|We Will Have Peace
Author: ApocalypticDin PM
He promised the world peace, equality, and love. He delivered all of these things, yet there were those who still hated him. Why? How could their hearts breed such darkness?Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Tragedy - Words: 3,651 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 06-14-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3032272
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
We Will Have Peace
For as long as humanity has existed, there have been righteous individuals attempting to bring it into an enlightened state. They've dreamed of peace and fairness, of equality and tolerance. Unfortunately, for an equally long time there have been more brutish individuals who so ignorantly stood in the way of these worthy visions. They, contrastingly, waged war, horded money to themselves, and generally delighted in the suffering of others. It is of the greatest shame to me the much of our great species' history has been dominated by these thuggish malcontents, these malicious troglodytes. Why, for what reason would nature allow such regressive animals to exist? I cannot say for certain, but it has long been of much distress to me. If they- and do mind me if I engage in a bit of harmless fantasy here- had never graced this Earth, I know, within the deepest reaches of my heart, that mankind would be much more advanced and respectable than it currently is.
Yet there was hope! For the first time in all these tortuous millennia the forces of good and progress held the upper hand. It took all the goodwill in our hearts, all the deft maneuvering we could muster, and some regrettable sinking to the level of those we must eradicate, but for the first time I had found myself standing at the outskirts of Utopia, ready to take humanity's first steps through its glorious gates. It gave me great pride to know I would have seen this historic ascension to the highest pinnacle of mankind's evolution, led by none other than our magnificent Lightworker, who promised us such great things and was on the verge of delivering them all.
I still laugh over the fact that there were those who doubted him. They said that such promises were fantasy, were unreachable pipedreams. They waived their arms about and bloviated, condemned him as a hopeless idealist, pursuing unattainable perfection. However with the first look into the Lightworker's eyes, I knew that he was something… more. Something more refined, more enlightened, almost celestial in his power. Were an angel to descend from heaven tomorrow and proclaim him to be of holy blood it would be of no surprise to me. I felt in that instant as if he put his arm around me, and expounded all the basic truths of the universe into my ear. He showed me that those who detracted from his vision, those bitter cynics, were the forces that to this point had halted humanity's progress.
Then he told me not to worry, that he would make the ignorant and the hateful open their eyes. He would brandish a gleaming staff, and he would begin a bloodless revolution, in which their old ways and ideas would be cast aside, expunged by the immutable light of his- our - ideal. He took his pulpit and he gave a superb speech, and all of us who already saw with clear eyes witnessed the darkness being beat back with nothing but the force of his eloquent words alone. Some said it was divisive, insulting in its arrogance. We knew however that it was uniting, and that he would eventually form a indivisible union of men, not limited by culture or borders, but all-inclusive and progressive under his incontrovertible vision.
Nevertheless it seems that the Lightworker, impressive as he was, was not without his own slight flaws. He had underestimated the depravity of the ignorant and the hateful, for in defiance of him they grew only more ignorant and more hateful. Everywhere I traveled their venomous words invaded my ears, and filled me with anger unbefitting of the new world the Lightworker was creating. Then, on one cool August morning, I recall seeing him on the television, and there in front of him stood a little girl, no more than five. With wide innocent eyes she looked up at him and she asked "Why? Why do they hate you?" A sorrowful expression spread over the Lightworker's face and, taking to a knee, he set a hand upon her minuscule shoulder.
"Because their hearts are black," he answered her, his voice full of leveled certainty, "and they don't know how to feel anything but anger and loathing. They do not hate me for my actions, for my actions are just and proven. They hate me for no other reason than who I am, because of their own deep-seeded intolerance, and I threaten that. Do not let their madness infect you, little girl, for that is how they have power- by exploiting our most base and primal emotion: fear. You, I know, are above such simplicity."
In that instant I knew that this truly was the man who would lead the ascension of humanity, and I swore to myself that I would follow him to the ends of the world, should his leadership demand it. I now realized that he had saved me, and I owed him a great debt. As my heart filled with tremendous lightness, a self-certitude I had never before experienced, I became aware of just how miserable I had been before he had blessed my life with his existence. My life was now inseparably intertwined with the Lightworker's vision.
The very next day he was on the television again, announcing his new strategy to take us towards a more civil society. His words to the little girl played over again and again in my head as he firmly declared that he would no longer tolerate that vile, hateful speech in the media, and that any outlet promoting such despicable positions would be summarily shut down.
"The key component to any decent society," he said, "is a respectful and informed public. This serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can get away with the slander and the lies which have become all too common in our world today. I will not stand for these slurs, and neither will the public. Today the lies stop, today the hatred stops, and in their absence truth and civility will prevail."
The Lightworker, as he always did, made good on his promise. The microphones and the cameras were taken from those who put them to insidious use, and given to those who instead had no loyalties but to the truth. No longer obscured by the noxious clouds of the malignant speech of his misleading critics, the Lightworker shined brighter than he ever had before. I finally felt comfortable on the streets of the city, for even when I heard whispered criticisms of our leader I was content in the fact that they could no longer spread as they did before. Soon the ignorance would die off, and in its place would arise a universal enlightenment that would finally bring peace to the world.
On that day I entered myself in the Lightworker's service. My whole life from that point on would be making his dream, and by proxy my own, come to fruition. I was there the day that he deemed that weapons of war had no place in a peaceful society, and relieved the world of the pain caused by their existence. I was there the day he declared financial injustice the cause of the friction between the populace, and made sure everyone was afforded the same quality of life. I was there the day he announced that the state would expand its role in the raising of the children, to ensure that they were brought up in a proper, enlightened manner.
And I was there on the day that a scruffy and contemptible man was dragged before the Lightworker's desk, spitting hideous obscenities at the man who had done more for him than anyone else. The guards identified him as the lead of an opposition group, who long met in secret to try and spread the defilement our leader's image. He was a rich man of course, or had least had been, incapable of empathy and concern over the wellbeing of anyone but himself. I took a perverse pride in seeing him in this way, riled but helpless in the presence of the man he despised for no reason other than his own evil. He continued to hurl his despicable voice at the Lightworker, until the much more honorable man stood up from behind his desk.
"Why do you so stubbornly stand in the way of a better world?" our leader asked calmly, walking around his desk to lean on the front edge with his arms crossed.
"This is only a better world for people as twisted and sick as you are!" the man replied, no longer struggling to break the guard's powerful grasp. "This is only a better world for people willing to sell themselves to your will!"
The Lightworker shook his head. "There is no more poverty."
"Because you control the ration everybody is allowed!"
"There is no more hatred."
"Because nobody is free to speak their minds!"
"There is no more ignorance."
"If your definition of ignorance is anyone who disagrees with you!"
"There is no more war."
The man spat at the shoes of his leader. "Only because nobody has any power but you."
The Lightworker sighed, standing up straight. "It is clear to me that you truly are hopeless," he said. "You are a weak mind, and you have allowed your hatred to blind you to the magnificence of the world around you, the world which I have built. You are too caught up in your greed, and too proud in your ignorance." He walked over to the guard holding the man up and told him to release him, and then our leader took a pistol from the guard. The man sat crumpled on the ground, no longer attempting to escape. The Lightworker pointed the gun at the man, who only stared solemnly down its barrel. "There is no room for men like you in a peaceful world." Then he pulled the trigger.
The man's head jerked backwards, carrying his body to the floor as crimson blood surged violently from his decimated skull. He laid completely still, eyes half lidded as a seemingly endless fountain erupted from his head, staining the tile along with pieces of gray brain matter and bone fragments. I did not feet sorry for him at all.
The Lightworker handed the pistol back to his guard and made his way towards me. He stopped directly in front of me, nearly a head taller than my own height, and placed a hand on my shoulder. He was frowning, an immense sorrow spread across his features. "You understand why I had to do that, yes?"
"What that man said, about me having all the power… you trust me with that power, right? You know I would never abuse it, correct?"
Again I nodded, "Yes sir. Everything you do is for the common good."
"And do you think there is anybody more capable of wielding it than me?"
"No, I do not."
The Lightworker smiled. "Thank you, that's all I needed to hear," he said, and then he walked out the door of his office slowly just as a group of men with mops and a body bag shuffled in to clean up the mess.
As the years passed by many more such people were dragged into the Lightworker's office. Some were men and some were women, some were young and some were old, but all the same in their devilish delusions. Each time he asked them the same question, each time he tried to clear their minds and make them see rationally, but each time they answered in the same way as that very first man, and their blood spilled on the floor. By the time two decades had come and gone, the Lightworker appeared as a very different man. His hair grew gray and new lines crept across his face, his eyes became dark and sunken, and his body began to exhibit some of the weaknesses that age brings; yet the mind and the vision remained as steadfast and glorious as ever.
One day as he sat at his desk, eyes closed and hands grasped together in thought, he let out a great sigh. His eyelids flipped open, and his lips began to move silently, searching for the best way to communicate his incomparable musings. After a minute or two, he seemed to decide upon the correct words.
"Evil," he began, "would be of no threat if it were not so infectious. There is no one who can deny that this world is a better place now than before I transformed it. Yet still I have these stubborn, misguided souls brought to me again and again. Each time they look me in my eyes with such vileness, such venom, that I feel my insides ripping apart with pity. Then they repeat to me those exact same words I've heard a thousand times now, and all my empathy disappears. They are but mindless drones, unable to think for themselves. There is some dark, hate-filled person behind all this, telling them what to say, what to believe, and molding their minds irreversibly into a warped, corrupted state which even I cannot heal." His head hung low and I knew that, for the first time I was aware of, the Lightworker was crying.
For such a powerful, collected man to be reduced to tears, I knew that the dark forces at work in our world must truly be formidable. His vision still gleamed brightly in his heart and those of his citizens, but his will was faltering in ways it never had before. He was doing everything that he could to give us a perfect world, and yet there were still some he could not reach, who would spit in his face if the chance presented itself. More than anything else, I knew that he was right, and for the first time in my life I believed in Satan.
The door to the office swung open, and angry shouts echoed into the room. The guards were bringing another member of the opposition in, and the Lightworker quickly dried his face and sat up straight, returning so rapidly to the poised exterior I had never seen waver before just now. It was a woman this time, rather tall, and no more than thirty or so. But her eyes were hard and fiery, burning with the kind of loathing the leader was working so hard to eliminate. She struggled vainly against the much larger guards who grasped her arms tightly.
The Leader once again walked to the front of his desk. He examined the woman's face pensively, and didn't launch immediately into the oft repeated questioning I expected. The woman stopped struggling and gazed back at him, as if trying to strike him dead with her gaze alone. After a long moment the Lightworker spoke.
"We have met before," he said simply, folding one arm upwards to rest his chin on his knuckles.
"I'm surprised you remember," she growled back at him.
"I never forget a face, even once changed as much by age and hatred as yours."
As he said this I realized who this woman was. If the Lightworker hadn't said anything I would have never noticed, but now that the thought had been planted in me her face slowly, before my eyes, became indistinguishable from that young girl's I saw on the television so many years ago, precociously reaching out to her young leader and asking him why there were people who hated him so viciously. It was a terrible realization for my heart that the very child who had convinced me to devote my life to the Lightworker's magnificent dreams now kneeled there defiantly against him. My soul seemed to sing a dirge for her, for the innocence she had once displayed which had somehow, by some nefarious force, been ripped away.
"Who did this to you?" the Lightworker asked, echoing the same question that burned within me. "Who filled your mind with these lies? Who invaded your heart with this malevolence? Who blinded your eyes with the inability to see that which is best for you?"
"My will, and my will alone," she replied through gritted teeth. "I grew up. I realized that ends do not justify means."
"Even if those ends are absolute perfection?"
"Especially if they are."
The Lightworker sighed; this one filled with much more sadness than I had ever heard from him. He reached his hand out towards his guard, who handed him the pistol that I had never seen the guard fire. It was the courtesy of the Leader and the Leader alone. His eyes scanned the cold, clean steel mournfully, tracing up and down the barrel at speeds much slower than the bullet that would soon be traveling through it.
"I don't understand," he groaned, his voice elevating dramatically. "I have delivered you peace! I have delivered you equality! I have delivered you perfection! Why are there those who oppose these things? Why do they let evil into their hearts? WHY DO THEY DESPISE ME? WHAT MORE CAN I DO?"
The woman laughed, an abrupt mocking laugh. "That's exactly your problem. 'What more can I do?' you ask? It's always more, more, more, MORE! Isn't it? A great leader should not be judged by what he does, but what he doesn't do- and what haven't you done? What haven't you taken from us to birth this illusion, this façade of peace?" She smiled now, the sinister sneer of someone who seeks only to deny others happiness. "A truly free society can never touch perfection. It cannot be engineered into Utopia, no matter how badly you want it. And so long as humans who desire freedom above all else- humans like me- exist… your vision will remain just beyond the length of your reach."
With a sorrowful chuckle, the Lightworker let the hand holding the gun fall to his side. His head hung low and he stood perfectly still, looking very much like a house of cards ready to topple over in the slightest of breezes. After a silent eternity his neck craned upwards and his eyes fixed longingly on the hanging fan that spun lazily from the ceiling above.
"So that is how it's going to be, is it?" he moaned in nothing more than a hoarse whisper. "You, and others, will stand against me so stubbornly not because of what I do… but because of how I do it. No matter how much I refine this crude, ugly world, you will still stand on the outskirts of reality and complain, and whine, and criticize me for not doing it in a manner of your pleasing. It is people like you who have wrecked this cruel species of ours, and I see now that no matter what I do you will just drag it once more down into an abyss of ignorance and greed and war when I am gone. Faced with these revelations, that all my workings have been in vain… I find I only have one desire." He lifted the hand holding the gun to place its barrel against his temple. "And that is to prove to you your misguided ways, and show this wicked world why it needed me."
The guards and I rushed forward, but it was too late. A loud bang echoed through the office as a shower of blood and bone exploded from the opposite side of the Lightworker's skull. The woman, freed of the guards' grasp, broke for the door and was through it before my Leader's dead body hit the ground.
My mind froze up and with it my body, and I fell to the ground on my knees. The Lightworker's blood spread quickly across the tile, soon soaking the legs of my pants. The guards stood about in a panicked confusion as tears began to stream endlessly down my face. He was dead; the Lightworker; my savior. From the bottom of my lungs emerged among the most vile things I have ever uttered, with each sentence cursing this world and this species fiercer and more violently.
But no word was angry enough, no requiem mournful enough to change that single horrible fact. All the light that he had brought into the world was now gone, and its void only an endless menacing blackness, as if the Sun and all the stars had been put out by a venomous wave sweeping across the heavens. He was too good for this world; he was too good for us. I may have seen his brilliance but as a species we did not deserve him, and now we must reap the rewards of our wickedness. I didn't want to live in a world without the Lightworker, for I had felt like a fish that had suffocated its whole life on land before finding the ocean. Now the waters were spirited away, and I once more found myself unable to breath.
Then, in the depths of my misery, I saw a vision before my eyes. Against a glorious mat of the whitest white the Lightworker stood, strong as ever and very, very alive. In that instant a great hope flooded my body, for while I accepted that this Lightworker had passed, his spirit would return. If there were any who could escape the weighty binds of death, would it not be him? He would return, I told myself. Perhaps not of the same body, perhaps not of the same place, but of the same irrepressible drive and vision.
Then, and then for certain, we will have peace again.