girl’s big brother.
    - Take her. He has already died and there’s no way we can reverse that. We should better leave, the building is about to explode, someone commented behind her among the healing squad.
    Most of her comrades agreed and left.
    - Do as you wish but you’re stupid cowards, all of you! Moto Rorola uttered.
    Where are your parents? she asked to the girl.
    - I don’t know… We lost their trace and…
    - Don’t worry I’m here to help you. First of all, is he your brother? What are your names?
    - My name is Alys. He’s Mickael, my big brother.
    - I’m sorry Alys but we should go. If only we had more time, I would have tried to save your brother’s life but…
    An aircraft approached the wrecked building:
    - Hurry and come aboard! someone yelled.
    Her and Alys were forcibly dragged inside the aircraft. It was still the beginning of the end.
    Moto Rorola took a deep breath and closed the window. Back then this was the real shame of the Traumatism. People struggled to survive at any cost. Even though it implied to leave behind the weaker men. Even though it shattered families.
    - How do you know my name ? Maa Kintoche asked.
    Sam Suung and Maa Kintoche were heading back to Moto Rorola’s house aboard a cab.
    - It’s a long story which is beyond the two of us.
    When he entered in the guest room and saw Sempai bedridden, Maa Kintoche fell on his knees, unable to speak.
    - Excuses are of no use, Sempai said.
    Maa Kintoche rose up, glancing at Sempai :
    - Why ? It’s all my fault if…
    - The real culprit is the governement, not you.
    - But…
    - I did say, you don’t need to feel guilty anymore.
    Maa Kintoche turned his back to him and walked to the door. From the threshold he explained himself:
    - Because of me you always get in trouble. Not only you but everyone around you. Don’t try to look for me, I’m going far away where I won’t cause harm to anyone.
    - Hep, wait ! You won’t go anywhere. You shouldn’t abandon her… if you’re really Mickael, Moto Rorola intervene.
    Maa Kintoche glanced at her with astonishment :
    - How… how do you know my name ?
    - Sam Suung herself revealed it to me years ago.
    - No way…
    Sam Suung blushed when he stared at her, puzzled :
    - The truth is… she said, hesitating.
    - … Alys is alive, added Moto Rorola. She was neither dead nor kidnapped. However she is the first WANTED person in the government’s blacklist. We the Lonesome are protecting her since the very beginning.
    Maa Kintoche blinked :
    - No way…Why didn’t you tell me earlier ?
    - She would have been killed.
    - No way…`
    - Don’t waste your time here anymore, the planet Earth must be saved. Though it’s up to you. Defusing the « Shovel of Death » implies to travel through time.
    - Before all I want to meet again with Alys. Unless this is another liar, I’m used to handle it whatsoever.
    - She is telling you the truth, Sam Suung declared
    - Can you prove it ?
    - It’s been a while Mickael.
    If he didn’t witness it with his own eyes Maa Kintoche couldn’t have expected to meet again with his sister at last.

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  • Somewhere nearby Society there is a quirky backstreet hardware store owned by an old punk whose name is Sen Maa Kloud. In his fourties Sen Maa Kloud usually wears ununsual steampunk clothing considered by most people as a weird folk : his main business relates to time travelling.
    It was rare for him to welcome customers so when the doorbell rang he jumped off his chair, put away in a drawer another recipe he created the last night and cleaned up a bit his messy store.
    - Welcome, you can come in, he said while filling a jar with sea weeds.
    - Do you sell fuel ? I need some, my submarine is out of order.
    « What should I do ? If he or she is an Official I’m a dead man », he thought but it stirred up his curiosity. He turned around to face his interlocutor. A red haired young woman in her early fourties was smiling at him. He felt relieved that she didn’t wear the regular uniform of the Official class. Citizens weren’t allowed to possess their own submarines. Sempai and the others have never came to visit him.
    - Sorry for asking but… are you an outsider ?
    - Oh… yes in fact. I’m Ashley the representative of the few refugees that have been living on earth after the Traumatism.
    - How does it feel ?
    - What ? I don’t get exactly the sense of your question.
    - I mean… living on earth after the Events… how does it feel?
    - It is what it is. We are compelled to live in nuclear shelters if we want to survive. Most of the time the weather is very intangible: during the day the heat of the sun is too high to go out and when the night comes it suddenly drops so anything can grow whether it is vegetables or trees. Most importantly we are haunted by the past and the memory of the ones we’ve lost. I hope that history won’t repeat.
    - What if you could travel through time to reverse everything ?
    - It might be a way to run back periods in order to repair our mistakes but it should remain a foolish scientist’s dream like in futuristic movies.
    - I’m not joking, I’ve created a recipe that should work to make it possible. If you wish to give it a try...
    - What rightfully worries me is to realize that it looks like a pretty serious and credible alternative according to you.
    By the way you didn’t answer my question: do you sell fuel? I have to be back before nightfall.
    - Maybe I have two or three quart pots left since it has been discontinued but it won’t be enough to manage a whole ride. Let me give you an advice : you should stay here for a while until everything will be back to normal. « They » don’t like outsiders to interfere in their affairs.
    - Who are « They ?
    - Don’t talk so loud, it’s the government, muttered Sen Maa Kloud looking worriedly by the window. Be aware that you won’t come out unscathed if you get in trouble with them.
    - You would be of good help if you could tell me where is located the presidential palace.
    - Unless you recklessly intent to negociate with them you shouldn’t go there.
    - Why ?
    -  Since the President has taken the full powers the system has been slowly transforming into a dictatorship where any kind of opposition is prohibited. That’s why intellectuals and protesters are persecuted.
    It sent chills down Ashley’s spine. Unwillingly she had a movement of retreat.
    - Don’t worry, I’m just warning you.
    Behind them the door slid showing Moto Rorola. Sen Maa Kloud smiled :
    - Long time no see my dear Moto Rorola, what do you want ?
    - Have you read the newspaper this morning Sen ?
    - It annoys me to read their insipid rag you know.
    - My poor Sen when will you stop acting as an old teenager ? The case is that we are in great danger because Sempai has been wrongly accused for the stealing of a new prototype of the « Shovel of Death » !
    - First of all take a breath and calm down. Then reconsider things reasonably : even if they arrest him, there is no proof that…
    - They did and… oh Sen you know… if Sam Suung and Nokira weren’t there I don’t think he had been still alive.
    -- So I guess you come here at last because time travelling is the only way to be able to defuse the « Shovel of Death ».
    - Exactly.
    - You haven’t changed at all… Well here we go I’ve finally created a recipe that will work this time. By the way I miss with all my duties, let me introduce Ashley to you. She lives with a few other refugees on earth since the Traumatism, entitled as their representative.
    - My name is Moto Rorola. Nice to meet you I’m a well known healer all over Society.
    - Nice to meet you too, Ashley answered with a smile.
    - I hope to meet you again someday, be careful with the ingredients if you don’t want to end up lost in the space time continuum.
    - Thank you I’ll never forget you helped us to carry everything well.
    - You’re welcome, see you soon. Good luck, take good care of you.
    - I will, goodbye.
    Moto Rorola offered to drive Ashley to the presidential palace aboard her aircraft but Ashley declined :
    - If time travel is the only resort to save the world from premature destruction by defusing the « Shovel of Death », it is definitely proven that negotiation is no longer suitable to deal with the President, as such the United Countries Committee should appoint a statutory justice court to decide on Society’s destiny.
    - What will you do? You can’t ride a submarine that is nearly out of order.
    - May you grant me your hospitality for a few days?
    - If only it didn’t put all of us in danger I would have accepted but I can’t because our lives might be brought into play.
    - It is understandable.
    - I can safely assume you’re our ally so I won’t leave you behind.
    - Intellectuals don’t seem to be welcomed around here, are you really ready to take such a risk for me ?
    - It’s one of the main reasons why the Lonesome movement was created.
    - What ? Are you a revolutionary ?
    - What an ambiguous question, why do you ask such sensitive information ?
    - I came here as the refugee’s representative but also… as a mother who has lost her children.
    Moto Rorola looked at her and sighed :
    - Come aboard just in case a police patrol would hear us. Who are you ?
    Ashley pulled up herself to sit on the passenger’s seat. Moto Rorola closed the aircraft’s air lock hastily.
    - My full name is Ashley Wonderland, Ashley avowed. Where are we going ?
    - Anywhere else but to my house, you’ll be safe there.
    - What about my submarine ?
    - You don’t need it anymore. You’ll travel with them.
    - Who are you talking about ?
    - We’ll arrive soon, get ready.
    - Huh ?!
    Moto Rorola made the aircraft to do the loop the loop to land on a landing pad at the main entrance of the Official district.
    - Are you okay ?
    - I think so but I’m lucky that you are a good aircraft driver.
    Moto Rorola smiled and called a cab :
    - Now we should hurry.
    Ten minutes later they have reached their destination. Moto Rorola unlocked the main door :
    - Does it bother you if you’ll sleep in the living room ? she asked.
    - It’s up to you.
    - Well… alright. In any case the guest room is already used so … Sempai ?!? What are you doing ? Go back to bed you have and you deserve to take some rest !
    - Never mind I’m fine.
    - Fortunately you seem to have recovered fast. You idiot you shouldn’t involve yourself in the governement’s affairs !
    - The President is a tough case, he is using blackmail on Alys and Mickael to find who has stolen the « Shovel of Death »…
    - Talking about Alys and Mickael, let me introduce their mother Ashley to you.
    - What- what the ?! Sempai and Ashley exclaimed in sync.
    - I’m Sempai the Lonesome movement’s leader, nice to meet you.
    - My name is Ashley. I’m glad to know my daughter and my son alive.
    Moved by meeting again with her children after so many years Ashley stood in front of the guest room’s door, hesitating. Her hand shaked when she grabbed the door handle to make the door to slide. Would they recognize her ? What were they going to talk about ?
    She felt awkward to let such questions harass her so much.
    The door slid smoothly.
    At first they continued to talk not noticing her.
    Ashley felt relieved to see them laughing and chatting with the carefreeness of their age like old friends.
    A gentle breeze passing by the window freshened the air.
    - At last my promise is fulfiiled Alys and myself are healthy and safe, Mickael said gently.
    Ashley swept a tear and smiled, overwhelmed by emotion. With open arms she simply took them inside her arms to lighten them against her heart.
    - I’m… I’m so glad that you’re alive…
    - Trust me now that we are reunited, it’s over. All these years of suffering are behind us.
    - If you wish to save the world, you(ll have to defuse the « Shovel of Death », Ashley explained.
    - Currently it’s the last thing to do ; the lives of many people might be put in the line if we blatantly declare war to the governement like this, Mickael responded.
    - I don’t mean to fight or to use terrorism. When you want to solve or to change something you should identify the causes and the consequences.
    - What should we do then ? Alys asked.
    - We can’t deny that we failed to prevent the explosion from happening in the past but there’s a way we can make sure such traumatism won’t happen again. We have to travel through time to the day before it explodes. From here we’ll have less than twelve hours to achieve the defusing like it should have been done.
    - How to manage that if I may ask ? Mickael inquired, puzzled.
    - We’ve got a recipe created by someone called Sen Maa Kloud that will work.
    - I’ve heard rumors about him, he is not the type of man I would totally rely on.
    - He offers his help to us although it may put his life in danger, can we refuse ?
    - Guess we can’t.
    - Moto Rorola should be done with the preparation by now.
    Dressed with the proper clothes in organic cotton the recipe recommended, Alys and Mickael felt a bit awkward :
    - Why don’t you come with us ?
    - After all I shouldn’t come while earth’s political balance is still fragile. I don’t want it to turn into pure anarchy.
    - It’s a justified point of view but we’ve just meet again…
    - I know but practically earth’s balance should be put before our family matters. I’m sorry… but it’s not really a farewell we will meet again someday in a world worth called « new world ».
    Moto Rorola entered in the living room with glasses filled with a weird-coloured blue mixture and vials full of radioactive sea water :
    - Sen has really no sense in his mind to think he could make his business with this but anyway if you follow all of his advices described in the recipe it should work.
    She held out a piece of papyrus and a watch and added :
    - Just in case the papyrus would desintegrate during the travel I record all the information in this watch. Don’t lost it or you’ll never come back.
    She gave a glass and a vial to each of them, the papyrus to Alys and the watch to Mickael.
    - See you in the next world.
    Mickael and Alys nodded and drank at the same time the so weird mixture.
    Immediately after they fell asleep.
    - Good night and good luck, Moto Rorola whispered.
    But they were already disappearing.
    Lost in translation,
    Fingers tightly embraced,
    Song for the change.

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