by J Broadbent
One man can end torment avenge his freinds and family while all he has left his threatened
|Untitled/Wave of Peace
It is the year 2090.
How the Earth appears to you today as you read this, is not so now, in the future.
Pollution, threatens to take the last breath of Mother Nature while it holds her in its grim strangle-hold, and the religious wars of the 2050’s have solved most of the over population problems that once plagued our planet.
Whole cities have been wiped out, small countries ceased to exist and Religion has taken over as both the world’s Economic and Political influence.
All hope is lost on a wise and diverse world of people. Communities around the world are held in strict order and those who challenge its authority are either executed or banished. Groups of Rebellion occasionally rise up every now and then but are immediately met with a cold reality and crushed hopes. Scattered across the globe the survivors of these uprisings band together and find sanctuary underground. Misbelievers that choose to be pacifists also find sanctuary though at the cost of living a life that in most cases is not worth living. Oppressed and disallowed the rights to an education as well as less than minimum wage. They live lives without hope.
Chapter One: Before Life
Early Morning in Waihi Beach, New Zealand.
An orange and red glow slowly grows over the horizon and the ocean reflections of its warm colours constantly shift and shimmer across the peaceful waves. The pulsating globe of light reveals itself above the pacific and slowly finds its place in the sky above the world. A world that is physically beginning to wake but is mentally in deep sleep.
The Tui cries and shakes the dew from its white tufted neck, before it dives from its perch atop the Rata tree and glides to the lower regions of the forest. Two eyes and one beak searching for a six-legged creature that is frantically trying to hide. Target acquired and a fatal swoop, in for the kill.
The seagull observes the Tuis cry of triumph as it soars and floats on the incoming sea breeze, determined to follow with its own catch.
From this height, waves pass at the speed of seconds below feathery wings. Eyes open with anxiety as they seek out a dark slithering shadow beneath the waves, preparing himself to dive he tracks the shadow to a lone surfer and begins a stealthy descent.
Ken shook his shaggy long hair as he emerged from beneath the final wave before the lineout. Here the depths prevented the waves to break and so the calm spot, a safe haven for exhausted surfers, the few left.
He looked around, saw others floating to the same rhythm as he but saw through them.
They were not surfers, they were believers that believed in nothing and lived lives of nothing. Ken looked at them with such a stare that if looking could burn, they would all be ashes floating on the ocean in one instant.
THEY SHOULD BURN LIKE THEY BURNED MY PARENTS, MY FAMILY AND MY LIFE.
His stare lingered only a moment longer before it was cooled by a breaker that had taken Ken by surprise. Recovering himself from the short roll it had sent him into; Ken threw quick glances around at the others to make sure his blunder had not been seen.
It hadn’t. The others were still emerging from their respective dives to avoid the unexpected wave.
It was her again, paying Ken a warning. As much as he had the right to hate them, if he acted on that hate in vengeance of his parents, he would only join the viscous cycle. The cycle that kept all human kind in check, like pawns in a chess game. It was the cycle that kept this war and all wars in the past from expiring. The only thing to stop the men who fought and died so ignorantly. The only thing that put them through hell when they had no knowledge of why. It was the reason why this war that had killed his parents and thus destroyed his life, was still carried on today. Sometimes Ken felt a part of that cycle, he had seen examples of it in his friends eyes before they died. Ken did not wish to die with that look. But he knew it was there, in the back of his mind, it was a war waged in his subconscious. Every now and then the hate would come back.
He’d be receiving his pay-cheque only to get a bonus in the form of fresh mucus splashed on his face, a silent reminder of where is morals must lie in this new world. He was an alien, an outsider, less than filth and certainly less intelligent than some animals. He felt this every time he felt the steely gaze of a thousand different pairs of eyes if he chanced to walk the streets. And every time he felt this hate, the thoughts would come, thick out of the violent clouds of his mind. Driven by these thoughts he would follow them to the nearest underground shelter for the Faithless and known Rebel Leaders, with every intention of joining the rebellion. But with every step he took away from the scene of discrimination and abuse, memories of numerous friends lost to the same cause he was headed to would flood back. They were telling him something and it took more than a few such instances to realise that they wanted him to stay alive and not die in vain as they had.
Right foot after left, he would walk blindly, finding the underground with ease, even through its impossible camouflage, that which had so reliably kept the Believers from finding the Rebellion and crushing it completely. Just because you could not see something, it did not mean it was not there.
He knew his lost friends were trying to tell him something when he found the words with surreal form, appearing in front of his eyes from nothing less than vapour.
“There is another way”
Then he would turn around and go back the way he came as if he were a zombie, to live his life of torment some more until evidently, he snapped again. It was another part of that cycle, and if it was not for his spiritual god mothers in the form of lost friends, he’d probably be killed in some suicide attempt on the Believers Head Council by now.
He was glad for the extra mental help and stability, he did not wish to die like that. If he were going to die for what he believed in, he wanted to do it right. He was sure his parents would want it that way too, eager as he was to find the mysteries that lay beyond death, he would rather get as much surfing, as much life in, before the end.
The way his friends always appeared from no where in order to help him also told him something about why he was still here. This may be a little far-fetched and it blew Ken away for just thinking about it, but maybe he was still here because he was supposed to do something important. But the only thing that could be remotely important to Ken would be the impossible. Overthrowing the corrupt and evil Believers Government.
Ken couldn’t even fathom as to how he was supposed to do that. Getting thrown out of school before he could complete his education didn’t help him much in the thinking department. The Believers were responsible; it was one of the first steps in the “cleansing” of the world. Education was for Believers only. It was just another right that the Believers had robbed him of.
Not that he wanted their education, if that’s what you could call it.
As soon as they took over schools, it was only a matter of time before they had scraped every single subject, and replaced them with “Bible Study”. Ken could remember the days of their gradual government and cabinet takeover. He was still at school when the Minister or Education mysteriously disappeared and was replaced by a Believer. On the very first day they abolished Biology, Kens favourite subject because he wanted to become a Marine Biologist. Their explanation for the scrapping of the class? It was blasphemous and against Gods word. Although it angered and disappointed Ken, it didn’t surprise him that it was the first to go.
Throughout the presence of scientific fact in mans existence there has always been strong religious believers to ignorantly refuse it.
One girl in his biology class would always complain about being tested on The Evolution of Man for her grade when she didn’t even believe in it. That girl had always scared Ken. She would continually interrupt class to chant Bible Verses whilst she closed her eyes and prayed to her god. Then when the teacher told her to stop, her once blue eyes would open as opaque and distant as the moon. Then that stare would level on the teacher and she would speak aloud to her god. Asking him to punish the ignorant one. When nothing happened, she grew angry and threw dissecting tools. He remembered seeing his Biology teacher the day that the Believers had gotten rid of the subject. He was usually such an enthusiastic man, always full of energy. He was one of the best teachers in the school. Now he seemed sapped of all life, he did not even have enough spirit to protest. A small man with a gangly frame, he looked like your average boredom enhanced lecturer except for one detail, his eyes. They sat, well balanced upon his small and dainty head, but were the kind that could hold your attention. Perhaps that was a reason why he had always a way with students. Those eyes were always so warm and determined; he always cared for the well being of his students.
It broke Kens heart to see him after that one source of energy behind those eyes, had died.
Two days later he was locked up in prison when another new law was passed and the believers took control of the Justice System.
He was arrested on charges of “Issuing Misinformation” and “Leading The Youth To Impure Thoughts”. These were crimes against God and were punishable upon death. The very next day, the death penalty was legalized.
Some of Ken’s closest friends had executed a rescue attempt but that was another story.
Now they were dead, his biology teacher, an innocent man whose name he could not even remember now and his beloved friends. It had gone on like that for a long time, the disposing of and replacing of Politicians, until the Believers held total control.
Now they were dead and the girl who had always scared him in Biology class, sat atop the highest of the high Believer Political Councils in the world.
Propaganda started by a young and ambitious politician, who was tired of having his ideals of domination turned aside by those that he saw as ignorant ignorers of the all mighty. He gathered support in huge ranks from the churches; indeed there was a lot that this man has done. The old wars over the ancient individual religions were ended by genocide, his forefathers had seen to that. They disposed of all opposing religions, Judaism, Hinduism, Catholicism, all gone. People converted by force or were killed, Ken didn’t really understand that, he figured they would all rather die for what they believe in, then to live as ordered by something that was the opposite of everything they believed in. Others who were not religious at all joined from fear of what might happen to them if they did not. And so that’s how religion stands in the world today, an army of force and hate.
Ken sighed as he decided to catch the next wave in, sometimes he liked to think that his dead friends and family were with him whenever he went surfing, it always felt like that to him.
As he stroked and paddled his way onto a wave, he could hear the distant echoes of a friend’s voice. It was Tom, a guy he had known since he was just three years old. The memory that echoed to him across the sea spray was that of when they would give each other a piggyback when the other got to tired.
As he rose up from a crouch and stepped out onto the wave, he could hear Tom with him, telling him reassuring words.
“Get on my back buddy, I’ll take you home”.
Chapter Two: “Enter Change”
Ken did not sleep very well that night. As he lay in the ferns of an abandoned wildlife sanctuary that was situated on one of the mountain heads that kept the bay snug and safe from the full force of the ocean, he tossed and turned in time with the ocean, felt the ocean become him, heard his friends beckon.
The make shift home had kept Ken safe during the “cleansing”. Where any Faithless found on the streets after dark were immediately beaten and burned alive. But for some reason the believers feared this place, they feared nature.
Ken was the opposite; Nature was all he had left. His only companion, he talked to her often and she spoke back to him. She promised him safety, she promised him life. And now she was calling to him, forbidding him to rest.
It was obviously a message, something important. It was early dawn and light rays were slowly emerging over the horizon of the sea.
Ken got up and stretched, then made his way to the cliff and the ocean below. It was as beautiful as the day he had first seen this view, fortunately the pollution of the world and the wars waged had not reached here yet, it may be one of the few places. Mother Nature still held her ground here, but Ken knew it was inevitable. As ignorantly as the Believers went to their death thinking they knew what was on the other side, it was equally as sure that Nature in all of the world would someday die, and when that happened so would the rest of the planet. They hated nature because it could not be controlled; it could not be converted to their mind set.
Ken knew they did not understand it and because they did not understand it, they feared it. It was human nature in itself.
They did not understand, so they feared it, they hated it consequently, because they feared it. Since the takeover and the rebel wars, the same amount of care to look after the environment which had been used before were not applied now. So she has slowly been dying, abused and neglected. The Believers then aided in the process by building more cities, factories and unbiodegradable substances.
They believed too much in their own God to think anything bad could happen to them, but all the while they were sealing their own fate.
The mass pollution is still evident today though thankfully, they are doing so in the major centres of the world. Far flung regions of the world such as this one, New Zealand are safe for now.
Ken picked up his board; the one he had always used, even before the takeover. It needed a new wax job, but that could wait, it had been waiting for the last few years.
For it was a few years ago that the Faithless lost all their rights completely. Up until a few years ago, there was still hope. They had but one out of the original near full cabinet of politicians left after the takeover. He was the minister of resources, and had a strong crutch at with to bargain with. You see with all the pollution and harm to the ozone layer, the Earths resources were slowly depleting. One of these was the essential for all mankind to survive. Water. With the Ozone layer slowly melting away, so to do the damns of fresh water. This minister of resources knew he had a crutch at which to bargain with, as he was the only Faithless left with the scientific knowledge needed to obtain freshwater from the oceans saltwater. It was just another hole that the Believers had dug themselves into. By refusing the facts of science and chemistry, they had refused their only hope left to survive.
The Faithless politician, bargained his life and kept what little rights he could for the Faithless, such as citizens like Ken being able to have a job with less than minimal wages, and disallowing the Believers the ability to commit genocide of all Faithless.
But sadly the Politician had taken his bargaining too far, and the Believers grew impatient with him withholding the valuable information. He was assassinated as he left for work one morning. That was two months back, and now Ken had to actually pretend he was one of THEM to go surf during the day, the genocide order was issued the day after the minister of resources was murdered. For Ken to go out in daylight and pretend to be a Believer was pretty brave, but he hadn't thought of it that way. He just left his beachhead dwelling one morning and went surfing with the rest of them. He had heard the others in the lineup commenting about the death of the Faithless politician and the beginning of genocide, the “final cleansing”. But he was not harmed or suspected. Allowed to live out everyday since then under an image that he was not. But since that day Ken had noticed a fear in the Believers eyes that he had never seen before. It was only small, but it grew everyday. Recently it had become very apparent that the Believers were running very low on water and were becoming dehydrated. Ken need not worry though, Nature had blessed with him with a fresh spring in his sanctuary above the bay. The Believers never knew about it because they were so afraid of nature that they dared not venture up there.
Shaking these thoughts from his mind, Ken made towards the waves insistent beckoning, he carefully made his way down the cliff.
The bay was shaped like a horseshoe, with mountain heads at either end of the beach. Ken resided on the Southern one, it meant he did not have to pass through the city and the dreaded streets for the cleansing if he needed to get around unnoticed. He could just take the beach, but ironically since the order for genocide none of the believers suspected him and he was free to walk where he pleased, though he did not venture into the city, he had no business there anymore. The city sat burrowed between the two heads, a few kilometres from the beach. Jogging along the beach a short distance before coming to his favoured spot, he spotted a dark spot bobbing above the waves. Surely there couldn’t be another like he, whom could not sleep and heard the ocean call. Caution and Danger were discarded, it could not be a believer, they did not surf after dark, they were afraid of the dark, they did not know what it held.
No this person, if it was in fact a person, was friendly. At least he hoped.
Aiming his board at the dark spot on the horizon, he slid out onto the water and began paddling. Usually the chore of making it out the back was a long haul and it was only Ken’s determination for the rewards that followed that got him through the long haul. But tonight the waves were much calmer, but still forming.
They came at perfect frequency, a set every two minutes. Just enough time to get on, have a few rides and be back out in time for the next one.
It was rare for the ocean to be this co-operative, more often and especially in winter it was much what you would expect it to be, a messy, tossy-turny jumble of waves, refractions and defractions.
Surfing at night always kept Ken on edge, the nights were always lit by the moon, and if there was no moon, there was always enough light provided by the radioactive glow in the air and fallout from the pollution. The city’s lights also provided more than enough light.
Ken wondered if she had anything to do with these perfect conditions as well as the appearance of the other night-surfer on the horizon.
The atmosphere was errie, Ken knew he was awake but still felt like he was in a dream.
The moon was still a visible milky white contrast against the slowly toning dark sky.
The sun was also present too, in part providing the beginning of the day and doing its best to chase the moon from the sky. Add all this to the presence of the still glowing lighting what would traditionally suggest a night sky.
Kens vision blurred as he deftly dived under the last of the oncoming waves, before he was past the breakers and into the lineout. Surfers since the beginning had called it the “Lineout”, mostly because it was where everyone ended up and by then it looked very similar to a line-up of people waiting for something. Usually when it became too crowded, courteous surfers would try to space themselves out horizontally across the calm spot. However no matter how much the Believers think they can control nature and especially when surfing, she always prevails to prove them wrong. Ken always enjoyed the amusement of watching the Believers being moved around the water against their will.
The best part was watching them paddle and step into a wave believing they could not be harmed because they’re god was with them. But mere seconds later they would immediately be thrown off for their efforts.
But not all Believer Surfers could be dealt with as easy. Some had learned and known when to shift balance, they always knew the right time to move. Still that didn’t help their manoeuvrability for tricks. Ken had seen them at competitions. High up on his cliffs he glimpsed their vague attempts at pulling of moves that Ken could muster with his eyes closed. Of course he had an advantage. His ally was real, while theirs was not. Ken longed to enter into one of these competitions, not only to show them all what he could do. But to prove them that, God or no God, it can be done.
But like most functions in the Believer society, the Faithless were banned. Banned from participating, banned from being a spectator, banned form anything to do with the event so Ken sat atop his cliffs, hands opening and closing into fists balled with the poison that was a product of the frustration going on through his mind. He was an alien.
“One day he would tell himself, the time will come. She has promised me, my time will come”.
Of course now that they thought he was a Believer he could enter into one of these competitions, but he could not risk it. Drawing such attention to himself was suicide; questions would be asked and answered with fatal judgement.
Ken blinked his eyes several times as he emerged from the dive onto calm ocean. He had forgotten to close them the whole time, his mind had been occupied by thoughts.
The unknown surfer was close now; Ken paddled a little further then eased up and let his momentum carry him forward, until he floated easily by her side. It was a she; he could make that much out from the steadily increasing daylight. She had noticed him from a long way off, even before he had dived under that final wave. But instead of carrying on with her session, she had let several sets pass. She just sat there, as if she were waiting for him. The plan had led him out here to investigate this lone surfer but had since left him without a conclusion. As he stared at her, he was at a loss for words. But before Ken could begin to redden with embarrassment she broke the silence.
“She called you didn’t she?”
Ken was taken back by surprise, nobody referred to Nature quite as personally as he did.
The girl paused as if expecting more, but settled for Ken’s short answer.
“She called me too, I don’t know why. I could have been killed. It’s suicidal to be on the streets at all lately. Even at night”
Now Ken had his voice back, and his head was full of questions.
“You live in the city?”
The girl looked at him quizzically.
“Yes of course don’t you?”
Ken hadn’t told anyone where he lived and he wasn’t about to start now. If there was one thing he had learned during this war, it was to trust no one.
“Sort of, I live in the Out Skirts…In the suburbs”.
Again the girl was confused, obviously she didn’t buy it.
“I didn’t know there was a Faithless shelter outside of the city”
Ken grasped for a passable lie as his brain was put to the test.
“Well I don’t exactly live in a shelter, I live…underground yes that’s right, I live under a freeway”.
The girls face cringed with sorrow.
“Oh you poor thing, it must be horrible. I’m surprised you aren’t dead yet. I’ve heard horror stories of 'The Cleansing' taking it further than they usually do in the suburbs."
Ken shuddered with her when she recounted the tale told too many times in his life.
In a way Ken was actually telling the truth, he used to live in the city, but not in a faithless shelter. He did indeed once live under a freeway; it was one of many places he had lived. He couldn’t even remember what his actual home was like or where it was. He did remember having one originally, because he remembered it being taken away, it had to have existed in order to have been taken away.
The Believers had busted down their doors yelling
“Freeze! Yield! In The Name Of God!”
Ken knew it was coming, the Believers had been clearing out whole blocks of homes in the few weeks after they gained control of the army.
Like the plague, a degenerative disease. They began in the city and worked their way out. You could see the time scale as you passed further into the once urban areas.
Ken remembered one such trip into the city, from his suburban home, through inner suburbs with hoards of people left to find what shelter they could, the city parks never looked so homeless and the further you infiltrated to the heart of the depopulation the less living there were.
When Ken’s family had been evicted most rudely during another nerve racked family breakfast. The Heiwa’s knew it was coming and like the plague there was no way to stop it. The troopers marched in after disposing of the door and his family, sitting at the table, shrunk themselves instinctively.
All but Ken and his Father. Ken had always been close to his father and had always learned a lot from him. Especially during the takeover. His Father calmly but firmly asked them what the hell they thought they were doing and that they could pay for the door. Ken found this use of humour a nice tactic as it did throw off the troopers. Of course he knew what they were doing, it had happened to so many of their friends and relatives already.
The lead trooper attempted to stutter a retort but shortly gave up and uttered a loud
Then he started reading out rights, yes the Faithless actually had some back then, but it didn’t take him very long.
He then began to recount the same speech our horrified homeless friends had told us.
YOU WIL LIVE ONLY TO SERVE HIM OR YOU WILL DIE IN POVERTY. ANY MOVES AGAINST HIS OR OUR AUTHORITY WILL RESULT IN DEATH.
One of the troopers then grabbed Ken’s mother by the arm and another his sister.
Ken replayed the rest of the memory over and over, his blood levels rising and ending at a boiling point. The screams echoed without reprehension in his mind.
But she was there to sooth him, her cool waters, simmering his rage and bringing back the spirit voices of his friends.
“The time will come my friend, another time”.
The slowly rising anger eased away and he could think clearly again. Like the volume being turned up on a muted television, the girls voice suddenly came into focus.
“…I had friends that lived like that too. They didn’t last long. I was with them; I didn’t want anything to do with the war or fighting. It was a good cause but a suicidal one. When they killed and raped all my friends one night while I was out surfing, I went to the nearest Faithless Shelter and have not looked back. How about you? You must have lost friends and family other wise you wouldn’t seem so lonely. Why aren’t you fighting like the rest of us?”
That was a good question, if it wasn’t for Kens spirit friends controlling his anger and rational thinking, then like the girl, he probably would still be fighting. He would probably already be dead.
“All of my friends have been killed, my family too. Like you used to be, I am a pacifist. I choose to live in honour of their memory instead of dying without reason as they did.”
It hurt to say it, but it was true in a way. However he wanted to do more than just live in honour of their memory. He wanted to beat this; he wanted to put the world back the way it used to be.
But fighting was clearly not the way his friends wanted their lives to be honoured.
The girl stared at him hard; it was a long questioning stare. She was probing for something else. Finally she exclaimed.
“I don’t believe you, it’s too much to contain. All those friends and family members wrongfully murdered. All that anger, hate and desire for revenge. It isn’t humanly possible to stay sane unless your avenging like the rest of us.”
Ken was already sick of this conversation and the strong way at which she placed her words suggested a mind influencing technique used only by Believers and the Religious type.
But he knew she was not a believer, as much as he was suspicious of it. Why would the believers be so villainous as to set a trap that, as Ken saw it, had no bait? It was not she that had lured him out here; he would be asleep right now if it was not for Natures Calling. She was behind this he knew it, perhaps the girl was a prophet? An aid in his mission to avenge and change but not destroy. Some prophet, a prophet was supposed to be wise and leading. Whereas this girl knew only how to get herself killed and there was no way in hell she was going to lead him there. Suddenly remembering her last comment about it being impossible to stay sane with negative emotions so strongly controlling his life, he decided on how he might obtain the last laugh.
Turning to pick an upcoming wave and easing his body to lie flat on the board in preparation to paddle, he added with a smile.
“Who said I was sane?”
With that he watched her face go by as he was swept up by the momentum from the wave. He rose to a stance and began his shaping descent across the waves rolling surface, looking back to view the prize; the look on her face. But she was gone, where did she go?
He looked around him in bewilderment, but when the spray cleared he saw her.
Up ahead on a separate wave from his, she caught his eye, waved, then immediately set into deadly and dangerous moves and combos. She was sending him a message; he was not the only one who may have thought they had gone a little crazy.
Ken felt humbled, the girl had more bravery and was showing him that.
Desperately clinging to his slowly depleting wave, Ken did his best to match her moves. He tried to save a shave of dignity.
When it was all over, Ken finally turned it in and headed back out to the lineout.
She waited there with a wide but proud grin; it was quickly replaced with a serious, stern, look. Ken expected her to jeer and tease, but that was not what she had in mind. Instead she prompted him with a mission, a mission never expected but it made sense all the same.
“Listen Ken we’ve been investigating you for quite sometime, ever since the change of cabinet.”
Ken was aware of this change in law; it was brought upon by the believer’s strange superstition that the surfer was a leader. Ken wasn’t entirely sure what it was that had lead them to this theory, but he guessed it was something to do with the Believers view that the Surfer could tame their only enemy, Nature. That skill was worthy of much praise in their society. It was true, the Surfer was highly regarded in the believer circles, and perhaps that was why Ken had lived so long. If they knew he was Faithless, he would probably still hold a trace of respect amongst some of the believers.
Although this also meant that he was hated among believer surfers who could not understand how he could do so much. They didn’t know he was not a believer, but what they did not know, did not hurt them.
What they didn’t understand they feared, what they feared they hated.
As the new law went, the winner of the world renowned “International Triple Crown” would not only earn the honour of champion but a seat on the political cabinet.
Ken didn’t think much the new law, he thought it was just another of the strange quirks and conspirital ways of thinking, typical of the believers. It was just another law that the believers had since made, that didn’t make any sense at all. How was a surfer supposed to interact and function in a sophisticated government? If they wanted to become a politician, they would have trained and educated themselves in order to do so. Ken thought a surfer had no place governing a country, he definitely wanted nothing to do with it and was actually glad for a change that it was too dangerous for him to enter into the competition. As much as he wanted to compete, the prize was enough to de-motivate him. It was now that Ken realised that while he had been thinking, she had still been talking.
“…So in essence we can get you in, all you have to do is compete and win. We’re confident you can do that, they all think you’re a believer from every occasion that you have pretended to be. Just leave the rest to us.”
The sudden flow of information slowly dawned on Ken’s senses, but he still felt a little confused about what it actually meant.
“You…want me to compete in the Triple Crown Masters?”
She looked at him blankly.
“Have you been listening to me at all?”
Ken didn’t see any sense in lying.
“uhhh..Sorry, yeah I kind of spaced out for a second there.”
She gave him a look that made Ken feel smaller then the Tua Tua Shellfish below him.
“Let me explain this again and try to pay attention this time.”
Ken did pay attention this time and what she had to tell him, shocked him beyond belief. It was more than a mission; it was the impossible, the suicidal and the astronomical.
A representative of the Rebels would approach the Believers Council with a truce, they would surrender. The Rebels were actually willing to give up what little freedom they had and negotiate a small deal with the Believers. They would surrender on one condition; that the believers would allow a representative of the Faithless to compete in the Triple Crown Masters. This individual would be the girl. She would compete alongside Ken, giving the Faithless a one two punch and a higher chance of winning and getting one of them on the council. She had explained this so simply and innocently, but Ken knew that if she did not win, she and the rest of the Rebels would be executed in some public celebration. There was nothing to stop the believers from doing this sooner, but Ken had a feeling that they would play the game, they had too much pride in their own god, and they never missed the opportunity to prove what he could do. That was why Ken would let her win. Not that he would need to do that; she had already shown him as much today. The council seat won by either of the two, would not be assumed however. The Believers could not be trusted. While the competition played out and the Rebels were held in captivity, a backup plan lay waiting in the leaves of the heads at the opposite end of the beach to where Kens bay-heads home was situated. The Rebels were not stupid. Those who drew the short straws deliberately gave themselves up, as part of the truce. But the others were placed high above the beach, with a view of the competition, opposite to Kens. Their position there was neutral. They were to be used offensively, or defensively; it all depended on the outcome of the situation. If the girl did win, and the Believers kept their word and allowed her a seat on the council, then a covert operative disguised as the girl would take her place there and do her best to remedy the political situation for the Faithless. This outcome was the most unlikely, the girl had a chance of winning if the Believers did not cheat, and she probably had a 90% chance that way. But when she did win, the promise of a seat on the council would probably not be followed up by the Believers. It would most probably be more or less denied, as she and the rest of the Rebels were executed. It was a win lose situation and the Rebels knew that. That was why plan B lay hidden the brush at the end of the bay. Even while the competition was on the Rebels were on the offensive, professional gorillas and technicians would sneak into the city from their hiding place at the end of the bay and reek havoc. Their main aim was to disable any threat they may face, and that involved taking out the City Polices AI building. The plan was so well thought out, it gave Ken the kind of hope he had not felt in a long time. For he could not remember the last time he had felt hope.
As part of “the cleansing” and general city police administration the Believers had employed AI, Artificial Intelligence, machines that adhered to their every command. They were the main cause of all Faithless fatalities and the only aspect that had prevented the fight from being fair. It was true the Believers were not quite so high in population as the Faithless had managed to stay, this was due to culture difference and the Believers stagnant beliefs that a child could not be born until post marriage and even then it could only be one or two. While underground the Rebellion had been breeding like (too not so nobly put it) rats. But that’s how it appeared in society, the Rebellion were the pests that the Believers wished to be rid of, they had ceased to be human, all equalities shared between man had been long gone. Now it was their turn to prove them wrong, the very same cheese that the Believers ate at their dinner tables was the same that they bated their Rebel traps with, only this time the Rebels would use the trap on them. The Believers distrust and fear of nature had led them to use AI and that was the weakness that the Rebels were going to exploit. With the AI communications and containment buildings sabotaged, the tables would be tipped in the Rebellions favour. Some thought of even reprogramming the machines to fight for the Rebels, thus minimising loses, but it was too risky. The Rebels did not know enough about the system, the Believers probably held an over-ride switch somewhere in their government buildings. Ken disagreed with the idea also, if it were the Believers weakness of fearing Nature and putting all their faith in machines as well as a non-existent God that the Rebels were to exploit, he saw it fit to use Nature as their only ally.
Scouts had learned that the majority of guards at the central prison were all AI, only a handful of humans were what stood between the volunteer Rebel prisoners and freedom to join the fight once the AI buildings had been taken offline. That seemed the pivotal part of the plan, the competition was merely a distraction, for the Believers would never suspect what was going on under their noses. They would naively believe that the Faithless thought they had a chance to gain political power and so every Faithless in town would show up to watch them all be crushed once and for all. While the Gorillas moved in unseen. It all depended on how many guards the AI buildings were to be supplied with on the day. This could not be scouted ahead of time, but was left to chance. Ken had his own plan; he believed that if there were too many guarding the buildings, Nature could do the rest. He planned to talk to her privately later.
Whatever the outcome of the competition it seemed that there would end up a fight, a big fight. A fight to end all fights and hopefully for the Rebels, bring peace back to their lands once again, from there maybe they could do the rest for the world. But that was just another plan they would come to. For now the competition was at stake, and as the girl finished her explaining, it was up to Ken to keep in shape and make a more prominent presence during the day as a Believer Surfer so that he may enter. It never occurred to him that if he did win and was given a seat on council, that the Believers would probably never know. But I guess the Rebels had already considered that outcome and marked it as too risky, besides if a Believer Political Advisory suddenly began making Faithless sympathising decisions, it would only be a matter of time before he would be discovered.
But Ken was still unsure of just how safe the plan was; he didn’t see how the Believers would even accept the proposal to have her compete. Not to mention, withstanding the temptation of slaughtering the prisoners while they were still in Believer custody. As sound as some parts of the plan were, Ken still felt a conflicting emotion competing with his feeling of hope. He could not keep it in check, but suddenly it burst out, it was anger.
“So that’s it? That’s you’re little plan? You all risk your lives, you included, so that one of us can compete in and win that stupid competition! What if we don’t win? What if they don’t buy it? What if they don’t even let you compete and decide to just take you and all the volunteer hostages and kill you all? Did you think about that? We’d be all dead, you, me everybody, dead, no longer living, deceased…”
Ken trailed off as her pained, hollow expression deeply set in on Ken’s heart. His sudden and unexpected anger cooled, it was his nerves that had caused such an outbreak. It was all too much. Or maybe he just cared about this girl. Maybe he cared too much. How could he care about a girl whose name he did not even know? But Ken knew he did not need a name, if he had one. It would just mean the pain would be greater when he screamed it desperately as she was murdered.
As he calmed, the sounds of waves crashing and sea spray drifted to his senses, along with voices. Faintly at first, then louder, through the spray and the ocean breeze the spirits of his friends called to him once again.
“Do it, do it, do it.”
They continued until the cacophony of voices was deafening.
“DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!”
Then her voice joined theirs.
“Do it Ken. Please, you are our only hope, don’t worry about me, my fate is sealed”
With that Ken nodded his head, looked at his board for some explanation then looked back up at her. Stared straight into her eyes and said.
Then he was gone, his body taken by automatic reaction caught the next wave in, he didn’t quite feel like surfing now.
There was only one way to do this and Ken would do his part to make it happen.
The colours of the growing suns were vying for superiority in the birth of a new day and inside Ken’s mind, his own thoughts were doing the same.
Chapter Three: A Sign
Delicate yet deadly the shards of ice fell from the gaseous mass as it spun. Onward and on target, its destination predetermined by the planetary gravity wells surrounding it. Like a child taking its first step, the form followed through the lines of proud caregivers, who in turn eased it on its course towards the very end of its journey and its waiting parent with arms outstretched. The cosmos swirled and the distant stars twinkled like the corners of warm smiles, planets were urging this mass on with all their love.
For this was the beginning.
Chapter Four: No More No Less
Tyson Suter flicked ash from his cigarette as he passed the corner of the Mark and Luke St. intersection. There it fell into a pile of trash left carelessly to resist decay until it would eventually be swept up by the local cleaning AI and disposed of at the city dump. These were landfills that were never filled over, but left to fester and fragrant the atmosphere with a stench that would kill Natures own fresh scent. Tyson did not care about that, the trees and bush could burn for all he cared, all they did was take up land anyway. Sometimes he caught himself dreaming of that, burning the whole place down. If it didn’t mean that it might endanger his own and many others of Gods people, he would do it. Not only would it end the threat of that existence that his people had shared this planet with for so long, it might flush out those remaining Faithless that he suspected lived up in the hills. He had his eye on them; he knew they were out there.
And when he did find them, he would expose them and extinguish them for the mere pest and insult to God that they were. He reached behind, keeping one hand on the steering of his bike and straightened his board bag. The T5000 hummed below him and he enjoyed the fumes that flowed forth from her exhaust, combined with that fresh scent of newly tuned parts. He had just given her a tune-up that morning, as he had every other morning for the last year, he loved her. Sometimes, when others were not around, he spoke to her.
Right now he was describing to her just how beautiful she looked in the mid morning haze left across the inter-city streets as he made his way across town and to the beach. He had to get some practise in if he were to win the upcoming Triple Crown and claim his rightful place among the leaders and head councillors.
Taking another deep drag of the dwindling stick of tobacco he marvelled at the life his God had given him. He was in full health, thanks to a recent lung transplant, his sixth. Thanks to the science of cloning he could smoke without a care, God had intended it so.
And the pains of the war were now finally behind him, what threat the Faithless still held extinguished thanks to that Mister of Resources debacle that he, Tyson Suter had taken care of personally. It felt almost as good to put a bullet through that ministers head, as it had the numerous other occasions that he had been given the chance to take a meaningless life during the war. Nobody stood up to him, no matter how mad some of those Councillors had been. They were all afraid. The love of god shown brightly through Tyson, he obviously knew what he was doing.
Passing another set of lights he hummed a little to himself, a well-known hymn in the church at best. Yes life was turning out right for Tyson, it would not be long until he would have that much anticipated place on council and then things would change. Their petty little worries over water would soon be gone when he reached parliament. Unlike some of those politicians, Tyson had a plan. He had his own scientists working for him; those that would not dare to use the blasphemous ideals of the disposed minister of resources. It was all so simple he could not understand why Gods scientists had not thought of it before.
The beach was swelteringly hot, but Tyson took the pain as a sign of God as he jogged doggedly to the waters edge. There he left his cigarette to smoulder and die, floating amongst others like its own to be gathered by the waves upon the sand.
Spray caught Ken and gave him a much needed face wash. The sun was particularly unbearable today, the day he started immersing himself fully and completely as a Believer. He was now much closer than he had ever dared to be in the Believer line-up, but he was unafraid. So far the surfers had been quiet, paying him no heed, or looks that might have suggested something wrong. Nature was by his side too, cooling and calming him, as with that recent spray. She would not let any ill come of Ken.
But just as it seemed Ken was earning enough confidence so as to make conversation with one of the Believers the group began to shift to the edge of the set. A gaping hole was left on the moving waters and Ken did not need to look at it long, an arrogant looking Believer soon occupied the space with the charisma and heir to something royal. Ken did not know what to make of this and was caught on the wrong side of him, if this was some Believer custom. The guy gave him a disgusted look under closely shorn hair. His eyes suggested an intelligence that thought more of itself than was evident. His nose flared and lips moved slowly, suggestively implying that Ken himself was slow.
Ken did not need to be told twice, as much as the arrogance and shear disrespect displayed by this Believer angered him, he was also aware of the situation he was now in. It was his job now to make sure this mission did not fail; he would need to learn more of this one.
Obviously from his entrance, he was someone high up in the Believer Surfers Society. But as the day and sets went on he saw that at on many occasions a Believer would give themselves and their wave up to him, even if (by the old surfing etiquette) they had the rights to it. At which case this leader would take it most conceitedly
It was fortunate that Ken had not been in a position to interfere with this curious Believer habit. But it was evident that this man had territory and if Ken wanted to test him, he should intrude. The opportunity did arrive, but Ken did not take it, he was still thinking of the mission. After all, this was only the first day and there were others still to come. No doubt he would encounter this strange royalty again. Still Ken was held by curiosity and would not be freed until he knew this mans name. There was something about him that set off every alarm in the bowls of his memories. A shell in the oceans of the past making its way to the surface.
When sundown came and many surfers turned in for the night, Ken stayed until the mysterious one returned also, then nudging one of the remaining anonymous Believers that sat near by him he made his first contact since the declaration of genocide.
“Who was that?”
It was a risk, by the overwhelming status of this one it was stupid of Ken to ask such a stupid question, if he were to masquerade as a Believer, but he had to know.
Ignoring the quizzical look that the slightly smaller man gave him, Ken went on to explain.
“I’m from the South”
With that the man gave a look of acknowledgement, the south was a part of the country that the North cared not about. As expected no further questions were asked and most satisfyingly for Ken, the answer was delivered.
“Tyson Suter of the Saints of Peace, the No.1 Qualifier for the Triple Crown Masters and the expected winner of the seat on council. A great man, one who will lead us well in the name of God. Our only hope for the future when all leadership seems in doubt.”
All though the wording of this answer suggested that the competition be already won by this Tyson Suter and that alone should have sparked some sense of warning for Ken and the mission. Ken looked past that, for his name still hung there before his eyes, ever glazed over staring afar, remembering some past that he did not wish to.
Tyson Suter of the Saints of Peace.
Ken knew the name well, for it had been a name that brought dread a few months ago when the Faithless Minister of Resources was assassinated. The Saints, a gang of Believers led by Suter had been suspected responsible, until Tyson outright said that he himself had fired that fateful shot. Nature was all that could hold Ken back the day he had heard Suters snide remarks at his public address. He was not touched and he knew he would not be, so he had the arrogance to hold a media conference with all the reporters of the world in attendance. Tension was indeed in the air in those times of confusion and lost hope, the Believers might not have understood much of life and the ecosystem, but they knew enough to know that without water not only Nature, but they too would die. This was something unknown to them, so they were afraid. Not even their God appeared to condole them. When Tyson made his address all eyes were on him. He then went on to explain how he had killed the Minister, not because he was an unintelligent Believer with a grudge against the Faithless. No he had not done what they had all so badly wanted to do, but could not for fear of the loss of water; without a plan. He promised water and more, a life that did not share their planet with other wanted intrusions such as Nature and the Faithless.
Ken’s gaze stayed cloudy as anger began to rise again, but just as nature had done that day that he had discovered the information that could mean the end, she did so now. Massaging his muscles with cool currents. Ken decided to turn in and brew about this some more while he let the calming sounds of the forests put him at ease. There was so much to think about, it hurt to wonder. A name that had occurred more than once in his past had just risen again and as he had just thought of the most recent past most violently, it was the echelons of time that came to him with the other.
Tyson Suter, his boyhood rival and antagonist, his most hated enemy in times of innocence and there after.
Son of the fanatic Leader of the Believer council that had began Ken’s nightmare.
The man who had issued the order that transformed Ken’s world from waves of peace into waves of nightmare.
Chapter Five: Preparation Underground
“Life eternal is only in the minds of weak”
The password whispered aloud to a seemingly blank wall echoed faintly in the dark alley.
There were several minutes of silence, minutes that seemed like hours for Dawn Mizu, but finally the wall shifted and shimmered, allowing her to proceed through it.
Letting out a long breath of compressed air and nerves she let the relief pass briefly before standing to attention before her commander.
“Did you meet him?”
His moustache bristled as he spoke, and authority was high in his stern voice. Once a High School Principal, he was now turned a leader of soldiers. Dawn wondered whether he still intended to teach the Believers a lesson or two.
“Yes, he was there as she spoke of in my slumber”
“Is he the one?”
The anxiety and hope put into this last statement need not be read from the way in which it was placed. Dawn could see it in his eyes, a hope still burned; stubbornly refusing to be extinguished.
Dawn knew less of his history then her own, nobody spoke much of their past lives down here, the pain of remembrance was too much to bear. This was why nobody could offer her any help with finding her own times past, but from seeing the sheer emptiness of all those hollow eyes when reminded of life before, she was not sure she wanted to know. You could look deep into ones soul when they journeyed within their mind for memories. Dawn had seen many souls in her time, and although they reminded her of just how lucky she was to be alive, she couldn’t help but weep for how deprived of hope they were. The commander still held hope, this much was evident from her gaze into his eyes as he spoke now, but others were letting it slip to the confines of despair. It was as if they had lost a part of their soul whenever they lost a friend. All around her were empty souls, but with the announcement of the new mission there seemed to be a small glimmer of hope. At the utterance of the name Ken Heiwa, the chosen one, you could see a life there for an instant. Dawn did not see what was so different about this Ken Heiwa, she had looked into his soul also, and it was empty as all these others, if not more so. But intriguingly it was just as she had predicted in her dream, he knew how to communicate with her. Dawn thought she was the only one. All through Dawns short second life, Nature had been all that she had known.
Regaining control from her short lapse of thoughts she lifted her head high and gazed straight into her commanders eyes and lied.
“Yes, he is the one she has for seen it and my eyes confirmed it”
Like blood entering a vessel blocked the warmth flowed into his soul as she looked on, it gave herself a small wonder and she wanted to believer in her words along with him. But she had seen him, he did not bear the leadership and the power spoken of in the great book. But she could not kill the only hope left remaining, a blind man does not say no to glasses if it could help him to see. The commander dismissed her with a grin whilst turning on his heels to continue preparation for the mission and so she found herself wondering back in thought and remembrance as she made her way back to her quarters. Recollection like it always did, brought her back to that fateful day, the day the questions began. All she remembered was a humming noise, that at first sounded far off, but then came closer and more distinguished, increasing in volume until it was upon her and she was conscious of a rushing sound. Waking up in a shallow pool of blood and water, the same rushing sound that had awoken her could be heard somewhere near. Her head throbbed with the force of a thousand men pressing it into the pool and it was a while before she could lift it. There was a relentless drip, and an almond smell. When she did finally find the strength to get up and look around, she became aware of her surroundings. To her left, sandstone caves and strange alcoves of sheer rock. To her right a similar scene, only with a lighter setting, this was obviously the way out of wherever she was. But it was that which was directly in front of her that almost caused her to return to her lying position with shock. She was mere centre meters away from a sudden drop of great height and rushing by her form was a window of water. She risked a look; quartz and fern laced the rock wall that led down to a pool some twenty feet below her. The pools spines rose up menacingly and nearby pools were laced with a curious mix of colours, steam arose and the scent of thermal activity was evident in the air. Confused as to how and why she was there, she looked back up the cliff above her. Through the sheen of a silver fern shoot she could see the peak from whence she must have fallen, an armless tree stood there alone and she was suddenly aware of something in her right hand. The branch was badly damaged from the fall and covered in blood, her blood. But most interestingly, the branch had not broken off cleanly, it had a straight cut. Dawn did not know what this meant, but would later investigate it thoroughly like one whose life had been plotted to end but had failed. Her murderer was still lose, but more importantly, her murderer might have known what the rest of her life was like. Who she was, what she did, where she lived. Those falls had held her attention for the rest of that day, though she remembered that the time frame had not seemed so long to her whilst held in their captivity. The rushing sound hummed and began to distort as too did her vision, her thoughts began to take on a new line, it was as if somebody was having a conversation with her, but within her mind. The questions surging through her mind like the particles in the falls, were answered in turn. That was the day Dawn had met Nature and from there on she was all that was understood in the life of confusion that followed. Who was she? Nature had told her to look in her pocket, there she found a wallet with the details of somebody she knew nothing of but should have known so well. The immortalized face staring back at her smiled brightly from beneath a “Long Bridge High School” title. Below that held “Dawn Mizu” and various other sources of information. But Dawn did not know who this girl was until she had gazed at her reflection in the pool. The bright smile was gone, but apart from the cuts and abrasions everything else remained as in the picture. Her hair of course was slightly dyed in blood, but it sill held the same quality as in the photo. The rest of her past had been left conveniently vague, but the fire and passion to find it stayed with Dawn all through excursions she took with her. She had left the cave that night, directed by Nature and led to a shelter for the Faithless, without nature she probably would have wondered the streets confused until caught by the Believers and executed. But the Shelter had offered her nothing but a home and sustenance. She had gradually given up on finding her past life, but every now and then dreamed of any random life that it could have been. Her fight was with whoever had done this to her, and that had to be the Believers. There were bibles left above the cliff from which she had fallen and burnt trees, from which Nature had told of the Believers tendency to do so.
But as another strange quirk, it seemed she was the only one who could communicate directly with Nature, the others believed in her for survival, but could do no better. She was deemed “The Speaker” and a great hope went forth across all shelters.
Dawn came back to reality and shifted position in her seat at her desk. She pushed aside the mission details that the commander had just issued her and brought out the “Book of Waves”. This was Natures story that Dawn had been studying for her short memory. It told of her life on this planet, all she had accomplished and all that she could to help them in their time of need. She was nearing the last chapter and the prophecies of “The One”.
She moved across the room and lay down on her stretcher reading as she did, then curling up she finished the second to last prophecy in the great book.
The speaker will find the one
Plans brought with the new sun
As hope awakens with the day
Find love at the end of the bay