The only thing that makes war terrible is the lost of human life. The property destroyed can be repaired, the money spent can be replenished, and even the fields and forests can be developed again given enough time and technology. But the neatly stacked bodies that have culminated over the course of human history is the one factor that makes war the unholiest of mortal sins. One might even declare war a perfectly rational action without coming off as emotionally dead if it wasn’t for the seemingly endless row of funeral pyres the massacres leave in their wake.
It was such funerals that General Ellison often worried about. Not a funeral for Beckman of course, no one genuinely cared about that scoundrel, but the General was more concerned about the conflict that was to come. Both sides are putting all of their weight onto their heels, preparing to lunge at each other. It was only a matter of time before the fight started. Even if the General didn’t lose a single solider during a conflict, he would still erase untold amount of lives by destroying the Variants. Ellison has argued with himself in the past over the fact that Variants were never meant to exist in the first place, but such an excuse doesn’t cover up the fact that they are alive now and it will be the General’s job to kill them.
“Nothing ever ends Jonathan,” said Beckman, finally uttering something to break the silence. “Until it does.”
Beckman then gave a nervous smile and wiped a pint of sweat from his forehead. His overgrown blonde hair had to be brushed back but quickly returned to cover the left side of his face. Most of the right side of Beckman’s hair had been cut short and dyed red in an effort to blend in with the eccentric lifestyles of the area. Not that Beckman had to try too hard, for he was quite eccentric himself.
Jonathan Snyder didn’t say anything to Beckman’s comment. Not that Beckman expected a verbal reply. Jonathan didn’t speak much.
“So,” Beckman spoke again. “How did you find me?”
For the handful of people that actually read my stuff, you might have noticed that I have finished posting the novel I was working on. I got a few other projects that I am starting on, but new stories might be a distance off. Due to this I am working on a site redesign that will broaden what I post here. Changes are coming while I continue to try and become a professional writer. Meanwhile feel free to check out my writing and others at Mom’s Basement.
See you down the path.
“Seven years,” Amanda muttered.
“What?” I asked as I started see the ocean come over the horizon.
“That’s how long I’ve known Bradley,” she answered. “Seven years.”
“I’m sorry.” I tried to console her, but was difficult to do as my attention was going in two different directions.
“You should have seen him when he first came to the royal court,” she giggled through her sorrow. “He was this nervous little man who hurried about like a mouse with the lights suddenly turned on. He never looked anyone in the eye, and you could actually feel his sphincter muscle tighten when you talked to him.”
“Don’t you have servants that can do this?” I asked Amanda as she cleaned my wound. After the fight broke out between F’ell and me, we retreated back to the American section of the tower. While Bradley went off to talk with the other member of the delegation, I found myself once again in Amanda’s room with my shirt off.
“Actually, first-aid is a principled course in American education,” Amanda said, seeming mildly happy to be nursing my wound. “So technically, anyone can do this.”
The treaty signing involved much ceremony and pointless speeches which reminded me too much of a Catholic Mass. Unlike Mass though, it only lasted about an hour instead of most of the day. There were a couple short speeches from our side of things, but the Talons really didn’t understand the custom of reading off a couple of paragraphs during important events. I didn’t have to say anything, but I was led around as everyone who was anyone signed the peace paperwork. It didn’t really register in my brain at first that this small amount of ink meant peace for the world, but it would probably dwell on my mind later. The pen is mightier and all that.
A man in his natural state doesn’t like dressing formally. The multiple layers of constructing clothes just serves form over function. A high stakes game of dollhouse that is commanded by some abstract ideal from our supposed advanced level of civilization. A man would never dress in a tuxedo, or in my case a dress uniform, unless he was trained to think it served some higher purpose. The clothes we wear to impress each other would be useless in an event that actually mattered, like in battle. Weather and women are probably the only reasons we try to make any sense out of our clothes at all. Take away first dates and Irish winters, and badly stitched together hides of leather would still be in style.