Story 10 - A Weapons Mythology.
Alas, the new development was duly noted in the kingdom of Gourdland. It worried the king. Merdy was summoned, who came immediately to the rescue. "Whatever they can do, we can do better," he said to his king and smiled. "Mi-royal-lord, your scientists have developed an explosive that is more potent than any powder you've ever dreamed off. We will use their rocket concept and improve the design, and arm it with my new explosive. We will aim the weapon directly at the castle of Greenfields. A single shot will will be enough to transform the entire court into smoldering ruins. The Greenies will never attack us against such a threat, and there will be peace forever under your rule."
Well, what could the king say? He rewarded his faithful adviser and handed out medals of honor to all his most dedicated workers in a much publicized ceremony where the promise was made that an everlasting peace was just around the corner. The people cheered....
But the cheers sounded like war cries in the Greenfielders' ears. The news terrified the already troubled king, including his royal advisers. Even Lord Vico was worried by the news, and so was his entire team.
It was a dark rainy day when the news broke, right at the height of a thunderstorm. Without delay, Lord Vico and his chief scientist were escorted by armed guards from the weapons smithy near the forest, to the castle of the king. The guards were needed. The country had suffered heavily under the previous programs which he had initiated, so that everyone hated him for it. He even blamed himself. Precious little was left of the land of Greenfield, as it had once been. It had been a green, luscious place, a land of ease, abounding with happiness. Now, the fields lay neglected, bare and torn up in the search for materials, or burned over with fire from countless weapons tests.
Lord Vico knew it would be a dangerous journey, going to the castle. Swords of steel and other outdated weaponry had been sold to the peasants who had learned to use them well. As he entered the great hall of the castle that was filled with equipment to the top floor, and stank with poisoned air, being escorted past security agents, he met his royal lord who was in a mood of despair, angrily signing death warrants against
the dissidents of the land.
Lord Vico bowed slightly in the presence of the king, as it was customary for
a highly exalted lord. "Let this crisis not trouble my king," he said in a unemotional way. His words were mechanically uttered like worn out phrases of ancient prayers. "Whatever they can do, we can do better..." His voice carried thinly. "I have envisioned a bigger weapon than they have..."
The king raised his hand in a gesture of approval...
Ross put the manuscript aside and leaned back in his chair by the fire. He shook his head. "Have you noticed, how in the story the weapons are controlling everything. They have become gods, like the gods of ancient mythologies. Everything is sacrificed for them."
"Personally, I find the story disappointing," said Sylvia to Ross. "We all know that our world is in trouble, that the nations are drunk with the myth of superior weapons. Humanity behaves like irrational children standing waste deep in a pool of gasoline, quarrelling over who has the most matches, or who has the longest ones. We've been through all that a thousand times before. We have explored the scene to the full, but nothing happened. The story doesn't add anything to what every school kid already knows. It doesn't add the wisdom that is needed to reverse the madness. It's pure entertainment, and bad entertainment at that, the kind that dulls the senses and blinds people's sensitivities."
Heather agreed. She compared the story to the story which the farmer had told us who had been a bomber pilot during World War II, who had been told by his chaplain that God is their co-pilot. "When people become desensitized," said Heather, "atrocities are more easily staged. It is all done intentionally." She added, "I wonder how this farmer would have reacted if his chaplain had alerted him about the political objectives of Perfidious Albion for which he was risking his life and was forced to kill other people? Had the farmer known, that he was drawn into an artificial game, a game that was staged with the intend to break apart every nation on the planet, would he not have reacted with more compassion towards the intended victims, and towards himself? He might even have fought against the bombing raids instead of allowing himself to become a part of