Story 10 - A Weapons Mythology.
"I would make it end at the beginning," I replied. "Once you get into a retaliatory mode, there will always be another retaliation, another revenge, another escalation with no
end in sight. Of course one could end the story the way in which the infamous Thirty Year War was brought to a close. Unfortunately this didn't happen until half the population was killed and the land was turned into wasteland. With the Treaty of Westphalia the ruling powers said to one another, let's stop. Forget the past, forget revenge, forget retaliation. Let's be human beings and help one another to rebuild our lives and our world."
I took the story back from Ross. "There is nothing in the story that suggests to me that the king of either country has the brains to say no and command a stop to it all! Evidently it takes a greater man to stop the retaliations than those royal bags of shit that the story parades as kings. With them, there will always be more revenge, more escalation once the game has begun?" I told Heather that I would change the first scene into something that Steve would have told if he had to deal with this kind of setup. I opened the story sheet and began to read it once more in the way I felt Steve would have read it. I began at page one.
On a planet a long time ago, in the third solar system beyond the North Star, two kingdoms developed a feud with each another. It happened on a fine day during the time of the feud, when most people enjoyed the sunshine, cutting hay, washing their clothes, or sitting by the river catching fish, that his royal Lordship of the sovereign state of Greenfield sat in his exalted palace to which he had summoned all his lords and officers that they should give account of themselves. Over a hundred people had assembled for the occasion in the great reception hall near the bank of the river.
His Lordship had rarely seen his people by the water, excitedly catching fish, but on this particular day he had seen them during his morning drive through the kingdom. He had had his daughter with him at his side. She had laughed and opened his eyes to the simple beauty of life that surrounded everyone in his kingdom.
On past occasion the king's thoughts had been at
a much higher level than on that day. He had rarely noticed those ordinary things. But it had been different this time with his daughter
being present. He had come to the great hall with a brighter mood. Nevertheless, this didn't change the business at hand, nor the duty that he had to fulfill to maintain his power as the king.
When the time came for the court alchemist to give account of himself, his Lordship rose from his throne and shouted with his accustomed voice that echoed through the vast chamber; "What, no gold yet!!!"
The lad who kneeled before him, shaking at the bottom of the cascade of stairs leading up to the royal throne, bowed his head ever deeper to the floor without as much as uttering a whimper in reply.
"You are a scoundrel, a cheat, and a liar!" his royal Lordship bellowed. "You came to me boasting that you could produce gold if I gave you a laboratory. Well, I have given you all that you asked, and more. Where is my gold? Are you withholding it from me?"
The lad replied by shaking his head.
"Search the smithy," his Lordship commanded the guards.
"Nay Milord," the lad answered almost imperceptibly, his body trembling with fear, "there is no gold in the smithy." He raised his head shyly and looked up. "I have combined every substance on earth with every other, the formula for gold should have emerged, Milord. Maybe it can't be done."
"So, so, it can't be done?" his Lordship mocked him in front of the assembled court. "You, scoundrel, I wasted a fortune on your wild dream!" His Lordship called for the guards. "You pay for this!" he shouted to the lad. "Off with his head!"