Fanning The Flame
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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: April 3, 2016      Views: 203
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I live in The Middle of Nowhere, Australia. I share my little piece of the Earth with one extraordinarily patient female of my species and a mini zoo consisting of Shetland ponies, alpacas, sheep, goats, a dog and a variable population of feral cats, - more...

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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.
This work has reached the exceptional level

Chapter 25 of the book Miscellaneous stories
Political Flash Fiction Contest Entry
"The message" by CD Richards

Tuesday, August 21, 2029 -- 8:23 am

"What the hell do you mean not possible? You've got a whole fucking squadron of F-16s there, General. Get them in the air now!" The throbbing in his temples told the President this was going to be a bad day.

"I mean sir, respectfully, that we can't get them in the air," General Frank Wilson replied. "Ever since the... object... appeared, none of our aircraft are functional. Not only that, but all of our sea-to-air and land-to-air missile capabilities have been neutralized. Our intelligence is that reports from Moscow, Ankora, Beijing and Seoul have confirmed similar craft in their airspace, and all of their military capabilities have been immobilized. More reports are coming in as we speak."

* * *

Tuesday, August 21, 2029 -- 10:54 am

In computer lab B2 at MIT, Thomas Dibley stared at the screen in front of him. Gone was the artificial neural network tutorial which had been only partially successful in keeping him awake for the past forty minutes. In its place was a repeating series of hieroglyphics, scrolling from right to left across his screen. From where he was sitting, Thomas could see that every screen in the lab had the same set of patterns running across its monitor. What he could not see was that every screen on every internet connected computer on the planet was displaying the same message.

Thomas looked at the plasma display on the wall. The sound was muted, but he could see the images flickering from one national capital to another, reporters with microphones in hand standing in front of impressive looking buildings. In the skies above those buildings were huge craft, around the size of a football field at least, and at a guess, about six stories high.

On a whim, Thomas lifted his cell phone from the desk and took a photo of his PC screen. As always when he was in the lab, his phone was in airplane mode, so it was still under his control. He dragged the image and dropped it onto the DecodeThis! applet.

"Let's see what to make of our visitors' message." Beside him, Amanda nodded her consent, but her eyes were glued to the plasma display.

A half minute or so later, Thomas's chuckling broke Amanda's concentration.

"Son of a bitch!"

"What?" Amanda looked at him expectantly.

"They've done it. The message, it might be from aliens, but it's not alien. It's Hebrew!"

Thomas offered Amanda the phone. "We didn't want it, so they've given it to us anyway."

"What are you talking about? What have they given us?" Amanda began reading as Thomas responded:


On the cellular in front of her, Amanda looked at the translated output:

"...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
* * *
Tuesday, August 21, 2029 -- 11:17 am

One hundred and fifty feet below the Kremlin, in a room with concrete walls twelve feet thick, the Russian President pressed the red button. Nothing happened.

Political Flash Fiction contest entry

The book continues with Life, the universe and coffee. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

Mohandas Gandhi
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