“Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
- The Bhagavad Gita and J. Robert Oppenheimer
“No one knows who did it or how it started. Some say it was a Muslim Jihadist group, other say the Chinese, but most agree that it was either the East or the West. It could have been a combination of the two, who knows. I came up with the solution, but I have no idea how the problem started.
“When God showed me that I needed to move East, I had little grasp of what that would truly mean. I thought that there were clear-cut delineations, physically, morally, spiritually, emotionally - but I was wrong. God is bigger than clear cut.
“East was the ideological Christian Right. It encompassed all of the southern States of the civil war, Most of New Mexico, and parts of some of the more northern states. Boulder would be the new point from which the countries would be divide, but that would come later, after the tragedy. The West, what would still be known as the USA, was like a crab claw pinching down on the East, from DC north, spreading west down through the western half of New mexico. What surprised everyone was Arizona’s insistence on staying within the USA.
“But this is about Boulder.
“It started with the flu. Not just any flu, but an engineered swine flu, one that was introduced by... someone. We aren’t sure who, as I said. It was bad, but not 99.99% fatal, 100% contagious bad. That came later. When it was mixed with a hint of anthrax, a pinch of small pox and the common cold. How these things got to Boulder and why that city was chosen, I’ll never know. I doubt anyone will. I know it happened in the aftermath of the revelation that the first martyr was still alive, that his death had been faked in order to spur the takeover of the government of the USA by the East. The death of the First Martyr caused the president and most of congress to be killed outright, and touched off the shit-storm that was God’s wrath.
“And even though the fictional death of the First Martyr had happened, it was the Left that orchestrated the coup by the Right. What the Left hadn’t counted on was its success. They sought to discredit the religious Right, instead they became half complicit in the hewing of a country
“When the severity of the viral storm was discovered, the two governments began talking. They said that something had to be done. One army was on one side, the other army on the other. No one was allowed to leave the city. There were many who tried, and all were killed.
“But the flu was going to get out. If we didn’t do something.
“That’s when I suggested the nuke, may God forgive me. I said that it shouldn’t be one of ours, or one of theirs, but that of a neutral party (not that China is exactly neutral, but close enough for now). I prayed long, I prayed hard before I suggested it, but in the end, I did. And in the end, all sides agreed.
“It wasn’t a large weapon. It was tiny, in terms of actual physical size, but the tonnage was enough. My sister was near, and was told to pull back when the bomb was incoming. She saw the flash. I feel that this was God’s gift to me.”
“Are you sure this is how you want to tell this story?” The woman was comely, attractive without meaning to be. Hers was one of the biggest news sites of the Right. She had God in her stories, though not necessarily in her heart. I do think that the Creator brought her to me, though. She wanted the truth, the actual truth. She’d been played for propaganda too many times.
“I’m sure,” I said. My voice didn’t betray my lack of certainty, and for that, I was grateful. “people need to know. I believe that our Lord would want the truth to be known.”
My few years in the MI had taught me that most people were cynics, were unbelievers clothed in the apparel of believers, that even the most righteous had their secrets. I didn’t last as long in the Military Intelligence as they would have liked, but I was known enough and connected enough not to become one of the disappeared.
“Boulder was a tragedy, a tragedy on the scale of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but don’t be fooled by the scale of horror: things could have been much worse. I saw with my own eyes the insanity that was the disease. It was spread multifactorially, the disease lingered with incredibly debilitating and disfiguring sequelae, and it took a very long time for a person to die
“Without drastic, extreme measures, this would have spread worldwide. Without Chinese intervention, civilization would have ended. If either the East or West had sent a bomb, nuclear annihilation of the entire North American continent would have ensued with each side pointing the finger at the other.
“Even with this joint resolution, those fingers were still pointed. The secrecy of the request allowed such unabashed lies to be told on both sides, each saying the other had gotten into bed with the newest dominating world power.
“I’ve given you the recordings and the unredacted files as proof. You can show this to the world.
“Even with the lies and the propaganda, this was the turning point in the war. The people were weary. They didn’t care any more. Hundreds of thousands of lives had been lost, cities and infrastructures brought down. People just wanted - want - to find some sense of normalcy.”
I paused to take a sip of lemonade.
“So,” the reporter, Margaret, I want to call her, though I know that’s not right, “why are you coming forward now? The last battle was fought months ago. The war is essentially over, isn’t it?”
I nodded. “Essentially over isn’t the same as over. Not-war isn’t the same as peace. I am here because God told me to be here. I am here because I am tired. I am here because people need to know.”
I pushed the drive with the files across the table to her as I thumbed the cross I still kept on my lapel, his one half black, half white with a gray pin stripe down the center. There were hard copies of signed papers in the folder next to the drive as well.
“You have the first copies of everything. In twenty-four hours, this will go to every other news outlet worldwide. I chose you because it has to come from us.”
She looked hardened, but driven. I’d chosen well. She would end the war for good.
I stood and walked out, not expecting to live more than a day longer.