One Week After Arrival
“Here, try this one,” I told James as I pulled a purple fruit I couldn’t identify off a short tree. It had a fuzzy exterior like a kiwi, and I’d never seen anything like it.
“Strange fruit being offered up by a woman in the Garden? Yeah, like Man is going to fall for THAT again.”
I just shook my head as I laughed. We were exploring a new part of the garden, and a few animals were keeping us company. A pair golden eagles flew overhead, screeching at us as my hand scratched the ear of a wolf. I looked at the fruit, picking at it as we walked. The skin peeled back kind of like a banana, and the tiny seeds and purple fruit was exposed. I brought it to my mouth, it was firm but juicy and the taste exploded on my tongue. “This is wonderful,” I said.
“You sure it isn’t poisonous?”
“Didn’t you read? ’And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food.' Plus, we’ve eaten from the tree of life, it’s not like we can die from eating the wrong thing. Now try it.” I handed it to him.
He peeled the skin back and took a bite. “This is really good,” he said as the juice dripped down his chin. “You know what this would be great on? Pulled pork.”
“We’ve had this conversation, love.” I just shook my head; I had quickly taken to our new diet, but he was having a tougher time.
“I can’t help it. I swear, if I’d known I had to become a vegetarian, I might have decided differently.”
You could almost hear my eye roll. “Let me get this straight. You get to live in paradise, a garden where God himself will walk with you in the cool of the morning. You talk with the animals, and you command the trees and plants to bring forth their fruit. There is no death, no pain, no suffering, and you walk around naked all day with ME, and this is what you have to complain about?”
“Baby, I love you, but can you blame a man for wanting a steak? A thick, juicy burger? Fried chicken?”
My eye roll almost echoed through the cavern. Men. “Things have changed, you need to embrace the vegan lifestyle we now have. We don’t have to cook, we don’t have to farm, we just pick what we need.”
He took my hand and pulled me into his side. I melted into his embrace, our love and need for each other had only gotten stronger each day. “I’m being a whiny little bitch, aren’t I.” I nodded, and he broke out in laughter. “I’ve eaten MRE’s, Meals Rejected by Everyone, for months. I've eaten stuff in survival training that would make a billy goat puke, yet I’m complaining about having to eat fruits, nuts and grains. I should just say I’m doing the South Beach diet.”
“We’ll get used to it.” We walked down the trail towards the river; just upstream, there was a waterfall, and underneath it was a beautiful clear pool. Fish swam around, and a pair of otters floated side by side in the gentle current. “Want to swim?”
“Absolutely,” he said with a grin. “Come on.” We followed the trail upstream, climbing the slippery rocks to the top of the ten-foot drop. He tossed a small rock down, counting as it sank in the crystal-clear waters. “Twelve feet deep,” he said. “Ready?”
“Watch me,” I said with a smirk. I ran to the edge, launching myself into a forward somersault before straightening into a dive, my hands punching the water out of the way. I arched my back, stopping my downward momentum and kicked back to the surface. Moving my hair out of my face, I saw James looking down on me with a smile on his face. “Beat that,” I said.
“Gladly.” He backed up a little as I treaded water at the back end of the pool. He ran forward, leaping high, but it wasn’t a fancy dive.
“CANNONBALL!” He landed close to me, his butt hitting the water with a loud smack as the splash nailed me in the face.
When he came back up, I used my hands to send a wave of water at him. “I married a child,” I said.
“Maybe.” He dove down, coming up behind me. “I can’t wait for you to be heavy with child,” he said.
“Yeah, well, you don’t have to go through childbirth, so you think this whole repopulate the earth thing is just endless sex and fun.” He just wiggled his eyebrows as he took my hand. “Guys don’t have to go through what women do to bring forth life.”
“You don’t have to either,” he said. “Pain in childbirth was part of the curse. So were weeds, thorns, menstruation and farming.”
I just laughed. “Wait a minute, I don’t get PMS any more? No cramping? No bleeding like a stuck pig?”
“Nope, but if you’re pregnant all the time you wouldn’t have to worry about that anyway.”
I looked over at him like he was nuts. I don’t care how much of the curse went away, a woman needed a break in between kids, or her uterus would fall out. “You’d love to do that, wouldn’t you. Keep me barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen for the rest of time.”
“You’re barefoot now, and there’s no kitchen, so pregnant is all I can shoot for.” He kissed me hard, pulling me into his excitement. Talking about making babies had us both feeling frisky. “There’s no chocolate bars here and I can’t leave and head to the bar, so it’s a good thing you can’t have PMS. That was the second worst curse Mankind was given, I think.”
“What was number one?”
“Mosquitos. I hate those things.”
We played in the water for a while, then I went out to find us some dinner. When I came back, he was sitting on a rock, staring at the waterfall. “What are you thinking about, love?”
“I can’t just let go of what is happening out there right now. There has to be a way to stop them from killing each other.”
“He said it was going to happen.”
“I know. I’m just stubborn enough to think I can stop it.” We sat and ate the nuts and fruits, and I thought about what he said. My father was still up there somewhere, right in the thick of it. There had to be a way to get them a message.
Bushehr Naval Base
“Nākhodā Yekomn (Captain) Feroze,” the watch officer said as he rushed into my office, “You need to see this.”
I turned from the window overlooking the base, which was now on a full war footing. I had not slept since the cowardly American attacks, but spirits were high. Our missiles had struck the American cruiser, forcing it to retreat. All along the coast, our forces were standing up to the Imperialists. Two American warships were escorting the crippled Chosin back south, and the Lincoln battlegroup had moved closer to Bahrain. We had anti-ship missiles deployed all along the coast, with a short flight time to the American ships.
All I was waiting for was an order to destroy them. “What is it?”
“One of our patrol boats found an American remotely piloted submarine,” he said. “They are bringing it in now.”
“Have Doctor Khorvash and his scientists meet us at the docks,” I said. “We should have suspected something like this, this is three times now they’ve been stationed in that area. I want to know what they were doing.”
I greeted the Ensign in charge of the patrol boat when they docked, the American spy submarine tied to their decks. “Excellent work, Ensign. Where exactly was it found?”
“In the debris field where the American cruiser was hit by our missile,” he said. “There is some blast damage, but it doesn’t appear that bad.” The crane was already picking it up, moving it to a flatbed truck. The Doctor and his scientists would start analyzing this immediately.
It turned out to be far easier than anyone anticipated. Doctor Khorvash told me it didn’t appear to be military in origin, and the data was not encrypted. “It appears it is self-contained but guided by fiber optics attached to a thin tether cable,” he said. It made sense, as the helicopter reported a large cable reel on the boat that had been destroyed earlier in the week.
An hour later, I was sitting in the lab with four scientists as the video played back. The screen was very useful, and the content was damning for the Americans. The GPS unit on the submarine displayed its exact location on screen, along with the course, speed and depth of the craft. When it submerged, the location kept updating but started blinking as it was an estimate. When it started to dive, I plotted the GPS coordinates, and they were well within Iranian waters. I smiled, our government could use this to great effect.
When it got to the bottom and the strange figures appeared, we were all staring at it.
When the glow showed the grass and trees with the unicorn standing there, I ordered the playback to stop. This information was explosive, and it could not be leaked. I took the memory card after verifying they had not made any backups and put it in my pocket.
“Congratulations, gentlemen,” I said before I removed my pistol. I shot the four scientists in the head, then walked out the door. “Do not let anyone enter,” I told my two guards at the doors, then I went to my office.
“Have all Naval assets surround this point and keep the Americans away,” I ordered my deputy. “Sink any warships who approach within five miles, international waters or not.” I handed him the coordinates, and he ran off to accomplish it. I then called Fleet Headquarters. “Admiral Parwiz, we have discovered what the Americans were after. I’m ordering all resources to the area to protect it.”
“What is it, Captain?”
“I’d rather show you in person, sir. I’ll be there in two hours.” Calling the airfield, I commandeered a jet.
They weren’t going to believe it, but the Garden of Eden was under our control. The Tree of Life would ensure our Revolution would conquer the world.