Our tale is one of the storyteller, the princess, the common man. It’s one of the soldier, the madman, the gardener, for it is the story of man and his desire to have his say, to raise his voice, to rule. But our story begins with the inventor.
He was a genius but it only came with the hard work of learning, understanding and using his knowledge to experiment. He tested different materials, combinations of materials, materials forged at different temperatures and pressures. He drew others into his learning not by any personality or warmth but by inspiring them by what he produced. In fact he created alone, he built in silence, he invented in his hermitage like workshop on a solitary hill miles from anywhere. And while he was isolated in his wild storm of creativity, ‘things’ would fly out – world changing ‘things’, incredible contraptions that would make millions, small devices that caused a breathtaking stir in society by their simplicity and perspicacity, new materials that the Western industrialists snapped up with an insatiable greed. And all the time he created, the years were not kind. What of the umpteen millions he should have been worth? Not a penny was there found because others used his inspiration, produced his wonders and made their own wealth from them. And he remained as destitute in old age as he was when he began, trapped in his cocoon of fervent brilliance – strawberries the size of melons and melons the size of strawberries! His passion a maelstrom of divine inspirations. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t found at the end, maybe God had seen the purity of his mind and desired the man to come and simply sit with him. He was completely unaware of mankind’s debt to him. The only thing those who mourned his loss knew – they were poorer after his leaving.
Now we turn to the world in which he lived and more importantly those that ruled, The Order…where do I begin?
There are very few men who shout, ‘Follow Me,’ and are worthy to follow. Worthiness is living your life in obscurity then holding your beliefs to the scorching heat of scrutiny. And years are needed for those of extreme views to prove that the intensity of their passion comes from something more than a desire for power.
Desire for power corrupts even more. Those unrequited feelings can turn passion into hate, impassioned words into controlling rhetoric and if enough words are spoken they can become a disguise for true intentions. It is how The Order came to prominence upon a rising tide of society’s frustrations they harnessed them to their ideal and the revolution that splashed the blood of the few became the rout of many millions who lost their lives standing against the behemoth that was created. The Order!, a leviathan with teeth.
Freedom was promised and a prison cell became the reality. Promises are so easy when you are not in power. Holding onto power once you have promised the earth is far more difficult. The proletariat’s expectations were high and the emptiness that came was a crushing blow.
To govern well is hard – hard choices, unpopularity, sniping and griping from opponents and then maintaining your resolve and holding fast. To rule with an iron fist is far easier. To govern thus, unscrupulously should we say, is to control. At first they used the army of the popular landslide and after a short while they used the real army to repress. The smooth words that harnessed revolution quickly became the harsh bark of ‘The Order’ and walls were built to keep the people in. Years became decades and all opposition was crushed.
The army rumbled to the crest of the incline, the machinations of war over-riding the green rolling landscape, now a churned ruined swathe miles wide. Down in the dusty bowl-like hollow stood the last bastion of opposition to what was now The New World Order- the citadel had become a brazen challenge to the greatest force on earth. Nothing had stood the unified might of the Order- every nation had fallen and been subsumed, every other alliance of nation states had failed amongst such wanton onslaught until the whole world had been subjugated. No ideology or leader of men, no rallying cry or tendrils of counter-revolution could turn the juggernaut of The Order around. Ploughing ever onwards, using every means to solidify its power base, its ideals, its ‘freedoms’.
And under these so-called freedoms lived a people chained to that initial flawed promise – that they lived free. The storyteller. The princess. The common man. The soldier. The madman. The gardener. Who were these people really? What thread would bring them to the brink of opening a new future? How would liberation be won – a liberation of thought, of ambition, of word, of deed; a liberation of ideals, of morals, of good; a liberation from the lie that proclaimed all ways were OK as long as it was under the scrutiny of the World ‘I’.
And here we enter the paradox – to fight, to stir up, to go against such as The Order proclaims the fact there is an alternative. But that is just it – the alternative has no order, has no rules or rulebooks, has no blueprint. The one sure fact of reaching for an alternative is conflict.
The citadel had risen from the dusts of a bowl-like depression which formed where once a large fertile hill had dried out, sunken and finally revealed this stark statement of provocation. The massive doors arrayed around the outer walls stood wide open and the scene was deserted except for what happened to the first squads sent in – they didn’t return! Two companies of infantry were also lost. The battalion sent for the rest of the regiment and their blood-curdling charge was swallowed up within the walls and those two thousand men also vanished. Brigades from the surrounding regions were called up and a Legion of twenty thousand men disappeared also. Finally armies from the four corners of the globe left their wars behind and converged on the citadel and the bombardment that ensued carried on for two days. A million troops surrounded the place while aerial bombs and artillery pounded the battlements. No matter the size of shell, missile or bomb, there seemed nothing more to do but to unleash the whole might of the military and obliterate this rude usurper. No soldier had been spotted on the ramparts before the walls had been melted to a tangled molten mess through the inferno that raged after the bombardment. No shot had been fired from this castle of defiance. What other purpose could such a rampart have but to challenge The Order’s might?
News of the citadel had seeped to every corner of the world while rumours of uprisings among the furthest flung corners trickled back to the generals. Cities within the homeland became centres of discontent. Small nation states within the Alliance took a bold stand against the remnant of militia left to govern. The situation with the citadel needed a resolution quickly and the ramparts were assaulted from every direction. The gateways welcomed the soldiers into their maws and the armies penetrated the fortress to its core – a million men into the bowels of the metallic maze like labyrinth. It welcomed their advance and delivered their doom as the intricate machinations of the massive contraption began to work.
That’s why the inventor had built the citadel. That and for a mausoleum for those that used him. His final statement to the world, that freedom of thought is the ultimate power and no-one should be allowed to control, contort, enslave society thus. The army eater they called it. The bringer of chaos another name because indeed the alternative of control by one entity is the uncertainty of a new order to all things. The story teller spread his tales of valour and courage and his listeners emulated the legendary characters; the Princess escaped her dungeon and joined her people in their revolt; the common man started to voice his discontent; the soldier ran from his militia unit to join the rebel cause; the ‘madman’ reasoned with his guards about the power of love and won them to his cause; and the gardener for decades under the iron rule of the Order and then within the upheaval of its overthrow, continued to tend his plants for even in conflict there are those untouched by the hatreds of the world.
And yes there was conflict but within the conflict society was free to choose to follow those men who had lived in obscurity, held their belief to the scrutiny of men and discovered love was far stronger than those that sought to control the nations for power’s sake. For, you see, love attracts.
And the inventor? He was finally found in his ancient old age living halfway up a mountain, surrounded by his goats and his kumquats the size of pumpkins and his pumpkins the size of kumquats in the kingdom of Malcolm the ‘Sane’ who had made the mental asylum into his palace and ruled with compassion, love and his own very unique ways!