Redistribution

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Chapter 10

“A new chapter in world politics opened yesterday as the US, Russia and China carried out co-ordinated airstrikes across Iran. This impossible alliance would have been unthinkable less than a year ago but the emergence of a new terrorist threat, DRI, backed by Iran to destabilize the Western world, has had the desired effect and war was declared. The first airstrikes were ‘successful’ according to a press statement released earlier by the alliance. There is a total media blackout. No details released as yet. Questions are being raised. Why did the alliance not wait for UN approval? Where is the evidence of Iran’s involvement? In the absence of any credible proof and in the interests of personal survival, it seems that Presidents LiJuin and Popov, both cited on the DRI list of corrupt politicians and both awaiting possible virtual execution, were prepared to hold hands with the devil. The only possible motive, to save their necks. But perhaps DRI needs to take responsibility for the innocent lives that will be lost? Perhaps DRI pushed a little too hard. Doug Banks CNN.”

“Goris wake up you lazy bastard. War’s started.”

“What? What war?”

“Your war asshole. Iran”

“I need coffee. You want? War can wait. Oh my God I’m getting too old for this. I feel like shit and you look like shit. If only we were 20 again, hey? No pressure. No worries. Girls and drugs and late nights and we still did lectures.”

“And drink. Yea if only. Unfortunately we’re a couple of fucked up middle aged guys whose lives didn’t exactly go to plan. Yours did but you fucked it up. I mean it fucked you up. Anyway give me coffee.”

“There’s nothing like the first coffee of the day. I can’t function without it. Now we can turn the tv on. Steve you know what, I can’t actually be bothered watching the tv again. What are we going to see? The US and their tongue up the arse of the allies, attacking Iran. We’ve seen it before. Can’t believe a word they’re saying, not the army, not the president, not the press, nobody. The truth is on the net. I fancy going fishing. You want to come with me?”

“Don’t be crazy. Where did that come from? No thank you. Pointing a stick at the water and waiting for something to bite is not my idea of fun. Anyway I want to see what’s going on. It’s not what you think. The US for sure but guess who else?”

“Brits?”

“No. They’re not in it. They’ve got nothing. No I’m talking real players….China and Russia.”

“Sure. Never. Show me….I don’t believe it. This is getting out of hand. Why would they? They know Iran is nothing to do with anything. Popov and LiJuin must be desperate. They’re on the list but why the US?”

“It can only be a diversion. They’d never attack without us. I presume the US thinks that the focus will be on the war but what will time give them? They must have something.”

“I’m sure they’re frantically trying to find a way to wriggle out of their crimes and to control DRI.”

“Yes I presume so. Maybe they know more than you think. It is the US government after all.”

“And that’s exactly why I know they’ve got nothing. This smells of desperation. If they’re prepared to attack a country for self-preservation alone, how far would they go to save their necks? The people will find out in the end. It’s political suicide. What else do they have up their sleeves?”

“Looking for you. That’s what I’d imagine they’re doing. All of them putting everything they have into finding you, that’s what they’re doing. They must find you because DRI is getting stronger by the day. It’s all you hear about. It’s hard to digest. You’ve created worldwide political panic. The poor people in Africa and China might be happy about it but those with the power are not. The only thing in your favour is that they probably won’t kill you until you’ve helped them. Let’s hope we get to you first.”

“That’s comforting. If they torture me I can’t tell them anything anyway because I don’t know anything. I can’t even tell them how it works. Can we listen to the President talk without you adding your 10 cents worth? Look at that. The three stooges. This is really something you don’t see every day. They look so uncomfortable.”

“Not to me they don’t. They are professional conmen and very skilled. They all have that regal quality.”

“Good morning everyone. Welcome President Popov and President LiJuin. It is with great regret that we stand here today. Airstrikes against strategic targets, military and otherwise began at midnight yesterday. Co-ordinated joint attacks took place against 685 targets. Military installations, nuclear, transportation, government buildings have all been targeted. We understand that there were casualties but we have no exact information yet. As you would expect, we would wish to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and the people of Iran. We are fighting for the innocent and for our way of life. Recently we have seen the impact of the new threat, e-terrorism with the demands of e-DRI. We are reminded of the evil of these terrorists but let us make it clear that there will be no compromise, no hesitation in attacking it wherever and whenever and in whatever form it may attack until we defeat every last one of them.

It is to the Iranian people that we now turn - we affirm our commitment to you to rid your great country of this evil threat that has held you in its grip for too long. We affirm our commitment to leave Iranian soil with full democracy and stability in place of repression.

There may be some who think that we three countries have brought this war upon ourselves but let us be clear, we did not attack Iran. Iran attacked us and our way of life, not with conventional weapons but with its powerful arsenal of virtual weapons, the new threat facing the free world. It would be a grave error to underestimate the power of the new virtual world that we now live. It is a world that has now been hijacked by terrorists and it poses a new threat, a more powerful threat - the ability to influence a billion people with their philosophy of hate and intolerance. DRI is the new suicide bomb that frightens us, unnerves us and attacks at the very core of democracy. But we will stand side by side with our allies to rid ourselves of this evil.

So President Popov, President LiJuin, it is with great honour that I ask you to address the assembled gathering.”

“Thank you President Howard. I stand here beside my friends, a convicted man. Convicted by mob trial backed by terrorists but without the human right to defend myself in a court of law. I will be tried and convicted by a website and I will be sentenced. I say loud and clear to the terrorist, ’who do you think you are? What right do you have to be judge, jury and executioner? The Chinese people are a nation proud of their great heritage, 2000 years of tradition and honour. They will not stand by and watch their leader thrown to a pack of wolves and devoured. They have given me the mandate to join an alliance with the US and Russia.”

“Thank you President LiJuin. I too stand here accused of a crime and I too will be tried and convicted and sentenced. Russia too has a history. I can still remember the days of repression and fear as a child growing up in communist Russia with no hope, no future and no dreams. Never will the Russian people allow a return to those dark days. DRI has declared war against my people and we will rise up once again in revolution. I thank you both for your leadership and your friendship.”

“Could I ask you President Howard about your agenda in Iran. No credible evidence has been put forward that proves the link between Iran and DRI and we know that President Popov and President LiJuin have been charged by DRI with corruption. I see no motive for the US involvement.”

“President Popov and President LiJuin requested the alliance of the US. We cannot underestimate the influence and consequences of the growth of DRI. If a finger is pointed at a friend, how long before it will be pointed at you? We formed this alliance with no agenda other than the preservation of the free world.”

“Jesus, I can’t listen to this shit. I’m actually glad DRI is after them. They attacked Iran for no fucking reason except to save their own necks and they stand there like that.”

“It was a good show. They looked sincere and thoughtful. I almost believed them. I bet the three of them go back to the Whitehouse, get fucked up on drugs and drink and then get laid by half a dozen 18 year old whores.”

“Lucky them. They don’t give a shit. I really thought that I could ignore the war but you know what Steve, I’ve got to do something. How can I stand by and watch the lies and the death of innocent people. I’ve got blood on my hands too. I know that there’s no point but I have to go to Angola. Will you come to Angola with me? I’m absolutely serious. I want to find John. I’ll take the consequences.”

“Look at this Goris. DRI activity is crazy.”

“I’m looking. Wow it’s up to 1.4 billion. You see it’s all anti-war stuff. Maybe they got the diversion they wanted but I wonder if they accounted for the consequences. DRI is not going to sit by and watch. There are 1276 petitions for action against the war. So far, 15 have reached the 100,000 signatures which means they’ll go to vote. It’s interesting how they’ve misjudged DRI. For sure they knew that DRI was in favour of war. They saw that they couldn’t get a petition through. But now the war is reality, the people have turned. You’d think they’d know by now after all the wars they’ve gone into. People don’t have the stomach for blood.”

“It’s just amazing how stupid they are. It smacks of fraud. If you want to unite factions then the surest way is to attack them. The Muslims hate Western interference more than they hate each other. If anyone should know that, it’s our president. Maybe he did?”

“Will you come to Angola with me?”

“Are you serious? Have you thought this through?”

“No but I am serious. I can’t sit in front of the tv. My life is fucked anyway. You said it and you’re right.”

“I can’t take the time off work. Not now. Thanks but Angola this time of year doesn’t appeal. “

“Well I’m going. I’ve made my decision. Tell Gallie and Jazzy that I had to go. Explain why. Please don’t fuck her any more. Tell the girls I love them and that I’m doing this for them.”

“I can’t do that for you.”

“Then don’t. Will you at least take a letter?”

“That I will do but I do think you should see them if you really intend to go off again. I think you’re mad but at least I understand why you need to go this time.”

’My Darling Gallie, I am sorry for the pain I have caused you in the last few years. I don’t agree with the way you’ve dealt with it but I can understand and I want to forgive. I know that I have let you down and allowed our marriage to suffer but I want to be with you and I want you to forgive me too.

You were angry with me because of the way I reacted and how I left you so often. When I tried to explain the reasons to you, you refused to talk. When I told you that I created- DRI, you thought I was mad and you didn’t believe me. That hurt me but I do understand. You have no doubt seen the unfolding of the war against e-DRI. Now maybe you know I was telling the truth. Now maybe you can understand and be proud of what I have achieved. I founded the most important website in history. A website that has grown into a government with morals and it is in the process of making sure that other government is fair and moral. Look what is has achieved in such a short time. It is a miracle. When you watch it on tv or discuss it with friends, you will know that your husband was the founder. I hope that you now believe me and I hope you can be proud. Gallie, I did not intend or have any idea that DRI would become what it has but that is not relevant. It is my responsibility regardless. I am indirectly responsible for the war against Iran. An unjust war based on manufactured evidence by the West as a last attempt to save their own necks. I thought that I was in favour of the war but as I watch the horror unfold for no just reason, motivated purely by self-interest, I cannot sit still and do nothing and I hope that you would not want me to. Steve will tell you that we went to the police together and I told them that I was the founder and they threw me out as just another crank. You will probably not remember my telling you about the man I met in Angola. He was the one who opened my eyes so I could see what I needed to do. That was the birth of the website and he was the one in whose name I registered DRI. I need to find him so that together we can go to the authorities and tell them the truth. I have a responsibility to stop this war and to expose the truth behind it. Gallie you used to care about the world but I think that you lost your way too. I think that you got sucked into the riches and you took our daughter with you. I wanted more for Jazzy than her to end up as an LA girl. I wanted so much more for our lives than that and I don’t just blame you. I was not there for you. Jazzy is our child and she has been damaged. Is this life what you really want for her? A life of excess and superficiality. Please be proud of me. I have done all this for you both. I will be back one day and I hope that we can be together again as a family. I love you both.

Goris’

“What bullshit. He always was good with words and he always was full of shit. What a cheek! Trying to blame us for his middle aged crisis. He’s really sick. It’s his obsession that’s done this. He’s the one that ‘had’ to go off and find himself and he’s the one that couldn’t cope. I put up with him for years. He needs help not us. Going on and on about equality and poverty then trying to convince us that he started it. Why? Why the need to prove it? What difference would it make?”

“Gallie, you may be surprised but I believe him. I really do. I do think that he founded it. I don’t understand why he couldn’t deal with his life as it was but I do understand why he’s doing what he’s doing now.”

“Steve, are you telling me that you actually believe that Goris founded DRI and this is all down to him?”

“Yea I do. I’m not saying that he knew it would come to this but he did start it. I’ve known him too long. Gallie, it is the truth. I know he started it. You have to believe him. He deserves that.”

“Jesus Steve. It’s crazy. Goris really did this? My God, it’s beyond belief. How can you be so sure?”

“Gallie what motive does he have for lying? Think about it. It’s Goris. He doesn’t lie. It all adds up and I’ve talked to him. I am telling you, he did it and now he doesn’t know how to stop it.”

“So they’ve gone to war with Iran for nothing. It’s all lies then?”

“Yes, all lies. Iran has nothing to do with anything. That’s why Goris is going to Angola.”

“I’m sorry but I still can’t believe it. How did he do it?”

“I don’t know exactly but he did. Gallie I know he did. The thing is Gallie that in his own way, he did this for you too. He’s not completely selfish and you know that. He does love you but he’s not like you and me. He never was. He was never satisfied with anything, not really. You knew this when you married him.”

“Yes I did but I thought that he’d grown up. I can’t forgive him. I won’t. He left us. He forced me to do things that I regret.”

“Thanks a lot. That hurts. Gallie, he never forced you into sleeping with me. You chose it. You can’t blame him. It might make you feel better but it was your choice to betray him with his best friend. You can’t blame me. He doesn’t, strangely enough. He knows that I have always loved you and I do.”

“Stop it Steve. I don’t want to hear. I am not interested. What we had, did, was purely sex and I did it only because I was angry with him. Stop it Steve! Don’t touch me. I mean it. You have no right. Stop it. Stop it. Get off me. Steve, you’re hurting me. You’re hurting me.”

“And you’re hurting me. I know you’re lying. You want me too. This is mine and it always was.”

“Steve I can’t.”

“You see Gallie, you can’t help it. You can’t resist.”

“No I can’t and I don’t know why. I don’t even like you. You don’t give a shit. You make out you’re kind and caring but you’re not. Does it not bother you at all that I am the wife of your best friend?”

“No it doesn’t. Going off on his crazy trips, leaving you behind. Poor guy, he can’t cope with a few hundred million dollars. I’ve never heard such crap. He couldn’t be happy with something every person in the world dreams of. Not Goris. He’s better than that. He brought it all on himself. No I’m sorry but I don’t feel any guilt. Why should I?”

“Because he is your friend and you hurt him.”

“Actually you hurt him. He never trusted me but he trusted you with all his heart.”

“Don’t say that. I know he did but what did he expect?”

“More from you. Not from me but you. You betrayed him and you still do. In the end he will see you for what you are, you do know that? Right now he can only see DRI but when all that has died down, he will be able to see more clearly. I know him better than you and I am telling you, he will leave you in the end. You know how obsessed he is about honesty and loyalty. That’s why we love him and when he realises that you were the dishonest one, the one who betrayed him, he will leave you.”

“No you are wrong. He wants us back.”

“It’s amazing. You said that you would never go back to him but as soon as I tell you that he won’t want you back, you start getting upset. You’re so predictable. Well let me tell you something about your husband. Maybe he could have forgiven you once but perhaps you’ve forgotten that you and I just fucked the second his back was turned. It’s over between you and him. Gallie, you and I were meant to be together. There’s no point fighting it.”

“You’re unbelievable. You just moved back with Katrina. Are you fucking her as well? And before you ask, no I am not jealous. It just shows what a pig you are.”

“For your information, I am fucking her but that’s obligation only. I want you. I love you. I will leave her for you.”

“I don’t want you to. I don’t want you. I despise you. Steve please stop…I can’t do it again…. I don’t want to…”

“Gallie please don’t fight it. You know it’s right. You can’t stop it.”

“What I know is that you’re a bastard and for some sick reason I need you too. I can’t believe I am saying this. I want Goris back. I don’t want you.”

“But you do Gallie. You always have. You made a mistake and you’ve paid the price. We always had great sex because we were always great together. You left me for him to get back at me because I couldn’t keep my dick in my pants. I was young then. He was your revenge and you ended up marrying him. Look at me and say you never regretted it. Come on Gallie.”

“I never regretted it. There.”

“You see, you can’t even say it. Not properly. Gallie, this is our chance. It won’t be there forever. Goris will be back and you might even be stupid enough to go back to him. Gallie I love you. Do you hear me?”

“Yes I hear but I can’t say I love you. I won’t. When we were together, I hated you then. Always looking at other women, always flirting. You made me feel unimportant and Goris always made me feel that I was the only woman alive.”

“So you need to decide if you want safe or unpredictable. But I promise you this, if you come with me, I will keep my dick in my pants and only bring it out on your orders.”

“Somehow I don’t believe it. Anyway I do love Goris.”

“So do I but I don’t want to be his partner.”

“I don’t even like you.”

“What’s that got to do with it?”

“We don’t have anything in common.”

“So what?”

“You’re a bastard.”

“And?”

“I can’t trust you?”

“That’s your issue.”

“What about Katrina? And Goris?”

“What about them?”

“And Jazzy?”

“She’ll get over it.”

“And what about me?”

“Who cares about you? Follow your heart and forget the rest. Deal?”

“No deal.”

Goris called from Angola at US time 11.30pm. I hadn’t expected a call. He had not found John yet. He sounded disheartened because John was a very common name and he did not remember where exactly they had met, what he did, how old he was or in fact anything at all. He said that he would not give up and that he was staying in a small hotel in Luanda, called The Queen Victoria. He also said that two young girls came with the room. He was not coming back until he had found him and to say hi to Gallie and Jazzy. He asked me to look after them if something happened to him. I agreed. I called Gallie and told her that I’d spoken to Goris. She was distant and disinterested. I said nothing else to her. I’d said enough. I put down the phone and climbed back into bed. Katrina asked who I’d been speaking to and obviously I lied.

It was an odd few days. Goris was away. Gallie told me that she wasn’t interested. Katrina and I carried on as if nothing had ever happened. We got into bed every night, she turned her back on me, usually raised her negligee and allowed me to screw her from behind. She felt it was enough to keep me satisfied and I didn’t feel anything. I just did what I had to do whilst thinking of Gallie. Why that bitch had to fight it, I did not understand? She had always resisted me. I wanted to go to see her but I knew that she was expecting that. I couldn’t stop the thoughts in my head. I had little interest in the war or DRI. Now that Goris had gone, it seemed unnecessary. It was his thing. Life in LA was oblivious to the rest of the world. We didn’t care about anything that didn’t affect us. That was the American way of the quite rich. The very rich liked to pretend to care. I wasn’t aware of my strong feelings for Gallie until now. I had buried those years ago when Goris stole her from me. Now that she had resurrected the dead, I felt sick to the stomach. Everything was a chore, work, food, Katrina, sex. I didn’t believe that she felt nothing for me. Katrina was very intuitive and she had always said that we boys had married the wrong women. I knew that Gallie loved me but she was the sensible type, the type that made calculated decisions and my fear was that she would calculate that Goris was a safer bet. I told Katrina that I was going on a business trip for a couple of days.

Goris had left me the keys to his house so I went in, rolled a joint, poured a whisky and sat on the sofa. Gallie was with her mother still. I turned to CNN to listen to war talk and DRI. I opened Goris’s laptop, assumed that the password was Gallie and it was. I logged on to DRI in Goris’s name and the same password. Almost all DRI activity revolved around anti-war sentiment, anti-alliance, anti-presidents, forums debating the lies and deceit, endless new petitions. The media show continued, the three liars giving great performances, deceiving sincerely and apologising insincerely. I thought that if I closed my eyes for a while, it might all go away. Where had time gone? This time with Goris, just the two of us again, smoking, drinking and doing nothing, had stirred up feelings long buried and better forgotten. It had taken me back to a time when the future was unknown and exciting. I had wanted children but they never came despite the thousands of dollars wasted on IVF and treatments and pills and then the alternative brigade with their promises and herbs and potions and needles and then the prayers and still no children. So I had made money. What was it for? A big house in LA with a pool that nobody used. A family house with no family. Eight bedrooms with no beds. How many Caribbean holidays could a person have? My latest business heading for big bucks. Why? So that Katrina can spend even more time shopping. I can’t live like this. I wasn’t Goris but I did want Gallie. I lay down on the sofa and slept.

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