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Defending Unity [LOWWC]

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posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 10:21 PM
The thought was truly overpowering. Even for a man such as this, the only man who could truly understand all of the implications, it was surreal and seemingly too fantastic to fully get ones mind around. At least a hundred thousand years of human barbarity and failure to achieve the potential of the species would end in a few very short hours. The old order would have its final death spasms this afternoon. Then? Well then whatever might become of humanity would finally begin to develop a definition.

The spin doctors, even without knowing all of the particular, still seemed to understand, After all, they'd declared this “International Rubicon Day”, in honor of the transition. They had come to Potter, as he was called in some circles, and had asked for an ancient word that might best describe what was happening. Before replying, he had sat in deep contemplation for several minutes – fighting the urge to suggest “International Lewis Carrol day”. It would have been a great inside joke – one that would have been understood by him and him alone. But he deferred to decorum and offered “Rubicon” instead. Making light of such an important milestone, in the end, had proven to be more than he could bring himself to do.

Such moments were an ingrained part of his life, from the very beginning.

To the politicos he was “Potter” - an allusion to the ancient cemeteries that, in the distant past, had served as the final resting places for the poor and the unloved. Places often called “Potters fields”. To the adoring denizens of the megopolis named “Unity” he bore many titles. They called him “Messiah”, “Justice”, “The Man”, and a few others. They mostly knew him, however, by the name he had chosen for himself, when he had turned sixteen and taken over the family business. A name that only he had the power to understand the implications of. An inside joke that only he could laugh at.

The world knew him as Jack Ketch. The name of a famous executioner from history. A name that had already been long forgotten by most even before the great war came, and the rebuilding process have begun. A rebuilding process that saw a series of conclaves grow, eventually becoming a globally interconnected, singular city known as Unity.

One power, one Government, one Nation, one People, one Law, one Purpose, one Peace. Words that every person alive today could recite in their sleep. The Universal Pledge it was called. Jack still knew the words by rote, even though he had not uttered them in many years now. Not since he came of age and was afforded access to the secret benefits of his job. Once that happened, and he'd had a minute to digest a few things he had a perspective that only his father, at the time, shared.

His father. How Jack missed that old cur. As a child, and even a teenager, Jack never really liked his father. The old man was half insane and more bitter than any human has a right to be. Jacks entire childhood was spent in a state of combined fear and confusion. Fear that his father might well snap, one night, and do the unspeakable. And confusion as to why his father seemed able to get away with crimes that would have seen anyone else put into the chair.

Now, a middle aged man, who had spent what felt like an eternity walking in his fathers shoes, Jack understood. How he wished he could apologize to the old man... that he might praise his father for having been so much stronger than Jack could have comprehended.

Oh well... debts to the dead are the debts we carry with us into the beyond. No reason to waste precious life accounting for them. The dead know what they are owed.

Jacks grandfather had been the first executioner. His father the second. Jack the third, and seemingly final one. When Jacks grandfather had volunteered for the responsibility of ridding the world of genetic anomalies and criminals the projection was that it might take as many as ten generations for the work to be accomplished. In reality it took just three. This was a fact that both filled Jack with swelling pride and also with great guilt. His grandfather had overseen the deaths of more than four hundred thousand souls. His father had presided over the end of nearly two million. Jack, as it turns out, was the prodigy of the family. In a career that spanned two and a half decades – by his right hand over seventeen million had left this world.

The thought invaded his mind again... The dead know what they are owed.

With this silent and nearly subconscious realization, Jack looked around his home for something to take his mind from these painful and pointless thoughts. After all... every treasure in the world was at Jacks fingertips.

Ultimately Jack settled for doing the same thing that he often did when his thoughts were troubled. Speaking the words “Activate media wall. Load expunged file “A Clockwork Orange” on screen. Mute sound. Load expunged file “Led Zeppelin Four” on audio. Execute. Authority code: Ketch one. Voiceprint conformation Omega”. Jack was the only living human who had access the catalog of expunged files. No other voiceprint on Earth could be used to access them. This was one of the perks of his job.

With these words the household management utility obeyed, verified his identity, and complied – all in less than the blink of an eye – and Jack sat down, on his antique ( and quite illegal ) leather couch to relax. He reached forward, onto the table in front of him, and picked up the bottle of liquor from it. Another unique perk of his inherited job. He downed a large gulp of the burning liquid. But only one. Today was an important day and he needed to have his wits about him and, at the very least, the appearance of sanity for the very public event that was to come. Jack was sure that there were probably many who had seen through his veneer of insanity in the past. He was positive that most of the world had considered his father, before him, to be unhinged. Such things could only be assumed though. Saying anything uncomplimentary about a Government official was punishable by immediate death in Unity. Thus such words had not been heard, by any ears, in a very long time.

Jack had often wondered. Had they truly eradicated crime and dissent? Or merely trained an entire population to repress such things? The scientists held firm in their insistence that the former was the case. Jack felt, quite strongly, that it was probably the latter. Then again, what did he know. He was not a geneticist nor a DNA coder. He was the Executioner. The one that the scientists relied upon when they failed.

Their most recent, and theoretically final failure was dealt with just four days prior. A man who had, for reasons none ( other than maybe Jack ) could fathom, had used chalk to write “WHY” on the sidewalk just outside of a Unity Administration facility. The USR ( Universal Security Recorder ) footage showed a disturbing site. One that upset a fairly large portion of the population so badly that a global Holiday from duties had been issued as an emergency order. The man not only defaced Unity property – he did so while laughing and crying at once. Then he cemented his face by physically assaulting the citizens who tried, verbally, to take him into temporary custody – as the law dictates. This man was the first in almost two entire years to break the law. He was an anomaly.

posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 10:21 PM
He was the last anomaly. Nobody bothered asking how such a thing happened generations after all of the safety and testing procedures had been put into place. In fact, just wondering such a thing was, technically, a crime in and of itself – and would have meant job security for Jack. But nobody had. Jack did know the specifics however – as it was his job to be curious about these things. Jack knew that the man had been born illicitly – to a man and a woman who eventually both found their reward in Jacks special chair. Unfortunately their ends had come many years after their secret had been born. Long enough that he had reached the age of near adulthood. Those two genetically aberrant parents had taught their child how to tamper with the Universal Genetic Database at some point – and that how the defective managed to exist for nearly three decades – even though infected. That is how he gamed the system.

Jack knew these things because Jack was the one who had tortured the information out of the man, over the coarse of two months. After that Jack had shared this information with the guardians of the UGD. This information allowed these men to finally close the last exploit to their system. The final step in fulfilling the prophecy of the First Chairman of Unity – that science would, one day, overcome even the animal within man. Now every single human being alive was one hundred percent validated as being genetically unable to commit any crime against any other or against society.

Unity was now Utopia – as it was always intended to be.

Well, it would be very, very soon. There was still one loose end to tie up.

Jack came out of his deep thought realizing that the movie, playing on the wall, was nearly over. The beautiful, forbidden, ancient music had looped, at least once, it seemed – as track one was playing again. How many times had it cycled since he last paid attention?

“No matter” he forced himself to think, “The great work needs completing.” It was time.

One of the most impressive antiques in Jacks collection was a model 1911 45 caliber handgun – complete with stable and working shells. After the great war all such weapons had been destroyed. Not even Unity officials were allowed to use them. It had taken a number of years to accomplish. But a point had been reached when the only examples of such things were the occasional rusted out and useless examples that were found by those whose work gave them reason to dig in the Earth – an activity strictly restricted and licensed by the Government. Those unlucky enough to find a rusty gun were often sent away to reeducation hospitals where their minds were adjusted ( in a myriad of ways, utilizing physical procedures, medication, and “therapy” )to the point where they were no longer aware of what they had unearthed. The one in Jacks hand was a hand me down. Currently it was encased in a vacuum sealed casing- meant to keep the shells from going bad. Jack had spent a lifetime wondering what this weapon would feel like without the thick plastic shroud that it had worn for his entire life.

A strange sound, the combination of ripping plastic and a broken vacuum preceded Jack knowing. Within a few moments the gun, sans plastic cover, was in his hand. The bottle he had taken a drink from earlier was still resting against his body. He picked it up and deeply drank from it. As the burning sensation of the liquid filled his chest, he took a brief moment to enjoy his victories. He had finished his grandfathers great work. He now knew how the 1911 felt without barriers. His moment of long awaited intimacy with the cold steel had come. His hand trembled with both joy and apprehension.

Then he put the barrel of the gun into his mouth and fulfilled his duty. The last living criminal – the last human being alive with the genetic potential to violate or harm others, a known mass murderer, was dead. Humanity and Unity were now free of the chains that had bound mankind since his very first steps. Through genetic manipulation and genetic cleansing, started in the days after the worlds third great war, humanity had finally quieted the echoes of their infancy.

If Jack were reading this he might quip “What chance does a flock of sheep have with no shepherd to guide them?” Jack would hope that his suspicions were right and the scientists were wrong. Maybe some of the sheep were not as docile as they pretended to be.....

Jacks last thought was “Now the dead and I are even......”

posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 10:22 PM
( This is a re imagining of a story that has been floating around in my head for about a decade. I've never gotten around to trying to write the long version of it as there are so many plot points involved that even a professional writer would have a hard time with keeping them all interwoven and intact.

A few hours ago, however, I got bored and decided to give a shot at telling just one aspect of the larger story. So here it is, first draft – no edits – one voice and one story from a world that exists solely within the post apocalyptic mess that I call an imagination. )


posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 10:30 PM
"Oh well... debts to the dead are the debts we carry with us into the beyond. No reason to waste precious life accounting for them. The dead know what they are owed"

I found that very thought provoking.

S & F

posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 02:22 AM
I really liked this Heff, and I can interpret it in several ways, which I think only adds a "ring of truth" to the story. Of course, my favorite parts were the references, but I also liked the "WHY" and the end part about the sheep not being "docile." There was a certain ambiguity, and hesitance in the character that I think made him very human and realistic...just my opinion of course! I always like stories with those sort of characters

posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

Oh my! I wish my first drafts were even 1% as well realised as this story. I have spelling, grammatical and structural mistakes almost every other word until at least my fifth draft. S&F and thank you for posting.

You are definitely giving 'in the flesh' and 'Subace' a run for their money.

I expect to be around the short story forum from now on, after lurking here years ago. If I get any reputation at all I'm sure it will be for being overly critical and nitpicky. This is only because I am so passionate about writing. Stories, whether told in fiction, with music, verse or on video are my 'five fruit and veg a day'. Without them I wither and die.

So with that in mind I do have one criticism. I had difficulty with the following:

"Jack had spent a lifetime wondering what this weapon would feel like without the thick plastic shroud that it had worn for his entire life.

A strange sound, the combination of ripping plastic and a broken vacuum preceded Jack knowing. Within a few moments the gun, sans plastic cover, was in his hand."

We already have sprayable waterproof sealants for objects like smartphones that are so thin they are invisible, do not increase the objects dimensions by any discernible amount, and do not even inhibit the phones ports while at the same time keeping water and dust out of them. In the future, even the near future before Jack was born would it not be more likely that the vacuum seal coating was very thin rather than 'thick plastic'? It just seemed out of place.

Also, I think adding ...'sans plastic cover' is superfluous as you've just described him ripping it off in the previous sentence.

I too was immediately drawn to the following statement just as Slayer was:-

"Oh well... debts to the dead are the debts we carry with us into the beyond. No reason to waste precious life accounting for them. The dead know what they are owed"

What great lines! Now that they have been released online I am sure that they will be plagiarised, and will no doubt find a life of their own and go on forever.

Anyway great effort, with an ending different and superior to the majority of stories using this kind of scenario. Him being the last criminal, and being prepared to take his own medicine, absolutely loved that.

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