What will be the Great HOPE for Humanity?
|OHO - The Great HOPE
He was very fat, and reclined on an equally fat pillow. Greasy hair spilled over the pillow onto the floor. He wheezed and sneezed and retched. A crowd gathered around him and awaited his next words.
“Yes, Oh Holy One. What is it you wish to say?” George asked. He was Oh Holy One’s handler.
“I….will……want…….to…..” Oh holy one stopped and looked toward the sky. He waved a huge hand toward the sun.
The crowd watched the hand. They all looked toward the sun.
His huge hand fell to his huge lap and stopped. “It’s all too wonderful………I cannot speak of it……..” The very fat Oh Holy One fell asleep as the crowd watched.
A cry went up after a few moments, “Oh Holy One! Come back to us!”
Days passed and Oh Holy One still slept.
Word spread, throngs gathered from far and wide. Oh Holy One would maybe awake and speak soon. Their prayers would be answered.
One day, Oh Holy One rose from the fat pillow. Fat rolls lapped over the edge. He gazed with cloudy eyes upon the great crowds before him.
“I’ll now tell what I have seen in the days I’ve been gone.”
George got the microphone closer to Oh Holy One. The news crews adjusted the volume on their feeds.
With unsteady legs as thick as pillars Oh Holy One stood before the adoring fans.
“I saw……….” He paused. A cloud of birds flew overhead. The wings made a rustling sound in the microphone feed.
Oh Holy One started again. “I saw before me a great city. Far greater than any city now here on earth. This city can be ours, fine people.” He stopped, dropped to the fat pillow with a resounding thud. Within moments, a loud snore went over the microphone to the news crews’ feeds to the entire world.
June looked at Jack. “Did you hear what OHO said? A great city. Do you really think he had a vision of that? And where do you think it was? I want to go there. Get me out of this dump.”
“OHO, ha. I call him UH-OH. I can’t believe you would actually think he ‘sees’ anything. He’s a fat old slob. I just came with you to see what all the hubbub is about. And from what I’m seeing, you’re just one of the sheeple, one of the lemmings. You’ll do anything he says, just because he says it. If he says, ‘Go jump off that bridge’ would you do it?”
June thought Jack spoke just a little too rudely about Oh Holy One. She adored the holy man.
“Mildred,” June questioned her good friend. “What did you think of Oh Holy One’s address?”
Mildred’s eyes were glowing, tears streaming down her face. “I, I well,….. I’m just so happy right now. Just think. A Great City. I want to go there. Get away from here. Away from all this misery.” Mildred turned back toward OHO, who was still snoring, asleep on the fat pillow, on the stage, in front of the crowd. “I would follow Oh Holy One anywhere.” She sighed, wiped her eyes with her sleeve.
“See Jack? I’m not the only one. There are many others here that believe like we do,” June said.
Another flock of birds flew overhead, larger birds. Oh Holy One roused from his slumber. He rose on pillar legs. He spoke into the microphone again to an even larger crowd than before. News crews tuned their feeds to catch OHO’s prophetic words.
“My friends. I’ve seen this time the way we must….. Oh it’s TOO wonderful for words.” OHO stopped, wiped his greasy face with an equally greasy rag.
The crowd leaned in for the words, while Jack laughed at the absurdity of it all. June and Mildred started to cry as they dreamed of the great city.
OHO continued, “We must get into great boats. Boats made of a metal unknown to man. These boats will take us to the great city. Now is the time. Time to make these. I have the drawings. The drawings are stored here.” OHO pointed to his head with a ham of an arm. “Safe and secure from harm.” OHO dropped like a stone thrown from a great height. He dropped from the stage to the ground below.
News cameras caught the fall from grace. OHO’s greasy body lay in a puddle of grease in front of adoring fans. No one was brave enough to touch the holy body. George jumped off the stage.
“Someone call the paramedics, an ambulance!” George knelt beside OHO.
Before medical help could come, a flock of robotic birds lifted OHO and carried him away.
A shocked crowd gasped and cried. The news cameras caught the action for nightly news.
“What will we do now? What about the great city?” June and Mildred cried and cried. Harriet, Phil, Malinda, Victoria, John, Laurie, Joanne, Matt, and host of others joined the crying. Thousands of cries filled the air. If anyone could be resurrected by sound alone, this could do it, thought Jack.
Life on earth settled back in the dull dreariness everyone was used to. The dramatic exit of Oh Holy One caused a feeding frenzy and news explosion at the networks but even that died down in a few months. People went back to living and dying. There were no expectations of great cities in the sky or boats to take them there.
Months later the company Jack had founded, ‘On Board’, was now calling for voyagers to Orion. On Board contacted a city on Rigel, that bright star of Orion. Inhabitants were most anxious to meet beings from Earth. Jack promised free homes and start-up money to anyone willing to pay their own way to Rigel. The city read in English as Maxomphin.
June’s public relations company came up with some publicity.
“Take the Taxi to Maxi!” This advertisement showed shiny cars full of smiling people zipping through the sky, on their way to Orion.
“Orion - a ‘Rigel’ place to live!” showed a king on a throne, sitting on Orion’s belt
Jack spread out drawings on the table. A new metal discovered in the last week, a new material that combines the hardness of ceramic with the resilience of metal, named ‘twistronic’, allowed for the manufacture of the boats OHO described. He’d aimed a computer at OHO’s brain during that last ill-fated speech then downloaded the information stored there. Seems that Oh Holy One was just an old-generation robot. The hard drive had billions of files.
On Board’s press releases from June for all Earth’s news outlets read:
GET ONBOARD WITH YOUR PASS TO A NEW LIFE
PASSAGES TO ORION
THE TAXI TO MAXI LEAVES SOON
GET ON BOARD
OHO’s handler, George, had signed on to be the reservations master of a crew of thirty.Today he marched into Jack’s office unannounced. June raced in behind him, her computer open to the last press release.
“We’ve got to go now, Jack! You’ve never heard such desperation as I’ve heard in the past few days. Is everything a go?” June screeched at Jack, flung her computer down to his desk.
Jack looked up. “George, June. What’s up? Desperation?” He let out a big sigh.
“Over a million reservation requests at last count. We can’t take that many. You need to cut this off, decide who goes, who stays, get this moving.” George had his device and showed Jack the numbers.
Life on Earth was not what it had been when OHO was still preaching. Jack knew the time was now to get his colony on board the boats. Violence, famine, sickness, all had escalated to the point where the boats were the only hope for humanity’s survival. Jack’s mind raced with possibilities. He thought back to OHO and the prediction of the beautiful city. It was now all coming together.
“It’s lottery time. Hold a lottery.” Jack thought for a moment. “The HOPE lottery. That’s it!”
He raced to the white board, drew a logo.
HOPE Of Planet Earth
“The earth with the logo inserted - ‘HOPE of Planet Earth’. What do you think? And then we could have the earth rotating. And a ship taking off.”
June’s computer captured the logo. She pounded on keys to send it online.
George’s voice brought Jack back to reality. “We only have room for a thousand, out of millions. Impossible.”
“No time for anything better. The number chances are one in a million, so start with the number one. Then choose any other ten numbers, and the first thousand correct guesses win a seat.”
“It’s your funeral. I’m on it.” George left the room.
June bellowed, “We are in SO much trouble here…,” as she left with George.
On Board announced by instant message the winners of ride to Maxomphin on Rigel in Orion. During lift-off, Jack, June and George made the public announcement.
“Dear friends, this morning Maxi Taxi left for Rigel in the belt of Orion. On Board celebrates this amazing ark with its brave Earth citizens. They are the HOPE of all mankind as they go to start a new colony on Rigel. We pray for their safe journey. We will monitor their progress and keep you informed.” News feeds followed Jack and crew as they left the stage, then ran the HOPE Of Planet Earth logo.
Within moments of this news, riots broke out worldwide. Those unable to get a seat on the Maxi Taxi protested the lottery, citing favoritism, racism, sexism and age discrimination. Unrest escalated daily until millions, then billions perished. Apocalyptic scenes flashed constantly on the computer screens.
Jack gathered all On Board members at the headquarters. They had vowed to be together at the end of human history.
“Colonists are on now their way to a new world in Rigel. You know we had once thought to be on those great ships. But friends, our work here is done.”
Blasts tore open the On Board headquarters, then one final blast sealed its fate. Robotic forces overtook the Earth no longer ruled by humans. Slowly, over time, the Earth returned to its original form. Animals reverted to original territories, plants regrew unchecked.
One day a mysterious cloud appeared in the eastern sky. As it grew larger, it consisted of robotic birds carrying a large object. Dropped on now verdant ground, OHO stood on pillar legs. It held out arms as big as hams and uttered “My friends.” then sat down. Robots appeared, sat down before OHO.
“The great boats left Earth, now Earth is clear of a great disease. You are faithful, all my friends gathered today. Now you will reap the long awaited reward. We will now live in that great city as I predicted.” OHO stood again on pillar legs. “We are the HOPE. We will now rule Earth. Join me now as we live in that city forever!” OHO raised giant arms to guide a the massive four-square golden city falling from the sky. The golden city fell to once barren ground. From North to South, East to West, a golden city covered the Earth. The sun shone on the golden city and reflected back the images of millions of robots that gathered and listened to the great Oh Holy One, their Savior.
A great loud chant rose from the robots to the blue sky and brilliant sun, now unsullied by the pollutants of ages past.
“All hail OHO! All hail our King!
Oh Holy One who once was dead but rose again.
To reign forever in our great golden city.
All hail OHO! All hail our King!”
All around the world, the chant rose. The great HOPE called Oh Holy One, who once was dead but now lived again to reign supreme, to live in Earth's great golden city.