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.