An Ambassador urging to stop the Third World War is shocked by his son's invention.
Western Coalition Military Headquarters, North American Continent.
21.00 Eastern Time.
In his office at the Pentagon, Ambassador Netherster stood beside an open window, gazing at the settling sun. The evening wind crept gently upon the many lines on his face, lines of mental burden and exhaustion. A faint odor of chemical fire and smoke drifted from the distance. The occasional shouts of orders can be heard in the hallway. Today the sun will set, he sighed. Tomorrow, it may never rise again. The cup of coffee was lukewarm on his parching lips. His hand trembled. He lost his grip. Dark liquid spilled with a magnificent splash out the window.
“Ambassador? Are you all right?” A young lieutenant clad in unruffled duty uniforms stood partially through the doorway, hands clutching an electronic file.
The Ambassador grunted, pushed himself away from the window. Dark liquid stained his tie.
“Uh yes,” hands shuffling for a handkerchief, “I was just a bit tired.”
“Sir, you have a priority message from the frigate Prometheus, directly at you personally.”
Eyebrows went up. “The Prometheus? My son serves on that boat.”
The lieutenant smiled genuinely, “Yep.” Handing him the tablet, he said. “In due respect, sir, its not often for a son at sea to be sending letters to his old man.”
“Encrypted message sent to Ambassador J. Netherster from Officer P. Netherster. Priority: Alpha.” Admiral Netherster tapped a finger at the identification biosensor. The message read, “Father, I heartily announce to you the successful test of the first Antimatter Warhead… “
His eyes lost focus. The Admiral looked up from the pad and glared at the innocent-looking lieutenant standing halfway through the doorway.
“Sir?” the lieutenant sensed something wrong.
Without bothering to read the rest of the document, the Ambassador jammed the tablet into the arms of the startled lad. “What on earth is this, a joke? I’m a busy man, lieutenant, and we’re at war. I don’t like to waste time on jokes.”
Green and blue computerized wall panels glowed in the darkly lit Tactical Command Centre. There was a constant flow of uniformed personnel between the aisles of LCD screens and keyboards. Shushed voices murmured over their headsets the projectiles of missiles, the positions of troops, and the commands of the thousands of battlefield drones.
Ambassador Netherster stepped inside and marched directly to the centre of the room, where an over-sized holographic map was projected in the air. The lieutenant with the OLED tablet trailed after him like a guilty child.
General Mortok didn’t even look up from the map as Ambassador Netherster approached. “I’m sorry, Ambassador, but this is not a good time.”
“I know, but I am just as busy. However, this young man here decided to take a chance in lighting up our spirits by playing a practical joke,” the Ambassador said mockingly.
The General turned and squinted from his glasses. “Is that so? What have you got there?”
The young lieutenant held his breathe as General Martok snatched the tablet form his hand. “I… I was just passing on a message sir. I promise with all my heart I didn’t alter, hack into or make up the transmission in any way. I mean, I just received that message from the main communications satellite 5 minutes ago!”
The General took one look at the title of the message and his face lit up.
“With all due respect, General, I don’t find how this is funny,” The Ambassador said, furious. “My son is an honorable sailor serving to guard the waters of the Western Coalition. He is not a mock Einstein building a new atomic bomb.”
The General grinned and patted the lieutenant on the shoulder, who breathed a sigh of relief.
“You may go, Lieutenant. As for you, Ambassador, you should be one proud father! I’m extremely sorry that we haven’t informed you of Project Waterhorn. Your son is an extremely talented young scientist. He knows what is good for his nation. I believe that Officer Netherster has successfully invented the first Antimatter Warhead in human history. Congratulations!”
The Ambassador gaped at the General, startled beyond words.
“Again, I regret not revealing this to you, what your dear son does for a living.. but…”
The General took one leisurely sip at his coffee;
“Codename Waterhorn, sir, is a strictly classified project. There is no telling what the implications would be if a spy from the Eastern Coalition found out about this, or even worse, decided to take advantage of its military implications. “
“Yes, yes. I understand. The military has its grip on its scientists. When we’re at war, well, we don’t share.”
“That’s the idea, “ the General smiled.
“But my son…”
The Ambassador suddenly realized the horror of the truth. His son has invented a weapon of mass-destruction like nothing seen in the 21st century – an energy source of infinite capacity.
His knees buckled and he fainted at the feet of the General.
To be continued…