Clandestine groups do good.
Centuries ago, during the time of the first world-wide plague, man was threatened with extinction from all sides. It began with unusual weather changes which dried up crops or drowned them by flooding. Understandably, food animals sickened and died by the thousands due to lack of food and water stagnation. This general decay and purification naturally brought countless old and new diseases with it.
As is usual during such times, the poor are unprepared and the most affected. Starvation stalked illness and in doing so, ravaged the world. Many people suffered; even more died.
For a time, all seemed hopeless, if not lost. But the worst was yet to come! Worldwide, all of those with influence and the owners of limitless bounty; who were often one and the same, began to stockpile their assorted richness and goods in preparation for profit.
Eventually, they refused point-blank to release anything to those who couldn’t pay exorbitant prices. But whispers rose and began to be heard throughout the planet. They said that many small, brave groups of individuals from everywhere were beginning to rise up and fight!
Their first step was always negotiation with the affluent hoarders. All too often this strategy failed. When that happened, those unsung heroes moved up to intimidation and finally to outright theft.
Storehouses and warehouses were raided with expertise and black ops stealth. Then what was taken so rapidly and covertly disappeared to sub-distributors who got the food and other necessities to the poorest of the poor. These networks that did so much good gave themselves a name. They called themselves simply Harvest Bringers.
As more plagues big and small, came and went, the grateful recipients who benefited from the largess of the Harvest Bringers networks, began to shorten the awkward name to simply Harbingers. It seemed appropriate because their secret comings and goings always heralded hope, health and continued life. They also never failed to precede recovery from disaster.
The Harvest Bringers found the name rolled off the tongue easier as well. So they adopted it. Amazingly, the Harbingers continued to do their great work for countless centuries.
It came to be believed by the general populace, that they all must be immortals and thus would never die. The real truth is that the original Harvest Bringers simply passed on their work to sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, nieces, nephews and beyond.
Ever so gradually, those that were considered haves started to see the advantages of charity on a larger scale. Tax breaks and local goodwill became the basis for extended profits in the long run. The Harbingers saw this new trend and began to disband many of their networks in the face of it.
After that time, it was said that the Harbingers simply faded away into the mists of folklore. Rumors about how and where they went abounded for some time, then seemed to die out. But the philanthropic haves were still very outnumbered by the greedy ones.
In recent times, new kinds of plagues have emerged. Hatred, ignorance, racism, ageism and many more ‘isms. Man may now be considered just that! The concept of Harbingers has had to be revived and further developed to expand into other areas. How will you know them when you see them? You won’t! Just as in the past!
Hiding in plain sight is an easy position to maintain, as I discovered quickly. It is also much easier to take from the rich and give to the poor in ways that cannot be tracked or discovered at this time in history. My method of choice is, of course, digital and black web based.
Obviously, I am unable to go into any details as the new Harbingers must continue to survive. Suffice it to say, it’s been working wonderfully for a century. I decided when I began the revival, I could have but one codename, which I’m sure you’ve guessed by now.
It won’t do you much good though, as I intend to do as all my predecessors did and pass the torch on. They, of course, will pick their own codenames and mine will die when I do. I am therefore, the one and only Harbinger One.