Prologue by pengxuebo

VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 309

									                           Prologue

Brad Johnson had been summoned, by a phone call, from his
normal working class job to a mysterious above earth
organisation known as the white group. Here it was explained
that he was to become a Hero-man, go on a voyage, and save
the world from certain extinction by a cynical entrepreneur
known only as HE. After a series of indoctrination courses he
is assimilated as a genuine MBA with a very impressive CV. All
he has to now is gain employment within HE‟s group and foil his
dastardly plans. To help on his way he has been issued with a
state of the art communications ring.
Chapter 1

Meeting with HE

I presented myself to reception as directed. “Mr Johnson I
presume” breathed a sensual siren. My life, I thought, where
do these receptionist‟s come from. And to my eternal regret
she ushered me straight in. “Please take a seat - HE will be
with you shortly.”

I sat down quickly, well you all know why! I faced the largest
desk I had ever seen. This guy had a serious testosterone
problem. My chair was miniscule compared to his and the desk
was totally dominating. How wrong first impressions can be.
HE appeared in a wheelchair from the left hand side of the
room. “Sorry about the desk, it was installed by the previous
incumbent. Please take a seat by the side, they are much more
comfortable.” I settled into a large leather armchair and
thanked HE for air conditioning. Leather does play havoc with
one‟s arse!

“Now then Brad we know who you are working for, and we know
why you have been sent to us. How those arseholes who live
God knows where could think we are that gullible offends me.
However here you are, with your fake credentials, and you
want me to offer you a job. In turn you will find out how I do
business and then pass it on to the “Holier than thou” group
who will then find a way to destroy me. That does not seem
very fair to me. How about you?”

I rubbed the ring vigorously. Mainly because I was bereft of
thought and speech. My mind was in denial. Uumh came to
mind but was quickly dispatched by Uuuumh.
“That ring will not work here. No unauthorised transmissions
can be received. And that includes personal text messaging on
mobile phones.

What kind of monster am I exactly? As portrayed by the
“White Group”.

My mind was still whirling and my mouth incapable of speech. I
had not expected such observant confrontation. Like the idiot
I am I had expected acceptance.

“Why would you expect that.”

“You can read my mind as well?”

“Of course”.

I decided there and then that enough was enough. I was
totally sick to death of being outguessed by everybody I came
across.

“So what are you going to do about it? Return and report your
failure? Or work here and tell them what I want them to
know? The choice, however limited, is yours. However I can
suggest a compromise that will suit us both.

I am perceived as totally evil by certain factions and I do have
a problem with this. I am also seen as corrupt and
unscrupulous. Furthermore there are minor factions who would
call me a Megalomaniac who wants to take over the world. As
with all myths there is always a little bit of reality. Let me
give you a little example. Your World, run by the men in white,
who live wherever, feel threatened by the likes of me. My
world, the real world where decisions are made need people
like me. And let me tell you why. I said I would give you an
example. Take Africa. Once one of the richest continents on
earth. Now not only one of the poorest, but also one where
you are likely to die prematurely. I have a plan to reverse this
process of national suicide. I plan to recolonise the whole of
Africa.

I need to take Africa back to Colonial times where the natives
were looked after. Back to a time where they were fed and
cared for and weren‟t dying by the thousand‟s of Aids and
hunger. Back to a time where they had pride in themselves and
were able to care for their families. Back to a time where we,
as demigods, showed them the way to nurture themselves and
evolve in a structured way. We destroyed their culture and
gave them nothing to replace it, is it any wonder they are in
this horrendous mess?

Of course this is seen as neo-colonialism and I am marked out
as a neo-fascist. I have similar plans for a whole host of
countries. But tell me I am wrong. Come on Brad tell me your
anxieties, yours and the white force that control you. You
think I wear a black hat. Therefore I am a horrendous crime
against humanity! Can you believe this?

How do you perceive the world? Through some nice glasses
given to you by the white ones. Brad, wake up. It is a huge
fucking mess that need‟s sorting out. And my methods will do
that. What the hell if a little sovereignty is lost along the
way!”

“A little sovereignty. Where do you stop after Africa. China‟s
in a bit of mess, the Balkans could do with sorting out, how
about Korea, Vietnam and the small matter of the Middle East.
Where on earth do your plans end?”
“When the world is not locked in violence. That will be when my
mission ends. And if I have to bring violence to bring it about
then so be it. Although that is not my preferred option. We
can do it you and I! You act as a buffer between me and the
white zone and we will soon clear this whole mess up.”

“Just how do you propose we implement this gallant plan you
suggest? And why do you think the white zone would consider
your proposals?”

“Come on Brad use a bit of common sense. We are in a
situation where the world is more divided than it ever was.
And that it is encouraging extreme wing radicals. The atrocity
of the 11th September would have been inconceivable 30 years
ago. There would not have been the incredible hate that exists
today. And it is hate brought about by commercialism. Can
you imagine what it feels like to be starving, and I mean to
death. Can you imagine a situation where every sexual
encounter could be a fatal coupling. Not only are the rich
getting richer, and the poor poorer but the poor are becoming
expendable through the transmission of diseases that we
thought had been eradicated in the 18th Century. I cannot sit
by and see this happen.. I have to do something about it. And
with or without your help it will be done!”

“But your whole ethos is built on commercialism, and pretty
crap commercialism at that. How can you seriously project
these grandiose schemes when you perpetuate the ignoble
crime of fast food and stand by instant gratification, high
profit, merchants such as Disney, who make a profit out of
gullibility and people dissatisfaction?”

“Brad – you miss the point. Change can only be brought about
from within. And I have to have money, and therefore
leverage, to affect any change. And the only way that this can
be done is to ply a profitable trade. I admit it is a paradox,
but it is essential that I have attractive company shares.
Where else would I get them if it were not through the
rubbish I trade in? I admit it is rubbish – but the way the
world works, to quote you, “instant gratification” is the order
of the day.”

“I am mystified by your argument. You advocate the retaking
of the colonies through the very medium that is destroying
them – commercialism in it‟s most dire state. I could perhaps
believe you if you supported engineering, or architecture. But
no you actively support fast food and microwave emissions. I
just cannot take you seriously. I will report back to my so
called “white group” very negatively.”

“Negativism. Barely a word. It does not stand too much
criticism. OK Brad if that is your last word. Let me show you
something that I am capable of. I call it positivism. You may
call it Magic! We will see. Let the dreams loose. “

I was asleep. Plagued by a thousand dreams. I was running
down the beach, pursued by a pack of double headed dogs.
They turned into snapping crocodiles as I reached the shore. I
turned around and flying bats, large as humans crashed into
me. I ran as fast as I could away from this nightmare. Into a
red hot cave. Bats surrounded me, heat overcame me and lava
overflowed me. I screamed out in agony. A hand appeared and
dragged me from this hell on earth.

I awoke on my bed at home. Drenched with sweat and
terrified I looked around the room. It all seemed quite normal.
Boy had got involved in something. I couldn‟t think about it
until I had a shower and a very strong Gin and Tonic. I know
it‟s only morning but I deserve one. God this British reserve
does piss me off. They drink wine with their croissants in
France you know – for breakfast!

Where was I. Ah yes a strong G&T. Tasted rather good with
toast, I didn‟t fancy it with cornflakes! The shower, however,
did ruin the toast. C‟est la vie.

What on earth was I to make of all these happenings. Quite a
lot of what HE said made logical sense. But throughout history
there have always been leaders who at first made logical sense.
And later their megalomania became apparent. Various Roman
emperors, Hitler, Attila, Tito, Lenin, Stalin. Yet you have to
admit that some of these people whilst leading despotically did
maintain a semblance of peace. Tito and Yugoslavia is a classic
example. As are some of the middle eastern monarchies.
Indeed the people under our own monarchy fared not too badly.
It all depends on how you view your station in life. How
desperate is pride compared to survival?

The intriguing question for me is really quite simple. The
extreme socialist group that I am working for who fight to
everybody else‟s death to prove all men are equal. Or the
extreme fascism of HE who needs control, but caters for his
people like middle class suburbanites look after their pets.
Have you ever heard of a beloved dog waiting for a triple heart
by pass. No chance. In fact if I get really ill I will go to a vet.

And right in the middle is capitalism which has turned us into a
tribe of singular minded acquisitive bastards whose only topic
of conversation is how much one is worth and does one have the
divine new number plate to go with one‟s new sports coupe. Out
of this sad scenario we have bred, more out of desperation
than anything else, the worshipful society of celebrities. I do
believe there is more to life than this.
Perhaps I should start my own cult. But where would I begin I
am so confused by the pure evil, apathy and egocentrism that
pervades our culture. However I could begin with two basic
concepts. “always think of the next person down the line”, and
“weigh your worth, not against your material wealth, but
against your contribution to society.” Boy this is getting
heavy. But it is a fact of life that those who contribute most
to society are unable to live in that society. They have to make
do in dog kennels or live a thousand miles away from where
they work. Oh well enough philosophising I suppose I should
get back to work and check in with HQ.”

“Ah Brad, how nice to hear from you. We were quite concerned
that you had been persuaded by HE that his was the right way.
He is quite persuasive.”

“You are right to be concerned. He is persuasive, and he does
make quite a point in his insistence on action rather than the
inaction proscribed by your self‟s. Do you really believe that
these pathetic beings can extricate themselves from this
incredible variance in lifestyles? How do you rationalise tens
of thousands of people dying of starvation and aids with an
upsurge in the purchase of luxury yachts, airplanes and
waterside apartments?”

“It is really very simple Brad. It is not our problem. It is your
problem. I mean the collective your. OK let me be honest we
could interfere instantly and resolve this. We could just take
time back to where the problem did not exist. Although, to be
honest, that may be very hard with your people. Simple
answer, no problems and we meet this fiscal years targets
without a thought. But if we were to do that we would take
the responsibility away from your ability to resolve the
situation. And Fate has decreed that you are the one to
resolve the current situation. Brad, you may not like this, but
you are a man of destiny, a man who is in a situation to save the
world. from itself.

So HE had sussed you out. It is not the end of the world. No
pun intended! You can fight back with your integrity. You can
harm him with your honesty, and you can destroy him with the
truth. Oop‟s , sorry I wasn‟t meant to mention the truth just
yet, it‟s a little early in your career. Never mind all will be
revealed later.

On to business. A very interesting situation is developing
between you and HE and we would wish to exploit this. His
plans to recolonise Africa are well advanced and we believe he
plans an offensive in the immediate future. Regardless of what
he told you we know that his first phase will start in the
North and is scheduled to run for nine months ending in
Zimbabwe. There he intends to rest and regroup before
making an all out assault on the rest of Southern Africa.

We are going to let him go ahead with his first offensive.
Most Northern African states could do with walk through
McDougals after all. Where we intend to stop him is in his
Southern Africa front. And this is where you come in. As HE
concerns and products arrive in an area we will turn back time.
You will be there to verify this and assure HQ that everything
is going to plan. “

“Excuse me – I do have a slight problem with this – If you turn
back time where am I?”

“Yes Brad, a good question that we have discussed. A trifle
difficult to answer. We do not exactly know where that will
leave you. You could remain where you are, as an observer,
which is our hope. Or you could be warped back to the time we
select.
We also have a slight problem with Africa per se. If we change
time in the South of the continent what does that do to the
North? We would not wish to have immigrants appearing in the
South with mobile phones that double as digital camera‟s
contacting people who are just learning how to light fires.
Anyway that is our problem and we will deal with it.

For now just follow our basic game plan and be in position to
receive your instructions. Any other questions?”

“No I don‟t think so. Except one. How do I get there?”

“The transporter awaits. Just step aboard.”

“Final question. Knowing the inability of your logistics
department what do I need to pack?”

“Nothing. It is all on board. Trust me.”

So I did, stepped on board and sure enough it was all there.
Off we go.
Chapter 2

African Adventure

Well I ended up on top of the Kariba Dam which is in the North
of Zimbabwe and probably a good place for HE to stop and
gather his troops for an assault on the much better defended
Southern Africa. Whether he had launched his assault at this
time I had no idea. Best I ask around. Unfortunately the top
of Kariba Dam is a long way away from the town which is at the
top of the valley. And while offering me wonderful views of
Lake Kariba and the spectacular, but rapid, African sunsets –
did little for my knowledge.

So I began the laborious 5 mile uphill walk to the town that had
been carved out of the mountains by British and Italian
builders in the mid 1950‟s. When we first moved here we lived
in a round hut until the families accommodation was built. That
was long gone but I wondered if my parents bungalow was still
around? We shall see when we reach the upper reaches of the
valley.

NB: For interested readers the Kariba Dam was probably the
last great project of colonial Africa and was designed to
provide vast amounts of energy through it‟s hydro electric
pumping station. What state it is in today I have no idea.

On I walked, forever upward. I had walked these paths as a
child being sent down to collect a sack of potatoes, long before
the time Eleftheriadious the Greek opened his grocery store.
Eventually I reached the top. No sign of my bungalow, but a
much improved Kariba Hotel was still there. I walked inside
“Ah Mr Johnson we have been expecting you. A counsellor is
waiting for you in the Lake View restaurant. She is sitting at
table 12. “

I didn‟t even question how a porter knew my name and went
directly to table 12. What a surprise. The gorgeous lady from
reception was there. “Hi Brad. Sit down and while we eat I will
bring you up to date.”

I said nothing. I couldn‟t. My brain was where my sexual
arousal was, in seventh heaven. How could I be in Africa with
this gorgeous creature in this romantic setting? It was all too
much so I simply spluttered and sat down.

“The food is always excellent, anything you pick will be just
right. So what do you fancy?”

Is there another word for spluttering? Because if there is
that is what I did. I felt a complete an utter arsehole as I
totally lost the power of speech. I burbled a reply which I
hoped came out as “I will have whatever you are having.”

“Ok it‟s not a problem. I know I am gorgeous but that is not
why I am here. I am here to brief you on the current situation
and my sensuality will not get in the way. My body is off limits
– do you understand that?”

“Uunggh”. Was my response.

“Good. Food first.”

She ordered, we ate. What a feast. Succulent, generous and
subtle. Way to go with real food. Clearly HE was yet to arrive
here with his tacky processed, micro waved trash. Coffee
came and she began to speak business. I am not going to tell
you what we spoke about during the meal!

“HE has been quite clever. We expected him to launch his
campaign in Tunis and Algeria using massive amounts of force.
In fact he has dumbfounded us with his approach. He is
pouring money in, opening scores of his takeaway food joints
and pubs – furthermore food and drink is free for the
foreseeable future. On top of this he is paying top wages to all
the staff he employs. Well above the national average. He is
also offering to build hospitals and schools. Finally he claims to
have an antidote for HIV. Naturally the local population‟s are
lapping him up as a Hero-man. Which is the role we had in mind
for you. This presents us with a problem. “

“I can see that” I interjected. “Here is this guy you people
despise, reclaiming African hearts by philanthropical acts and
you projected him as Satan. There is a certain paradox here.
Don‟t you think?”

“OK I admit we screwed up. Does that satisfy you? But the
fact remains that when he has secured a base the real HE will
appear. And the real HE is not something that we can live with.
Our best guess is that he will continue with this strategy down
to Kenya. And when the whole of Northern Africa is hooked,
he will pull the plug and blame the respective Governments.
This will cause unheard of uprisings and all the local despots
will be overthrown with a clamouring for the return of HE. Of
course one does wonder where all the finance for this
incredible venture is coming from. It must be costing millions,
escalating into billions a day. It is very mystifying.”

“I agree with your synopsis. But take it one step beyond and
you can see the glorious cunning in his plan. Investment in
Africa is nothing at the moment. Yet the continent is full of
natural resources. If HE can stabilise the political situation.
And at the same time remain a de facto leader due to his
massive influx of capital: investors will come flooding back.
HE will control all the governing bodies and be able to take a
percentage of all business being brought into the various
countries. I could have got very rich if I had jumped on board
with him.

A thought jumped into my head. “What about the media?”

“Satellite and cable TV centres set up in all the major towns.
Internet café‟s and large screen TV in every centre. He has
not missed a trick. And he controls the lot. Seduce the
masses, give them two good years and then shut everything
down. Whilst controlling the media. I think we have been had.”

“I seem to recall your peer‟s telling me they could foresee this.
So what happened that you lost control?”

“I have absolutely no idea. A bit of a cock up on the crystal
ball front.”

“If this works he will go global – the Middle East will be his
next target. Followed by Asia. Once HE controls that lot the
West will be in grave danger of being eliminated. And I think
his plan is foolproof. Seduce the third world with all the
rubbish we have long taken as the norm in the West and out
will go fundamentalist religion and in will come materialism. HE
could, in fact, be doing us all a great favour. If we all eat a
McDougals muffin and recycled coffee in a polystyrene
container for breakfast where are our differences? Apart
from the alarming affect on the planet. And the fact that an
Honours Degree in History will get you, at best, a job as a
short order chef. God alone will know the value of a Degree in
Media Studies.”
“He does. It is not highly rated! Somewhere between 11 plus
and an NVQ in building sandcastles. Enough gloom and
despondency. Let us consider the positive side to this
situation.”

I thought I had already done that. Oh well never mind.

“We have figure out a strategy for preventing him going South.
Any ideas”

“Apart from nuking Northern Africa, and somewhat losing our
credibility – no. The major problem, as I see it, is the
susceptibility of the human race to convenience. We have lost
the urge to contribute. We are far too content to sit back and
observe. And if you suddenly introduce a fast food, couch
potato culture to million‟s who have been on the brink of
starvation for decades the result is inevitable. They will
absorb it with relish, pardon the pun. I suppose if he opens
his “Badly Fried Chicken” chain we could scare the hell out
them with Salmonella. But it pales into insignificance to
countries wracked by AIDS epidemics. No I have to say HE is
in control at the moment and I cannot see an answer. ”

“Uumph. That presents me with a problem. Because I know
what you are going to do but I cannot help you. I can only give
you a tiny hint. Hero-man may appear in your life.”

I did not want to hear this. Groin rash and bum rash from
wearing stupid costumes can be exaggerated by the intense
African heat. Besides the fact that I cannot fly, under any
circumstances.

“But you can if we say it is OK.”
“Stop reading my brain. I am so pissed off with you people
knowing what I am thinking. Is there no privacy in this life
that has been chosen for me?”

“I am afraid not. You will just have to get used to it.”

“So you knew the minute I got a hard on. How embarrassing!”

“Don‟t worry Brad it happens all the time.”

“Anyway what happened to the turn back time strategy? Does
it no longer apply since he‟s seducing rather than invading with
force?”

“It has made it tricky. If he was raining bombs down on
Northern Africa and reducing it to rubble then setting
Southern Africa back to pre colonial times would not be to
large a problem. But his present strategy makes it totally
unworkable.”

“How about waiting till HE accomplishes phase 1 and then
turning time back throughout the continent? At a stroke you
would wipe out everything he has accomplished.”

“We have considered this. But we keep coming back to the
argument that we should not interfere at all. If we return the
whole continent we would have a more angry countries to deal
with. Take for example the South. Not too big a problem we
would only have to deal with the Dutch and the English, and a
little bit of hassle from the Portuguese on the East coast.
However if we went for the whole continent we would have to
consider the French and we don‟t really want to go there. They
can be so difficult we would have to take them back to pre
revolution times and that would upset the rest of the world.
No it‟s looking like the turn back time strategy is a busted
flush. There is no escaping the fact that destiny awaits you
Brad. Quite how is yet to be decided.”

“Ok here‟s another angle why don‟t we replicate his idea only
come from Cape Town up and beat him to Northern
Zimbabwe?”

“Money. Who could possibly bankroll and implement such a
plan? And also would it not cry hypocrisy if we were to adopt
the tactics we so fervently hate?”

“Just a thought.”

“Let‟s go to bed, no not you and I, and I will see what HQ think
in the morning.”

The Next Day

I got up bright and early and walked around my childhood area.
Didn‟t recognise a thing. House, swimming pool and shop gone.
Not a trace remained. Nothing even familiar. Oh well they say
you should never go back.

I went back for breakfast on the terrace. She was already sat
there. “Morning Brad – have you eaten?”

“Not yet.”

“I suggest you do as we have a mission for you.”

“What mission?”

“Eat first.”
I ate as quickly as decency allowed. And then sat there giving
an impersonation of a Labrador on heat while she ate her way
through three courses. How can anybody eat three courses for
breakfast? Eventually she finished, which was quite a relief,
as wagging a non existent tail had given my coccyx joint a right
hammering.

“My Masters have come up with quite an audacious plan. We
are going to create several incidents which will require a Hero-
man coming to the rescue. That Hero-man will naturally be you.
The villain will, of course be HE. HE has played into our hands
here in that he has been endlessly broadcasting Hero-man
videos on his TV outlets. This is presumably part of his
strategy to get Northern Africa to buy into his American
Dream scenario. The downside to you is that you will have to
get back into your hated Hero-man costume. The upside is
that we can grant you superhuman above ground, SHAG,
facilities.”

SHAG, is she teasing me?

“Also due to our policy of non direct interference we cannot
tell you when, or where, the incidents will occur. And I not
teasing you, I did not chose the unfortunate acronym. Your
flying training will begin this evening. I suggest you rest and
be prepared to board the transporter at 1900 hrs. I will
remain here as when you have finished training this will be your
base. Any questions Brad?”

What was the point. “No”.

Flying Training
I was becoming so used to this strange world I had entered
that I boarded the transporter without a thought. Stepped
off when told to and straight into a briefing.

“Ah welcome Brad. Your beloved costume awaits you in the
crew room. If you could just slip it on we will begin the
briefing.”

I slipped it on and made my back to the briefing room which in
my absence had turned into a massive hangar.

“OK Brad we are not used to this type of flying training so we
may a few mistakes. Bear with us and we will both get through
it. Now flying is not a normal human thing to do, as you are
probably aware. So we will just take these first lessons quite
easy. Right lets go through your inventory.

Your vision is now infrared. This is so you can pick up targets
at night. This can be switched on or off by voice command.
Just say infrared and bingo on it comes. Incidentally all your
commands are voice activated. Hover x metre, Left, Right,
Straight Ahead, Cruising Speed, Fast, and Turbo.”

What about down I thought!

“Ok arms above your head and lets try hovering, in your own
time.”

I thought Hover x feet. Nothing happened. I thought hover
10 feet. Nothing.

“Sorry Brad you just have to get out of this imperial system.
We deal in metrication only ok.”
Ok I thought. Lets do it in stages. Hover 1 metre. I lifted
off, only just. I should point out at this stage I am scared of
heights, but I won‟t as that would have been too obvious a
joke. Hover 10 metres. Wow I was really high now, not on
anything you understand. Straight ahead. Nothing.

“How about a speed?”

Straight ahead – cruising. I crashed straight into the side of
the hangar. 50 metres in less than 1 second.

“Ok Brad take a break. We may have a problem here.”

May have a problem. If that‟s cruising they can forget the
other speeds! I nursed my headache while they discussed the
problem. Unfortunately for me Hero-man never wore a crash
helmet. It should be obligatory in these days of Health and
Safety and litigation. Maybe I can sue them.

“Not a chance Brad. We are not governed by any earthly
legislation. And anyway a hat would not look cool.”

The trainer came back. “Ok Brad hitch resolved lets try again.
Go to 10 metres and fly round the hangar at cruising speed. “

Hover 10 metres. Cruising speed- straight ahead- left- left –
left- land. “Excuse me we seem to have a problem with the
land command.” I seriously needed to pee and to be stuck up at
10 metres was not ideal.

“Be with you in a minute”.

Boy do I hate software engineers.

“Ok all fixed. You can land now.”
Which I did - rushed to the loo then fought to get my tights
off before I seriously stained my blue underpants. It was
touch and go but I made it. The rest of the day was really
quite rewarding and I felt proficient at the end of it. It was
also exhilarating. Apart from cartoon characters I thought I
was the only flying human on earth. I learnt later that one can
never be so complacent.

“Take the night off and tomorrow we will expose you to a
variety of metrological conditions that will affect your
aerodynamics.”

Hey I understood what the man said. Which is nowhere near
as sad as understanding what management man says! At least
this was physically buzzy. Not armchair philosophically
meaningless crap.

I slept not a wink that night. Desperate to get out and test my
new found skills against the elements. When I did snatch sleep
I dreamt of swooping down on disasters and snatching maidens
from distress. Then allowing them to seduce me in far flung
foreign places. Reality dawned, literally, the next morning.

“Brad, this is phase 2 of a 3 phase training environment. In
this phase you will learn to battle the elements. We are going
to throw some weird weather your way. But don‟t worry
anywhere you land, or crash will be soft. This will not be the
case in a hostile environment. So keep that in mind. Ok Brad
hover at 10 metres. Switch on the wind.”

Gently hovering at 10 metres I was not too troubled by this
until I found myself upside down and sliding down the back
hangar wall. Boy was I red faced.
“That was only 10 knots Brad. I am now going to increase it and
it is up to you to stay aloft.”

The whole day went like this. As soon as I conquered a wind
speed they would up it. By the end of the day I was completely
knackered. I think I will save maidens on another day. I have
much to learn about this flying game. I even started reading
books on aerodynamics that had been left in my room.

Ok I was beginning to get the hang of it. Cross tack across a
fronting wind, look for and use thermals while gliding – and
dress well. It can be very cold up there.

My final day was a delight. I was invited to attack targets
designated by the team. Being very careful to avoid collateral
damage (their words not mine). But truthfully I could fly,
swoop, land on a sixpence and get away. What I couldn‟t do was
anything when I landed – except ask the way to the nearest
Café‟.

“Ok Brad we pass you fit for flying. As far as fighting goes
that is not our remit. And we would like you to note that with
our solicitor before you leave. Just in case of litigation you
understand.”

“I thought you guys were above litigation?”

“One can never be too careful Brad.”

Ok so I can fly and rescue maidens in distress. Quite how that
will eliminate HE‟s threat is totally beyond me. To my way of
thinking it will only serve to consolidate his subversion plan.
They will see me as Hero-man and immediately associate me
with HE. I think this is a very dumb idea.
“Brad I do despair of your unimaginative thinking at times. Do
you seriously think we would consider sending you into a
dangerous situation if all we would gain from it would be a
consolidation towards our enemy? Oh no what we have in mind
is quite different. You must attend the briefing tomorrow
where you will be fully appraised of the situation.”

These guys are beginning to sound like the guys we want to
eliminate. Briefing, appraised, situation, what is this shit?
Well I will be very interested to hear what they have to say.

Post Flying Training Briefing – PFTB – come on say that
without spluttering!

“Morning Brad, lovely to see you up and about and not
suffering from too much ill health. How was the training?”

“The training was excellent. But what am I to do with it. Sure
I can fly around, spot disasters and rescue victims. But if I
meet opposition I am in great trouble. I also do not see the
point of this exercise and I would like you to explain it to me.”

“OK Brad, once again we are being a little disingenuous. The
“incidents” we spoke about are probably not what you envisage.
To persuade people to accept you we need to create seriously
believable incidents. And we have given a long and hard
thought to this. Some of our members fancied a return to the
old days – we would send down a plague of management
consultants, followed by financial advisers and then, horrors
of horrors cast off‟s from that Neanderthal TV show Big
Brother. But reason reigned and we decided on a fairly simple
solution. We are going to cause various nuclear explosions in
HE‟s outlets.”
“Oh terrific. Here am I, the only flying human on the planet,
on a jaunty day out flying over Nigeria. Suddenly a mushroom
cloud appears beneath me. Oh my Lord someone has eaten the
Double Beef burger with neutron bomb special. I fly into the
mushroom cloud and am instantly vaporised. You guys have got
to come up with a better scenario than that.”

“Always the smart mouth Brad. Never one to listen, never one
to learn. Why on earth we ended up with you is beyond my
comprehension. You are always there with your sarcasm,
mouthing of about stuff you know nothing about. You may
think you are a smart because you can fly. We consider it quite
basic. Flying is actually a pre – requirement of all our children
before they can learn to transcend.

I must shut up as I have had the most royal rollicking from on
high. It appears that in spite of your arrogance, we are to
continue with you. God knows why. Sorry, he probably does.

They are going to be minor nuclear explosions. They are going
to be caused directly by HE‟s fast food over emission of
microwaves. And they will only affect the local population that
you can not rescue in time. The plan is that we will activate a
nuclear explosion in the early hours of the morning. And, like A
level teachers , we cannot tell you where the explosion will be.
However we are allowed to tell you where a similar incident will
occur. And what the outcome will be should you fail in your
efforts. We can also indicate what resources are available to
you in the vicinity to help you with your rescue efforts.

For example were an incident warning to occur in Lagos at
around 0300 hrs in a weeks time you would have approximately
two hours and fifty six minutes to evacuate an area of
approximately 10 square miles. The local disaster authorities
will be subliminally forewarned as will the governing bodies and
the Armed Forces. Your role will entail swooping in and out of
the area. However we do envisage a final rescue of a child and
their devoted pet, seconds before the explosion.

I am afraid that is the most detail I can go into at this time.
But be assured should this PR exercise, be successful, more
will follow. HE has to be stopped. Any questions.”

“Thousands, but I doubt I would get a sensible response to any
of them. I will just hover around for the next week or so.
Probably around the West Coast.”

“Sounds sensible to me.” He had the audacity to wink.




Flying Patrol

I don‟t suppose many of you have done this but flying around
the African sky at night is an incredible experience. One I
would recommend. I shot off from Kariba, took in the Victoria
falls, a quick dart over Ethiopia, Sudan and Chad, just for the
hell of it. And then onto Nigeria and Lagos where I hovered
over the South Atlantic Ocean. The sheer bliss of it almost
made me forget my mission, and the misery of the millions of
souls I flew over. But that is another story.

I did think I would have to call in to HQ for food, drink and
toilet breaks. But these guys think of everything. I only had
to register an urge and it was catered for by a variety of high
level transporters. For example I needed a pee and there it
was the world‟s highest public convenience. Aluminium and
beautifully clean and, best of all not inhabited by obnoxious
teenagers, and their suppliers, trying out the latest designer
drug. To be fair to them, it was difficult to reach.
So I was quite happy up there in the sky waiting for my
moment of fame. Then it went horribly wrong. Whose fault it
was is immaterial. But the fact is an explosion occurred in
Lagos before the predicted time. I was left to pick up
survivors, not evacuate potential survivors. It was horrifying.
I switched on my nuclear reactive mode and waded into the
carnage. How the hell could they have made such a cock up.
There where bodies everywhere, frying from radiation
poisoning. Who the hell I was supposed to rescue from this
inferno was completely beyond me. “The little girl at the end
of the road”. I picked her up, flew back to HQ and then really
let fly.

“You horrible, inhumane, disgusting Bastards. How dare you
have the audacity to tell me you are doing right. Thousands of
people died out there. And many more will follow. All due to
your sanctimonious attitude that you are right and HE is wrong.
At least HE does not explode Nuclear Weapons. HE kill‟s
people long term with his micro waved, overloaded in fat food.
But HE does not kill people with radiation poisoning let alone
the blast. What is wrong with you people!!”

“Calm down Brad, it was an honest mistake.”

“Fuck you, you sanctimonious Bastard. It was not an honest
mistake but a deliberate one. I was set up to rescue the little
girl from a nuclear holocaust that you will blame on HE.
Making me headlines and HE shit. From now on I fight for the
people. Not for you and not for HE. I‟m not that strong a
character but I have to live with myself and that mean‟s I
cannot live with you. It has not been nice knowing you.”

Following the grim deaths in Lagos I went through a horrible
period in my life. Since that phone call I had thought destiny
was the way forward. Indeed up till then my life appeared
meaningless. Well now it had some meaning. I don‟t care who
they are up there but they do not take thousands of lives
without some kind of recompense. From now on Brad was
paying back.
Introspection

I just had to get away from this and calm down. I turned the
TV on and the world was begging me to come back. I was
headlines everywhere, whilst HE was getting the worst press
ever. He was being compared to every conceivable monster you
could mention for allowing his microwave ovens to create a
nuclear explosion. He was kicked out of Northern African and
his march to the South never began.

I started to wonder who was the redeeming hero here. Here
was a continent with the heart kicked out of it by various
foreign regimes. And here was a lone hero reliant on a grossly
inhumane power to restore order. I can‟t rationalise this type
of crap. I am basically a normal type of person who likes to see
the little guy win. Also I am a coward. I do not like fighting
and I do not like losing when I am fighting. And should I chose
to fight I would lose a lot more often than I won. This gave me
a great idea. Which I will explain to you at a later date.

For now, understand that I am seriously pissed off, very
scared and terrified of the feat that I about to embark on.
But understand that I am serious about it.

I chucked off all my Hero-man outfit and wore normal clothes.
I took a taxi to where I thought HE HQ was and walked right
in. “Let him up, no questions.”

I was received into HE‟s residence without a backward glance.
They knew I was clean.

“My little hero. I am so amused. Did they think that by
sending you I would be scared.”

“They do not know I am here.”
“So why are you here?”

“To ask you to surrender to me.”

“And why would I do that?”

“Because I will testify that you did not cause the Nuclear
Explosion.”

HE just sat back and roared with laughter. “Do you seriously
think I worry about that. Do you seriously think that I worry
that a few thousand natives got killed in a United Nations
sponsored Nuclear Explosion. Do you seriously think that would
bother me? Are you so dim as to not realise that this incident
has played right into my hands.?”

“You are beginning to bore with repetition. Do you have
another phrase that equates to suggesting I give grave thought
to x subject?”

“Oh I am so sorry I am boring you. Well now I am going to
astound you. Your people think they have a monopoly on time.
They can bend it at will, change this, change that without any
thought to the future, or the past. Mr Hero-man I have got
news for you. I can bend time as well. And now I know what
you are going to attempt. I will go back and start again. You
the great humanist should be grateful for this as all those
souls will be saved. Just to help I will not totally wipe
memories. I will leave you with just a little precognition. Have
fun my friend.”

Back to flying patrol
Flying over Lagos I had this strange feeling in my gut. I felt I
had been here before but could not quite put my finger on it.
Anyway it all seemed quiet. Usual queue‟s outside HE‟s
establishments. To while away the time I counted the numbers
in the line and the time it took them to receive food. It was
approximately 12 hours. I then began to see the pattern.
After queuing and receiving food, they would instantly go the
back of the queer and start again.

Now I am not supposed to do this. But having been given these
special powers I accidentally found out I could, for my
reconnaissance alone, roll time forward. Just a look you
understand, no interference. So I picked a group out and fast
forwarded to a month hence. There they were at their same
places in the queue. I tried a year. Same result. I went for a
decade. Same result. Somehow this bastard had got them to
stand in line for the rest of their lives.

I had a quick fly over the rest of Northern Africa and found
this pattern was repeated everywhere. The whole population
of Northern Africa was in a queue. That half of the continent
had ground to a halt. I got some coordinates and fed them
back to the computer at HQ. HE had managed to establish his
quick food joints at precise population numbers. Not
Geographical, not at all. HE had carefully worked it all out so
that the whole, sorry half, the continent, would permanently
queue.

But what the hell was making them do this. It could be
subliminal suggestion, it could be drugs. I did not have a clue.
But the fact was it was happening and we needed to do
something about it.

As I was on my way back to the Kariba HQ a prescient thought
entered my tired brain, albeit fleetingly. A 2 mile queue of
hungry Africans being obliterated by a friendly Nuclear
missile. I got scared at this and realised I had to hurry. I put
the afterburners on and rushed home – home??

“Good to see you Brad. What‟s happening out there.”

I blabbered. “Whatever incident you are planning out there
stop it now as it will be catastrophic.”

“Nonsense Brad we know what we are doing. Just relax and
wait till we need your derring-do.”

“You don‟t understand. HE knows what you are up to and has
planned the biggest humanitarian disaster since time began.
Just trust me for once. Please I beg you.”

“Oh Brad, you are such a dramatist, we are just going to cause
an innocuous little explosion that will boot HE out of Africa.
Do stop fretting!”

“OK I am not fretting, I am not being alarmist but my gut
feeling tells me this will be a complete disaster. For once in
your life‟s listen to somebody with local knowledge and this
horrible feeling I have inside me.”

“Ok Brad I‟m listening. Tell me what is so horrifying.”

“Have you seen the queues outside HE‟s places? The whole of
Northern Africa is lined up to be the sacrificial lamb of your
ambition to stop him. Hit one place and you will kill ten‟s of
thousands, hit twice and you will exponentially increase that
Death rate because he has lined them up according to the
prevailing winds. He want‟s you to wipe out the population of
Northern Africa. And you are ready to oblige him. I cannot
believe you will not listen to me.”
There was a nod and the next I felt was a sting in my arm.

Realisation

I woke up with a bad head and a lot of aching in my body. I
seemed to be in cell. Although when I tried the door it was
open. I went through to the toilets. “We would like to see you
as soon as possible Brad.” OK what the hell. I waited for the
vanishing corridor trick and sure enough I found myself in an
office.

“We have a major problem which only you can resolve.”

I did feel I had heard this somewhere before!

“We have accidentally wiped out the population of Northern
Africa. In the meantime HE has spread his influence to Cape
Town and now, in effect controls the whole of Africa. As we
speak he is getting ready to invade Asia. We need to do
something about it.”

“You people make me so angry. I warned you about the
population congestion and you ignored me.”

“No- not really. We cocked up and dropped a neutron bomb.”

“Oh fucking brilliant. You killed all the people but left HE‟s
establishments intact. I do not believe I am hearing this. And
especially from people/spirits who are not supposed to
interfere. What the hell were you playing out?”

“Hands up we are not allowed to interfere but as this was so
big we got a special dispensation. And we screwed up. Now we
need to redeem the situation.”
“Its simple. Turn back time.”

“We cannot do that if time has been rearranged by someone
outside of our control.”

I wasn‟t sure I was understanding this and really needed time
to think. I asked to be excused so I could find a bar and
totally pissed. “There is one just across the road, and all
drinks are on us.”

Well I had a ball. The first few didn‟t touch the sides. Shades
of drinking with my dearly loved, and departed Father in Law.
A quick aside he was a miner who could come up from a shift
and sink six pints to my one. And well he deserved it. But that
is another story.

Well into my seventh pint the receptionist appeared. “Hello
Brad.” Well she was gorgeous when she was one. As three she
was delectable. I tried to say what are you doing here – but it
came out as total garbage. “Let me take you home”, she said.
Why not. And off we went.

I awoke with her lying beside me. I checked the time, 0756.
This is so tragic, I furiously recreated the previous hours in
my brain. Nothing. Come on if you had sex with this gorgeous
creature you must know about it? Nothing. She stirred and I
jumped. Oh My God she is going to ask what it was like. I then
noticed we were both fully clothed. Oh my life, how
embarrassing. The most gorgeous woman in the world takes
you home and you cannot even get undressed! I leapt into the
bathroom in disgrace.
Over breakfast we spoke. “We need you Brad, on our side.
We know about your visit to HE and your sympathies with him.
But ultimately he is evil and must be stopped.”

“Of course he must. And if a few thousand Africans get in the
way then so be it. Just obliterate them.”

“We undid that. It was not easy as we had to break a lot of
rules, but we did it. There never was an explosion.. The
downside is we exposed a weakness to HE which he just
laughed at and took Asia is well on his way to conquering Russia.
Which is where you come in.”

“Again!”

“We know it‟s not been that good but that is how the script has
been written. We know that eventually you will prevail, sorry,
I shouldn‟t have said that, a slip of the tongue. Please ignore
me. But we do need you for the next chapter. You can either
volunteer, or be drafted. It is up to you.”

I was in a state. I mistrusted the people – whoever they are, I
was working for, I had a sneaking admiration for HE‟s ideals
and I wanted to be a lone crusader putting the world to rights.
In a nutshell I was totally screwed up mentally and could not
really make a decision as to what to have for breakfast let
alone how to save the world. I needed to talk to somebody
neutral. But who. I have few close friends, and of those none
would believe my story, let alone be able to advise me. How
about a theological figure. Who though? The Pope seemed like
a good bet, except he was an infirm drunken sot. The answer
popped into my mind as if by magic. Perhaps it was. Anyway
off I flew to my meeting with Fate.
Chapter 3

Fate

“I did wonder when you would appear. A lot has been happening
to you just lately. Not all of it wholesome. Don‟t worry about
those lost souls in Northern Africa, it never happened.
However they are now stuck in perpetual queues so that they
can be fed. The continent is well set for a take over by HE‟s
entrepreneurial band of brothers. You know who I mean -
heartless capitalists who take what they can and leave another
gargantuan mess behind them. They have already begun by
buying huge tracts of lands from dictators who have now fled
with their riches to safe havens across the globe.”

“Hold on a minute. I came to you because I wanted to
unburden my soul and get some impartial advice. Only to find
you are in league with my employers. How can this be?”

“Oh Brad, you are so impulsive. I was just giving you a reality
check. Stating the facts as they are. HE and his cronies now
own Africa, vast tracts of third world Asia and a considerable
chunk of the former USSR. Remember his grand words to
you. He is, in fact, carrying them out. But by feeding the
people he has made them totally reliant on his commercialism.
They are addicted to fast food in such a way as to make them
oblivious to anything else. They are no more free than they
were under their obscene dictatorships. And he will not keep
feeding them gratis food for long. Very soon his cronies will
have them labouring under extreme circumstances to produce
the minerals they need to satisfy their greed. Is that
impartial enough for you.?”

My mind whirled with everything I was taking in. Horrendous
pictures of endless queues for food were replaced by pictures
of children working down a mine to extract the Earth‟s riches
to satisfy the greed of few commercial bastards.

“OK I hear what you are saying, but what of the so called
White Group‟s willingness to use weapons of mass destruction
to justify their cause?”

“They undid that if you remember. Also you must accept the
fact that they do not need these weapons. They have supreme
power and can eradicate anything they like without resorting to
crude man made weapons. However their underlying philosophy
is that you people must resolve your own problems. They only
interfere when matters get totally out of hand. Consider the
end of the Ottoman and Roman Empires, for example. Too
much power vested in a small percentage of the world‟s
population forces them to act. Whilst these global dominators
may be enhancing the lives of their subjugates in the short
term, they take the long term view of independence. Tribes,
and I mean that in the generic sense, must have the right to
determine their own lives over the long term.”

“I agree with that totally. But when they completely foul it up
as in Africa surely what someone like HE is practising makes
sense?”

“Don‟t forget that Africa only got fouled up when it was
discovered by the Europeans. It was quite a stable balanced
land until then. Unfortunately, and I have to admit this, they
interfered far to soon on that issue. They should have left the
native Africans to rediscover their culture before removing
the colonialists. Still that is water under the bridge now. But
it points to the present world dilemma. A dilemma you are very
much part of!”

“I am so confused by this.”
“Remember when you were recruited. Someone asked about
your appreciation of time?”

“Yes I remember.”

“Time is relative to the being it refers to. To you time is short
– 70 plus years. So all you consider is the short term. To them
time is infinitesimal so they can truly look at the long term
picture. You have to realise that these beings could have
prevented the crucifixion of Jesus. They chose not do so in
full awareness of the fact that this act would create a
Christian culture throughout the world. They knew that it
would cause problems such as the crusades, the split within
Christianity itself and the secular differences between the
various other groups who believed in a different God.

But ask yourself this question. Given a benign God who
embraces all of humanity who but human beings could have
made him an object of war? No one foresaw the hatred that
was to come to pass. Because, foolishly I suppose, they
thought people would not explore and travel. Exploration was
the beginning of the end for this world. The conquerors
imposed their will on the conquered. And I am afraid it was
down hill from then.

Their aim now is to compensate for that mistake. They need to
unite these barbaric human‟s so that they can become benign
human‟s. It will be a difficult task. Countries can rain weapons
of destruction on any other country with the slightest pretext.
Killing, for killings sake. Peel the onion and you see the horrid
reality of your current times. Countries, ethnic groups,
counties, villages and groups of youths all combine to commit
the most horrendous crime of humanity. Kill another human
being.
Brad this cannot be allowed to continue. Are you up to it?
Because if you are not your world is going to be destroyed. By
them!”

My mind raced back. “We need you to save the World.” Not
from external sources but from my employers. If I could not
save it, they would have to destroy it. HE was but a pawn in
the game. A villain to exemplify the villainy of the human race.
HE did not exist, nor did the extreme acts I had been forced
to see. I t all became apparent to me now. They wanted me to
become a new Jesus. In all seriousness I am not worthy. But
what else can I do. My Fate has been decided. And I seriously
doubt I could escape from it.
Chapter 4

Part Two-The Beginning

This is my new life. And I have to accept it. Unfortunately I
appear to be alone in a Villa in Spain. I am not sure how I got
here, but I think it a difficult place to relaunch Christianity. I
mean Spain is synonymous with cruelty to animals and humans,
not to mention the inquisition? Its a rather strange place to
start my campaign.

“Take the transporter and all will be revealed. It is all up to
you now Brad.”

Glad of a break from the tiresome drone of noise that is Spain
in the Summer I gladly entered the transporter.

Back in my flat I pondered my future. And how I would
approach it. A reborn Jesus needed a hell of a lot of PR.
Where this was to come from I had some idea. “Hello can
anybody hear me?”

“Of course we can Brad. So glad you have finally came on
board. Let me give you a very quick briefing. We are very
distressed with the human race and are willing to destroy
them. You can be their saviour. But you have a finite time to
do this and we cannot help you. We are going to start you off
at Christmas. And we will give you one year. We are not telling
you what you need to achieve in this year. However should you
not achieve it your planet will cease to exist. Is that clear to
you?”

“Very clear. But I do need a lot of help starting up. I have to
realise a strategic plan, implement it and then follow it
through. For example how do I become known and will I need
the axis of disciples? Also what scriptures will I be spreading?
My list of questions is endless.”

“Endless it remains, and unanswered also. You are humanities
last chance. And do not think for one minute we are going to
make it easy for you. The first time we sent the Prince of
peace your people crucified him. This time we are staying well
out of it. Brad, bring peace or total annihilation it‟s that
simple. We would prefer peace, but frankly total annihilation
would not cause us to lose too much sleep. Do you understand
what I am saying?

 Let me make it really clear - your iconoclastic society has to
disappear. You have to re introduce family values. If you do
this then we will save your Planet. If you fail then we will
simply annihilate you .We are just so angry that the beings we
have created can behave in such a bestial way. Enough said.
You know what you have to do. I suggest you just get on with
it.”

I mentally ticked off the things that I would have to do to
persuade people to eliminate their sins. After an hour I
decided the only way to do this was to prioritise. Look at the
big picture Brad and forget about quick fixes. I had a year to
save humanity. It defied getting down amongst the weeds.

OK focus on the major problems:

Intolerance

And that was it. The major problem was intolerance. It was
the root cause of all the problems amongst humanity. Eliminate
this and most of the other problems would be solved. It
seemed so simplistic that I gave it a quick analysis. Racial
hatred equalled intolerance, Avarice equalled intolerance,
Altruism equalled intolerance and so the list went on.
Whatever people did or achieved, or did not, there lurking in
the background was intolerance. So that was going to be my
simple message, eliminate intolerance. I had the feeling this
strategy had been pursued before with little effect. All men
are created equal in the eye‟s of God. In fact some are more
equal than others. And that is a fact.

I have to break this down into manageable roles. Going around
simply preaching tolerance will get me nowhere. I did not wish
intolerance to be replaced with acceptance of gross behaviour,
such as happens in Ibiza. Nor acceptance of the seedier side
of society that thrives on producing Graduates in drug abuse,
or HIV positive females who have been subjected to gang
rapes.

Maybe there is more to this immorality than intolerance. Much
more. The cult of worship of any entertainer who had the
looks of Adonis/Venus, or the wit of
Dave Allen or the Pythons. All this had to be laid to rest. The
movie star fixation – indeed entertainment in general. Localised
ethnic entertainment would be fine – unless they were
celebrating a local ethnic cleansing.

The more I looked the more depressed I became. But I knew
deep down inside me that behind every human being lurked a
survival zone of humour. But how to tap that vein was hard.
But I knew what was required. Whether I had the balls to do
it was another question.

Every human being had to be reduced to the level of living that
the most deprived beings suffered. Wealth had to be
eliminated. But was there a middle ground where the hideously
rich could be at one with the hideously poor. And what then of
the comfortable middle ground. Headache after headache I
went to bed to ponder this grave responsibility I had been
given.

During my dreams of starvation on one side, and over
encumbrance on the other, one factor started to filter
through. The basic humanity of mankind. I dreamed of
disasters where everyone pitched in to help their neighbours,
I dreamed of a time when the oppressed where aided by the
oppressors. Finally I dreamed of a garden where mankind was
born and all where created equal. When I awoke I had made
my decision.

“Good thinking Brad. Although a little disappointing. When
would you like this to start?”

“It has to be soon. How does tomorrow sound! And don‟t be
disappointed we can retrieve the mess you will leave us in.”

“It is a bit of compromise that will leave us wondering for
centuries whether we have done the right thing.”

“Frankly who care‟s about your worries. It is not exactly
tiresome to you. Just let me try this. If it doesn‟t work you
can always reverse it.

“OK. Here we go.”

At precisely 2400 hours all inhabitants of structures in the
World were advised to evacuate them. They were given 6
hours to accomplish this. At 0800 all structures on Earth, and
on the water, were obliterated. Any collateral damage was
down to stubbornness.

By 0800 the World was a place of refugees. Where they would
seek refuge was now in their hands. Monarchs, Despots and
Dustbin men were now on an equal footing. Not a single building
stood on the planet Earth. Now we will see what these people
are made of and I now have less than a year to point them in
the right direction.

I have taken the toys away from the rich and made them equal
with the poor. I just don‟t know if it will work or not. No
doubt someone will come to the fore. Oh, that must be me. I
have to start thinking leadership rather than being led. Where
do I begin. Having destroyed all structures - wait a minute did
that mean satellites. I quickly checked my mobile phone. A
positive signal. I had to grab the airwaves whilst there was
still time. If I could control communications I could manage
this.

How? No structures left on earth, ergo no centre point to
establish communications!

“Brad, have you so little faith in us. We appreciate how
difficult your task is going to be. Do you think we would have
made it impossible? Step aboard the transporter and we will
take you on a quick tour of your planet to see what your
request has accomplished.”

I got aboard and was whistled round the world. What a
beautiful place it was without all those ugly concrete and glass
structures. Every single brick, glass, steel, whatever had been
sucked away. Boats, trains, cars – all were gone. Even the
roads had vanished, leaving only tracts where they had once
been, and they were rapidly growing over. Thousands of years
of civilisation wiped out in six hours. It was an incredible sight.
But also a magnificent sight. Nature ruled in the way she was
intended to. A trillion bonfires lit the night sky as people tried
to settle to what they probably considered a catastrophe of
epic proportions. If they only knew the alternative!
Money, the evil trade that had driven mankind for centuries
had ceased to exist. All coinage had been destroyed. Pounds,
Dollars, Euro‟s all gone. Gold had been melted away. Mankind
had nothing left but its own resourcefulness.

Already a pattern was emerging. In the so called third world
countries people were rallying together and setting up
conclaves where the needy could be cared for. Indeed little
had changed for much of them. Even extreme left wing
conservationists were not objecting to the trees being cut
down to afford shelter, and the animals being killed to provide
food. This was, after all, an extreme emergency.

However as you went further up the scale to so-called
civilisation desperation was ruling. London east enders were
bonding together but to the west chaos ruled. Gang warfare,
led by unemployed solicitors and estate agents had broken out.
This was a microcosm of what was happening in every city in
the world. Old established communities with a working
background bound together whilst the noveau rich tore each
other apart. As for royalty and governments they were totally
incompetent. Each blaming the other and achieving the square
root of fuck all.

Given that I had the sole responsibility to sort this out I could
be forgiven for caring for those people who just got on with it.
But I knew that to prevent total destruction I had to reach
the difficult one‟s. The trouble was where to begin. It
presented me with a headache I could have done without. I
had hoped for some leadership but the world‟s leaders had
simply run away from the problem. Intent only on looking after
themselves and their family.
I had to make some plans and make them quickly, I also had
some horrendous decisions to make. But first and foremost I
had to put this to the people and allow them a window of
opportunity to rectify it themselves. Oh my life what a
terrible phrase. But it is appropriate I suppose. I am
becoming a sad bastard.

“No worries Brad”. We suddenly have an Australian up there.
I should have expected nothing less. “Less of the smart
thinking arsehole. We have reserved for you, not that you
deserve it, a space capsule with full communications. You will
be allowed unlimited access. And you will be able to address
anybody in the world that you chose. It could be a worldwide
communication, national or even individual. How you use it is
entirely up to you. But time is running out so I suggest you get
to it pretty damn quick.”

I glanced for only a second and the transporter was there. In
a matter of seconds I was hovering above the earth with the
most amazing communications system you could imagine. I
could zoom in on Africa or my local fish and chip shop in Wigan,
before its destruction, and talk to Bill the proprietor. It was
unreal. As I trial run I decided to focus on an unruly mob in
Fulham.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of Fulham. What you are experiencing
is not unique to you. Despite what your tiny little ego‟s tell you.
This is a global occurrence with serious implications for those
of you who cannot show compassion. As you fight and bicker
amongst your pitiful selves, groups are forming in east London,
Africa and Asia that put your petty squabbling to shame.
There will not be a return to normal times, and there will be no
forgiveness for intransient behaviour. If you wish to survive
this sharp downturn in your life I suggest you put down your
weapons and start figuring out how you can help each other
out. You have 24 hours to decide on your course of action.
Brotherhood is the simple answer.”

I looked down as 50,000 souls stared up to the heavens,
tongues hanging out in disbelief. I also could not believe I had
the audacity to say all that. I suppose it had something to do
with being way beyond their reach.

I jotted round the world and repeated this message wherever
I came across this type of anti social behaviour. By my first
morning I was utterly exhausted and fell into a deep,
dreamless sleep. Before I went to sleep I decided to talk to
all the groups with a positive attitude and praise them. To be
fair my method of communication gave me a huge advantage
over the previous prince of peace. It did seem a little
disingenuous.

I slept a dreamless sleep.

My first thought was to revisit the violent area‟s and see what
progress had been made. I was amazed to find Fulham still hell
bent on beating the crap out of each other.

“You were given 24 hours to sort this out. You now have 12
hours remaining. Should this behaviour continue I will have no
alternative. Brotherhood or destruction. It is entirely your
choice. Believe me I do not wish to choose to the latter!”

I left them to think about it. And then carried the same
message across the rest of the world.

It was quite staggering that all the aggression seemed to be
coming from the so called professional classes. They just did
not seem to be able to cope with the problem. And instead of
talking it through turned on each other like a pack of rabid
animals. There were lessons to be learnt from this behaviour.

I decided a global message was necessary and went on air at
1200.

“People of the Earth. You are in this situation because of your
greed and appalling lack of vision in sustaining human and
horticultural growth on this planet. You are in a position to
redeem yourselves. You are in a position to ensure your planets
survival for future generations. Your boundaries and religions
are gone. They are meaningless in this new world. The only
important matter is your individual survival and how you help
others to survive. Forget your need to establish boundaries,
and exclude yourself from others whom you feel not worthy of
you. You have to work together as people to recreate a new
world. It is up to you.”

I went to sleep that night wondering how I had managed to say
all that. It must have been pre programmed somewhere along
the line. Although I believed it I never thought I would have
the guts to say it to the whole world. I slept uneasily for I
knew tomorrow would bring me decisions that I would never
have considered in a normal life.

I got up bright and early and focused on the trouble spots:

Fulham. No signs whatsoever of harmony. The whole area was
awash with violence. The testosterone driven Neanderthal
seemed to be in complete control. Bodies were lying
everywhere. And rape seemed to be the norm. Druggies ruled
the street, giving their evil wares away in exchange for
prostitution and gang banging. There did not seem to be any
normal people in evidence. But they must be somewhere. I had
to seek them out and protect them.
Given that there were no buildings to hide in they must have
gone underground. But where? This was a hard task for me. I
must find them within the hour. I risked a person to person
call to an old friend. “Kevin, this is Brad - can you here me
and where are you?”

Nothing. I tried again to no avail. He had to contact me. I
had to know they were going to be Ok. And I had less than an
hour to go. “Kevin”, I tried again. “If you can hear me please
respond. It is very important.”

“Brad, Brad Johnson is that you? “

“Yes. I am monitoring this situation and you have less than 1
hour to avoid destruction. What are you doing about it?”

“Honest Brad we are trying our very best but the minority up
there will not listen. They just keep murdering whoever they
see. We really need some help here.”

“Get everybody on your side underground and keep them there.
In 1 hour everybody above ground is going to be erased. Do
you understand me?”

“Of course we do. 1 hour. I will work on it.”

I hovered above the area hoping that my friend would prove to
the fixer he was in his previous life. Sure enough he came out,
hands above his head to speak to the leader of the Gangs. I
tuned into what they were saying.

“Luke I am cool. But there is a substance bigger than both of
us will destroy you tonight. You have to stop this crap.”
“And why should I do that Mister Scaredy Pant‟s? Me and the
boy‟s are just having a little fun. Why don‟t you join us?”

“Do you not feel any shame at all as to what has happened?”

“Shame about the lack of looting, all the buildings being gone,
but lot‟s of lovely totty to rape. So it‟s been quite fun. And
now we have you my lovely man. A prime male specimen to rape
and subdue. OK boys let‟s get him.”

I hate this part of my life. The one where I have to chose
sides. But in this instance I gave it not a thought. My friend
was in serious danger and I had the power to rescue him. Also
they had not followed the 24 hour stipulation so they were an
open target.

“Run Kevin, leave me to sort this out.” Off he went like a hare
being chased by hounds. I laid a firewall down. The thugs
stopped.

“I am perfectly in my right to eliminate all of you. And it would
not give me the slightest problem to do so. My guardians
always suggest the Christian low pain way. However I prefer
the slow, torturous, painful way. Because I feel violence
should be answered by violence. Criminals should always
receive more punishment than they have administered. So you
guys are in for a frightful night. As I torched the leader I
felt a restraining hand on my arm. “Enough Brad.”

I jumped back in alarm. “What the hell are you doing? And
who are you?”

“Do not be alarmed – but on a mission such as yours a guardian
angel is a pre –requisite.”
“I can‟t figure you guys out all. You tell me you cannot
interfere, then you turn back time. Not once, but twice. Then
you tell me I on my own and then restrain me. What the fuck
is going on?”

“It‟s really quite simple. Somebody in your position does need
monitoring and careful counselling. You have stepped into a
position of power far beyond anything allowed to a human
before. We have to be sure you are not being too emotional
and letting your personal concerns override your necessity to
be totally detached. Your behaviour just then proved the need
for my intervention. You cannot be concerned about an old
friend who is in trouble.

You were right to torch the gang leader. But for the wrong
reason‟s. You have to concentrate on your overall task. The
survival of the human race. It is a huge task.”

“Don‟t you think I know that? Do you think I sleep at night?
Do you think that not one minute of my day is given to how I
will accomplish this, seemingly impossible task? I am not a God
and never will be. For Christ‟s sake, excuse me, not very long
ago I was ushering cars onto the floating bridge between East
and West Cowes. That is hardly sufficient training for uniting
the World, and creating a new order. So give me a break here.
OK I lost my cool because a friend was in trouble. I
understand what I did was wrong, and I will look at the “bigger
picture” in the future. Does that satisfy you?”

“Not really Brad. Your sarcasm belies the truth of what you
feel. I think I will have to hang around a while and see how you
perform. Think of me more as mentor than a guardian angel.”

“And no doubt you will be carrying out my annual appraisal and
continuous personal development plan. Although I cannot
conceive of a promotion that would give me more responsibility
than my present position – except master of the universe.
Perhaps you want me to venture out to Mars and Venus and
reengineer their existence?”

“Tut tut Brad. Sarcasm does become you but it is not the tool
of the really articulate. They prefer to overcome difficulties
with Je ne sais quoi – a gift that is sadly lacking in your case.
Never mind whatever you do will I am sure be tres bien.”

Fucking wonderful. I‟ve got an aussie in the box and now a
guardian angel quoting bloody French at me. As if I did not
have enough on my plate. Bollocks to all of them I‟m to my bed.

I have not slept all these days you understand. But little has
happened to be of interest to you. I continued my global
patrols and everything seems to falling into place. More so in
the east than the west. Fortunately my warning about
continued violence seems to have had the right effect. Even
the inhabitants of the West End in London, and equivalents
around the world seem to have heeded the message and are
beginning to group together and form a survival society. They
are not there yet in terms of communal sharing. But there is
some progress. A plus is that I have not had to use the
firewall or the torch, let alone the other fearful weapons my
arsenal.

The east is wonderful. I suppose because life has not changed
a great deal for many of them. Huge communities have got
together and are supporting and helping each other out. I
think a huge factor in this is that they no longer receive aid
from outside agencies and therefore have to rely on their own
resources. Thus their ability to look after themselves has
been reawakened. With the odd exception I am pleased with
the erase buildings strategy.
On the downside fiefdoms are forming everywhere. And
articulate leaders are coming to the fore. It will not be long
before a new Attila, Hitler, Caligula or Thatcher is born. I
have to carefully monitor this and decide when the time is
right to deliver the message of humanity. Also I have to select
the right group so that the message is spread. This is going to
be hard. But as Tim Rice points out in Jesus Christ Superstar
if Jesus had mass communications he could have reached the
whole nation. I can reach the whole world so my problems are
tiny compared to his. Only he had a clear message to deliver.
Thus far my masters had seen fit to deny me that. I suppose
it is up to me , and if I mess it up no doubt my dandy “mentor”
will point out the errors of my ways.

What the heck. I can only deal with so much at time. And at
this moment in time commonsense told me to leave them to get
on with it. Whilst subtly reminding them of my existence.
Which I continued to do on a daily basis. Something along the
lines of “hey guys you are doing great”. Not very inspiring I
admit. But something will occur to me when the time is right.

Well it happened sooner than I thought. A fatal flaw in my
plan soon began to express itself. The underground. And I
don‟t mean the London Underground. I mean the underground
power stations that controlled all the great dams over the
world. They had been besieged by people seeking shelter. So
much so that the engineers had been unable to get to the
controls that regulated the waters. As a result the great
rivers held back by these monstrosities had spotted a chance
to regain their destinies. The Nile the Zambezi et al were
pounding at the gates. What would be the consequences if
these great man made barricades were to fall? I reckoned
there would be more natural water for everyone and let it
happen.
What a total cock up. Trillions of tons of water burst through
every dam throughout the world and caused the most amazing
tidal wave in history. Many coastal areas were destroyed
within hours. The weather gave up totally to this sudden
insurgence of water and became violently unpredictable. Not
that is was predictable in the first place. But this was real
weather. The thunderclouds sucked up the water with huge
gusto and chucked it on any land mass it came across. Recently
built settlements were wiped out in seconds, forests sent
crashing to the ground, people drowned by the millions. I
witnessed this from the comfort of my orbiting station and
felt bitterly ashamed.

 “Good one Brad”. The bloody Australian was back, always
ready to rub one‟s nose in it. “Brad you really are a rude
bastard. And also a prick. All this calamity is happening around
you and you still get angry because you have not got a decent
cricket team. Wake up sunshine, it is now your time to weave
the magic. As an Englishman we would expect you to put on a
tutu, fly through the air and sprinkle magic dust everywhere.
In the vain hope that that would solve the problem. But if you
were to think like an Australian you would strap your armour
on, sink a few cans, and get down there and sort the problem
out. Actually Brad I am only joking. You cocked up there, you
had the guts to admit it and we are going to bale you out, if you
will pardon the pun. Once again. on your behalf, we are going
to turn back time. What has happened will happen again. But
this time you will be prepared for it and can warn your precious
humans what is about to happen, and roughly when it will
happen. This will, again a pun I am sorry, start to turn the
tide in your direction. Good Luck pommie.”

At once I felt angry, deflated and totally confused. What the
hell was a cricket loving aussie doing in, wherever. I still had
no name for it. I sat back and watched the dams rebuilt and
the waters recede. I still kept a wary eye on the weather!

Busy couple of days ahead of me. I had to contact everybody
within close proximity of a dam and warn them of the
impending disaster. I also had to widen the net and warn those
people who could be affected. Thousands of miles to be
covered. I cracked off at dawn, guardian angel in tow,
although, mercifully, no comments as yet. By midnight I had
told every living person who could be affected.

At 0600 the following morning the dams cracked, again,
according to my jaundiced mind. Only this time there were few
deaths and the weather was predicted.

I roamed the earth the next day to be greeted as a saviour.
Everywhere I went arms were raised to me. I turned the radio
up and heard what they were saying. Our saviour, he must be
the new messiah, the new lord, the new Jesus. I also heard
the odd derogatory remark – “Shut up you silly arse – Christ
never flew around in a space ship!” I was tempted to torch
them. Then came the restraining arm on my shoulder. “You
may not see me, hear me, or feel me – but I am never far
away.”

My mentor. What a charming chap!

At last it seemed I had begun the journey that would lead me –
to Death??

Was I to follow the first prince of peace. Moments of glory
followed by a slow torturous death? I have to admit that at
this moment in time the adulation was getting to me. I mean
its not often in ones life that one controls the fate of the
world. I suppose it must be like being the centre attraction at
a rock concert. Although there were no females throwing their
knickers at me. Not that they would have reached.

But I suppose this route I have taken will lead to a premature
departure from this life at least. Hopefully as a hero, not a
villain. However as many will attest. Become famous, attract
friendship and jealousy will oust you.

“Hold on a minute Brad. We do not expect the pathetic
wailings of a human superstar from you. You are trying to
eradicate this philosophy and yet you are simultaneously
embracing it yourself. It‟s a good job I am around to mentor
to you. Humanity is all about self effacement. You do not take
credit in a job well done. You just do the job and walk away.
That is all that is required of you. If we had wanted drama we
would have looked for an artiste. Get a grip and get on with it,
and stop worrying about your future. It has already been
decided and I am allowed to tell you that it will not end in
torture. I am not allowed to tell you, however, when it will
end!”

I felt suitably chastised. But the whoopee in my heart was
incredible. I was not going to be crucified. I imagined the old
days of windsurfing off ladies mile in Cyprus, 20 knots of wind,
and executing a perfect carve gybe, with hand in the water –
Yeeeha. A bit frivolous I suppose, but not something I
accomplished very often, but I had just been given some
excellent news.



As you have probably come to realise in this story good news is
a transient thing. And true to form it did last long this time.
Whilst I had warned everyone within danger from a dam burst,
I had totally neglected the tidal waves and aberrations in the
weather. The consequence of which were devastating. As I
watched my global monitor millions were made homeless and
tens of thousands died either directly, or as a result of the
conditions. Now I was, in reality, a mass murderer and even
my glib tongue could not escape that fact.

Carnage was being reigned down by the sky and the oceans.
Worse of all the world was being split in two. The oceans
chose the equator to start their rampage and whistled round
the centre of the earth in an orgy of destruction. A huge
single ocean now separated east from west. A bit like the M4
when you could actually move on it.

Countries had vanished overnight. Any country North or South
of the equator had vanished. Mexico, Colombia, most of
Africa southern Arabia and India. All of Thailand, Malaysia
and the Philippines. All gone. We certainly had a new world
order now. Thanks to Brad Johnson! I was desolate.

My mentor found his voice. “Fate determined this. It was not
your choice. We set you on a mission that was pre-determined
from the outset. If you have to blame anyone blame Faith. For
she is much stronger than we are. However do look on the
bright side. The world is now split North – South, not East –
West. Also travelling by sea will be much easier because you
sail round without bumping into those infuriating land masses
that used to get in one‟s way. Altogether not a bad result I
feel. A natural seaway circumventing the Earth. What could
be finer.”

“Apart from the appalling loss of life I couldn‟t agree more.
What would you suggest I do next that would be convenient to
you. How about a great ocean going North -South dissecting
Europe and Africa. Now that really would be convenient for
navigational purposes wouldn‟t it. A bit lost? No problems hang
a right or left in the middle of what once was Zaire. You can
find it easily enough, it‟s the place where millions of bodies are
floating. Or would that be Sudan or Chad. No worry just
check the national dress of the floating corpse. Soon find your
way then won‟t you!

From the beginning of this “voyage” I have had my doubts
about you people. But now I feel sick to my heart with your
attitude. Countries have been wiped out, millions of people
have died and you suggest there is a bright side!”

“There is no need to be offensive with me. I was just stating
the obvious. At the risk of being boring it was Fate and you
cannot ignore Fate. She will do what she will do. So calm down
and let us work out your strategy from here.”

“ I want to turn back time again. And get it right this time.”

“Sorry Brad. We cannot undo what Fate has decried.”

“How the hell do you differentiate between what Fate has
decried and what you have decried?”

“Um – A difficult question. We only know after the event
whether Fate has had a hand in it.”

“So you get an email from Fate HQ along the lines of “please
leave last balls up alone it was meant to be. lol Fate.” And
that‟s it, you accept it and do fuck all about it. What a gutless
bunch of bastards you are.”

“You are actually right on one point there Brad! The fact is
that even in the highest order there is still a chain of
command. Fate happens to be the coordinator for the human
race and as such we have to abide by her decisions. Whether
we agree or disagree is immaterial. She has the final say. It‟s
a bit like the democratic way your earth politicians work. You
all have a vote but it actually means nothing once the election
is over. In Fates case we don‟t even have an election. It is
pre-ordained.”

“Let me guess, by Fate?”

“How observant of you.”

“Let me get this right. Fate elects herself, it is pre-ordained
because she is Fate. She then has the authority to do anything
she wants by explaining that it is pre – ordained and therefore
Fate. Does that sound about right?”

“In a nutshell Brad yes. Of course it‟s not quite as simple as
that. We did have a Fate oversight committee, but somehow
they lost their way. Not sure they ever came back.”

My mind raced back to my meeting with Fate. Beneath all that
bullshit she was serving me I should have detected that
ruthless streak. Everything was blamed on them, the white
group. She never once intimated that she could intervene on
her own behalf and then have the audacity to stand up and say,
“Sorry it was Fate”. It was actually quite wonderful and
something of a scam that politicians have tried to emulate,
with limited success, for centuries. She was a self elected
dictator who could do what she wished without any recourse to
parliamentary debate. The ultimate dictator who could
honestly lay the blame of problems to circumstances outside
her control –Fate. Yet she was Fate? What a situation to be
in! A total control freak.

Unfortunately for her, that made me very angry. And the only
way to express that anger was to do something about it. Flying
school had taught me a lot, but the plot that entered my head
meant I would have to really rely on their training. I calculated
that if I could fly around the equator, backwards, at 3 times
the speed of light I could undo her changes. Suddenly this
turning back, putting forward time strategy was in my grasp.
Its amazing how much you learn in adversity. What I had to be
careful of was the changes I wanted to undo.

A nagging thought appeared at the back of mind. I seemed to
recall one of the Superman movies using this ploy. I can‟t quite
remember why. What the hell they were science fiction crap,
this is real. Until I stubbed my foot. Naturally I was bare
foot at the time which caused a nail to break and a mini tidal
wave of blood to flow. Unfortunately I didn‟t notice this till I
had walked on every carpet in the space capsule. They were all
ruined. What would my Masters say. Onward and upward. I
had a job to do, medically incapacitated or not.

I had determined my strategy and for once my “mentor”
agreed with me. Fate cannot be Judge, Jury and executioner
and someone had to sort her out. Imagine it. Oh forget it. On
I decided to go. I leapt out through the window, which was
open! Set my radar to find the exact centre of the equator
and proceeded to fly backwards as fast as I could. As I built
up speed I began to think that this was more fun than the
Aero smith ride at Disneyland and, I must admit I lost track of
time. Eventually I was worn out and decided to take a
breather. I dropped on top of a Tyrannosaurs Rex . “Oop‟s” I
thought, maybe I got just a little carried away with the
enjoyment.

“Good one pom. A deliberate move to ensure you had no
sportsmen you had to beat. All you have to do is play pat a pat
with the Dinosaurs and you are bound to win because they have
no intelligence. Well not much compared to their magnificent
adversary.”
I had had enough of this Neanderthal. “I was just going back
to a place where an arsehole like you would feel comfortable.
No civilisation, no rules just you and the jungle. Fortunately I
realised that the lack of couches, satellite TV and fridges full
of weak lager would stem your courage and make you realise
reality. Now perhaps you will shut up!”

“I was on my way. I wouldn‟t let a Pom with an ego stop me.”

“Were on your way?”

“Well yeah, but a couple of mates came by with a slab and
video highlights of Australia V England. I couldn‟t resist.”

“Oh you and your bloody cricket!”

“No mate, not just cricket - rugby, yachting, tennis, swimming,
croquet and dress designing. Do you want me to go on?”

“No. Once again I screwed up and I will rectify it.”

“In your excitement did you count how many circuits you
made?”

“No I didn‟t because I was having a bloody good time. But I will
just reverse what I did only I will put the pleasure part of my
brain to rest and think correctly.”

“Why reverse?”

My mentor has decided to speak. I have been taking shit from
an animalistic Australian for five minutes and he speaks not a
word. I make a decision and he speaks up like a bad Chinese
actor from an early Bruce Lee film.
I decided to reply in kind. “Wot you mean - why reverse?”

“You have brought time back to Jurassic era. Why change. Let
evolution follow natural course onry this time you are in
command.”

“Onry - you are shitting me with this. You are not Chinese, at
least you weren‟t last time you spoke.?”

“I am whatever is required of me - whatever the moment -
whatever the time - I can make sense of our here and now -
and can feel it in my soul - I am lost without you I know - I can
feel it, I can feel it.”

“Hey cut out the Barry Mainilow, I get the picture. Why on
earth would I want to leave things as they are. “

“It‟s actually not for me to say. But let‟s be honest at this
moment in time there are no humans present on the earth and
it is a very agreeable place. Greenery abounds.”

“Please do not launch into another song!”

“All right Brad let‟s talk realism. From this moment on, sorry,
a Freudian slip. From now you can control the way life
develops. Do you want humankind to evolve from Apes, Fish or
not at all. It is an incredible challenge to you. But can you take
it?”

“I am sorry but I really would like to think about this. Also I
would like to question what role Fate has in it. Because I would
not like to find she has been pulling the strings on this
adventure as well.”
“I can tell you with some authority that Fate did not exist
before mankind. At this moment in time she is non existent.
When she does arrive to spike her oar in your business seems
to be entirely up to you. You can take as long as you like on this
little venture. Your year will only restart when, and if, you
bring everything back to the moment you left. Brad through
your accidental slip, you are in a position to reshape history.
Remember what we said earlier about time being a conception.
What is time and what is reality? It is now up to you decide.
But are you man enough for the job?”

“Not a fucking chance.”

I suppose that sneering Australian voice made my mind up for
me. “Just watch me mate. And do not think for one minute
Australia will be created. Let alone Shane Warne. Just
imagine how pathetic Australia would be without the likes of
Shane Warne.” The thought was so delicious I went to bed
instantly just to dream about it.

In my dream I saw this vast, under populated, continent intent
on matching the Germans for consumption of beer. Sheila‟s, in
their mind, cast as second class citizens, trying to match
America in inventing games that can be billed as World series
whilst only played in their back yard. What a bunch of
cowards.

“Good thinking Brad, but fatally flawed. Can I remind you,
before you start on this anti Australian crusade that we are
the best in the world in cricket, rugby union, rugby league and
swimming. Just check the statistics before you write us of.
And please do not insult us by suggesting we are competing
with the Germans in the consumption of beer. They gave up
the ghost a long time ago!!”
I know that was very childish. Of both of us. Here was I the
new prince of peace getting drawn into a sectarian argument
with an Australian. Hang on and think about this Brad. What
type of people populated Australia? Brits, Chinese,
Aborigines. A whole mixture. And when had Australia
threatened the world, or it‟s own people. Never. My new world
was going to be built around the Australian model!

They had it all. Sunshine, prosperity and a propensity to excel
at sport. Ergo they did not need to start wars. They were,
basically a satisfied country. Shame about the females, but
they will have to work that out for themselves. Which I am
sure they can.

A very new dawn

I had a quick poodle about the earth and was very satisfied
with what I saw. I do recommend this mode of transport.
Thinking about that I might actually build it in. Forget roads
they just clog up the world.

I have to admit I slept that night. Dreaming of the new world
I was going to create. Just the thought of having no boom
boxes in cars was pleasure in itself. No more semi-detached
houses, no more terraced houses. My list of desires was
endless. My new world would only be populated by caring
sharing people. I could not wait until the morning when I would
begin.

I suppose one has to make a start somewhere and I thought
why not recreate the garden of Eden and make a couple of
people. I can see what they turn out like and if I don‟t like it
won‟t be too difficult to undo. Hey if I am sounding like God
then please understand the situation I was in. I had been
promoted very rapidly from floating bridge operative to Hero-
man, an neewbie saviour and suddenly a maker of humanity. If
I so wished! Pretty awesome responsibility don‟t you think.
And before you start criticising try it and see how you feel.

Personally I was very happy with a planet that that had no
human life on it. It was a luxurious shade of green with a
climate that humans, as I remembered them, would die for.
Perhaps they did. Anyway enough philosophy. Time for action!

Re-creation

As usual it was a total balls up. I faithfully recreated the
Garden of Eden. Created a man and a women. Only to have
them instantly eaten by some very hungry Dinosaurs who
thought a food chain had opened up for them. Maybe I would
have to up the ante on the evolution stage. This really was very
unsatisfactory. Fortunately I was spared the thoughts of my
mentor. He/She was taking his/her annual holiday. Wouldn‟t
look too good on my annual appraisal. “Brad did really well in
creating the two humans and we really admire him for this
innovative challenge. Unfortunately the fact that he lost both
of them within an hour of creation does not bode well for his
future and his ability to understand the overall picture. Whilst
he can think out of the box he also needs to be aware of the
strategic aims of the organisation which is to sustain life - not
see it eliminated at birth. Not recommended for promotion.”

Clearly a quick whiz round the planet was in order. Only this
time in the right direction? However just before I set out I
received a visit.

“Fate. How nice of you to drop in. But you are not supposed to
be here are you? Explain yourself.”
“Ok. Technically I do not exist in these times but I did
overhear your conversation with the Australian and became a
little concerned. All I can tell you is that if you take the
Australian male as a role model I will be forced to eliminate
him. I do not say this lightly. But the thought of those
Neanderthals in charge scares the hell out of me. Can you
imagine a world without any culture of any sort. I am sorry
Brad you are barking up the wrong tree there.”

“Excuse me Fate but why on earth are you intervening at this
early stage? And will you all take note once and for all that I
am at the end of my tether with everybody reading my mind.
To the point that the next one that does it is going to get
obliterated in a most unfriendly way. Now that raises an
interesting question doesn‟t. If I vaporise you now, where
does that leave the Fate of the human race in the foreseeable
future?”

I had a long think about this. So did Fate. Before I managed
to turn the vaporiser gun on her she had vanished. I suppose
Fate is indestructible but let her try and obstruct my new
world order and we will see.

Calculation

I sat down with all the incredible electronic brains that I had
been given and started to work up if/then scenario‟s. I started
with the Australian model as it seemed an ideal way to work.
However I got lot‟s of beeps from the female liberation front.
Ok lets look at it from a feminist point of view. Loads of beeps
from the masculine side. I tried a few more models and came
to some startling conclusion‟s.

If males roughly equalled females - the males would dominate
and anger and aggression would be the new world order.
If females were in charge there would be moderation and
mainly peace.

I decided on a little experiment. I recreated Australia and
drove a line between North and South. I populated the South
with females and the North with males. And then I watched
with more than a little interest Just to make things a little
more interesting I put a few males in the south and a few
females in the north. Not enough to turn a tide but enough to
cause a few ripples.

What happened was amazing. Within weeks the North was
engaged in an all out territorial war. But the interesting aspect
was what it did to the economy. Factories were springing up all
over the place to produce the weapons required by the warring
sides. This in turn produced a whole culture of leisure centres
who were required to cater for the well paid male‟s who worked
hard each day and wanted to play hard at night. The few
females I had sent there either became waitress‟s or call girls.
And they didn‟t waitress for too long when they realised how
much they could get being call girls.

Everybody was in full employment and the economy went from
zero to being in the black within months. I was taken aback by
this. Towns appeared overnight, hospitals, clinics and
alternative therapist‟s, where did they come from? I need a
word with Fate! A microcosm of so called civilisation appeared
before my eyes. I calculated that it would not be long before
mass hysteria in the form of the hated chains would make their
mark.

In other words this model would take us straight back to the
time we left behind in a blink of an eye. It strengthened my
resolve to ensure that balance would prevail in the new order
and that commerce would not dictate the way the world was
run.

However, instead of obliterating them I decided to let the
experiment run a while. I could always stop it before they
learnt how to travel.

On the other hand the South was proceeding in a far more
genteel fashion. They had formed a central government and
were introducing consensual rules and regulations that
benefited them all. Boundaries had been drawn up, not
because of territorial advantage, but for agricultural reasons.
Wheat could be grown in X zone, maize in Y zone and common
vegetables in Z zone. I am sure you get the picture. However
this did encourage a migration of people to the zone where
they felt most useful. And once again within a small matter of
time boundaries were being set. The males were mainly used in
a servant type capacity and did not appear to be very happy
with the situation.

As with the North I decided to give them some time to see
what would develop.

Well I took six months off and couch potatoed my way round
the world in my far from uncomfortable space station. The
sights I was seeing were incredible. Africa was a mass of
wildlife of every description. The oceans and seas were all,
with the exception of the seas off the UK, a deep blue. And
mammals and fish abounded. Although the dolphins did look a
little confused with no humans to play with. On the other hand
the tuna swam around with huge grins on their faces.

That is something I have never figured amongst human kind.
To become an inedible meal you just have to be cute. Have you
ever eaten a dolphin sandwich? So what did the poor old tuna
fish ever do that was wrong? He wasn‟t cute, it‟s that simple.
The chicken, ugly little bastard, is ripe for eating. Whereas
one of his relatives, the peacock, is way off limits. We humans
are actually a very sad race. We kill and eat pigeons without a
problem. But offer someone wood pigeon pie and there would
be a public outcry. Why, because wood pigeons coo and are
cute, whereas ordinary pigeons are a pain in the arse and
deserve to be killed and eaten.

So why don‟t we eat seagulls? They are the most annoying
creatures ever. Swooping down to steal your fish from the
newspaper. Far too bloody lazy to go and catch their own.
Another cock up on the nature front.

However the creatures I feel most sympathy for are the
salmon. They expend more energy than humans do in a lifetime
to get up those roaring tides, against the flow, and after
weeks of gruelling work they jump up into the jaws of the
laziest creature of all - the grizzly bear. He just sits there
chewing the fat for months on end and then knows it is the
salmon season. Gets into position just in time and bingo. There
can be no justification in that. And you cannot really blame the
salmon because no survivors ever make it back to their HQ to
explain the situation. I wonder?

“Don‟t even think about.” My mentor was back.

“Well those bears are really lazy bastards who deserve a bit of
retaliation. I was only considering sending a few piranha fish in
lieu of salmon.”

“Well don‟t. You have had six months off and it is time you
checked on your Australian experiment. I think you will be
surprised and probably annoyed.”
Chapter 5

Freeland

Well what a disaster. The North had invaded the South and
won a decisive victory. And then all hell had broken lose as
each faction fragmented and made it‟s own bid for power. The
whole country was awash with flame, the carefully cultivated
crops utterly destroyed. The humble abodes crushed to the
ground. I despaired watching this and decided to end the
experiment.

And then I witnessed a remarkable event. In one corner of
the country a mixed group were talking to each other. I heard
words of reason come from them. It was the south - east
corner that they had named Freeland. As I honed in, on my
radar - I would not let them be aware of my existence, my
hope rose because here were representatives of all parties
vying for a cooperative existence. They were suggesting
forming a small group of people who would represent all the
people. A kind of cooperative assembly that would work
together for the benefit of all. I upped the video and audio so
I could understand all that they were suggesting. And I homed
in on individuals to better understand their motives.

It all seemed to be honourable and altruistic. Could it be that,
by accident, I had stumbled across a decent species of
human? The more I listened the more I became convinced that
these people, of mixed race, were the answer I had been
looking for. In general the females seem to be in command.
Indeed they were the ones who were insisting on liberty,
freedom and the right to live one‟s life without fear of
aggression. The male‟s took this on board and agreed that this
was the way forward with the proviso that the borders must
be protected.
This was where I decided, for once correctly, to intervene. I
listened and worked out exactly where they thought their
borders should be. And then I acted. Now you may not like
this but this was the first time in my role that I had had
positive encouragement so I did what I had to do. I made
them safe. How I did it is not your concern. Suffice to say
Fate congratulated me on a job well done. That is really a
compliment.

I took another six months off and then checked back. All was
still peaceful, and very progressive. The males who were
getting antsy at not having any territory to protect had been
roped into generally running things. They were washing and
ironing, looking after children, teaching. Even going shopping.
(What shops - don‟t ask?). I made a decision to make myself
known to them. Again a correct one. I am on a winner for
once.

“Hello Freeland” I bawled into the microphone. I am glad I
stopped at “We are going to rock tonight” because all the
inhabitants of Freeland were gaping open jawed into the sky.
Pretentious crap such as “I am your saviour” hit my brain but
fortunately never made it to my mouth. “Hi, my name is Brad”
was all I managed. A collective “Brad” came from the assembly.
“Brad who?”

Now you have to appreciate this was a very tricky time for me.
Brad who was a very good question. And one I really did not
know the answer. So rightly or wrongly I decided to tell the
truth.

“I have been chosen by a higher authority to save the world.
And you are the people to do it. You have shown love,
compassion and understanding and have reinforced my belief in
mankind. You people can lead the world into salvation.”

“What‟s the world Brad?”

“That‟s a very good question because at the moment it is
experiencing major problems. But by and large it is a group of
nations always wanting to kick shit out of each other. My remit
is to change that and get it to behave much like you do.”

“What‟s a Nation Brad?”

“Well its a group of people of similar beliefs who work
together for their mutual benefit.”

“So why do they want to kick shit out other Nations?”

“That is a very good question. All manner of reasons is the
answer. Some feel threatened., some feel greedy and some
feel envious of what other nations have achieved.”

“Are there other nations beside us that we should feel
threatened by?”

“Not any more.”

“So what‟s the problem?”

“Well there isn‟t one at the moment.”

“So why are you bothering us about a problem that does not
exist?”

“Well I did not think I was actually bothering you - the point
is.........
“Just give us a minute Brad we need to talk OK”

I sensed I wasn‟t doing too well here. I had jumped in with
little thought to their culture and had seemingly alienated
them. The seemingly soon became reality.

“Brad. We don‟t know where you are from or who you
represent. However our general opinion is that you are not
welcome. So would you please go away and leave us alone? This
is not open to negotiation.”

“Uhm , sure - goodbye.”

So much for the Prince of Peace.

“Brad did you really expect them to bow down and sing the
“Messiah”? You actually engendered these humans with
freedom of thought. Did you seriously think they would align
themselves with ethereal voices from the sky?”

My Mentor was back. What a pain in the arse. Having just
cocked up the last thing you need is some supercilious prat with
a condescending manner patronising you.

“Listen - arsehole. At this moment in time I do not need
someone like you telling me I made a complete mistake. Let me
go away somewhere private where I can think about it and try
to correct it. This hands on management crap can really get
out of hand.”

“Tut tut Brad. Ever the one to pass the blame. It was you who
did the deed, not I. so why should I be the but of your ill
humour?”
“Just do me a favour and fuck off - OK!”

“I‟ll see you in the morning ta - ra.”

Lucifer

A good time for me as I realised how many enemies I had made
today. My emulation of the prince of peace was turning into a
nightmare. I‟d have probably made a better job of the prince
of darkness. What a total cock up. Ah well tomorrow was
another day and a time to make amends.

Since this journey began I have had some very strange dreams.
So much so that I would find it impossible to differentiate
between dreams and reality. But I will swear to my dying day
that the following episode was a dream. It was a real shock to
my system. It started out quite normally. As the guardian of
the earth I was flying my nightly patrol and everything seemed
to be in order. I noticed a glow to the East, in the Indian
Ocean, and decided to investigate. I hovered over it,
mystified by it‟s presence as it appeared to be emanating from
the ocean floor. Suddenly I was sucked down, Dragged into a
red hot hole that had opened up. It seemed to go on for miles.
Then it stopped.

I was in a huge, red glowing cavern underneath the sea. It was
hot, hotter than the August sun in Cyprus. And I was sweating
buckets, as much in fear as climate. What the hell was
happening. I wish now that I had not thought that word. It
transpired that I was there.

A booming laugh, was the first sound I heard. Followed by lots
of sneaky simpering. I couldn‟t see a thing. Mainly because my
eyes were steamed up from the heat. I tried, in vain, to fly up
and out of this place. But as realisation dawned on me fear
took over and evacuated my bowels. Good as an enema this
fear stuff!

“Welcome Hero-man to my country. You are beginning to
become a pain in the arse. I tolerated you whilst you were
messing around in your own time but now you are interfering in
all time. And you are buggering me about so much I don‟t know
where I am. The way you are treating time is totally
unacceptable. It‟s not like a tape that you can fast forward
and rewind at your will. This is reality we are dealing with.

I keep sending my servants out to do my rotten will and they
keep returning totally confused as to where they were. Worse
still they are all threatening to sue me under the wrongful time
for imps act. As an employer I have a legal obligation to my
employees to send them to the correct time and place. Since
you have come on the scene none of us have a fucking clue as to
where we are.

You seem to treat time as your personal plaything. I don‟t like
this so I‟ll just send it back, or forward etc etc. Well let me
tell you something - It is just not acceptable. You are not the
only one operating in this area and how would you feel being
shot out of a blazing ocean with a specific mission only to find
that when you landed some bastard had tuned back time and
there was no one there?”

“I didn‟t realise the impact.”

“I am sure you didn‟t because you are an inconsiderate bastard
who only thinks of himself. My imps come home in tears,
disconsolate, a total lack of self belief. And why. Because of
you and your wretched habit.
We had a really good deal in Iraq. No problems at all. Also a
wonderful training ground for my imps. What did you do -
erase it that‟s what. It‟s just not good enough!”

“I don‟t know what to say.”

“Nothing would be a fine contribution. I don‟t suppose anybody
in authority mentioned my organisation did they? But for you
to exist I have to exist. It‟s a classic counterpoint. I am just
so angry that I am belittled like this. I‟ve a good mind to go
out there and cause a terrible mischief. However thanks to
you I can‟t, because everywhere I go ceases to exist the
minute before I get there. You need me you know , because
without the balance of good and evil you will only get bland.
And bland is very boring.

Anyway enough of your time. It is too early for me to punish
you. But please take heed of what I say. Stop fucking around
with time else I will have no option but to sue you.”

I woke up sweating like a trooper at Rourkes Drift. Was that a
dream or reality. God, sorry, sorry, who knows. If that was
real I had certainly pissed of the Devil, which was probably
not a good move. If it was not real it was a good warning to be
alert to other organisations operating in my area. If it was the
Devil I was curious about his management style. He did seem
to care for the emotional state of the imps returning from a
non - existents time zone. But was he worried about them
suing him for stress in the workplace, or in their instance, non-
workplace. It actually raises an interesting legal point. If you
are sent to work in place that exists when you are tasked with
the job, but when you arrive the place does not exist - are you
entitled to holiday pay?

Sorry a fatuous aside on my part.
Anyway Lucifer certainly seemed to be au fait with health and
safety regulations which did concern me a little. I mean he was
supposed to be the epitome of evil, he had no right to be
poring over the massive tomes that comprise HSE regulations.
Heaven forbid, pardon the pun, he will be absorbing all the
affirmative action laws that come out of Europe soon.

“He already has. But of course they are a now totally
meaningless - Unless you retreat to those woe begone days”

Sometimes my mentor did make a serious point.

“But you have to come to some compromise now. If you
continue to alter time Lucifer will have no option - He will have
to do something unpleasant. And you don‟t want that do you?”

I supposed not. The Freeland experiment appeared to be going
really well. Although what was to happen when travel was
discovered was a bit of a gamble. I had a thought. If I could
recreate a similar society in the land they were likely to travel
to then I might be in with a chance of recreating this society
exponentially.

I had a quick look on the map. Freeland was in the SE corner
and there used to be a group of small Islands to the SE of
them called New Zealand. Uumh. If I could recreate them
and populate them with a similar species we might have a
chance.

“Sounds like a good idea to me”. But how will you get them to
travel. It is something they have no concept of.”

“I do have an idea!”
I took a sneaky, sometimes known as covert, flight over
Freeland. As I suspected they had developed sailing vessels
and were using them to fish offshore. All I needed were the
right circumstances and I could direct a craft to the shores of
New Zealand. First of all I had to recreate New Zealand. But
how?

“Allow me” said my Aussie friend. “It will be a pleasure as in
the near future we will need some decent opposition for our
rugby team. And it certainly won‟t come from the Northern
part of the world!”

“Excuse me. I do appreciate your offer. But this is my world
and I do not need any help from the likes of you. In fact you
have told me, at considerable length, that you want nothing to
do with it.” I stamped my feet in petulance.

“Have a look into your crystal ball Brad and you will see why you
need my help. Also I cannot help myself. It is, or was, my
neck of the woods.”

My crystal ball was in fact an advanced recreational simulation
environment (arse). Yeah I know not a very good acronym! So
I fired it up punched in the coordinates for New Zealand and
was horrified. It was populated by a race of huge warriors
with painted faces who performed what they called the Haka
before destroying their enemy in battle. They were the most
formidable looking warriors I had ever seen. Sending my kindly
souls to this land was certain to end in their instant death. I
returned cap in hand to my aussie friend.

“Fearsome ain‟t they. You see it is very difficult to reproduce
a Land from it‟s conception without recreating the indigenous
life forms. I thought you would have realised that from your
brush with the Jurassic age. However there is a very simple
solution, but I am afraid it screws up your Freeland
experiment. You have to meet force with force.” I
interrupted here.

“Not a chance. I am not going anywhere near where you are
suggesting. Freeland is alive and well and living harmoniously. I
will not create a warrior race . I do not want to invade New
Zealand I want to recreate Freeland so there will not be a
problem. How I resolve this has to be up to me.”

“Hold on Brad, you are so presumptuous. I am not suggesting
any such thing. What I was going to suggest was much more
subtle.”

“I do apologise I just didn‟t realise that subtlety was part of
your personality!”

“Boy you do know how to wound don‟t you? What I was going to
suggest uses a little bit of lateral thinking. Right if you send
some peace loving Freelanders without prior notice they will
probably be killed before they reach the shore. However were
the inhabitants of New Zealand to be indoctrinated by your
“touchy-feely feel good” society before you sent your
Freelanders on the way it might work out ok.

OK these guys look ferocious and are probably cannibal‟s. But
they have never had a fight in their lives because you have only
just recreated them. Ergo they shout and scream a lot but
would probably run crying for their mummies if push came to
shove. Also what you have to realise that though they are
proud warriors they are also incredibly strong family people
and this is a trait you are striving for, is it not?”
“OK I agree, I agree. But that strengthens the case for them
fighting to protect their families the day a whole bunch of
strangers appear on their shores.”

“Not if they are females and children bearing gifts!”

What a fool I was. Of course it was an obvious answer. Not
too many children though. For this experiment to work there
had to be some degree of cultural mix between the
Freelanders and the natives of New Zealand. Also, my mind
was spinning, the Freelanders had to be strong enough to bring
the message home, without violence of any kind. I tipped my
hat to my aussie compatriot, thanked him, and set to work.

First things first I wanted to tell Lucifer. I really did not
want to get up his nose too much. After all he was quite
correct in the counterpoint theory. Balance is all. Oh I am
beginning to sound like my mentor.

“Only when I am in oriental mode. Which I am not at the
moment as everything seems to going swimmingly well.”

I expected to hear a tale about a butterfly, pigeon or red bus
a la Henry Bloefeld, with that tone! Anyway off to work.

I found it quite easily this time and flew straight into his
haven.
“Mr Hero-man an unexpected surprise. Don‟t tell me you have
come to ask my permission for your next project?”

“Not at all I have come to inform you of my next project and
to warn you that I will be on the lookout for your imps.”

“You have to have competition man! You don‟t seriously believe
that I can sit back and ignore all this good you are doing. Man
that could cost me my job. And I really like it. OK it gets a
little hot at times, but that is nothing down here compared to
the real place.”

“I did mean to ask you about that. The centre of the Earth,
whilst fulfilling all the requirements of your organisation
regarding heat, flames etc does seem a little small.”

“Yeah man, this is mainly a receiving and processing depot.
Kind of like your HQ. We receive the bad, sorry , not terribly
good people, and assign them to the various areas within our
organisation where they can be suitably incarcerated until such
times as they recant their sins. They are then reprocessed
and sent to the white group who arrange for their disposition
according to the availability of their retraining programs.

I cannot stand this PC speak. But my contract does not allow
me to tell you the reality. But to hell, pardon the pun, with it,
you seem like a straight guy. It is very rare a bad guy leaves
here. I mean like everybody else we have to achieve targets.
If we carried out redemption on every soul we would be empty,
and then threatened with losing staff. So to be honest we
fudge the books a little. I think you will find that the white
group do something similar. We receive a receipt for every soul
we forward, fictitious or not.”

“You work with the white group?”

“Who else. There is little point in having a soul saving
redemption centre if there was nowhere else for them to go. I
mean we might as well just chuck them straight into the
furnace and be done with it. Hey man do you have a problem
with this?”

“No. It‟s just a little surprising, but logical in it‟s own way.”
“Ok so why are you here?”

I explained my reason for keeping him in the picture and what
I planned to do. I also got seriously annoyed as it became
apparent from his lack of questions that he too could read my
mind.

“Hey man, I‟m cool. It‟s not my fault. We can all do it!”

“Who do you mean ALL.”

“Anybody that‟s a full member of the Association of Ethereal
Beings. Has nobody told you this stuff?”

“Not until now.”

“Well all you have to do is check their business cards. If they
have a post nominal of AEB they can read your mind. It‟s no
big deal. And before you ask both groups have to be included.
As I said on your first visit it‟s all a question of counterpoint.

Anyway regarding your upcoming experiment, thank you for
informing me. The imps will be delighted.”

“You are not seriously contemplating sending them to Freeland
and New Zealand are you?”

“Hey man, it‟s what I get paid to do. You fight for the right to
secure a peaceful world. My job is to undermine you. Ask
Fate, it‟s in my contract. It‟s cool, we are both just doing our
jobs. Nothing personal you understand.”

That dreaded word Fate again. Wherever I turned she was
there with some distorted scheme to set me back. I left
Lucifer feeling decidedly unsettled and concerned I had made
a big mistake telling him of my plans.

“He knew anyway. Any thought you have is instantly logged
onto the central computer to which he has access. As he says,
it‟s cool. He is just doing his job.”

Sometimes I would like to grab my mentor round the throat
and strangle him. If only I could see him.

“Less of the gender specific prejudice Brad. You do not know
my sex nor will you ever. In fact I don‟t know my sex. So to
you I am your mentor with no sexual connotations. Is that ok?”

Oh forget it. I had more important things to think about. For
one where would Lucifer‟s imps intercept my Freelanders and
how many would he persuade to join him? I would have to very
watchful from now on.
Chapter 6

Starting Over

With the problems currently facing me I think most of you
would forgive me for giving the whole thing up as a bad job. By
recreating New Zealand as a place for the Freelanders to
expand their horizons I was exposing them to the possibility of
a fearsome death and the influence of Lucifer‟s imps. But I
had to go with it. I just could not let the tiny corner of the
earth I had recreated become too obsessed with it‟s own self
importance. I had to see the larger picture - so did they.

I dug up the Island, both in fact North and South, from the
ocean and was slightly relieved to see not too many of these
fearsome creatures. I gave them a little time to acclimatise
and then dashed back to Freeland to implement part 2 of my
plan. Only to find Lucifer‟s imps had beaten me to it. They
could not be seen but their influence was everywhere.

A small, and I stress a small, percentage of the population had
turned to using drugs and they were trying to encourage the
younger members to indulge with them. I had no choice in the
matter. As far as I was concerned the use of drugs eventually
led to the wholesale destruction of society which was Lucifer‟s
ultimate aim, or was it?. I conducted some covert surveillance
and discovered who were selling the drugs. We had a one to
one. The next day I obliterated all those still dealing. I also
obliterated their factories. It was not a good time for me,
but my new world would not tolerate such evils. I know I am
beginning to sound pompous but there are certain things I will
not tolerate. And drug abuse is up there as my number one
crime. I have seen too much of what it does to people on a
personal basis to ever condone it.
I hung around for a few days to judge the reaction. By and
large it was very favourable. Also no-one seemed to be in a
hurry to recreate the pharmaceutical factories that pumped
out this poison. This was a positive step forward.

Going back a little to my question on Lucifer‟s ultimate aim. If
he actually did destroy humanity what would he achieve for the
future of his organisation? Nothing, he would be out of a job,
all the pension plans would collapse and the World be full of
unemployed imps claiming benefits and watching Sky sports all
day.

I mean if your CV states your last employer as Lucifer/Satan
and your job description was causing as much trouble as you
could amongst the local population your only likely employers
are Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Even Imps are not
stupid enough to buy a final ticket to a place they know as
home.

So this raises an interesting point. Whatever cause we serve it
is not in our best interest to totally obliterate the enemy. For
then we will be forced into unwanted premature retirement. I
hark back to my management days as it raises an interesting
conundrum. My theory was that a good manager ought to be
redundant within 18 months of his recruitment. Ergo if you are
a very good manager you will train your staff to the extent
that you are not required to manage them. You are then out of
a job! Think about that one and mail your answers
to.............Just being silly again. But it is food for thought for
self perpetuating societies such as most public bodies
worldwide.

Fortunately at this moment in time I did not have to consider
such grandiose philosophies. I had only one objective and that
was to get a few people from Freeland onto a boat and steer
them to New Zealand. Who to select was the problem!

I think my original argument is correct. I need females, with
children, and more females, without children. I also need a
guard of strapping males to pretend they are protected. Not
that it will do much good if these creatures decide to attack.
But one has to be positive.

How to get them all on the same boat was going to be a
problem. OK Brad think this one through, I think a day trip
round the bay will fail. How about the truth?

“It‟s a gamble. But it might well pay off. Why not try it?

I cranked up the speaker and spoke to the Freelanders “Good
day, this is Brad speaking.” A collective groan went up. “I
thought we had told you to piss off!”

“You did but now I am back. And I will not go away until you
have done me, and mankind, a favour. I need you to build a
boat that will accommodate twenty married couples, forty
children, twelve single females aged 16-20 and a male guard of
twelve of your finest troops. Can you do this?”

“Of course Brad. But why should we?”

“Because I am going to introduce you to distant lands. And you
should all be really excited about it. Is that enough for you?”

“Actually no Brad. We have a major problem with this
travelling business. We are seriously content with what we
have achieved here and do not wish to travel further afield. I
cannot be more honest with you. And why do you want to us to
travel? It can only be to satisfy your own needs, not ours.
So once again we must reject you. You have nothing to offer us
that can enhance our quality of life. We want nothing more
than we have. So would you please just leave us alone.”

I limped away dejectedly.

“Do not be to hard on yourself. You have managed to create a
harmonious environment that would have been the envy of
anyone in what was the future. I believe they have amongst
them a avatar.

“They have no deer. It‟s the wrong kind of terrain and I have
not created them yet.”

“Avatar, not deer/seer. A person who predicts the future. A
crystal ball gazer. That type of person.”

“So what difference would that make?”

“OK let‟s take two extremities. The gentle world they occupy,
and the familial life they lead. Satisfying to all but the most
ambitious of human souls. You turn up and get them a little
discomforted. The avatar immediately shows them, in graphic
detail, the barbaric nature of humankind. She builds up with a
some snippets from world war 1 and 2. Rapidly takes them
through the cold war, dwelling on Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf
war and then let‟s everything settle down and bang along comes
the 11th September.

Can you imagine what all those images would do to a pacifist
mind. I mean your people of Freeland don‟t even kill a rabbit
without a consensus of opinion. They hold all life dear to them.
Surely that is what you are seeking?”
“I can see that. And I can see why they reject me whenever I
appear. They have become totally insular, and committed to a
non violent life. But surely they should look beyond what they
have?”

“Why Brad. Why look for death and destruction when all you
know is peace. Their avatar is strong and binds them together.
Isn‟t this what you were you seeking?”

“Of course, it just makes me feel a little bit helpless. However
I must admit to a feeling of warmth when I think that I put
them there and they have accomplished so much. But if we
don‟t expand what will happen?”

“I‟m afraid the ball is very much in your court there. Whether
you choose to expand or not is entirely up to you. But be
warned, if you do expand expect more than you bargained for.”
Chapter 7

My Dilemma

Freeland and my mentor had given me much to think about. I
decided I needed a walk in real life. I projected myself back
through time and once again became that operative on the
floating bridge.

“Wake up Brad, we‟re loaded up let‟s go. I looked long and
hard North and South down the Medina River, decided the
coast was clear and hit the flashing light, siren and ahead
buttons. Off we went from the impoverished East Cowes to
the relatively prosperous West Cowes. We landed on the West
bank and the ferry emptied itself of the myriad of people, cars
and bicycles. Off they went to their dull to splendid homes.
Off they went to their dull to splendid life‟s. How much
choice did they have? I asked myself. Was it really so wrong
that some people crossing that bridge earned more in a month
than I did in ten years? Was that a crime? I don‟t know. But
most seemed to be honest hard working folk who just wanted
to get on in life.

I compared them to the Freelanders who wanted no more from
life. They had quality in abundance and were reluctant to
break from it. They had no wish to sample any world outside
their own. I had a really big decision to make here so I just
sat beside the Medina as high tide rolled in.

Ugly grey water fighting every step of the way to be number
one. A truly incredible sight of nature fighting nature.
Currents came hither and thither causing a maelstrom of
water. Added to this the wind decided to throw it‟s weight
into the arena. A fearful fight developed between the wind
and the river. Who was going to win I had no idea but humans
had taken a back seat. The tide ever rising was in a great
hurry to get out. The wind rising at a similar pace was
determined not to let this happen. They met, face to face in
the harbour. Watery Hell happened. The mass of water,
driven by the wind, attacked the only obstacle in it‟s path.
Land.

Cowes was obliterated. The fearsome rush of water beyond
it‟s defensive capabilities. The whole bottom half of the town
was wiped out within hours. The rest would follow inevitably as
the water eroded the gentle hill and toppled it all into the sea.
There would be many cries of “Man the boats” before this
tragedy was ended.

I awoke sweating like a pig. Yet another ghastly dream. But
what had that dream shown me. Nature lurked out there, had
devastating firepower and I had not even had the wit to go and
say hello. What an arse I am.

So I trotted back to my bright red cubicle and set off in
search of Nature. I instantly had a major problem.

“Brad we appreciate what you are trying to do but do you
honestly think if nature existed, on your side, she would not
have produced wickets on which to bowl twenty Australians
out?”

“Please do not tell me that Nature is Australian.?”

“Of course she is. Who on earth has the most death inducing
animals, insects and plants?”

“OK”, I said weakly, “Australia.”
“Exactly. Nature is Australian, and what you are trying to
reproduce in Freeland is anti Nature. Therefore it is anti -
Australian and is doomed to fail. Those tree hugging creatures
you have allied to nature there will make no impact whatsoever
on the New World Order you wish to create. I suggest you go
and have a little chat with her. “

Where I was going to find Nature was a little beyond me. Also
I was totally knackered and needed a good nights sleep.
Obviously in this story that was not about to happen as along
came a sled marked Nature and I was invited to step aboard.
Chapter 8

Nature

The sled took me through a forest, much to my surprise.
Brushing my arms against the trees I worried about getting
some kind of allergic fungus or worse, being bitten by some
strange fruit bat or monkey that would give me an incurable
disease. “Relax Brad, enjoy the ride. I would not expose you,
of all people, to any danger.”

What is it with my mind being read? However in this instance
the voice was so soothing that I really didn‟t care. And took
the time to relax and enjoy the ride. We passed through
greenery so lush it took my breath away. And up in the sky all
the stars I ever knew twinkled as if in some celebration of this
moment. The moment when Brad, the floating bridge man,
would meet nature. Boy who was I kidding. There were
probably no stars just a bunch of Lucifer‟s imps taking the piss!

We glided through a lush green tunnel and eventually came to a
halt. Somewhat surprised I alighted and gazed at a Little
Thief cafe. I thought I had got rid of all this?

“Yes Brad so did we.”

I cast my eyes over the most beautiful creature in the world.
And then I stared. I couldn‟t help it. This was female
perfection personified.

“Oh Brad you are so transparent. That is what we like about
you. What did you expect from nature? Some grubby old
woman with dirty fingernails and a trowel in her hand. One of
the perks that goes with any top job is the ability to look right.
In my case it‟s not cosmetic surgeons but a good deal from the
PR boys above.”

“You mean HQ?” I stammered.

“Of course. We all ultimately work for them. Can I offer you
glass of carrot juice, or how about one of my specials,
grapefruit and coriander? Or if you prefer I have a bottle of
Glenmorangie on hand.”

“No ice.” I had found voice.

She handed me the golden nectar and studied me closely.
“Brad, I am very hurt and a little confused. You set off on
this crusade all around the world. Alter time at your will.
Destroy or recreate lands as you see fit. Populate, depopulate
at your will. Yet it takes an invitation for you to talk to me?
Where do I actually fit into your scheme of things.?”

“Oh god, “ apologies, apologies.” I just wasn‟t thinking. I mean
I am totally new to this game. This is my first role as saviour
and I still learning who‟s who in the game. In fact to be
brutally honest I only learnt that I was a saviour a very short
time ago. And I think I was set up for that because everything
I do try and save goes horribly wrong. So please forgive my
genuine error in not understanding there was a creature in
charge of nature. I really have had a horrid two weeks and am
desperate for some sleep.”

“I am sure that can be arranged.”

I fell into the most blissful sleep I could ever remember. I
floated on gossamer, even turning over was blissful. No aching
joints, just a wonderful feeling of physical and mental
relaxation. After the weird dreams I had been having this was
totally sublime. I never wanted it to end. But of course it did.
In a gentle sort of way, unlike the other areas I had crossed
into in this strange journey of mine.

She stared at me and melted my heart. “We need to talk Brad.
We have a major problem. Your little project in Australia is
very admirable and you should be really proud that Freeland
has such a positive attitude towards themselves and their
environment. But their refusal to go anywhere else is causing
major problems for me and my department. I have to plant. I
have no other option. It‟s what I am required to do. However
30% of what I plant has to be useful to the inhabitants of this
planet. It also has to used. If this doesn‟t happen I am in all
sorts of trouble. At this precise moment in time, whatever
your definition of time is, 100% of what I plant in Freeland is
used. This is good news for me because in the rest of the
world fuck all is being used. Because of you and your
depopulation strategy. 100% of Freeland equals about .001% of
my gnp. So you can see I have a long way to go. Just tell me
what you are going to do about it?”

I was seriously in love with this gorgeous creature and would
love to have given her some positive news. But I couldn‟t. “I can
only increase the population by getting those stubborn people
of Freeland to explore. And they won‟t budge. They are the
ideal candidates to populate this planet and they would make it
a great place to live in. But I cannot shift them. I appreciate
all your problem‟s but I cannot see what can be done.”

“Do you remember your dream about the Medina River?”

“Vividly.”

“Well what do you think nature could do with the might of the
pacific and Indian oceans?”
“No, please do not threaten me with that. My aim is create a
peaceful society on earth and everywhere I go I am
threatened by the very elements that are supposed to secure
this. Give them a little time. Some will surely become
adventurous and seek other pastures?”

“Unlike Fate, myself and Lucifer, are elected on a majority
vote. If we fail to meet our targets we do not get re-elected.
It is a simple as that. If some tiny little colony of contended
humans stand in our way then do not bank on their survival. Do
you understand me?”

I fell out of love immediately. “Yes I understand you. What
would you have me do?”

“Move some of those cretins out of Freeland in the immediate
future. Else I will destroy them all. You do not have much
time Brad.”
Now this is a real dilemma. All dilemma‟s are real aren‟t they?
Simply because they are dilemma‟s and require a yes/no
answer. I have to have a yes/no answer from the Freelanders
or they will be destroyed. But how can I get them on my side
when I actually agree with what they are doing?”

I have to look to the greater good. I have to see beyond
Freeland. Hang on. Apply some lateral thinking here.
Freelanders won‟t shift to spread their harmonious spirit. So
how about I gently introduce non-Freelanders to their culture?

A dilemma applied on top of a dilemma equals uncertainty. Add
a further dilemma to this and that equals inaction. There was
no way I could go down the inactive route. Something had to
be done about Freeland to wake them up to the fact that they
were the future. The idea of introducing non-Freelanders had
merit. But who to introduce?

The Haka chanting warriors from across the water would be no
use as they would probably frighten them to death. My mentor
thinks they have an avatar who is guiding them. Well if you
have avatars you must have a balance, Lucifer was quite
correct on that point. As I know very little of this good versus
evil scenario I guess I had better talk to Lucifer. After all he
has been around a long time.

My mentor remains silent on this matter. Perhaps he doesn‟t
want to take a chance on advising me wrongly. It could be that
he‟s in line for a promotion and doesn‟t want to screw up. Or
maybe he‟s just a pimply faced coward who won‟t admit that it
is his fault that we are in this predicament.

Oh well that attempt at goading was a miserable failure.
Maybe he‟s on holiday again.

I flew off into the clear blue skies and headed straight down
Lucifer‟s, far from welcoming, avenue.

“My dear Brad, how good to see you. What a pleasant
surprise. I take it you have come to apologise and at least give
me Iraq back. My training section is totally backed up. The
only people left are those wretched Freelanders of yours and
it is a complete and utter waste of time trying to condition
them, they are so good as to be unreal. Where did they come
from?”

“Themselves. I had nothing whatsoever to do with determining
their moral code. It just evolved and they are immovable.
That is wanted to talk to you about. My mentor thinks they
have an avatar who is guiding them. What do you know about
avatars.”

“They are very dangerous single minded people who consider
themselves godlike. They foresee the future, protect their
people with a vigour that has to be seen to be believed. Also
they are power hungry bastards that cannot live without
adulation.”

“My problem, yours, and several other people I am beginning
to find out seems to hinge around this Freeland avatar. As a
favour could you find out something about him for me? “

“Brad surely you not naive enough to think that you can ask
Lucifer for a favour and not expect a massively
disproportionate favour in return? Under normal
circumstances I would demand your soul in return. But these
are not normal circumstances and having your soul in these so
meagre times would not give me a lot of credence.

No I need something major in return. And I think I have an
idea that will benefit both of us. Since you burst on the scene
and starting removing humanity, in a way I can only dream of
incidentally. I have had to invest a fortune in computer based
training for my imps. It‟s ok and some of the computerised
simulations are really quite good. But its all based on just in
time training. So, for example, if my imps want to steal a soul
from a certain character they program the characteristics in
and set about doing it. Not always successfully I might add,
we had a major problem with a computer based simulation of
Robert Mugawbe, man was he some bad man, my guys were
dog meat.

Other people are quite simple show business personalities
being the easiest followed by, oddly enough, research based
medical people who are determined to write the definitive
dissertation on the nature of a totally incurable and extremely
rare disease that effects .0000001 of the population. Why
aren‟t these guys looking for a cure for cancer? Anyway I
digress - once my imps have done this they need the real thing.
And thanks to you there is no real thing.

This is the deal. I will personally investigate this avatar to
find out where his weaknesses are, in return you will find me
some real humans for my imps to train on. I don‟t need that
many, and I don‟t need tree huggers at one end or professional
serial killers at the other. Just a few in the middle of the
spectrum. And they must have ambition or we don‟t stand a
chance. I used to able find them everywhere, politicians,
charity leaders, boy scout leaders, chair people, military
leaders the list was endless.”

I interrupted here. “Let me get this straight in return for
your investigating this avatar you want me to create a small
country with the normal infrastructure populated by greedy
bastards who want to get on. Is this correct?”

“In a nutshell yes.”

“Ok its a deal. But I will not shake on it. Nothing personal you
understand.”

I flew off into the night feeling very pleased with myself.
Chapter 9

Training Ground

Now you might think I had taken too many happy pills with my
breakfast. But for once I was ahead of the situation and had a
strategy. The ideal training ground for Lucifer‟s imps was an
embryonic country, in total disarray, with masses of potential
in mineral wealth and arable farming lands. It also had to be an
Island, so I could contain their wanderlust.

Lets have two opposing cultures. Immediate cause for societal
problems. And finally two races. One of those races had to be
entrepreneurial and power hungry whilst the other would be
introspective, and deeply religious but with it‟s share of
entrepreneurial activity, only on a much smaller scale. The
Island also had to have a lot to offer in terms of future
tourism. Obviously there could be none at present because the
only other people on earth were my stay at home Freelanders.

I could kill three birds with one stone here.
    Give Lucifer his training ground.
    Discover all I could about the avatar and discredit him.
    Offer the Freelanders somewhere to go that was
      nowhere near as threatening as New Zealand.

My mind was made up I was going to recreate Cyprus in the
1970‟s prior to the coup and the Turkish invasion. Lucifer
would love it.

I heard a cough. Oh my mentor seems to have reappeared
after a very long absence.
“Brad, a very cunning plan but aren‟t you forgetting something.
You do not have the power of creation. That is invested in a
authority far greater than you or I.”

“Ah but I am not creating am I. I am recreating. It already
existed therefore it is possible that it can exist once more. I
have to do this if I am to get anywhere at all. The Freelanders
are doing my head in.”

“Dear impetuous Brad. Tell me what the one major flaw in your
plan is?”

“I cannot think of one. It seems a perfect solution to me.”

“Ok. You recreate Cyprus in the early seventies. It is
populated predominately by people from Greece and Turkey.
It also has a history of being one of the most invaded Islands
in history. The Romans and Great Britain to name but two. So
here is the Island bristling with history and populated by
people who never existed. That does not strike me as being
very clever.”

“I must admit I never thought of that. Oh everything I do
seems to have this amazing knock on effect. I feel under so
much pressure from Lucifer and Nature that for once I
thought I was being pro-active instead of reactive. But of
course being pro-active often means being hot headed. What
am I supposed to do?”

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself and listen to me. Create an
Island, only don‟t call it Cyprus. Use the Cyprus model by all
means but give it no history. Let the population work it out for
themselves. We can allow this as you will actually be creating a
virtual society. There is no doubt in my mind that one of the
first things Lucifer‟s imps will do will be to tell the Islanders
of the existence of Freeland. And I do not think they will be
as reluctant to travel as the Freelanders are. Then you can do
your saviour bit and we all get back on track and get some sleep
at night. Does that make sense!”

As much sense as anything since I entered this journey. I
really do need to sleep but with Nature like a bee in my arse I
better get moving.

As if by magic I came up with a name. Isleland. Well it is as
good as Freeland! So of I went to the North East of the
Mediterranean and created Isleland. Within minutes they
were fighting over land and water rights. Lucifer would love it.
Anyway I left him to it and went back to Freeland. I had to
observe this avatar first hand.



Freeland

“Ssssssss. Shtay out of sight.” A hissing imp rode beside me.
Itches better if sss you are not here.”

“Can you cut the imp crap and speak English?”

“If you insist. My real name is Gerald and before you came
along I only had two years to go and then I would have been
returned to my previous job as an auditor for Corporations
Rights to Massage Accounts (CRMA). But no along comes Mr
Hero-man and destroys the world as we used to know it. So
now I am on permanent imp duty until we find a way to get it all
back together. I suppose in some bizarre way we are on the
same side. The sooner I can suss out what scam this avatar is
on the sooner you can become a saviour. Which appears to be
the only way we can get out this mess. So just stay out of my
way and let me get on with it. Ok.”
I had no problem with this but how on earth did Gerald become
an imp. Must have been something to do with Enron! I flew up
to my space capsule, had a bath, with the tallest Gin and Tonic
you ever saw and slept the sleep of the contented.
1 Year later

The Isleland experiment had been a bona fide success. Lucifer
could not believe how many souls he had captured. In fact he
was advocating a small is beautiful culture as he now employed
60% less staff and was capturing twice his annual quota of
souls. Nature was less pleased but at least accepted the fact
that I had a long term strategy in place and had resisted from
a natural nuking of Freeland. On the other hand the
Freelanders were highly agitated on two counts: Their avatar
had been exposed as a charlatan who was acquiring land at a
very unhealthy rate. Also the first visitors had arrived from
Isleland, and no doubt inspired by Lucifer‟s, imps had
abducted several of their young ladies. The fact that none had
stayed was a little disappointing as I did want someone to make
inroads into their this is the way we have always done it
philosophy. Still not too bad in a year.

My Aussie earpiece had had a heart attack as England had won
the Ashes. I must ask Lucifer about that because seemingly
the wicket spat fire and brimstone when England were bowling
and became flat as a pancake when Australia bowled. Coalition
between Lucifer and Nature. Who knows.

In case you are confused by this, England and Australia playing
cricket when they don‟t actually exist. You have to bear in
mind the relativity of time to HQ. To them it is totally fluid
with no restraints as you or I would know it. Thus they can
watch what they want on a sort of global, time altering
television. And of course they can still alter what they don‟t
like. Which brings me back to England winning the ashes.
There was a loose partnership forming here between myself,
Lucifer and Nature. Was this a subliminal sign that we were
actually getting stronger than HQ? I appreciate that a few
games of cricket is little substance to build an alliance on. But
a win of such magnitude was very significant in the overall
scheme of things.

Anyway enough waffling and on with the events. The snatching
of the young ladies had awakened some anger in the
Freelanders but not enough to make them build boats and
chase after the dastardly villains. It was time to put a rocket
up their collective arse before nature did.

“What are you thinking about Brad? Oh sometimes I despair
of you. Their confidence is low because they have a corrupt
avatar, and then invaders come and snatch their daughters
away. What do you do. Nothing. Don‟t you appreciate Lucifer
is playing your games. His imps inspired the kidnap in order to
make you a hero. So go to it and stop farting around.”

One day during the writing of this story I will not feel like the
terrible arsehole I am presenting myself to be. I just keep
missing the plot, page after page. Enough moaning on to the
rescue. Which was probably obvious to everybody but me!

The rescue

If I was quick I would catch them in the Indian Ocean. And
sure enough two days later I spotted the craft. Putting myself
into stealth mode I observed from afar. From what I could
see these ladies were not going to want rescuing. They were
having the time of their lives. To be crude they were drinking,
dancing and shagging.
Fate tugged my shoulder. “Now you have a real chance to
disinfect that Freeland paradise. Rescue them and they will be
so pissed off that they will start an insurrection movement all
on their own. You will be proclaimed a hero by 90% of the
Freelanders but that minority will always hate you for
destroying their one chance of freedom outside their
dictatorial lives. We are on the way Brad. All you have to do is
make the rescue. Good Luck.”

Now come on be fair. I wanted to leave them, they were
having such a good time. But I couldn‟t. When Fate tugs your
shoulder you just accept it and go with the flow. I am not
going to bore with the details and it makes for turgid reading
but, eventually, I grabbed the girls and flew them back to
Freeland.

There was muted applause, but the Girls were spitting mad.
Exactly how Fate had predicted it. I left with I suppose a
fifty/fifty score. Actually I will make that 60/40 in my favour
because as I was leaving I heard a very telling remark. “So
what happened to you. How come you let us get rescued by a
jerk who wears underpants outside tights?”

That was a comforting thought. Insurrection was about to
come to Freeland. Not that I really wanted it. I loved the way
they nurtured nature and each other. Also the way they had
espoused material gains and self fulfilment. These people and
their standards was the way human life was meant to be. But
life is cruel
Chapter 10

Lucifer on Trial

 Interim Report on the Capture of Souls post Hero-man by
 Bluster and Glazed figures/accounts.org - Auditors to the
                           stars

Introduction:

The capture of souls, CoS, has been a mute point since the
arrival of Hero-man. At this moment in time we have not
ascertained whose employee he is in. The fact is that he has
singularly ruined our, sorry Lucifer‟s, take up of CoS for this
financial year. This is principally due to one tactical factor.
He has removed all humans from the planet which makes it
extremely difficult for us, sorry Lucifer, to achieve our,
sorry his, target figure of 30% CoS of uncorrupted humans.
The actual formula is even more depressing as it represents
available souls for capture (ASC) divided by Amount of Imps
Available (AiA), multiplied by hours paid to said imps, (HPI)
plus CoS. Thus we achieve the following:

Asc=0/AiA(20)+HPI=400=CoS-400. Divide this sorry return
by each imp employed and it will become apparent that Lucifer
is leaking money at minus 400 per CoS.

Strategy

There appears to be no apparent strategy to offset the
complete loss of ASC. As auditors we find this
incomprehensible. We are lead to believe that Hero-man has
agreed to create a virtual Island for training purposes. To a
certain extent this is a step in the right direction. But only
for training purposes. It does not suggest in any way that
Lucifer will be able to comply with Article 31 - sub section b -
clause 31 of his contract which specifically states that he -
Lucifer - being the holder of the right to the CoS - will, at all
times, seek to corrupt every available human being and buy or
gain his or her soul in whatever way may seem appropriate.

Argument

By agreeing to Hero-mans suggestion of a virtual Island Lucifer
is in direct conflict with the articles mentioned above. Virtual
humans do not qualify under Article 31 as ASC.

Conclusion

Through no real fault of his own Lucifer is found in contempt
of article 31 in that he attempted to defraud the Law by
collecting souls under Article 31 that were not in fact souls. It
is argued that they are not souls by virtue of the fact that
they are not gained from human beings. Therefore it is an
inescapable fact that Lucifer has defrauded and should no
longer hold the sole licence to CoS.




Recommendation

It is recommended that Lucifer be sent to trial by a jury of his
own peers.

The Trial

Clerk - “This court is open for the trial of Lucifer in the case
of subverting justice by purloining souls from virtual humans.
All rise yee for the Judge.”

The Judge appeared glowing red and cloaked in black. Lucifer
was going to get a hard time. If not a long time. The Judge
spoke.

“Where is the guilty, pitiful Bastard that sits before my
court?”

“Hi Dad. How‟s it going?”

“Please will someone take my jocular son away from this court.
Before I sentence him to 50 years for contempt.”

“Hey, come on Dad be cool. It‟s me, Lucy baby as you used to
call me. I‟m sure you don‟t want me expand on that do you?”

“Hruumph, aargh, of course not. Rescind that last order.
You, Lucifer Hades Devilment, have been brought before me
accused of the most heinous of crimes. In that you sought to
gain souls from virtual humans. It is well known that virtual
humans do not exist spiritually, therefore they cannot have
souls. How then can you pretend to have abducted these
soulless souls. The defence is advised to rest its case as it has
no case. Lucifer is guilty as charged. The prosecutions case
can also be rested as it is proven beyond a shadow of doubt.

My only reservations, in the interest of justice and fair play,
is that the accused be allowed character witness‟s who might
explain his extraordinary actions. Are there any such
witness‟s?”

“I believe I can call on some witness‟s your honour. If only I
knew how to reach them.”

Fate appeared. “It is not his fault. Ask Death. He is tearing
his hair out trying to get his Database organised. These are
very confusing times for all of us as the old order seems to
have vanished down the river without so much as a final
farewell. Ever since HQ employed Hero-man to save the world
we have been struck by disaster after disaster. Let me return
to Death to give you the enormity of the problem Lucifer is
facing.

In normal times Death has a pretty efficient system. His
system is able to accurately forecast when and where Death
will occur. It even allows for the odd flooding, or unexpected
famine. Indeed it is so sophisticated that it factors in wars
that have yet to be fought. Overall, give or take a century or
two, Death‟s statistics are pretty accurate. However this turn
back time game that HQ seem to have bequeathed to Hero-
man, with apparently little thought for the rest of us, has
almost broken him.

He sits in his counting house a dejected figure. Getting greyer
by the minute he tries to absorb the fact that one day he has
millions to worry about, the next day he has none. If that is
not traumatic enough he wakes up the following day to find all
that was not true and he has his normal quota to think about.
Thinking this a dream he goes to sleep only to find on
awakening that he only has Freeland to worry about.

And your Honour this is only Death who, at the end of the day,
is only a statistician. Imagine the effect on your son, Lucifer,
whose very livelihood depends on sending his imps out to
capture souls, for you!

What can he do? He comes up against a brick wall in Freeland.
People there are totally incorruptible. So, taking a long term
view of the situation, Hero-man tempts Lucifer with a
strategic partnership. In return for turning up the dirt on the
Freeland Avatar, Hero-man will create a pseudo society where
Lucifer can train his imps.

The fact that these pseudo souls the imps gathered were
entered into the books as real souls was purely an oversight on
the part of the company accountant who was bored with
nothing to do. I would submit there was no malice or genuine
fraud intended.

In my humble opinion, Lucifer is a loyal employee who was only
trying to do his best in what can only be described as the most
distressing circumstances.”
“Thank you Fate your honest and forthright appraisal of the
situation. Before I pass sentence is there anyone else who
would wish to speak up on Lucifer‟s behalf?”

Watching this in my global quarters, whilst enjoying a rather
large Gin and tonic I felt a little guilty. Yes I know these guys
wear black hats, dress mainly in red and burn you when you
touch them. But I couldn‟t help but feel a little remorse for
Lucifer. After all it was my fault and he was only trying to do
his job. I tried to imagine the punishment his Father could
inflict upon him. I mean it didn‟t bear thinking about.

“Brad please do not be impetuous. It would not be right if a
direct representative of HQ took the side of Lucifer. Just
imagine the adverse publicity? “Chosen one sides with Devil” -
“White and Black merge to grey”. I mean it‟s just impossible.”

“Dear Mentor - take a hike. He‟s my friend and I am going to
help him out!”

I flew straight down his tunnel, I knew the way well by now. As
I arrived in the courtroom a collective gasp went out. “Good
day Ladies and gentlemen. I am Brad Johnson and I am cause
of all Lucifer‟s problems. I am here to speak on his behalf. “

There was a sharp intake of breath, which quite pleased me, it
was pretty torrid down here. Lucifer‟s Dad, who I cannot
name because of copyright, glared at me. As did Lucifer,
which I found a little odd. And then it dawned on me. I an
outsider, was interfering in a family argument. And what a
family to interfere with!!

“Nice seeing you, Oh is that my mobile, I‟ll just be off then.
Previous appointment I completely forgot. Sorry to have
intruded. Bye.”
“STAY!”

When Lucifer‟s Dad talks like that there is actually very little
option.

“You - the cause of all our problems dare to show your face in
this final court of courts. You in your namby pamby costume
have the audacity to appear before this select gathering of
non-ethereal, evil, beings and think you can help my son. How
dare you! I would have you thrown into the darkest dungeons
of hell to rot amongst evil souls forever. If it were not for you
there are no bloody souls to rot. I have one simple question
for you Brad - what the fuck are you going to do about it?”

“Look, I seriously apologise for this total breakdown in
communications. I am a novice in all this and felt what I was
doing was right. I do want to repopulate the planet. How was I
to know the Freelanders would prove to be so immovable?”

“That‟s not my problem. You bloody well created them and you
have to do something about them.. I‟ll make a deal with you
Brad. You sort them out and I will not send Lucifer into exile.”

I dreaded to think what exile would mean to Lucifer.

“Ok give a little time and I‟ll wake the buggers up. It‟s not a
major problem because if I don‟t do something soon Nature is
going to have a hand in it. Just let me sort it out. But for the
moment just believe that none of this was your son‟s doing
OK?”

“Ah, but he cooked the books thinking I wouldn‟t find out. But
that is my problem, not yours, go to it and find a solution my
girlie friend, or you will find out first hand what Hell is like. Go
to it NOW!”

I was blown out like a cork from a bottle of vintage champagne,
or a fart from a Wilder beast, choose which you prefer. I‟ll
see you shortly as I have much work to do.
Well I was up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Lucifer
was clearly going down, Nature was really angry, Death
seemed to have a major problem, Isleland was a busted flush
and Freeland just carried on as if nothing had happened. All I
needed was Fate to make my day. I think I will pour myself a
long drink, settle back in the on board Jacuzzi and consider
my options. Such as they are. Anyway it will be a relief to get
out of this stupid costume.

I just lay back and let the waters flow over me. I think I will
give this whole caper up and let a better man than me take it
over. I had actually achieved nothing in my quest to save the
world. In fact I had alienated all the forces that previously
ran it. What a total ball‟s up. I wallowed, literally, in self pity.
I should just turn time back to before that Fateful phone call
and call the whole thing off.

“Typical Pom. No guts, no staying power. I really was beginning
to respect you. But now you sit there wallowing in self pity
wondering what to do next. You have caused complete and
utter chaos on this planet and now you want to absolve yourself
from the consequences. I expected more from you Brad.”

“Hey what about the heart attack. I thought you were dead?”

“Bit of a cock up on the time front. The bloody technicians
screwed it up and showed the 1820‟s Ashes tour when you won.
I thought I didn‟t recognise anybody in the team. It was a
huge relief when I found out the truth. Did wonders for my
cardiovascular system. So I am back to annoy you.

Whilst you have been farting around defending Lucifer all hell
has been breaking loose in Freeland. The girls you rescued
have formed a free shagging for all group, and most of the
blokes have signed up to it Also you forgot to resubmerge New
Zealand and their indigenous race has hot footed across to
Freeland in search of hot totty. Freeland is now in total
freefall and the uncorrupted Freelanders are desperate to
move.”

“Freelanders willing to move. A dream come true. But at what
price.”

“I thought that would wake you up. Climb down from your self
pitying mountain Brad and finish what you are meant to do. Go
to Freeland now, talk to the Elders and see what they want.
It‟s up to you, we cannot interfere!”

I do love my Australian buddy. He tells it how it is, no
bullshit. I had a quick shower. Dolled myself up, come on I do
need to look cool for these Freelanders. And off I went.

I must admit my landing was a bit flash and totally
unnecessary, but what the heck. I sort of spun in with a
double twist, burrowed three feet into the ground and then
reversed the procedure to put myself directly in front of the
Freelanders leader. Unfortunately I had spun his long dead
Grandfather out of his grave. One of these days I will get
things right. I apologised profusely, flew up, caught
Grandfather and placed him back where he belonged.

“Sorry”. It was all I could say.

“Oh forget it, what difference does it make. We were so
happy, so content. Living with nature was all we ever wanted.
Suddenly we have to deal with Barbarians and rapists. We will
move, provided you give us an uninhabited Island to move to.
You have to guarantee that
“Actually you can take your pick. Approximately .01% of the
world is populated. However you have to appreciate that the
propagation of the human race is in your hands and whilst I can
put you on an uninhabited Island it would not be in our mutual
interests for it remain uninhabited for too long. We need you
to carve out a civilisation that will become the standard for all
future human growth on this planet.

You cannot simply bury your collective heads in the sand and
pretend you do not have a destiny. What I can do is to turn
Freeland over to the barbarians and buy you some time by
keeping them occupied here. But eventually you will have to
learn how to deal with them. I will also talk to Lucifer and get
him to keep his imps away while you sort yourselves out. But I
cannot give you too much time. I hope you understand this.”

“Of course Brad. We appreciate you are doing your best and
we are trying to live up the standards we have set ourselves.
All we actually require is a temperate climate with arable
farming land and we will make a society you can be proud of.
Just leave us sufficient time to build up an infrastructure that
we can not only cope with, but deal with, outsiders who
threaten our culture. We were totally unprepared this time.”

“I will do the very best I can. Now on to practicalities can you
build the ships necessary to allow you to travel?”

“I think so. This invasion from New Zealand has had some
positive effects and they have taught us how to build ships and
given us some of the rudimentary navigation. However we
would ask that you look out for us on our journey.”

“I would be delighted. In the meantime I will rustle up some
brochures and show you what your options are.”
“We look forward to seeing you.”

New Homeland

My first port of call was Lucifer where I explained, in no
uncertain term, that should he so much as point one imp in the
direction of my travelling Freelanders he would be in serious
trouble. However I conceded carte blanche in Freeland when
they had departed. He accepted this, with some difficulty,
but agreed to abide by the rules for the foreseeable future.

Next I called on nature and explained the situation. She was
only too pleased to know that other lands would be occupied.
No argument there.

Death was a little more difficult as he reckoned that wherever
they travelled to would be fraught with danger and fair game
for him. I cannot seem to get through to this guy that he is
only a reactive archivist. He seems to think that part of his
job is proactive cessation of human life. I will just have to be
on my toes. Anyway with nature and Lucifer onboard he
shouldn‟t be too much of a problem.

Finally I met with Fate. She seemed quite agreeable and as far
as she knew had nothing untoward brewing. But then again,
she said, how could she really know with Fate. She really does
my head in.

We eventually decided, after much debate, that the Southern
Eastern part of Spain would be agreeable. Just as a brief
aside can you imagine what it was like in the times we did live
in. Walk into the travel agents and select a totally unpopulated
country for one‟s annual vacation. “Would Sir and Madame like
to book the whole country or would just a small peninsular do?”
Unbelievable.
Whilst the Freelanders set about building their boats I took on
a policing role. It only took a couple of fireballs to put the
hooligans in their place. Basically packs of humans are
individual cowards. Separate them out and they are quite easy
to deal with. When you take the time to speak to them you
realise that they are basically simple souls. They have little, if
any self esteem, and take to any cause like a horse does to
water. Many of them requested passage on the convoy with
the original Freelanders. I played no part in this merely
suggesting they talk to the Freeland leaders. To their credit
some were accepted.

I found it quite remarkable that my presence, associated with
my awesome firepower, calmed things down in Freeland. The
interlopers suddenly realised that the life that was built for
them owed nothing to their own efforts. They frantically
cultivated friendship from the departing ones so they would
have the knowledge to grow their own crops, feed chickens
and brew deliciously strong beer and wine.

All in all it was a peaceful time. With an amazing transference
of skills. Even the breakaway girls shagging group came to
realise there was more to life and begged to be let on the
voyage.

I kept a very distant counsel on this but was surprised that in
the weeks prior to departure more and more ships were being
built. I decided to speak to a Freeland leader.

“Brad the change has been amazing. So much so that we have
decided to take everybody. We need their seamanship skills
and their all round ability to fight. We have deluded ourselves
too long that we can survive as a pacifists. There is always
going to be someone stronger than us wanting to take away
what we have produced. It is a compromise but I believe we
will have more chance of survival than without it.”

This was the worst possible news I could have heard. Lucifer
will become mindless when he sends hordes of imps to
unoccupied Freeland. As will the imps. Nature will get pretty
angry and with at least a 7000 mile crossing under sail and oar
she is the last person you want to annoy. Fate, who knows,
and as for Death he will be grinning from ear to ear. All those
lovely, lovely statistics.

The Flotilla

They set sail on a rising tide and headed West. It was really a
simple trip navigation wise. West to Africa, North along the
whole of the Western African coast and then go East into the
gap between Spain and Africa. 157 boats of all shapes and
sizes set sail, some would never make it, but they all tried and
they became the first of a new breed of explorers. This was
to impact on the regeneration of earth in a way I never
imagined. But that is for future discussion.

On the third week Nature woke up in a foul mood. The flotilla
was midway across the Indian Ocean when she sent down the
mother of all storms. Wind and rain lashed into the fleet at 50
- 90 miles per hour. Waves as large as mountains crashed down
onto their fragile wooden decks. Some went straight to the
bottom with no chance of survivors. Others ghosted through,
seemingly unharmed.

When Nature had finished only 90 boats remained. Which was
in fact a remarkable statistic . I sensed Fate had had a hand
in this outcome. But still 67 boats lost with all hands was a
devastating blow to the flotilla. Death must have had a field
day. One day I will repay these guys. Mark my words.
The final boats made it to shore in SE Spain, most of them
swearing they would never set foot on a sailing ship again. Who
can blame them.
Chapter 11

The settlement

Over the next few days everybody worked incredibly hard to
build a settlement and get some order established. Given that
this was such a mixed society both racially and culturally it was
pure joy to watch them work in such harmony. Almost to a
man/woman they set about the tasks that suited their skills
best. Hunter-gatherers, homemakers, medics, they all pitched
in together. They even formed a democratic guard force that
decided and went about their duties by deciding amongst
themselves. This was a classic example of real teamwork in a
hostile environment. Not the socialist team bonding bullshit
taught in a later age. Should that be previous as it had already
happened? But no, not really, as in this moment in time it was
yet to happen, and would not if I had anything to do with it.

Not really having anything else to do I patrolled a no-fly zone.
Observing in the air and afar from any lurking danger. I
probably need to remind you that we were still in the Jurassic
age and danger lurked everywhere. I shot back to Freeland
and New Zealand a couple of times to see if there was anyone
left to encourage Lucifer. Unfortunately not a soul.

There would be trouble soon as he would consider I had
reneged on our agreement.

“As you have on ours blue.”

“We never had an agreement. I simply thought the Australian
culture a good model. I never agreed it had to be in Australia.”

“How can you possibly build an Australian culture in a country
that used to encourage its blokes to dress up in spangles and
tights, whirl a cape round a knackered old bull, and then call
on the troops to stab it death when it emitted the smallest
amount of aggression. And don‟t forget this area encouraged
those inquisitors to come in mob handed lash a chap to a table,
and question him for hours about his religious beliefs?”

“But these are not the same people. They are racially and
culturally mixed and so far have founded an areligous society. “

“That‟s because you are their God. They believe in you. But the
minute you depart, and that has to be soon, all hell will break
loose. And let me tell you why. Your image will be claimed by
every hue of colour down there. And your exploits will be spun
to suit the ambitions of the leaders. Unfortunately you will not
produce many great leaders because you have deposited them
in a country where it is relatively easy to produce mediocrity.
Sure they can grow crops and raise cattle without too much of
problem. They will also produce passable wine and what could
be called beer. But none of it will be a challenge. I once read
that if you don‟t make mistakes you are not trying hard enough.
Finally what kind of sports people will you produce. Theatrical
Golfers and Footballers. Come on Brad give me a break”

“What, oh wise one, do you suggest?”

“Split them up and send some of them back to Australia and
New Zealand. Put them in a variety of geographical areas and
then see what they make of things. Only be clever. Take a mix
of everybody, that way you can‟t be sued under the Involuntary
Relocation of People Act. IRoPA.”

“Where did that act come from as we have no Government.”

“Only winding you up. But try it and see what happens.”
I must admit he had some telling arguments. In the previous
age mankind only survived through making the best out of
adversity. In fact the more adverse the conditions the better
the survival rate. What did bother me was the ability of the
current crop of humans to adapt. I decided to give them a
couple of years to adapt then I would ask for volunteers to
become adventurous.

Two years later

My Aussie friend was spot on. They were the most indolent
individuals you ever saw. They got up at the crack of dawn to
tend to the cattle and sheep worked through till lunchtime and
took the rest of the afternoon off. The afternoon off was
preceded by the largest lunch you ever saw washed down with
copious quantities of home made beer and wine. They were
totally contented and had no ambition whatsoever. I did envy
them.

But apart from HQ I had other masters. Nature would be in a
state of some bewilderment, Lucifer would be champing at the
bit, I didn‟t have a clue as to Fate‟s disposition. The only
person who would be relatively content was Death as indolence
tends to leads to an early demise.

Time for a bit of recruiting. I thought this time I would arrive
in style rather than in some juvenile display which
demonstrated how well I could perform a perfectly useless and
meaningless manoeuvre. However this was not to be as during
my descent an unexpected thermal flipped me upside down 2
foot from my proposed landing zone. I ended up sliding across
a table and into a rather deep well.

“Sssssssssssh . Whatss are youss doing heres?”
It was my old friend Gerald.

“Total accident Gerald. But why are you here?”

“Thanks to you I have been in this well for two years trying to
find any abhorrent behaviour amongst this group of whiter
than white humans. Do you realise they have not invented
money yet. They barter for everything. And they all seem to
have, or grow something that everybody wants. It is so
frustrating as they seem to be totally incorruptible. Lucifer is
getting really angry about this. He needs some results or he
will be redundant, sorry his position will be redundant, what
are you going to do about this?”

“Just watch me!”



Progress

I flew out of the well as cool as one could be. And then
realised I was covered in muck. “Excuse me guys have you
invented showers yet?”

A great guffaw broke out. “Hey Guys, God wants to know if we
have invented showers yet.!” Peals of laughter followed this
statement. “Doesn‟t he know.” Once again they all fell about
laughing. They shower when it rains, was that the answer.?”

“I know” I hissed between my teeth, not at them or you dear
reader, but at my Mentor who was about to suggest that now
would not be the right time to suggest an expedition to the
Australian outback.

“Come with us dear lord. “ I followed and was lead into an
amazing building. On the outside it resembled all the other
hastily put together straw and brick buildings. The inside was
a revelation. A massive communal bathing arena complete with
hot and cold running water. I leapt into the water and had the
most wondrous soak.

Within minutes I was surrounded by a group of maidens who
expertly sponged and massaged me. It was truly a wonderful
experience. What else they did is not a matter for discussion!

Finally I could make a dignified appearance. The elders, such
as they were came to greet me.

“Welcome to our humble Land My Lord. As you can observe it
is highly prosperous and we all live in peace thanks to your
bounteous guardianship. After a sumptuous feast perhaps you
will tell us why you honour us, your humble servants, with this
unannounced visit.”

Well I have heard some bullshit in my life but this took the
biscuit. They knew why I was here and they would do their
level best to prevent it. I decided to beat them at their own
game.

“I have no need of refreshments for my life is fulfilled. I
consider such things frivolous. What I require is
determination to propagate the species, and I do not have too
much time remaining.” Let them think I had terminal cancer, or
something. “To accomplish my task I need people in two
hemispheres, North and South. At present the South is not
populated at all and I need to redress that balance. Would you
furnish me with a vanguard to begin to populate the South?”

“Sorry, but didn‟t we just leave there?”
There is always a smartarse. “Yes we did just leave there but
due to circumstances beyond my control we now have to
return.”

“So why did we leave in the first place?”

“Because you wanted to. Now I have to get a balance if I am to
get the World back to rights before it is totally destroyed. Do
you understand that?”

I was beginning to lose my cool with these guys when a giant of
a man stepped forward. “My heart is not here” he said. The
first line of poetry for the new era! “It lies elsewhere in a
country I cannot see, but I can feel.” Popstars was a
millennium away, or past depending on your perspective, but
this guy was up for it.

“I will go with you, because I believe you will lead me to the
land I need.”

Now I can just imagine most of you readers shouting, a la
Monty Python, “We will all go with you and fuck the
consequences.” But this is real life and not a Monty Python
sketch so just forget it OK!

I will not bore you with the details but I had sufficient souls
to start small colonies of people in the South of Australia and
both Islands of New Zealand.

“Good one” was the only comment from my Aussie mate.
“Stretching it a bit Brad?” from my mentor. But nothing from
anybody else. I could only suppose everybody else was quite
contented. And at this stage in the game I was quite convinced
they were. I do have a pretty good CV on this stuff.
Late one afternoon, whilst flying my now very extended,
exclusion zone I got an urgent summons to HQ.

“Brad, good of you to drop in. Everybody is waiting for you.”

As usual the room formed around me and I found myself sitting
before a very formidable board of serious people.

“Brad, so far, so good. But you have cleverly evaded our time
scale by going back to Jurassic times. We know that you will
say it was unintentional, and we know that you were
encouraged by your Mentor and one of our least respectable
members. But the fact is our patience is limited. I am afraid
we cannot wait a couple of million years to see what your
experiment will nurture.

We have limited choices here and I am sure you will agree with
them when you hear our reasons. In the grand scheme of the
galaxy your tiny little planet is becoming an embarrassment.
To be frank it is setting a bad example to all our other places.
They are now pointing to you as an example as to how self
government should be managed.

We clearly cannot allow this to happen as we would then lose all
credibility with our Lords and Masters. (Who are their Lords
and Masters?) I think we explained to you very early on in this
voyage that we all have Masters to whom we are accountable.
For example whilst the last Prime Minister in the UK regarded
himself as a First Minister, he was indirectly under the control
of the President of the United States. I offer this purely as
an example.

We are now being leant on by a body more powerful than us to
wrap this Earth business up. We have three choices:
     Allow it to evolve naturally from where it is now
     Fast forward it to a future time and let it expand
      exponentially
     Exterminate it

Option 1 is totally out of the question. Even the most patient
amongst us, and our superiors, do not have eons of time to
waste.

Option 2 is the only option from your point of view.

Option 3 is perfectly acceptable to us

We invite your comments!”

“That‟s very kind of you. I‟m a funny kind of guy in that I
always believed that options gave you a choice. You give me
three options of which their is only one choice. I don‟t call
them options I call them orders or ultimatums. You guys
obviously have the upper hand. And I do appreciate the
necessity for you to see the bigger picture. But I love this
inconsequential planet you call Earth and will do my best to
save it. I‟ll go with option 2.”

“A very wise decision. When you return Earth will have been
advanced 2 Million years. You will have a further decade to
sort it out. We can‟t be fairer than that can we?”

“How about four decades?.”

We eventually agreed on 2.5 metric which was a gain for me as
we had not converted from the imperial system yet.

I left feeling a little despondent but I thought , in my deepest
soul, I had the unlikeliest allies to rely upon. I suppose it
depended on what their time frame was. I knew I needed to
talk to Lucifer, Nature and Fate very quickly and put in a
courtesy call to Death.

Boy this was becoming very buzzy. I had not got a clue what I
would find when I returned, but I kept my fingers crossed and
trusted my humans.
Chapter 13

The Settlements - 2 Million years later

On returning I felt a need to do a quick flypast and determine
how much progress had been made. I was really moved.
Everywhere I went village life blossomed. Groups of like
minded people had settled into little conclaves in a thousand
places and none threatened the other. It was truly
remarkable. They had spilled all over what was the former
Spain and now occupied most of what was formerly Europe. But
there were no boundaries. Europe was just one big country.
The situation was similar in Australia and New Zealand. What
struck me as really beautiful was that no single village
threatened another. They lived inside their boundaries and
traded outside them when it became necessary. But with no
malice or intention of upsetting their neighbours.

I have to admit that it reduced me to tears. After 2
Millennium I really expected the worst. This is the nice part
of the story so bear with it. We will, obviously, get to the
gruesome bits you crave for later but for now indulge me in the
possibility of harmonious mankind. It can‟t hurt, can it?

I paid a courtesy call to them all and was immediately
recognised as their spiritual leader. It was as much to do with
painting on ancient walls of an heroic figure flying amongst
their midst, as my presence. I mean if you hadn‟t changed
your clothes for 7 days, let alone 2 Millennium, it would make
an impact.

Having made the courtesy calls and ascertained everything was
to my liking I now had the dubious pleasure of calling on my
colleagues. First port of call had to be Lucifer.
“Hey Brad, how goes it?”

A response that really surprised me.

”Cool, Luc” I responded in kind.

“Nice cool planet you have created. Good guys everywhere. It
is so good that it makes me want to throw up. However I do
not like to throw up so I have been pro-active, is that what you
call doing something you want to do before somebody else does
it?”

“Yes, something like that.”

“Well I have been so pro-active that very soon your noble
humans are going to get blown out the water by a circumstance
that even Fate, will find difficult to intervene. And it is your
fault. My problem was that you had left me no culture to work
on. Everywhere I turned it was San Johnson, Johnson San,
Brad the Almighty etc etc. Cults everywhere. The Imps were
even more frustrated than when you were constantly updating
time.

Anyway I had a visit from a strange guy. Spoke with an
Australian accent and appeared to be more concerned about
cricket than anything else. The upshot was that he convinced
me that you would only ever produce tree hugging fairies and
he needed me to produce a counter culture. To the extent
that he gave me land uninhabited by your lot and asked me to
do my worst. Which of course I revelled in. Look to the North
East Brad for there you will find force majestic. Dying to take
control of the Lands beneath them. Hah that‟s given you a
turn. How do you react to that?”
“Quite simply. There is no room for adversity in my New
World and I will simply have to eliminate you and your forces
of evil. “

“Go and look my upstanding friend. These fiends I have
created will not be easily eliminated.”

I left in a hurry and headed out towards the North East. My
radar picked up the signal. “Incoming missile - ready all anti
missile deterrents.” I kept flying, they could not scare me,
Brad Johnson, Master of the world.

The first rock hit me direct in the balls and boy did it hurt.
Several more battered me around various parts of my anatomy,
still I struggled valiantly on. I would not be defeated by some
Neanderthals lobbing rocks. Then what could only have been an
Inter Continental Ballistic Missile , ICBM, thundered into my
arse and sent me into the stratosphere. What was going on
here?

I summoned a medical orbiting space vehicle and underwent
some treatment. The most painful of which was the rash on my
arse. I was totally mystified by what Lucifer had organised
here and I needed a really good look. This time I would not be
“Oh so triumphant Brad.” Its amazing what a rocket up your
arse can do to vanity.

This time I flew in very carefully in stealth mode. I just had
to find out what was going on. My first impression was that
this was a totally unpopulated world. For a start it was totally
frozen over and secondly there never seemed to any daylight.
I switched to infra red thermal imaging and began to see
shapes amongst the vast expanse of ice. Yes I know I would
see shapes of icebergs etc. But these were shapes that had to
be man made. I sort of crept in, in silent mode and found
myself in a massive arena populated by hundreds of what could
only be described as the undead.

They were horrible, misshapen, ugly and violent, judging by
the amount of bones lying around. They seemed to be
enraptured by a huge TV screen and then I heard this voice.

“Now watch very carefully as Gatting takes his stance. Shane
comes up and shapes to bowl his arm ball, but he pitches it way
outside leg stump. Gatting, in the usual manner of the British,
disdainfully ignores it. Watch what happens next. The ball
lands, spins in 3 feet and removes Gatting leg stump. That was
surely the best moment an Australian could ever have had. And
this is why my friends we are here today. This new karma,
religion, call it what you may, is based on an English philosophy
and led by a poofter with the unlikely name of Brad Johnson.

We have to destroy this society that he has created and we
have to do it quickly. We need aggression between tribes, we
need anger and above all we need their women.”

A huge cheer went up from these demented beings as I stifled
a tear. I loved this guy. Not in that way arsehole!! I really
believed everything he said and here he was fermenting unrest
among the underworld. Who could I trust. Obviously nobody.

“Believe in yourself. Let he who undermines spirit answer to he
who controls spirit , onry then will truth be known. To control
aggression one must use the feather, to contain aggression
one must use the power of the spoken word, to repel
aggression one must resort to defensive pattern, when all this
fails bomb fuckers with nucrear weapon.”

My mentor resorting to bad language. I cannot believe it.
“He very bad man. Working both sides of the bed sheet. He
must be eliminated. Not your concern Brad. It is my dishonour
and I will remove dishonour.”

“Now you just wait a minute. I do not give a personal fuck
about your honour and dishonour. What I do care about is
having someone around I can trust. The Australian has
undermined me and hurt me in an unbelievable way. I do not
need you to go off and murder him and then stick a sword in
your gut. I need you here. Do you understand me?”

“Ok Brad, no problem. I was getting a little fed up with this
oriental culture anyway. Just say the word and I am yours.”

“Good, I am glad we agree. What I have to do now is estimate
how large a threat these people are. Can they seriously mount
a campaign against the Freeland people or are they just
bluffing?”

“I think they are very serious and they have, somehow,
acquired the munitions to do it. I don‟t think we can dismiss
this threat and if you want to maintain your world order we
have to make a pre-emptive strike.”

“We?”

“Sorry, I was getting carried away. You have to make a pre-
emptive strike.”

Just when I thought things were going so well. I now have to
consider taking extreme action against a man I thought was my
friend.

Hang on a minute, what extreme action? A series of
strategically launched snowballs will hardly bring his regime to
its knees. I don‟t think I can you use my weapons out of my
operational area so what am supposed to do?

Talk, this is my first and hopefully not my last option. So talk
I would.

This time I was allowed to drop in peacefully.

“Sorry about the last reception Brad. But we do have to be
careful.”

“Its not a problem you deceitful bastard. What the fuck do
you think you are playing at. You were my friend, and now I
find you training troops to forment an uprising against my
Freelanders. What do you think I am supposed to do about
that?”

“Attack of course. For 2 Millennium I have sat about and
watched your version of the world come into being. Very nice
people I grant you, but gutless to the core. Lets be honest
Brad in two million years they have discovered the square root
of fuck all. It‟s just not good enough. Ok I know I go on about
cricket, but it is a game where people of a similar intellect and
sporting ability can meet on an equal footing. You have
destroyed the very essence of this by your loving society that
totally ignores competition of any sort. I am sorry but you have
to be destroyed. Either from within, which is preferable , or
without, take your choice.”

“Ok give me one year to produce a cricket team that will match
yours. It‟s not a lot to ask in the overall scheme of things. “

“One year, that‟s all you get. And no cheating.”

“How could I cheat?”
“All right. These are the ground rules:

As he reeled off the ground rules I could not help but think
that this was too easy. Here he was with a large population of
gruesome undead prepared to launch an attack and he
submitted to my challenge in the blink of an eye. Something
was seriously wrong here. I mean it was obvious that if it took
another 2 millennia I could not produce a cricket team to equal
his. Could it be that he was buying time?

If he only wanted a year that would mean he was in the final
preparations of his planning. Or maybe he just wanted to
distract whilst he launched his assault. Also what purpose
would it serve? As far as I am aware propagation of the
species is unknown amongst the undead. I mean they are
hardly the type of person that could pull a female in the middle
of a rave in some farmers field in middle Europe. Having said
that Dracula used to have a fair bit of success with the
opposite sex. But compared to these creatures he was
charismatic beyond belief.

I had a sudden thought. I was thinking without thought to his
ability to read my mind. Yet he seemed unperturbed. I decided
to try a little experiment. “I think the Australian cricket only
appeared to be so good because all the other teams were
mediocre at best. They couldn‟t possibly play a team made up
of quality players. “

Not a twitch. He was either a very good actor and was bluffing
me, or he had somehow lost some of his powers.

“Good conclusion Brad. He has betrayed us and is therefore no
longer classed as a special being. By entering into a pact with
Lucifer he has been cast out from our organisation and all his
powers have been removed.”

So what devious game was this bastard up to. For now I would
go along with it and see what transpired. Not, of course,
before I had had a long and sneaky look at his empire.

“Finished?”

“Yes I think so Brad. Come back in a year with your team and
we will pick a venue. I‟m sorry it has come to this but I am
sure you would do the same in my position. Good Luck, you will
need it.”

With that I flew off. Not very far I hasten to add. I bided
my time and then switched to invisibility, silent and infra red
mode. Nothing could track me down in this state. Although I
did move very slowly.

His organisation was extraordinary. Not only did he have the
undead here, but hundreds of Lucifer‟s imps, I even spotted
Gerald. But not much else, no method of transportation. No
weapons of any kind that I could see. So where did that arse
seeking ICBM come from? I was missing something very
obvious in this layout. It was all too pat and organised. They
were showing me what they wanted me to see. I was convinced
of it. Somehow they knew I was there. But how?

I decided to come back at a later date bearing in mind that I
had to renew my contact with Nature, Death and Fate

Renewing acquaintances

I called on Nature first as she might well know some of the
answers to NE quandary.
“Brad, how nice to see you. It seems to been eons!”

“It has been actually.”

“I am really pleased with the way things are going. I grow
forests and nobody cuts them down. They only take the fish
from the ocean that they eat, which is as it should be.
Similarly nobody kills an animal unless it for a specific purpose,
either eating or clothing. They are discovering the wonderful
medicines that I have planted for them. It is very, very
refreshing. I just hope it will last. But I doubt it.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because of the growing danger in the NE. I just wish I knew
what was going on up there.”

“You and me both. The undead creatures will terrify the
current Freelanders just by looking at them. They wouldn‟t
stand a chance in a battle. I just cannot figure out what he is
up to. And it really bothers me. It‟s like an itch that won‟t go
away. I am missing something so obvious but I can‟t figure out
what it is.”

“Lets think about it. We are on the same side here. In two
attempts this is the best shape the world has ever been in and
I have no desire to see it destroyed by a power hungry
defector from HQ. What is he after.”

“It‟s got to be more than a decent cricket team. I know he‟s
obsessed with the sport but surely not to the point of creating
a war? I mean what would that achieve?”

“I really don‟t know.”
“Would you mind if I got Fate to join us?”

“Not at all.”

“I thought you‟d never invite me. But you do realise I cannot
give you any answers, just questions?”

“Of course we do.”

“OK, what picture are you looking at.”

“The Australians of course. “

“And where is that leading your thoughts?”

“To what he is going to do.”

“Have you heard of the expression “smoke and mirrors”?”

“Sure. It‟s where you hide your abysmal performance from the
shareholders by creating non-existent projects that guarantee
windfall profits. But it can only ever be short term, like
artificially lowering A level results.”

“Precisely.” Said Fate and flew off.

Nature and I looked at each other and both shook our heads.
We clearly both were baffled by enigma. What was she on
about?

Underworld, undead. That‟s not going to solve anything. The
only way he can stop this culture of humanitarianism is to
introduce wrong doing and evil. Hordes of undead strutting
across the planet would only create more undead, not corrupt
humans. And if Lucifer was struggling with this concept what
chance did the Australian have?

An old Abba song drifted into my sub-conscious. “Money,
money, money, it‟s a rich man‟s world.” It dawned on both of
us simultaneously. The smoke and mirrors was the amassing of
the undead in the NE. It was a huge charade designed to make
us concentrate on a non existent threat, whilst the real threat
was in the form of undercover agents creating a culture of
bartering for bits of paper, not goods.

I should have realised it sooner, it was right up Lucifer‟s
street. He cannot corrupt the incorruptible because he has
nothing they desire. Introduce the concept of wealth and he
was in with a good shout. Cunning bastard.

I knew exactly what I would find when I went back. Inequality.
Somehow Lucifer and the Australian had infiltrated Freeland
and created, just a few, wealthy people. It doesn‟t take much
to make people envious. How had he done it?

“You took your eye of the ball Brad. It doesn‟t take long to
nurture greed. When all Freelanders enjoyed the same status
there was no envy or greed. They were happy and content.
Shared everything they had. Suddenly this mansion appears
and the people who occupy it seem to have a lot more than you
do. It makes you examine your own contentment. And you find
there is more to life than you have. You want to know how they
did it so you can emulate them. Its quite normal.”

Damn. How do I get out of this one? Lucifer‟s imps were
already running wild suggesting that you too could own a
mansion in it‟s own grounds. All you have to do is compete.
Why are you swapping your mushrooms for eggs. Mushrooms
take longer to grow and collect than eggs and are therefore
more valuable. The fact that a combination of Lucifer‟s imps
and the Australian‟s stalwarts occupied the grand houses did
not occur to anyone. They were suddenly in a race to gain
wealth.

And Lucifer kept upping the stakes. As soon as the
Freelanders gained a foothold in the property market he
introduced luxury goods. Which then required factories,
which in turn required workers.

My Freeland world was working it‟s way, rapidly backwards, to
where it had been when I first was called. I could not tolerate
this and decided to take action.

At first I flew around the world only to be treated with
ignorance. I pleaded, I begged and I cajoled. To no effect.
The greed continued like a virus. It affected everyone who
came into it‟s path. And Lucifer made damn sure that no area
was left untouched. There were little conclaves that held out
but they were slowly being tempted by the exaggerated prices
being offered for their land. The Australian, of course, held
most of the title deeds. Land ownership meant nothing to
Lucifer.

I flew into HQ in a state of rage. They were no help
whatsoever. “It‟s your problem Brad, and time is running out
for you.”

It was time for outside intervention. I flew up to Death‟s HQ.

As usual he was heavily engrossed in his spreadsheets trying to
balance the books but I did explain the urgency of the matter
and he decided he would see me.
“As you were one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse I
need some advice.”

“Of course Brad. As long as it does not compromise my figures.
Which are looking pretty good at the moment. My that Lucifer
has stirred things up, to my benefit I hasten to add. So what
can I do for you?”

“I am in a perpetual state of doing and undoing and I wish to
stop it here. At the moment the citizens of Freeland, through
no fault of their own, are in a greed frenzy. I need to stop
this. I could simply ask you and your fellow horsemen to do
this for me. But it would be counterproductive as I would have
to rebuild, yet again, and no doubt I would come up with the
same sorry scenario again and again. “

“And it would not be that easy. I haven‟t seen war, famine and
disease in a long time. I don‟t even know if they are still in
business. I mean the gig was a long time ago and it was never
likely that we would be asked back. We kicked real arse then,
you know what I mean. We did not enjoy the enduring
popularity of Status Quo, for example.”

“Death I really need a hand here. And in the long term it will
be far better for your statistics.”

“Ok Brad, I think you are a cool guy. How can I help?”

“I want to scare the shit out of Lucifer and the Australian.
But I do not want a single innocent Freelander hurt. They are
greedy at the moment but that is my problem not theirs. I
want you to recreate your ride, for one night only, and only to
selected areas.”
“Brad are you talking precision strikes with no collateral
damage?”

“Afraid so.”

“Ok from my side that‟s not a problem. But the other three. I
mean how are going to isolate war, famine and disease.”

“It‟s simple. Starve the rich bastards, they will then make war
on each other and disease the remnants. Does that sound like
a reasonable strategy?”

“If, and its a big if, I can locate my brothers I will put it to
them and let you know the answer. But if, in anyway, I think
its going to screw up my annual return its a no go situation.
Having said that I do think you are on the right track and will
do my best to help. If it‟s any consolation I don‟t care how long
anybody lives, as long as I have a consistent flow of souls
flowing through I‟m as happy as Larry. In fact the better time
they have in their pitiful earth existence the easier it for me
to process them when they arrive. I don‟t hold with all this
wailing and gnashing of teeth and all the cries of “if only”.

Right leave me with the precise coordinates of your targets, I
will try and contact my fellow horseman and I‟ll call you when it
is set up. I would presume you would like to warn your
Freelanders. In full flow we are a horrific sight and we
wouldn‟t want any collateral damage just by being seen.”

“No I disagree. I want them to see you and give them a chance
to forsake what they are doing. They just need to be well out
of the way of the targets.”

I told Death I would come back with the target coordinates
when I had devised a good strategy. I then went to the
nearest space motel and slept the sleep of the wicked. Was I
becoming as wicked as them, I doubt it, but I was truly
becoming devious.
Chapter 13

The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse

Feeling refreshed and dapper after a Jacuzzi and massive
breakfast I set about pinpointing my targets. Every so often a
joyous gurgle bubbled up inside me as I thought of the look on
their faces when those four mean bastards rode into town. I
could contain it no longer and burst into a fit of the most
outrageous giggles. Hardly fitting I know. But come on I was
attempting to further humanity and these swine‟s were doing
their level best to undermine me. The thought of their being
undone by forces outside their control amused the child in me.
They had clearly underestimated the power of making, and
keeping good contacts.

I needed to ensure that I gained maximum damage to the bad
guys and minimum damage to the Freelanders. But I also
wanted the Freelanders to observe the awesome power of the
fearsome foursome as they swept in to do battle. They needed
to be on high ground which would let them observe, and at the
same time keep them out of harms way. They also needed to
be upwind. I had not got a clue what kind of weapons disease
had been researching over the last 2 millennium. The plague
used to be the favourite, but that was surely old hat by now as
it was so indiscriminate. I am sure he would have target
specific disease.

I went into stealth mode and flew around for a quick
assessment. I realised I would have to be quick. The isolated
villages were extending their boundaries at a rapid pace and
very soon they would all become large towns, and then cities.
I needed an event to get all on high ground, near the coast, so
they could observe. I also needed to talk to Nature.
“I know they all need to be upwind. Don‟t worry, you position
them, give me the time and the wind blow in the correct
direction.”

“Thanks. I owe you.”

“No you don‟t, it is I who owe you Brad. Good Luck”

I felt a million miles high. For once I was getting something
back from this extraordinary voyage. Praise from Nature was
praise well earned Oh bugger I was a million miles high. Time
to come down to earth.

I spent the next 48 hours flying around earth to gain precise
coordinates for the fearsome foursome strike. Fortunately
the Australian and his buddies were very complacent and for
the moment were in large, non residential areas. Enjoying the
colonial life, as it was. I decided the need for a pre-emptive
strike was imminent. I could not allow them the time to build
up a stock pile of weapons that would allow them the luxury of
causing a war on my peaceful planet.

“Here are the coordinates you require. Please strike in one
weeks time at sunset. That will have the most visually stunning
effect on the Freelanders.”

“Ok Brad that‟s cool. The other guys are up for it. But how do
you want to play it? I mean we could sneak in and sneak out
and nobody would know.”

“Oh no. I want the lot, the most fearsome image you can
conjure coupled with death music that would drive my daughter
in law insane. Give it all you‟ve got, I want to scare these
Freelanders to the very core of their souls, and then destroy
the bad guys.”
“Ok Brad, it‟s your call.”

I sent a flyer round requesting that all Freelanders converge
on their nearest hill at 7-30 pm to witness the finest event
they would ever see in their lives. I also warned them that all
Freelanders not heeding this advice would be placing
themselves in grave danger. I repeated this on my world wide
communications system and hoped everybody would get the
message.

For the large part of this story I have avoided using
descriptive prose as it can be boring. Allow me the indulgence
to describe this event for it will never be witnessed again.

From where I stood there was a perfect sunset. The setting
sun scorched the water, a flaming hue of red across an azure
blue, it was unbelievably beautiful. Then out of the West
came a low thundering sound. Gradually building and building
until it became a thunderous roar. Thunderhead clouds rolled
in ahead of the noise, crashing lightning down on every earthly
spot. The sea leapt up in amazement and sent gigantic waves
crashing to the shore. The cacophony of noise was incredible,
birds flashed by screaming in fear, the clouds grew ever
darker and the wind grew and grew until it overwhelmed. What
a support act I thought.

Then there was a huge crash of symbols that rocked the world
and they appeared one by one. Death riding a black stallion,
covered in a black cape. Smoke steaming all around he and his
mount. And this was not the Death I knew. This was the most
gruesome, skeletal Death you could imagine. Finishing off his
tapestry he whirled a scythe around his head that made the
most horrible humming sound. Pausing, only to bow, he made
way for Famine.
There was a pause, boy did these guys know how to work an
audience. I gazed down at my beloved Freelanders. They were
petrified, as I had intended them to be.

Famine was mounted on a skeletal mare and was dressed in a
ripped robe of off white. But what you couldn‟t see, but you
could feel was the horror that it brought. The mist was icy
cold and the glint in the eyes fearsome. He bowed and made
way for Pestilence.

Horrible, horrible sight. A nag with pestilence oozing from
every pore. He was a wizened figure wearing a coat of grey
that hang from his disappearing body like an abandoned
raincoat on a windy day by the seaside. He made his bow and
then the air became totally still. Nothing moved, nothing
dared move, I suspect even Nature was a little perturbed.

Then Hell broke loose and War thundered in on the largest
black horse you ever saw. Flame snorted from his nostrils and
his breath knocked trees over. Seated on this magnificent
beast was War. Cloaked in the darkest of black and wearing a
suit of coal black armour he was surrounded by hundreds of
black gibbering skulls. He took his bow and then joined the
others forming a fearful sight against the setting of the Sun.

“Freelanders”, War roared, “We have no argument with you.
But stay and watch the destruction of those that would
corrupt you. But be warned, we can return should you return
to your sinful ways. We ride.”

I can only inadequately describe what happened next. The sky,
the sea, even the trees turned angry as the four horsemen
lent back in their saddles and then thundered forth. Huge
clouds, winds and lightning strikes preceded them,
earthquakes opened up their paths and then they were down
amongst my enemy.

As promised Nature protected most of the Freelanders by
altering the fearsome winds so they were upwind of any
disease spread. In truth they had little use of disease that
fearsome night. The very sight of Death and War in full flow
scared the hell out of most of the enemy. However they ran
and were relentlessly pursued. I was so glad these guys were
on my side.

Eventually the rout was complete. The Lucifer/Australian axis
had been completely destroyed. Freeland was back to where it
had come from. As I made my patrol that night I observed
millions of Freelanders on their hilltops giving thanks to
whoever had saved them from certain destruction. I would like
to think it was me. But that would be egotistical. They had a
hand in their own self preservation and I doubt they would
embrace the culture of greed quite so readily in the future.
Lets hope so anyway.

I flew around the planet paying my respects to Death, Nature,
Fate even Lucifer. He wasn‟t too bad a loser. As for the
Freelanders it was time to leave them to their own devices.
They had learnt to be kind and tolerant, become greedy, and
seen where that would lead them. I could do no more, their
Fate was in their own hands.

“Exactly how it should be Brad” Love Fate.
Memory Loss

I awoke in my grimy flat hot and sweaty. What on earth had I
been dreaming about. World changes, saviours and god knows
what else. I felt I had been asleep forever. Oh I must get into
the shower before I go to work. The hot water and soap began
to work it‟s magic and I felt myself coming alive again. Today
was going to be a big day in my future. Today I had my annual
assessment and I would be told whether I would be promoted
or left to stay amongst the weeds. I really needed to get out
of my current situation and I felt I deserved it.

I shaved close and put my best suit and shirt and tie on.
Polished my shoes to within an inch of their lives, called the
lift, rode down and stepped outside.

Into nothing. What on earth was going on. I must be dreaming
still. I looked back to my apartment block, nothing. A huge
hole in an empty sky. Where did I just come from and where
am I going to.

“Bit of a shock Brad. But we had to get you out of your old
residence before it could be officially negated. Don‟t worry
it‟s gone now.”

“I am sorry but what the hell is going on here? I have a very
important meeting today, that will decide my future in the
company, and you make light of my accommodation
disappearing? “

“Look around you Brad, do you see any buildings?”
I gazed all around me and saw nothing but nature. A few
people scattered around but they were doing nothing.

“This is your World, do you not remember. This was the
World you spent over 2 millenniums creating. How can you sit
there with that vacant look on your face and not remember?”

Visions crept into my mind. But I preferred to put them to the
back of my mind. Today‟s interview was going to be so
important. Then it dawned on me, there would be no interview
today, tomorrow or in the foreseeable future. A huge feeling
of relief absorbed me. No more organisation man. I was free.
I chucked of my clothes and danced naked in what used to be a
street. There were a few passers by but I thought little of it.
However I was a little concerned about this groin rash I
appeared to have developed. What could have caused that?

Eventually sanity prevailed and I redressed and took a stroll
round what used to be my old neighbourhood. Not a building in
sight. No cars, no roads and no pavements. All I could see was
mile upon mile of green countryside and the odd wooden
dwelling. Although deliriously happy I was a little confused.

Where had everything gone, and why? It didn‟t seem to make
too much of a difference in terms of life‟s rich tapestry.
Which was even more confusing. The back of my mind saw
traffic, people, consumer goods and basic despair. The front
of my mind saw a few contented people. Happy and benevolent
in their way of life. Had I gone mad with this happiness, and
forgotten what had happened to cause this strange set of
circumstances?

I wandered up to a little group who were dancing round a
glorious fire.
“Hello”

They fell to their knees in a state of worshipfulness. “Brad,
we are so honoured that you call on us. We cannot thank you
enough for all that you have done. We pray to you every night
and thank you for the bliss you have brought to our planet.
God bless you Brad.”

To say the least I was a little taken aback by this. This kind of
treatment was normally reserved for the MD and his cronies.
In my position I had never received any adulation. Indeed
quite the opposite I was normally on the receiving end of a high
powered blocking.

“I am sorry, but please tell me why you treat me like this?”

“Its true Father, what they say. He has lost his memory. Poor
lad. Alzheimer‟s is a cruel disease, but in one so young who has
accomplished so much it is a tragedy.”

“Brad, sit with us for a while and take a cup of tea. We would
be honoured.”
HQ

“I told you it was a mistake to let him come back. The poor
fool hasn‟t got a clue where he is and will only go around causing
unrest and disturbances. Ironically just when he‟d saved the
world from itself, and our retribution.”

“With all due respect Sir I asked to Death to ensure that he
did not survive the Fearsome Foursome. But he would have
nothing to do with it. They all respected him. Fate, Nature,
Death, even Lucifer. None of them would harm him. So I
really do not see how you can blame me. I did manage to erase
his memory after all!”

“There is no need to be petulant. But we do have a problem
here. Our budgetary allocation for Earth is well over the limit
and what we need is a long settling in period to their new order.
The last thing we need is the bloke who created it wandering
about and causing everyone to think the saviour has come again
and acting inappropriately.”

“Why would they do that?”

“Isn‟t bloody obvious. Every group he appears with will claim
him as theirs and before you know it we will be right back to
the secretarial troubles that caused us to use him in the first
place. I have not spent the last few Million years of my life on
a wasted cause. I am sorry he must be destroyed. And the
sooner the better.”

“What kind of loyalty message does that send out to the rest
of the organisation? It‟s a barbaric thought. The phone rings
„Thanks very much for a job well done, you can chose from the
following options, for a suicide pill press 1, for death by the
firing squad press 2, for the electric chair press 3, or if you
would prefer please hold and you will be transferred to one of
our death advisors. I am sorry you are in a queue but all our
advisors are currently busy. Please enjoy the music.‟ And then
of course we play the Death march, or anything by Gary
Moore. It really is too much Sir.”

“Well what do you suggest then? I cannot afford to spend
anymore time on this tiny little planet which, as it is of little
consequence to our grand design. However it has to stay the
way Brad left it because if there are any signs of a return to
it‟s old rebellious ways it could seriously effect our timetable.
I keep asking you to look at the bigger picture and you keep
disappointing me.”

“Once again, with all due respect, if the most kill hungry
clients at our disposable refuse to deal with him what can we
do. Death even rejected a premature heart attack. “He is
much too young. And he is my friend.” I quote. There was an
implicit warning there. Whilst you may have the power and
ability to deal with Death it‟s way outside my Term‟s of
Reference.”

“What about the other‟s”

“They are similarly united. Fate, Nature, Lucifer - they love
him.”

“Ok the Australian. There will be no love lost there. Didn‟t
Brad totally destroy his scheme?”

“He certainly did, the bastard. I really thought I could spot
his Googly, but he bowled in such a way that I was halfway out
of the crease before I realised I had been suckered. Then
bang out went my middle stump, without so much as a by your
leave. Oh yes I owe Brad Johnson.”
“Wait outside Trevor would you. I will call you when I need
you.”

“Certainly Sir.”

“The Australian is Trevor? But we cast him out eons ago for
being too focused. As I recall your words - “Trevor is
becoming a liability due to his fanatical approach to cricket
and his inability to think out of the box. Furthermore his deal
with Lucifer to attempt to subvert the citizens of Freeland gas
become an embarrassment to us all. Let him be cast out!”

“Well I was a little rash and perhaps outspoken when I learned
the news.”

“Bollocks, with all due respect. He was a treacherous swine
that we were grateful to get rid of. Brad is worth a thousand
Trevor‟s and now you intend bringing him back into the fold!
Over my dead body.”

“Aargh, so be it. It‟s so sad when one‟s subordinates overstep
the mark. He knew how much I hated swearing. Trevor come
back in there‟s a good chap.”

Going back into the office and having to step over a body did
give Trevor a reality check and for once he kept his glib
Australian mouth shut.

“We have a problem I would like you to resolve.”
I was happily strolling around, quite enjoying the adulation for
once in my life. Ok smartarse reader you try enduring just one
day as a junior stockbroker in the heart of the city. See you
didn‟t even get on the tube did you?

“Psst, pssst.”

Somebody seemed to be spitting at me.

“Psst, pssst., itsss Gerald, Brad.”

Who was Gerald? And why was he spitting on me?

“Luc wants to sshpeak to youss.”

This voice was opening doors in the back of my brain. Gerald,
where had I heard that name before? Gerald hiss, it was
almost there. Gerald was an auditor and one of Lucifer‟s imps.
Who the hell was Lucifer? Freeland popped into my brain, and
out just as quickly. How did I know Gerald was an auditor?

“Because I told you arsehole. What has happened to you? We
are really concerned.”

“I know you Gerald, but I do not know why.”

“Please come with me, they all want to talk to you.”

Why not go, I was a free man, ready to embrace new journeys
and new cultures. I was a Freelander. Where did that come
from?

Gerald grabbed my hand and took me off on a journey that
seemed strangely familiar. Then we plunged into the hot
bowels of the Earth, again familiarity overwhelmed me, but it
was like deja vue, but not cold and forbidding, more warm and
cosy. A bit like wearing a hot water bottle when your back is
aching and snuggling up into a heavy tog quilt. I did not know
what was going on.
Chapter 14

Reunion

We emerged in this underground cavern and seated around a
large table were the most grotesque characters I had ever
seen in my life.

“Its good to see you Brad” said the obvious leader. Although
that is a bit judgemental because it was a round table and
because he was the first to speak did not automatically make
him the leader. I was sat down at the foot, or was it the
head? of the table.

“Brad, we need to help you recover your memory. Will you let
us do that?”

I was truly frightened by the ensemble, especially the old
skeletal chap surrounded by fog and skulls.

“You scare the wits out of me. I mean this is like a nightmare
during daytime reality. What would you think in my position?”

A reasonable looking person swathed in green slid towards me.
“I can help you Brad, but you must believe in me.”

“I just believe I am having the worst nightmare of my life. So
do want you want, I‟ll just pretend it‟s all a dream.”

“Ok Brad, just go to sleep and let the past return. Do not
fight it, just ease into it.”

“Motherfucking nature what does she know! I know Brad I can
help him.”
“Luc, you have a big, and a foul mouth so why don‟t you just
shut the fuck up.”

“Oh, Fate needs her mouth washed does she. Well I can sure
arrange one of my imps to do that, and then we will see how
she feels.”

“Shut up you morons and let Nature do her stuff.”

“Listen Death you may be a big brother up there but down here
my word is law. Do not tempt me to make you a statistic in
your own ledger.”

“Will you men please go outside and argue, I think it‟s working
for her.”

“Well you ought to know Fate. Come on guys lets grab some
beers and leave the Ladies to their touchy, feely stuff.”
Reawakening

As the angry rumbling receded the kindly voice reached into
the back of my memories. “Brad, this is Nature do you
remember me. You helped us put this planet in order. You
created Freeland. Do you remember?”

Flashes of light penetrated my brain and I saw a kaleidoscope
of colours and images. Thunder and lightening and the
awesome shape of the Fearsome Foursome. Who were they?
They were in this cavern. But why. I started feeling in itch in
my groin as though I was wearing tights with underpants
outside them. The humiliation I felt, I was a transvestite.
“No don‟t take me any further” I screamed out loud. I don‟t
want to be a transvestite.”

“It‟s cool Brad. Don‟t panic. Just let the rest of the images
happen. You are not a transvestite trust me.”

A cool green arm was laid across my forehead. “Aargh”, I
screamed, “I am being attacked by a triffid”

The way I was perspiring I could have been in a sauna with the
heat turned to full. At any moment I felt I would melt. “Just
stay cool Brad.” This was probably the most stupid statement
I had heard in my life. How does one stay cool when one is
wearing a steam blanket? The steam turned to a refreshing
cool and gradually memories came flooding back. I relaxed,
opened my mind and fell into the most wonderful sleep I had
ever had.

The boys crept back in.

“Trust you lot to make a night of it.”
“We were doing no harm, just discussing the meaning of life
and who would go down in the champions imp league. No harm
done. How‟s the boy doing?”

“Natures still with him, and she is making real progress. Get
set for a full English celebration breakfast in the morning,
because the Brad we know and love will be back with us. And if
you can stand the expense Luc put some champagne on ice.”

“Ice in my place would ruin my credibility forever. But I can
make the odd exception. Expect cold champagne in the
morning.
Morning

I woke a feeling as though I had slept through 2 millenniums,
but also feeling remarkably bright and alert. Also I had total
knowledge of where I was and who I was with. Which totally
confused me. I went for a cold shower. Not an option down
here. I spent the whole time in the shower running around
trying to escape the heat. You must have been there. Bit of
soap on the left foot, stick it under and draw it back before
scalding. Classic tactic of capitalistic hotel owners who wanted
to maximise their profits by limiting the amount of hot water
used. Of course they all went out of business when the
European Union, enough of that crap. I went downstairs.

They were all waiting for me. Nature, Fate, Death and his
buddies, Lucifer and even Gerald. I was a little embarrassed
when they sang an indescribable version of for he‟s a jolly good
fellow.

The chafing dishes were full of all manner of delightful foods
and chilled champagne glasses were set at each place. I said
hello, grabbed a plate, filled it and set about it‟s contents like
a dog with a bone. I was hungry. It was as simple as that. As
fast as the imps could fill my champagne glass I drunk it. It is
not like me to act like this at breakfast but it just had to be
done not only because of my hunger but because of my
embarrassment. I had been terrified of these people last
night. now with my memory returned, I realised how crass I
must have appeared. At the worst moments in my life most of
these people had supported me. Apart from Lucifer who was
the host?

“Enjoying your breakfast Brad?”

“Sure am Death.”
“Brad”, this was Lucifer. “We have a small problem that you
need to be aware of.”

I bloody well knew it. Selfish, despicable, contrary bastards.
They had a problem and I was the man to fix it. So they get
my memory back, then wine and dine me and then hit me with
the problem. Well screw them this time.

Fate interrupted my thoughts. “ Most times Brad we love you.
But there are times when you can be the most despicable
creature on the planet. This is one of those times. Do you
seriously think that sworn enemies like ourselves would get
together and expend our energy working out how you could save
us? Forget it sonny, we are together because of the imminent
danger to you. And you really do not deserve us!”

She turned her back on me contemptuously. I reddened even
more than the lobster red I already was. These guys were
here for me? Humility is an art form that I wish I learned at a
much earlier stage in my life.

“Sorry”, I stammered, “Just forgive me, it‟s down to memory
lag.”

“Ok Brad, we will forgive that ONE relapse. Now listen and
listen hard. You are going to be stalked by Trevor. Previously
known as the Australian. His remit is simply to get you out of
the picture. We have all been asked to remove you at some
stage and we have all refused as we like you too much.”

There was no more humble pie left so I just sat there with
tears flowing down. I was probably the biggest arsehole in the
history of mankind.
“Not quite, but not too far away.”

Lucifer spoke, “I have a problem with this. Putting aside our
personal differences I actually respect what you did with
Freeland and I don‟t have a problem with how they live. In
truth I am ready to retire, I‟ve met my requirements over the
years and I have a good record of CoS. But with what you have
done I am ready to throw my hand in and say enough is enough.
My problem is that your assassination will cause all sorts of
hell in Freeland that will force me back into business.”

“I have a similar problem” spoke Death, “As a business we
have done all we can and wish to leave Freeland to carry on as
it will. Retirement is in mine and this worlds best interests.
Should you die prematurely it will cause all sorts of problems.”

The only person who hadn‟t spoken thus far was Fate. “Don‟t
ask Brad.”

“I have to know. Is it me that is causing this problem, and how
is it to be resolved. Come on Fate you know the answer don‟t
you? Climb down off your non committal box and give me an
answer. I just have to know because above all else I need to
protect my Freelanders.”

A huge cheer went up. “A last” Death said, “ we have a
commitment.”

Fate, obviously could say nothing, but we needed to talk this
through without any emotion. I apologised unconditionally to
the assembled company and that seemed to go down quite well.
I took the floor as chairman as I obviously needed them to tell
me everything they knew.
“Ok I will take the chair because you all know bits and we need
to get this into some kind of strategy to deal with whatever we
are dealing with. Before we go into specifics can any one of
you give me a short overview?”

Lucifer stood up. “Brad, as you can probably appreciate what
you have accomplished has not been always in my best
interests. So what I have to say you can take as the truth as I
have nothing to lose. Gerald has told me that HQ are planning
some grand scheme that requires Earth to remain stable. In
other words the status quo in Freeland must remain. You
present a threat to this. They are concerned that if you start
wandering about and talking to Freelanders they will be
convinced that it is the second coming of the Messiah. This
could cause unrest as it could create religious fragmentation
amongst the Freelanders. Don‟t ask me why they think this,
but the fact that they do gives us cause for concern for your
well being.”

“If I can interject,” spoke Fate, “It is not a question of
where, but when and how.”

“Fate”, boomed Death, “We do appreciate your need for
secrecy on forthcoming events, but we are a rather unusual
gathering and for once could you please refrain from speaking
in riddles and tell us what the fuck is going to happen!”

“There is no need to shout, and I can only talk in riddles. I do
not have your ability to be honest, as Fate is fickle. However
I can give you a what/if scenario if that would please you.”

“Nothing would please me more my dear. So just get on with
it.”
“Ok, now this may take a bit of time as I can only guess what
may happen.”

I intervened here. “What do you mean guess. Surely as Fate
you predetermine events. That‟s what you would have us
believe.”

“Well we all need a bit of job satisfaction don‟t we? The fact
is Fate is determined by a roll of the dice. I keep records of
every person and all the natural and unnatural occurrences
within the World. Every Friday night I grab a slack handful of
each and throw them into a drum. I whirl the drum round and
pick out twenty or so of these possible events. I then lay them
out on a big table and roll a dice over each one.

This is very difficult to explain without an input from Destiny
who has so far been ignored.”

“Destiny. who is he or she?”

“My silent partner. And she would wish to remain silent.
However I do feel that this meeting deserves her input. Do I
have your permission to call her?”

I could not believe we had missed anybody out, but if there
was such a person as Destiny she had to attend.

“Fate, we will adjourn to the bar whilst you call Destiny. I
trust it will not take too long?”

“No problem Brad, she will be here tomorrow. I‟ll text her and
see you in bar.”

I adjourned the meeting and we all retired.
A Round of Drinks

I bought the first round for probably the strangest collection
of beings I had ever had the misfortune to know. Imagine
sitting in a bar with Fate, Lucifer, Nature and Death and his
cronies, the Fearsome Foursome and then you are suddenly told
about Destiny. How come she had not emerged before?

My first comment was to congratulate Lucifer on his bar.

“Yeah, I do have to put on this tough guy, all heated show to
outsiders. But I like a cold beer as much as anybody, so I have
this private place where I can meet with friends, chew the fat
and get pissed without everyone banging on about evil, imps and
Death.”

“Leave me out of this Luc, I am really cool.”

“No offence De.”

“None taken.”

You could be forgiven for thinking I was taking this a little
calmly. I was, and in truth it was not a problem. These guys
had been with me or against me from the beginning. But the
one thing they had in common was sincerity. They were
convinced of their roles and showed no mercy. I could respect
that. In fact it was brutally honest in its conception, so unlike
the politically correct society I had left behind where every
action had to be dressed up in so many words that its objective
was totally lost. This was why I was so upset about Trevor,
the Australian, I was convinced we were real buddies. Never
mind.
Pestilence was in the middle of a story about the Gulf War
when I rejoined the table.

“Hey Pesty why are you talking about something that hasn‟t
happened yet?”

“It has happened Brad. Don‟t you understand that?”

“No I don‟t. Explain it.”

“It‟s quite simple. Whilst you were buggering about with time
the real world just moved on. What you moved back only
accounted for your tiny part of the world. That was real to
you but a parallel world continued to exist alongside your world.
A world that continued to move in real time. Your world is real
to you as our world is real to us. That is why we did not get too
worked up by what you were doing. I sense you have a problem
with this concept?”

“I do, strangely enough. Suddenly all I did to encourage
harmony and humanitarianism seems to have been totally
discounted. I populated a world, only now to find that the
parallel was bent on destruction.”

“Come on Brad, we are only having a few beers and chewing the
fat. Surely you cannot believe that you could come amongst
and change our nature?”

“I, foolishly , did believe that. Which is why I was so
overjoyed to be invited to the party. I thought you all wanted
the same thing?”

“We do, but there is a slight problem, and I have to admit
that it is monetary. I will be blunt. All of us have invested for
many years in the final salary pension scheme. We now find
that not only is that under the threat but also our tax free
bonus scheme. We are seriously considering industrial action
which may mess your plans up.”

“As far as I am aware I haven‟t got any plans. Certainly none
that would have any impact on your pension‟s and gratuities.”

War decided to poke his oar in. “What you cannot seem to
comprehend is the conundrum you have put us in. It‟s ok
running a parallel world to bump up the figures. But when it
comes to working out the final tax free adjustment to our
gratuity the parallel world only gives us a minute percentage of
our overall salary. I think we need Gerald to explain this in
plain English.”

Gerald stepped forward and began by opening his lap top in
preparation for a multi media, and long winded demonstration.
“Stop there Gerald and give it to me on a page.”

I read his dissertation, way too long, but cut through the crap
and found out exactly what they were after.

“As we in the middle of a pissup, can I react to this in the
morning?”

They all agreed and we spent the rest of the night discussing
football, cricket and rugby. Discussion would be the right
word, agreement did not enter into it. Anyway we had several
beers and a damn good night. I left and slept the sleep of the
pissed!
Chapter 15

Destiny

As promised Fate had persuaded Destiny to join us. “Hello
Brad, I know a lot about you.” Let me tell you that Destiny
was the most gorgeous creature on the planet. I fell instantly
in love with her and stood by with my right hand holding my
sword to protect her from all who would harm her. The
“Fearsome Foursome” made some fun of this at breakfast. But
they were on a hiding to nothing. Nature seemed a bit piqued
as did Fate. But they were the one‟s who had kept Destiny a
secret. I could see why.

I called the meeting to order.

“Ladies and gentlemen we have much to discuss so I would like
it if we kept personal matters out of this and approached the
real issues. Would Destiny be willing to answer some
questions?”

“That‟s why I am here. Please ask your questions quickly and
let me leave.”

I reluctantly released her.

“Destiny, we have a major problem here. We have a parallel
world plus a dispute about final salaries. Can you give us a clue
as to how we can overcome these problems.?”

“Brad do you want me to overlook the threat on your life. Or do
you want me to factor this in?”

“Just tell it how it will be. Let me cope with the problem.”
“Let me start by telling you that parallel worlds are not
uncommon. They have existed since the beginning of time.
However the general trend, until now, has been that one world
will cease to exist when it‟s twin gains superiority. Now that
can be in numbers, intellectual or scientific achievement, or
simply by being stronger.

I usually make this decision. So you, for once, are talking to
the right person. However in this case we have to factor in the
harm that you, as Hero-man, have done to the future wealth of
these upstanding citizens. It is an indisputable fact that the
World that Brad has created will, ultimately, benefit the
future of mankind. But we also have to consider the parallel
world visited by Lucifer and his ilk. And the amount of work
they have had to put in to make it the corrupt society it is
today.

We also have to factor in the threat to Brad‟s life from
Trevor. And how that may impact on the future of both
worlds. At this moment in time I am not convinced that I have
an answer that will satisfy all parties. What I propose is a
general discussion, which I will not be party to, and that I
return in 48 hours to hear your arguments. Any discussion.
Good I will see you in 48 hours.”

She left.

This was one women I fell out of love with instantly. Boy was
she cold. After she left you could have cut the atmosphere
with one of Death‟s scythes.

“Seems like it‟s you or me guys. I guess that‟s the end of my
journey.”

“Brad, it‟s Trevor, don‟t give up. Think Australian.”
Where that thought came from I had no idea. I looked at the
company I was keeping and realised I did not have a cat in hells
chance of winning. Except for the nagging thought in the back
of my mind. My original mission handed down to me oh so long
ago. “Brad, we need you to save the World.”

I could be devious here, that would get me nowhere, I could
be dishonest, same result. I could even try flattery and I
would achieve nothing. My only argument was honesty and my
strength truth. Go for it Brad, but think Australian.

“Can we reconvene?”

“Of course Brad.”

We all reformed and I looked at them all before I started.
This was the only chance I would get and I had to make it
convincing. I wasn‟t quite sure what think Australian meant.
But I had a gut feeling it was about winning, not losing. I had
to shake off the old thoughts about competing being enough.
In this case it wasn‟t. I had to win. My Freelanders and my
new world depended upon it. I drew a deep breath and readied
myself for battle that lay ahead. This had to be the best
speech of my life.



Conference

“Ok guys we are on totally different sides of the fence. I
know what you want and it is obviously not compatible with
what I want. Mine is a very simple objective. I want Freeland
to continue to grow and deliver it‟s message of hope. Most of
you here wish to destroy it because of your hostile objectives
and your obsession with retirement and an index linked pension.
I know I cannot change your culture. But for once just listen
to another perspective.

The people in HQ who originally employed me on this project
have a motive that transcends this little world of ours . We
are inconsequential in their grand scheme. But what is their
grand scheme? I think I have your interest there Luc! Let us
assume, for a moment, that the current state of the world is
of little interest to anyone but this tiny group. Let me suggest
a scenario.”

“I‟m all ears” said Lucifer.

“Me too” said Death, “But it had better be good.”

“I am going to make a few points here so just bear with me.

     Bin the parallel world and let Freeland grow.
     Resist any temptation to corrupt it
     For the moment forget about monetary awards
     Infiltrate and discover what HQ is up to
     Capitalise on their nefarious adventures

I know it‟s a gamble for you guys. But what have you got to
lose? Freeland will exist and will prosper. But here is an
opportunity to screw up the plans of HQ.

If we work together we can do this. But please let Freeland
prosper. I do not ask much in my life but this is so important
to me. So important that if pushed I will fight with every
weapon available to me. And I really mean that. What do you
say.”

Lucifer spoke first.” Brad I agree with you to a certain extent.
But you are offering me a promise of perverting souls in a place
we do not know even exists. Freeland is fair game. It is there
and therefore it is corruptible. Just supposing HQ has no real
plans and it is just “smoke and mirrors” , where would I be
then? An unemployed, unemployable Devil with an axe to grind.
My CV would go straight in the bin, especially when they
looked at my age. I mean retirement age is 70 and I am over
2000. I just don‟t see how it would work.”

Death spoke up - “Brad I am a gambler and agree with you
wholeheartedly. Freeland is producing reasonable figures but
not brilliant ones. I am looking at the wider picture and I am
prepared to take a chance on what future HQ is looking into.
Come on Lucifer give the lad a chance and gamble on the
future. We have been sitting in the comfort zone for far to
long. Lets go for it”

Gerald decided to voice his opinion. “If you look at this from
an audit point of view you are on a hiding to nothing. If you
continue as you are your deceit will eventually come to light.
Somebody like me will discover that you are a claiming two
souls for the price of one. Whatever your rationale for running
parallel worlds the guidelines state that regardless of the
fact that an individual resides simultaneously in two worlds he
only has one soul.

So, in the unlikely event that you claim a soul from Freeland,
and then you go on and claim the same soul from the parallel
world you are double accounting. If you reverse the process
you are in even more danger of breaking the rules. Lets just
suppose that John Nightingale is ready for corruption in the
parallel world. Ok you legitimately corrupt his soul. John
Nightingale in Freeland, his alter ego, is a Sharman with years
of respectability behind him. There is no way you could
corrupt him, yet according to your record books you achieved
this very object because there can only be one soul for John
and that is registered at his conception.

It will not work Lucifer. Because parallel births are always
registered after the fact. And parallel worlds will always
mirror the real world, in this case Freeland. As, by your own
admission, you find Freelanders incorruptible it stands to
reason that you cannot possibly corrupt them in a parallel
world. I am not suggesting you would not get away with it for a
while. But eventually the auditors would catch you out. And
then you would unceremoniously dumped without a salary let
alone a badly invested final salary pension. Think about it.”

“My imps do not normally have the temerity to speak to me like
that!”

“Very few of your imps have my accountancy management
qualifications.”

“Ok, point taken. What concerns me is the immediate future.
If we go along with Brad‟s plan my whole department is totally
redundant. I see no point whatsoever in sending imps out to
Freeland to try and corrupt the incorruptible. What then do I
do? And how do I do it?”

“It‟s no big deal”, said Fate. “Take a chance on the future.
Let me present a scenario, obviously speculative. Just suppose
HQ had their eye on inter galactic control and on their way to
reaching that goal they colonised a planet, red coloured and
not too far away. They would have to leave a considerable
force on this planet, who would be in charge of an awesome
project they had never before witnessed. They would be wide
open to corruption, would they not? And what about the
citizens of that planet? They could number millions and they
would all want a piece of the action. I would consider that a
fertile hunting ground for you and your imps!”

“Is this true Fate?”

“Of course not, how could I predict such a thing? But if you
think about it could be a possibility. “

“Against my better judgement I will go along with you,
provided I get unfettered access to the souls in wherever.”

Death was already on board, and Nature was flying round the
room in circles of delight. “At last”, she exclaimed, “All that I
have planted will have the chance to mature without being
destroyed by greedy humans hell bent on destruction.”

“Very blave move Brad San, but praying into opposition hands.”

“Where were you when I needed you and how come you
reverted to ancient chinee warrior?”

“Sorry, I sometimes get confused. Do you realise you are
fermenting a revolution here with some of the toughest people
in history?”

“I certainly do. I am done with HQ as they have fucked me
about from the beginning. From now on it is Brad and his
rather strange collection of pals versus the might of HQ.”

“Count me on your side. I have given those bastards the best
years of my life and they recently suggested my post be down
graded from mentor to employees friend. I mean we are
talking a huge loss in status here. Imagine going into a strange
pub and somebody asks what you do. I can swell my chest out
and say I am a mentor. The same could not be said of
employees friend. It‟s all down to PC crap again. Mentor has
an undertone of superiority to it, whilst friend indicates a
level of social equality.

I mean Brad, with the best will in the world if you were my
equal I could not be your mentor could I?”

“It‟s a good question, but I think you are probably right. Now
you have to be quiet in here. We are shortly going to be having
a serious meeting with Destiny and I don‟t want your presence
known. You can be the ace up my sleeve if it all goes wrong.
Are you happy with that?”

“Of course my friend. Just a little joke.”

“Brad, who the hell are you talking to?”

“Sorry Death, just day dreaming. Right I am really tired so do
we have anything else to discuss before we meet with
Destiny?” Not a murmur. They must all be tired as well.
“Thank you guys for supporting me on this, I am sure it will be
in your best interests.”

And we all went to bed.

I had a good nights rest and before destiny came I thought I
would have a long fly around Freeland. Not to observe but
purely for the pleasure of flying in pollution free atmosphere
and watch the beauty of a chemically, and militarily ordnance
rearranged free landscape.

As usual it took my breath away. I suppose it would at that
height, so I came down closer. That was better. I looped,
rolled and observed. Nature at it‟s finest. I swooped down to
the sea and frolicked with the dolphins, mimicking their
language. I am sure they knew who I was. Possibly their Lord
but in no way their master. Sometimes Lucifer sent a silent
imp and I take no pleasure in reporting that I wound up a herd
of Giraffes by ripping up every tree just before they got to
them. Don‟t panic I put them back and apologised!

I passed high over populated areas as I did not want to start a
whole series of UFO stories in the local tabloids. I was also
very reluctant to spark off a religious cult claiming to be born
again because they had seen the new messiah whilst they were
having a quiet shag in the Freeland countryside. No
controversy was my objective.

Eventually I had to go back to the hell hole where I was
staying. But I had had a good fly and felt totally relaxed.

I joined the guys in the bar for a nightcap and we chewed the
fat until it was time to go to bed. There was only one strange
occurrence. Gerald, who had somehow become accepted as a
paid up member of the strangest group you will ever see, took
me to one side.

“You have to be careful here as Trevor is still stalking you on
behalf of HQ.”

“Gerald do you seriously believe that Trevor would be so
foolish as to follow me here. Not only do we have Lucifer, we
have the Fearsome Foursome plus Nature, Fate, and tomorrow
Destiny. He would not last a second.”

“I am not talking about now. But in the future. He will not give
up.”

”I will be Ok Gerald. I have an unseen mentor and any amount
of imps around me from morning till night. Trevor does not
concern me ok.”

“Just thought I‟d warn you.”

I finished my drink and went to bed. And slept the sleep of
the righteous. Things were moving in my favour at last.

We all breakfasted and waited Destiny‟s return. I had a little
laugh watching Lucifer trying to get some information from
Fate. “I can only give you a question, you must supply the
answer”, was a little too much for his limited intellect.

“ I read that thought Brad, just be a little careful would you.
You would not wish to offend me in my own home would you?”

I thought an apology. Thank you he thought back. Hang on I
cannot read thoughts, or can I. I will keep this up my sleeve.
If I possibly can. I will not even try and explain the convoluted
process my mind was conjuring up. You would not want to know.

Destiny arrived on time, and after coffee and a few
pleasantries we settled down to business. Without any fuss
Destiny chaired the meeting. When you are sat with the
awesome creatures I was sat with you do not get a strop on
because you have been pushed out of the chairing seat. Believe
me it is just not worth the fuss. I mean who cares!

“Ladies and Gentlemen have you come to an understanding?”

For once I kept my big mouth shut.

“Yes,” said Lucifer, “We have agreed to leave Freeland as the
De Facto New World.”
“So you are quite happy with my obliterating the parallel
world?”

“Yes, no real problems.”

“Consider it done. Any other questions?”

This women would be a disaster at a cocktail party. “Ah my
Lord may I introduce you to Destiny.” “Hello and what do you
do?”

“Not a lot, I am a Lord you know.”

“Not good enough. Next!”

I cannot imagine the most corrupt government being able to
spin that one!

Back to reality, well sort of.

Lucifer wanted to know what the future held for him.

“That it is impertinent, you know I can‟t tell you. Fate is my
underling and she plans it all, I only intervene when I think it
may affect me and my preserved pension rights.”

I leapt in here. “Destiny please do not go there. The last thing
these guys want to know about is your golden handcuffs deal
with HQ. They are currently our enemy.”

”Who told you I had a golden handcuffs deal with HQ? Do you
think they are the only hierarchy around? You really need to
do some research Brad. Have a look at
www.globalentities.galaxy. You may be quite surprised.
Anyway enough of this trivia I have far better things to do
with my day. Fate will stay with you until you have ironed out
your trivial problems. I am off.”

And she left without so much as a by your leave. There really
are some rude people around in this demi-god structure.

Lucifer sat quietly in a corner but I could see that he was
fuming. I suppose the fact that he was very red and steam was
coming out of all his pores was a bit of a giveaway. This was his
kingdom and that we had treated it like a home from home did
not help. But I think that destiny had really wound him up.

I went to the bar. Once again I knew when to keep my mouth
shut.

He put his arm around me and ordered us both a drink. “Sit
down Brad and talk with me. Will you please tell me what the
fuck is going on? You seem to be the man with all the answers.
Since your arrival my world has been turned on it‟s head. I am
basically a nasty bastard, Hell that‟s what I am supposed to
be. But you are really making me question my conscience and I
don‟t like that.

My imps used to be horrifying, scary creatures, who would
grace the most tactless horror movie. Now they are
respectable characters like Gerald. Before you I never had a
Gerald. Does this mean something? I look at your Freelanders
and I see nothing. Nothing to attack, nothing to persuade.
They are so good as to be sanctimonious. What are you doing
to me Brad?”

“Luc I did not intend any of this. I am controlled by a higher
being. Whom I do not know. And it really bothers me. I would
like us to sort this out, but we can only do it as allies. I
appreciate the fact that you are feeling pretty pissed off. But
so am I angry. We need to teach these bastards in HQ a
lesson in how to manage their troops.”

“And what would you suggest we do? They would blow the
Fearsome Foursome out of the sky long before they reached
their drop zone. They have you and I taped. And destiny sits
behind them controlling the whole game plan. What would you
suggest my peaceful friend?”

“Wind them up.”

“Wind them up? Are you seriously pissed? Wind up what
appears to be the supreme intelligence on Earth.?”

“Why not, what do we have to lose?”

Wind up

We were all sat round Luc‟s enormous breakfast table. It
would have graced a five star hotel anywhere in the world.
Chafing dishes held the usual range of eggs, bacon, mushrooms
and devilled kidneys, a little joke! Imps in bow ties floated
around, speaking gibberish, and replenishing coffee or tea as
required.

“So the great Brad Johnson has a plan to wind up HQ has he?”

“Less of the Great guys. I am a really humble person.”

“Come on Brad, cut the crap and lets hear this grand plan of
yours.”

“Ok. First of all we have to assume that only Freeland exists in
the world we know of. Provided it remains stable HQ can begin
their major operation. Secondly we have it on good authority
that Trevor is actively seeking my demise. Quite why if
Freeland is stable escapes me.”

“It‟s obvious Brad,” said Fate, “Whilst you still exist you could,
at any time, take it into your head to go of and start a born
again group. They will not take this chance. With you out of
the way and Lucifer neutralised by the wholesomeness of the
Freelanders they will feel free to proceed with whatever it is
they are doing.”

“Ok that makes sense. Let me suggest something that may
make them very pissed off. Just suppose we were the ones
who greeted them when they arrived on their new planet!”

“That‟s just ridiculous. Said Lucifer. “Not only do we not know
where they are going, or when they are going but between us
we do not have the slightest clue about space travel. “

“Oh yes we do!”

“Come on, Brad,” said Death, “What are you talking about?”

“Ask Fate, she‟ll explain.”

“That‟s just not fair Brad Johnson. You are the most
despicable human being I have ever had to deal with it. And
that makes you really despicable.”

“Come on Fate, cut out the childish petulance and tell us the
real story.”

“I simply can‟t. It would go against everything I have believed
in since I was a tiny star. I just cannot divulge what will
happen next.”
“Oh yes you can”, said Death menacingly.

As one the Fearsome Foursome stood and glared at her.

“Ok, ok I surrender. But I will never forgive you for this Brad,
believe me. I need a drink.”

I know it‟s early in the morning but for what Fate was about to
reveal deserved a post breakfast martini.

“HQ is manned in the main by outsiders. They are not of this
planet and do not have the physiological constraints we, to a
greater or lesser degree have. I know all of us, including Brad,
are free to roam just about where we will, within the Earths
circuit. These guys are way beyond that in that they do not
posses a physical body at all. They are simply minds. They can
go where they like, when they like.

This was what so confused Brad when they first inducted him.
Physical presence such as rooms and objects were just made to
appear. He realised this only recently and he and I were
discussing it last night in his bedroom. Which is why he is a
despicable human being. But he is right. We must work
together for the common good. What there ultimate objective
is I cannot honestly say I haven‟t got a clue. But what Brad is
alluding to is the fact that I know how to achieve this state of
physical nothingness.”

“Physical nothingness?” spluttered Death. “My whole persona is
built around visual stimulation. I scare the shit out of people
because of what I look like to them. You think Michael
Jackson went through pain. It was nothing, my visual spin
doctors and my agents have spent centuries making me the
most horrible and frightening creature on the planet.
Thousands of operations have made me what I am today and
now you have the temerity to suggest that I achieve physical
nothingness. How would I scare people by floating up to them,
unseen, and shouting BOO in there ears, it‟s plainly ridiculous.”

“Just listen.” said Lucifer.

“It‟s easy for you to speak. You have never needed image
consultants. Pointy red face, sticky up ears and a permanent
frown. Red cloak and a scimitar, bit of smoke in the
background and away you go. Its been the same boring image
for ever. I, on the other hand have to constantly keep up with
Death‟s image as portrayed by Hollywood Directors. It is just
not fair.”

“Oh shut up you self pitying bastard and let Fate carry on.”

I instantly regretted that statement. How dare I tell Death to
shut up. What an arsehole. He gave me a knowing look but did
sit down. Phew.

“If you childish men have finished venting your testosterone
driven anger I will continue.” There was a respectful hush. “To
defeat HQ you have to assume their guise. In other words you
have to become minds and divest yourselves of bodies. I can
help you do this but you have to be convinced it is the right
way.

I think Nature and I will have a wander through Freeland, it is
beautiful, while you boys deliberate. We will be back soon.
Bye.”

They flew away without a backward glance. Leaving me totally
in the shit. Thanks girls?
We just stared at each other totally bemused by what we had
heard and learnt. I secretly thought that becoming a mind
would not be a bad idea. I mean the amount of times I had
experienced pain through hurting my body was beyond belief.
If I did not have this great clumsy thing hanging around me all
to the good. I wasn‟t sure about the others although I did
take Deaths point about image consultants.

Lucifer spoke first. “I am not convinced. However if Brad is a
mind then it will be really difficult to assassinate him. And
surely that was the premise we all started from? To me it
begun with Gerald and is a natural conclusion. If my imps look
like auditors there is not the real fear factor. So I, actually
have got nothing to lose. It‟s down to the remainder of the
Fearsome Foursome.”

Pesty couldn‟t care less because nobody saw him coming
anyway. Famine was equally unphased. He was with Pesty in
that his ills took time and unseen was good. War said he didn‟t
give a shit as he could cause trouble wherever he was and
however he looked. Death was proving to be an „enfant
terrible‟. I was not convinced he would come on board.

I decided to go for a walk while they thrashed it out. I could
offer no suggestion here that would be of any use. To be
honest I also wanted to work out for myself what not being
able to go for a walk actually meant. It was not going to be
easy.

“Actually it will be harder for you than for them. They are not
used to going out for morning walks by the seaside. Can you
imagine the outcry in Brighton on a Sunday morning if the
Fearsome Foursome decided to take a stroll down the
promenade? Once you decide Brad, you can never go back. No
body, only a mind. How do you feel about that?”
“Intensely worried. What about flying round Freeland which I
dearly love. Will I able to do that?”

“Of course you will. As a mind you can go where you want when
you want. This is offset by the fact that you can never smoke
a cigarette or drink a beer again, or enjoy the delights of a
fish and chip supper.”

“I should be really healthy then!”

“Of course, no imbibing, no danger to health.”

“Will I never get hungry or thirsty?”

“No body equals no needs. It‟s a very simple transformation.”

My mentor, what a character. Thinking about that I realised I
had never seen him. He was a mind! Boy was I going to learn a
lot.

I made my mind up and flew back to Lucifer‟s den. For the last
time in this particular episode in my life I really pissed off the
imps behind the bar as I sunk twenty pints, smoked a 100
cigarettes and finished off all their whisky. Tomorrow I would
become a mind. Up yours Trevor.
Chapter 16

Mind Day

Breakfast was a little subdued. This morning was decision
morning. I was not surprised to find that breakfast was a full
English with copious glasses of champagne. We would all miss
this. War had been first in and was well on the way to being
totally pissed. It seemed he was going to enjoy his last body
day. We waved our bodies goodbye in the gents toilet and
waited for Fate.

She was felt, not seen. “To show good faith in Fate I am
already a mind.”

I instantly regretted this change in circumstance. How could
such a glorious body vanish? But vanish it had.

“Ok guys, this is not going to be difficult. All you have to do is
step forward one by one into the empty space I have allowed
for you. Lucifer can you go first?”

“No problem Fate. Here I go.”

Lucifer walked forward into the space Fate had created and
instantly vanished. “Hey Guys, this is truly great. Please come
and join me.”

They all went through and I joined at the end, only to find
that Death had run off. I could sympathise with him. But it
worried me that we had Death as a lone rebel. Was he on our
side, or would he find a just cause to impose his culture on? I
must stop worrying, after all Death, on his own, is purely a
reactive archivist. He needs his other three buddies to
become pro-active. No cause for concern. However as I
stepped into the space Nature had made for me a little niggle
came with me.

Isn‟t it just typical that the minute you decide to cast your
earthly body away is the minute you need a pee. And are dying
for a pint, a fag and a shag all at the same time.

My mentor appeared in my mind, which is now all of me. “Now
you have reached higher level can speak oriental without you
taking the piss. You have indeed made the first step on a
journey, in the first day of the rest of your life. Much will
happen to you in the future but first you must learn to live
with new life you have created for yourself. It will be hard but
gratifying. It will be arduous but self fulfilment will come. It
will be.........”Fuck off.”

He did for which I will be eternally grateful. At this moment
in time I felt horrendous. I really missed my body. I wanted
to walk, run and keep wicket for England. Alec Stewart must
have finished by now! I desperately wanted a few pints down
the pub followed by fish and chips, or if I was upmarket curry
and chips. And then throw up in the taxi on the way home. I
could not do any of this - I was a mind! A floating, unseen
amorphous being, probably a hermaphrodite as well. Why did I
agree to this perjury. I am going to sue somebody. However
bad I feel I cannot even commit suicide. I am only a mind I
have nothing physical to point a weapon at and say goodbye. I
was desperate.

Nature came to my rescue. “Brad, it‟s not that big a problem.
You are all having the same reaction. If you think your upset
imagine how Lucifer feels. His horrendous physical shape has
been around on the global press since forever. Calm down. We
are going to have a bonding session later on, with a “newly
become minds” counsellor. You will be there.”
Well we all met wherever, at whatever time, as that had
become meaningless. “Hi guys, I cannot see you but I know you
are there. Isn‟t that strange.”

“It‟s the same for us”, thought Luc, “at least we are together.”

“Good evening everybody. My name is Richard. I am an
independent new minds counsellor. I have a wealth of
experience, know exactly what you are going through, and am
here to help and advise you.”

“Ok Richard”, said Pesty, “How many earthbound bodies that
have become minds have you advised lately?”

“Uuuuuuugh, not that many actually.”

“Not that many? How many does not that many actually mean?”

“Well in truth, none. But I have done a lot of extensive
background reading and I do have a Masters Degree in the
transition process.”

“Ah, so we have some practical experience backed up by some
extensive theoretical knowledge?”

I had never considered Pesty the most erudite of our strange
band, but he was certainly giving Richard the once over.

“Don‟t be confused by outward appearances Brad. I have been
around a long time and as well as three Masters degrees I have
several Doctorates. Not limited to contagious diseases I
hasten to add. More of this later.”
Richard was starting to sweat now, figuratively speaking you
understand. “In fact I do not have any practical experience. I
have always been a mind.”

“And the next thing you are going to tell me is that your
Masters Degree was accomplished through distance learning
via the OU?”

“Not exactly. It is the IOCLN.”

“The what?”

“The Intergalactic Open College Learning Network. It is highly
thought of in this Galaxy.”

“Am I correct in assuming your admission requirements were
maturity and money?”

“It wasn‟t quite that simple. I did need a degree of literacy.”

”Not a Degree in literacy?”

“Not quite. Look I think I have probably been wrongly assigned
here. Why don‟t I just go away and talk to my superiors. It‟s
quite clear I will be of no use to you.”

“It‟s abundantly clear Richard. We need the head honcho
here and we need him promptly. Am I making myself clear?”

“Yes. I‟ll just be off then. Bye.”

We all gave Pesty a round of applause, silently of course. We
had no hands, I‟m sure you get the message. A thought just
crossed my mind that if we ever get this shambolic group
together to threaten HQ it will not be through “hands on
management”. Just a light aside.

“Pesty I have to take my hat off to you. You certainly sorted
him out.”

“Brad, you are so patronising at times it makes we want to give
you everything from the plague to HIV. Who do you think sent
down the aforementioned plague of management consultants?
I can‟t just deal in common diseases I have to keep up to date
and be appropriate. And if the requirement is for a plague of
Customs and Excise Officers then so be it. I have to match
the problem with a suitable solution. You just need to access
my web site to realise how up to date I am. You name a virus I
can either replicate it or destroy it. Stop thinking biblical.
Those times are long gone.”

What was amazing to me was the communication I was suddenly
experiencing. I had not exchanged two words with Pesty when
we were earthly bodies and suddenly he was telling me all about
himself and his occupation. I was beginning to wind down. This
was the equivalent of a few beers round the bar without the
masochistic bullshit normally required by males flexing their
muscles.. I couldn‟t wait to see who would speak next. To my
surprise it was War.

“I have got to join in with Pesty here as I think you all probably
think the same of me. I am similarly endowed academically. I
have Doctorates in several disciplines. Indeed Szun Tsui was
one of my students when he was a mere boy. So please do not
think that I am lacking in depth. Like Pesty I have had to keep
up with the advances of the war machine. Unlike him, he was
always pre ordained to bring mass destruction, I am saddened
by modern warfare. War should be fought between warriors,
and civilians should be left alone. The finest battlefields are
on the ocean or in peninsula‟s accessible only by warriors.

I have serious doubts about modern intelligent pre-
programmed missiles that can turn left at traffic lights.
These weapons, with their massive destructive tonnage, can
only bring about indiscriminate death. They also take the
strategy out of war. Bomb the shit out of a country with
technological superiority and of course you will win. But what
does it prove? The evil bastards remain in power while the
people suffer even more.”

My the Fearsome Foursome were having their say tonight. Talk
about philosophy, whatever next. Famine of course.

“I actually don‟t have a job. The humans are doing it for me.
Their insistence on using defoliants as a weapon for one. The
way they have allowed arable farming land to become unarable.
Their destruction of the rain forests, and finally their
treatment of their own people in continents such as Africa.
They have manufactured starvation strategies that I would be
incapable of devising. I could not wait for retirement. Yet I
sense that here in this mind state we have a chance to prevent
further damage and stop future damage to other planets. My
only concern is that I could have a created a genuine famine in
Freeland, but have been prevented from doing so. I do not
wish to appear as one of the guys wearing white hats.

However I seem to have little choice here and will follow the
wishes of the others.”

Just put yourself in my place. No you can‟t can you. Oh well
that‟s not my problem. I was now feeling much better about
the loss of my body and wanted to get on with the mission. I
felt we had had enough soul searching tonight.
“Just a minute Brad.” They all yelled in my brain
simultaneously. “Where do you think you are going?”

“Come on guys you know my views. I am the ultimate pacifist.
I want Freeland to remain as it is, at one with nature. It‟s
that simple.”

“Ok”, said Nature, “Everybody has had a frank and honest
discussion lets disperse for a while.”

We were presented with an interesting scenario. Couldn‟t go
to the bar, or go for a walk or fuck. What do you do as a mind
to rest? I hadn‟t got a clue. The fact that I kept bumping into
minds all night told me I was not alone. What a night/day
mare. We were a bunch of freaks. But we had a job to do and
it was best if we stopped the self pitying and got on with it. I
decided to take control.

I sent out a thought requesting a meeting. We all appeared at
the same time, who needs bodies?

“Right guys we have a job to do and it is time we got on with it.
Lets work out a strategy and delegate responsibility. Any
problems?”

“Ok if I come on board?”

“Death, you are very welcome but how did you get here?”

“Nature left a vacuum for me. I walked around for a few days
after you all left and realised I was the only one left. So I
thought what the heck I would join you. It sure is weird. Is
their any counselling about this?”
The collective chuckling left Death in no doubt about
counselling. He knew he was on his own.

“Ok guys give me some time and I will join you. Is that Ok?

“You may as well stay we are only beginning to discuss
strategy.”

“Don‟t ask for any input.”

“Not a problem.”

I was so relieved that Death had come on board. Can you just
imagine devising a strategy when that wild card is out there,
unfettered and totally free from the rest of us. It did not
bear thinking about.

“Come on guys lets sort this out. We need a three phase plan:

Phase One: Infiltration and discovery.

Phase two: Arrest and trial

Phase three: Incarceration

Any objections?”

“Only to phase two and three. I agree with phase one and then
we should proceed directly to elimination.”

“Why?”

“If these bastards are planning an intergalactic take over they
do not deserve jail. They should just be eliminated. Then we
can get on with our jobs. It just makes so much sense.”
I sat there through a long and tiresome afternoon. But there
was a common thrust that no mercy should be spared. The
leaders needed to be identified and then taken out. These
were some hard guys. In the end I agreed with their
sentiments. I suppose there was little point in sitting round a
table thrashing out points when the overall purpose had been
agreed.

I just had one little question.

“Can you tell me what these people have done wrong?”

“Nothing at the moment.”
Chapter 17

Nothing at the moment

I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable with this. Back
in the bad old days countries would be bombed and people
taken out because one strong world leader disagreed with the
policies of another, not so strong, country leader. I always
felt that the inherent fault in this philosophy was the
determination of guilt. Ok we do not need a repeat of
September the 11th to remind us that there are callous,
inhumane bastards in the world. None more so than religious
fanatics. However we seem to be headed on similar venture.
We must trust in the nature of law , presume innocence and
prove guilt. We would be affecting a very serious legal
situation by instigating a crime.

“Brad, stop thinking yourself into an early grave. You cannot
solve everyone‟s problems by yourself. Just go with the flow,
come with us and everything will be OK. Trust me.”

For once Nature seemed to be on the right track. I will just go
with the flow. To hell with my conscience.

We were all sort of hovering, looking for some space I suppose
when this great gust of wind appeared. Grab it quick, the
thought just went through my brain. And I grabbed it. I wish
I fucking hadn‟t.

I was spun around and upwards at speeds exceeding those
achieved on the M25 at 3am on a Sunday morning by boy racers
and traffic policeman finally putting their advanced driving
skills together, and giving chase with a vengeance.
This passage seemed to last forever. Spinning ever upwards at
an increasing speed. I was so glad I was a mind. Imagine
cleaning a body, let alone a suit, up after this journey. We
kept going, faster and faster, spinning ever more. I
remember crying out in total pain, “stop, please stop”. But the
force was a lot stronger than we. On we continued, I mean I
bumped into an asteroid and it really hurt. How can I hurt, I
am a mind, minds do not hurt!!

“They do in this plane.”

If I had any feet I would stamp them up and down and tell
everybody in the world that I was not playing this game any
longer. Ya, Boo, Sucks, I am finished. The pressure and the
pain was unbelievable and unrelenting. Still we continued and
the more we continued the worse it got. Eventually we were
dragged by a tornado down to a solid surface. Shit it was hot,
I leapt straight back up, only to be pushed back down again.

“What is going on here?” I shouted out. “I am in agony!”

“You only think you are Brad. You are not really feeling the
heat, you are just remembering how you would have felt as a
body.”

“I‟m sorry but that is total bollocks. I am on fire here.
Everything is in agony!”

“But you haven‟t got everything. You are only a mind.”

“Well fuck you arsehole but perhaps the transition course
missed a phase out, the fact is that I am in serious pain here
and I need some help!”
“Brad, it‟s Ok. Lucifer is just taking the piss. He is just
transmitting his heat to you. In fact this place is really quite
cool, and everyone says Hi. Just calm down Brad, and think
about it. You are a mind and cannot feel.”

I am a mind I cannot feel. I repeated this mantra to myself
for several minutes. Strangely enough it did not make the pain
go away. “Everybody here is talking shit,” I cried. “This is real
pain and I need some help.”

Natures great green long tentacles wrapped themselves around
me and I went to sleep, blissful, wonderful sleep. At the time
I did not question how Natures tentacles had miraculously
reappeared.

I awoke feeling warm, but not in pain. I felt I was not alone.
“Hey Guys where are we?”

“Welcome back Brad, we thought we had lost you. You‟ve been
out cold for a long time. Anyway here you are, here we are and
where we are is anybody‟s guess. That was some twisting wind.
Even Nature does not have that power.

Anyway we have been wandering around kind of rudderless so
we are very glad to see you arise from your deep sleep. What
are we supposed to do?”

“How would I know. I don‟t even know were I am, let alone
devise a strategy!”

“You are where you wanted to be Brad. Ahead of HQ on the
first planet they intend to take over. Now you need to work
out a way to stop them. It‟s that simple.”
“Oh is it? You may think I am a leader but don‟t forget your
collective history. Mine pales by comparison. “

“Your history might but your ability to think laterally and
bizarrely puts you streets ahead of us. Don‟t forget our
history also condemns us to mediocrity. We are programmed in
such a way as to always do the same safe thing. You, on the
other hand, are given to boldness of thought that we don‟t even
dream about. So be bold Brad and lead us into a bright new
future.”

I thought that was pretty rich coming from Death. But there
you go adversity does make strange bedfellows. “Ok guys the
first thing we need to do is take a good look at this planet and
assess the culture, or cultures.”

“Already done Brad” said Pesty. “It‟s a pretty mixed bag and
one Luc would dearly love to be let loose on.”

Thinking out of the box I said “Well what‟s stopping him?”

“You, of course. We haven‟t discussed a strategy so who
wouldn‟t dream of going his own way without a consensus of
opinion. And he particularly respects yours.”

“Luc, go buy some souls.”

“Yassuh, Master, Boss I am on my way. Whatever my master
say I am willing to do. Thank you oh great Lord I am off to do
your will.”

“What was all that about, and why is using so many similar
phrases?”
“It‟s just his way of saying thank you” said War. “Is all those
old TV sitcoms he used to watch.”

“That is the most rubbish I have heard in my life. There is no
way in this galaxy that Lucifer can feel beholden to me. Come
on what‟s the real explanation?”

“Well truth is Brad that while you were asleep none of us came
up with a pro-active solution to anything. Within 5 minutes of
awakening you‟ve got Luc on a quest. It really is a gift you‟ve
got, and that‟s the truth of it. We look to you as a leader. Its
your cross and our burden.”

I had to accept the fact that I was unwittingly in charge of
the most unwholesome group of characters you could ever wish
to meet. “Hey Mr Smartarse do not class myself, nature and
destiny in with the band of evil.”

“Sorry Fate, I was thinking out loud.”

“And sorry you should be! Anyway what are we supposed to do
on this godless planet?”

“Prepare the way for the HQ arrival. You must know when it is
going to happen, don‟t you?”

“Not a clue Brad. We are way outside our spheres of influence.
We cannot even guarantee that tomorrow will come let alone
forecast HQ‟s movements.”

“Ok lets be practical. Nature I want you to find out all you can
about the geography and topography of this planet. Fate just
wander about and see what you can pick up. Destiny do the
same. But also look at the equivalent of the human element.
Somehow we have to find out what HQ is so interested in.
There has to be something here and we need to find it.

War go stir it up, do what you do best. Pesty and Fam just
take it easy, I don‟t see a need for you guys yet. In fact I
don‟t see a need for you guys ever. You really freak me out.”

Nice one Brad, split the team and then insult the two most
potent beings by leaving them out and not foreseeing a future
role for them. Excellent management technique.

“So sorry Pestilence and Disease but your CV’s just don’t
stack up with the type of person we are currently
recruiting. I’m afraid we are going to have to let you go.
Nothing personal you understand and you will receive a
handsome redundancy fee, an index linked pension and a
villa in the South of Spain. We can’t be more generous
than that can we?”

“No problem guv, shame about the plague, can’t be helped
when I get shafted.”

“Same for me, no food or water, oh dear, how sad never
mind.”

But what could I do with these guys, they are a walking arsenal
of Death. Think Brad, think. We are a team and every
member has to contribute. I had a brilliant idea. One that will,
no doubt have occurred to you all earlier.

“Ok guys you need jobs. Pesty check out all the communicable
diseases on this planet and Famine check out all the types of
food they eat. We will have a general meeting in what”, I
didn‟t know time anymore. “Help?”
“We will know.” They all chorused and off they went. Or I
thought that‟s what they did because I was buffeted by loads
of wind. Of course I couldn‟t see them. I lay back for a time
and reflected on my theoretical management studies. For the
life of me I could not recall a case study that put me in charge
of this bunch, on a foreign planet as a mind controlling minds.
I gave up and went to sleep.

It was wonderful - the whole team were out on quests and I
had the space to myself. Which gave me a lot of time for
thinking. I had sent these guys out on various missions and I
was languidly enjoying myself in our own version of HQ. It
wasn‟t good enough I must go out and join them. Not a major
problem I will just fly around and try and see the bigger
picture that makes this planet tick. Somebody has to see the
bigger picture!

I was amazed, a more ugly, backsliding people you could not
wish to meet. They were the pits. Crime wasn‟t rampant - it
was the norm. There was no law and order in any shape or
form. Nothing they did fitted in with any type of society I had
ever come across. To put it bluntly they were lower than the
lowest food chain on the planet we had recently left. I feared
Luc and De would have slim pickings in this godforsaken place.
But I was also about to find out why HQ were so interested in
this, the pit of the universe.
Meeting of minds

We all gathered somewhere at a time we all seemed to know.
“hey guys welcome back. I trust we all had a productive day?”

Luc appeared to be very pissed off by the waves that were
coming from him. “I have never witnessed such debauchery. I
didn‟t have a chance of corrupting any one, it‟s impossible they
are beyond my reach. I want to go home.”

Death was equally despondent. “They don‟t care about me. Its
just a normal reaction. Death is an everyday part of their
lives. They have no religion, no beliefs, they just die when
they do and that‟s it. It‟s very sad from my point of view.”

Pesty and Dis were similarly distressed. “They have no disease
they usually die prematurely by being killed. And as for Famine
they do not eat, at all. We are with Luc we want to go home.”

Even War was angry. “I can do know more than they do
themselves, they are permanently at war. It‟s a complete
waste of time for me.”

I have always been in touch with my feminine side, more so as
I have grown older and lost the ability to pull birds. Lovely
70‟s phrase. However I did believe that between them,
Nature, Fate and Destiny would come up with something more
positive.

Fate and Destiny reported in the same negative mode as Luc
and the Fearsome Foursome. “They are beyond redemption.
We can do or foresee nothing.”

Very short and straight to the point. I begged Nature to have
something positive to add. Did she ever. She had discovered
why HQ was interested in this place. And what she had
discovered was amazing. But she had heard all our negative
reports and she was not going to miss a minute of standing in
the spotlight. Oh who can blame her?

“Bad day guys? How sad. I on the other hand have had a
tremendous day. Lay back and I will tell you all about it.”

Nature can be a wordy pain in the arse so I will spare you most
of her speech. But I will let you hear the amazing bit that
shocked us all.

“So I just sort of sauntered around these ancient monuments
and suddenly I got sucked in to this dark and soulless place.
Aargh it was cold, colder than I could ever imagine. I wish I‟d
had Brad‟s, just sailed around the world, casually walking
round Cowes Musto top. Anyway this old biddy sidled up to me
and said, “”Hello Dear - you must be the advance party. We
really want to come with you because we are really fed up living
down here. Are the arrangements still the same?”

You can imagine my reaction. However I can be pretty cool
under pressure as you know. For need of security, I said, you
must confirm the arrangements with me. “”Of course my dear,
not a problem. You will lead us out of this godless world and
place us in a safe house on the Isle of Wight. In return we
three will provide you with the meaning of life. We have been
guarding it for far too long and really want to live our old age in
some kind of decency.

I couldn‟t believe what I was hearing so I asked the question
again, and got exactly the same answer. I told them I would
report back to my Masters, that was just for emphasis! So
what do you think?”
We had a 20 minute gaggle and then settled down. I just sat
there and thought. The meaning of life was the one piece of
information that everybody had been searching for since life
began. Why it was held on this awful planet was a question too
far. The fact that we could lay our hands on it was an
opportunity not be missed. And it also explained HQ‟s
strategy. It was obviously the most salient point in their
philosophy that was missing. They could not totally impose
their will on the galaxy whilst they lacked this essential piece
of information.

I did think that with the team at my disposal I ought to be
able to provide a safe house on the Isle of Wight. I also
thought that it was a shame it did not exist. Freeland was the
only available land on Earth. And it was pretty small.

Destiny had a word. “I can‟t tell you this, but if you were
extract these people you might be surprised by the existence
of an Island off the South coast of the former England.”

I gave her a huge kiss and a big hug. “Thank you Destiny you
don‟t know how much this means to me.”

I decided to go for it. “Ok team we have what HQ is
interested in. Let‟s grab it and go to the Isle of Wight. We
have a safe house and we can become normal again and find out
the true meaning of life. Are we up for this?”

They all agreed and Nature went back for the Ladies. We all
met in some kind of mind space and headed for the Island.
Chapter 18

Safe House - Isle of Wight

We decided on an estate as high as we could get and found a
ten bed roomed property without too much of a problem. The
letting agent was a little anxious as only Fate had affected a
body. But such a body was guaranteed to seduce the most
severe of characters. We were given the keys without too
much trouble. We all entered the house and settled down for a
trouble free night. Or so we thought!

If you thought the fearsome foursome were problematic you
were seriously mislead. These three old ladies were hell on
earth. They magicked litre bottles of Gin from nowhere and
partied all night. They even lit a fire, put a cauldron of water
on it and boiled anything that dared to cross their paths.
Birds, cats, dogs - they all went in. And throughout the night
we heard the strains of a ghastly song that went along the
lines of “”Hubble double, toil and trouble.”” It was
horrendous. Fate, of course, being the most erudite amongst
us pointed out the problem. “How can these hags hold the
secret of the meaning of life? They are the fictitious three
witches from a play by Shakespeare. But they were on that
planet and they seemed to be genuine.”

“You dared to play mind games with HQ.” a voice boomed
through the ether. “How dare you try and thwart our cause.
So we set you a little trap. Try explaining the presence of
theses hags to your landlord. Hahahaah.” The laughter
vanished into the distance.

Being a leader is not all it‟s made out to be. They all ganged up
on me and gave me a bad time, to put it lightly. It was all my
fault and what were we supposed to do now was the outcome. I
won‟t bore you with the insults that preceded it. I replied,
quite honestly, that I didn‟t have a clue. Eventually they all
went off to their respective areas to muse, or whatever it was
minds did when they were pissed off. I never saw the three
hags again so I will leave it to your imagination what happened
to them!

A thought kept crossing my mind, hide in plain sight. Just
suppose that HQ were being too clever for their own good and
they were in fact searching for the meaning of life. Why would
they come up with that ploy to deceive us if it wasn‟t close to
the truth? Usually if you set out to foster a lie you keep it as
close to the truth as possible. There were distinct possibilities
here. But how could we prove, let alone act against it. Despite
being minds they clearly had us covered all ends up. It seemed
we could not make a move without their anticipating it.

“Little shuffle before dawn can often make enemy think attack
is coming from different side to that what is anticipated.”

My Mentor was back, spouting his oriental claptrap.

“Not clap track. And I forgive you for telling me to fuck off.
I realise I picked wrong moment to bombard you with ancient,
but wise, philosophy. But now you are in deep shit and would
be wise to listen, not talk. HQ feel you have been diverted, if
not defeated. They actually fear power of fearsome foursome,
nature, destiny and fate. This combined power, in your hands,
is awesome. Yet you do not appreciate it. You Brad are a
leader amongst leaders, but you do not know this. You do not
know how to mould this group into unimaginable might. If you
had a nose you would not be able to see beyond it. If you had
an imagination it would not imagine what you are capable of. If
you had a brain it could not depict what would happen next. In
short you are complete failure and do not deserve respect of
team you have.”

I was getting seriously pissed of with this. I had recently been
slagged off by my own team and now this oriental pip squeak
was giving me a bad time. Unfortunately they were all right. I
was a failure. All my efforts to save the world had resulted in a
pathetic, go nowhere, do nothing society that was known as
Freeland. Even I had to admit that the Freelanders were
pretty pathetic but where was the compromise between good
and evil?

“Freelanders need to know you cannot always protect them.
You also need to know you need to take risk to nullify
objectives of HQ.”

“That‟s the problem, I don‟t know their objectives. And even
if I did what could I do about it.?”

“HQ objective quite clear, total domination. Think, breathe
and speak HQ. All they want. No opposition, no argument. All
cars drive on right, all cars drive on right. All people left
handed, all people left handed. Even your evil friends respect
personal choice. I no suggest we drive on both sides of road,
only a metaphor.

You see too much of big picture. Need to concentrate on
smaller picture. Picture you can control. You need to forget
intergalactic missions and the meaning of life. Must make
Freeland strong and able to resist domination by HQ. How you
do is your problem, but team you have is no one better. Good
Luck Brad just trust my thinking.”
I thought long and hard after my mentors visit. Freeland was
beautiful, populated by lovely, peace minded people. Why
could it not just stay that way?

Destiny appeared on what would have been my right shoulder.
“Come with me Brad, 200 years in the future.”

Well what would you have done after the day that I had had?

Freeland was a total and utter disaster. Everywhere I looked
there were edifices depicting the love of HQ. The people were
bowed and broken, scratching a living from whatever area they
could. Lap dancing for attractive females, digging minerals out
of the earth for the others. All the professionals were from
the Galaxy and they were the only ones who could afford to
buy houses.

My whole dream had gone totally wrong. Why?

“Because, as your mentor said, you left them vulnerable. They
didn‟t learn how to stand up for themselves and were a
pushover for the twisted minds that govern HQ.”

“I don‟t pretend to understand any of this but please take me
back and I will try and sort it.”

“No problem Brad, off we go.”
Chapter 19

Brad’s Flat

I am really going to have to see a Doctor about these bizarre
dreams I keep having. They are driving me mad they are so
realistic. I am actually beginning to believe I have created a
land called Freeland, and that it is in jeopardy and only I can
save it from domination by HQ.

Imagine telling that story to your local GP. You would be
incarcerated in a mental institution within minutes. I will just
get up and go to work as normal. Ah but first I must worship
at the altar. Mustn‟t forget that else I could be docked a days
pay. I knelt down at the edifice of the Australian and said my
daily mantra.

Thank you for the strength that makes my bowling arm strong
Bless you for the eye that keeps my wicket intact
Thank you for your wisdom that keeps me in my job
And finally my Australian, thank you for my life

As usual I got no response. But it didn‟t matter because I
didn‟t care. Off I went to work. If you could call it work.
There appeared to be three choices:

Excavate down the mines
Make cold calls
Serve in shops, bars or restaurants

Nobody I knew seemed to own anything. Although we seemed
to owe a lot. I have never figured that one out. But then why
should I, a mere mortal in an immortals world. This week I
was allocated a job selling ice creams which is pretty cushy.
Last week I was excavating minerals. Somebody told me it
used to be called coal mining.

Anyway I did my shift, picked up my rations on the way home
and settled in to my normal night of television. Something in
the back of my mind kept telling me that there should be more
to life than watching Shane Warne bowl out Mike Gatting. But
that is all I ever saw.
I woke up in a fearful sweat. “Destiny you Bitch why did you do
that to me?”

“I didn‟t do anything Brad. You went forward of your own
accord.”

“I did not.”

“Oh yes you did!”

“Ok I‟ll stop this now. I am convinced. These bastards have to
be stopped. But how? They visualise our every move. What
can we do to stop them? But before anybody says anything
else I will tell you that I am committed to Freeland and I will
not let the future, as shown to me by Destiny, happen. I may
have to forget intergalactic policies but I cannot escape the
fact that everywhere I turn HQ is a step ahead of me. We
have to deal with them, sooner rather than later.”



The Woodvale Hotel

We were all gathered round in a way that minds gather when
they seek comfort. Fate voiced the opinion of all of us. “Can
we not, even for a few hours become normal again, go to a
local pub and discuss this over several drinks, preferably much
more than several.”

They all looked at me!! Why. I had no control over this body
and mind situation.

“Oh yes you do Brad, just say the word and we can become
bodies again for a few hours.”
“Thanks Desty. We are floating around who knows where, I
say the word and we become bodies and immediately fly down
to earth at horrific speeds and splash land. Thereby
destroying the bodies we have only recently reacquired. Good
thought arsehole.” Don‟t worry I was getting quite used to
insulting this strange band I had unwittingly become leader of.

“Not a problem Brad”, said Nature. “I can lead us to ground
level before we transform.”

“And I can take us to the best pub in the universe.” said Fate.

“Ok guys lets go it.”

I closed my eyes, waited for the sensation to pass and then we
were at the steps leading up to the Woodvale Hotel in Gurnard
on the Isle of Wight. I think the fact that we all urgently
needed a piss caused the mass evacuation of the public. Rather
than our strange looks and attire. I mean they were used to
oddly dressed creatures in this pub, dinghy sailors turned up
in dry suits, windsurfers in wet suits and jet skiers in all sorts.
However truth be known we must have looked like a day trip
from Madame Tussuads. The Fearsome Foursome had dug out
their most formidable persona, I suppose they missed them.
Fate was dazzling in a slightly unworldly way and Destiny, well
she just looked totally pissed off.

I did apologise to the Landlord and Landlady but assured them
we would recompense by drinking and eating the place dry. The
unfortunately named group, Devils Destiny, had fled leaving
their instruments behind. If we ever came out of the toilets
the Fearsome Foursome were in for an amazing jamming
session.
This was the first time we had ever done the transition from
minds to bodies and it was a little strange that we needed so
much time in the toilets. I could have pissed for England and
then gone on to win the European and World championships.
Perhaps the time out of our bodies is stored up until we return.
Who knows?

Eventually we all arrived at the bar. Sank several pints and
ordered food. Suffice to say the menu did not appeal to
certain members. But they just shot off into the sea and
grabbed what they could. To suggest that anything sensible
was discussed that night would be foolish. So we agreed to
meet for a late brunch at 1030 the next day when we would
decide what to do. I will not bore you with what went on for
the rest of the night except to say it was pretty amazing.

The Woodvale Hotel - Morning

I had a headache you would not believe. And looking at my
compatriots they were not much better off. But we had a lot
of work to do. So we had to grit our teeth and bear it.

“Ok guys what are we going to do?”

“Get some bigger chairs, where am I supposed to put my wings
in these things?”

“Hey Lucy baby, nobody asked you to turn up in your best
dress, you could have used the smaller version.”

“Oh like you De with all your skulls and that swinging scythe
around your neck. Not one to miss a great a photo op are you?”
“Will you boys stop arguing. We have a lot to consider today
and the sooner we discuss it the sooner we can return to our
minds state and implement it.”

“Thanks Fate. Ok guys lets get to it. What is our plan?”

“Its up to you Brad, we will do whatever you decide.”

“Thank you Dis. Its good to know I have pro-active people on
my team. Anybody else got any productive comments to make?”

Total silence. So silent that Sue and Doug rushed, cleared the
tables, and then rushed back to their respective listening
spots. They weren‟t going to miss a minute of this strange
gathering.

“Its very simple”, said Pesty, “We have to destroy HQ.”

I banged the table and took control. “I agree with Pesty. It is
the only way forward. But I need you tell me what our
collective strengths are. And how we can forge them in such a
way as to totally annihilate HQ. I understand Death and War
but there does seem to be a crossover between Disease and
Pestilence and where do Fate and Destiny factor into this?”

On a little aside I was having a quiet chuckle about how Doug
and Sue were receiving this information. The Woodvale is
renowned for its glorious sunsets, good pub grub and real ale.
It is not a place where strange beings plot the downfall of
other strange beings..........

Enough musing, back to the party.

In any gathering you we will have disagreement. The greatest
marrow growers in Kent will argue with the horticultural judge,
regardless of his academic qualifications. Put two Irishmen
side by side and they will, no doubt, argue over religion, the
Scots will agree that they can fight amongst themselves, but
together they hate the English. The Turks hate the Greeks
who hate the Italians who hate the Russians and so it goes on.
It is complete bollocks and it is about time it was sorted out.
People, wherever they live, and whatever society they live in
all want the same thing. Family life, job security and a home
to live in. They are really not interested in much beyond that.

Of course we have to take into account the top 10 percent and
the bottom 10 per cent. I want to ignore theses two groups
and concentrate on the 80 percent that make up society as we
know it.

By ignoring these two groups I believe can hit HQ‟s Achilles
heel. They want subservience. We want freedom. It‟s just a
question of establishing it without going to war. Think laterally
Brad, do we hit HQ or Freeland. Where do we start our
campaign? The answer was neither. Meaningful change can
only be affected from within, and then only with the support
of the parties who were going to be affected.

We do not have the power to destroy HQ, there are just too
many unknowns. But what we can do is mentally strengthen
Freeland so that they have the ability to proactively react to
the threat posed to them by HQ. But what means did they,
HQ, use to gain such a stranglehold on decent citizens? We
needed a mole and the name of Gerald sprung to my mind.

“Good thought Brad. He‟s of little use to me in a grey suit.
Gerald we have a job for you.”

He came at once. From where I will not even begin to
speculate.
“We need you to establish an identity in Freeland and find out
exactly how HQ are going to cause this mass adulation of their
cause. Take this mobile and report in on a regular basis. As an
actuary we expect concise and regular reports. Any
questions?”

Well only a fool would question Lucifer in this sort of mood and
Gerald was no fool. “Anything you say sir. I take it you would
like me to begin immediately?”

“Not exactly we want you to begin 200 years hence and work
your way back. Use your outstanding audit skills to ascertain
how and when they began this campaign. And just give us the
facts Gerald I do not want anything like the 3000 page reports
you submit to the Taking of Souls National Audit Board. In
fact give it to us on 3 pages. Can you handle that?”

“Of course my reports are 90% bullshit anyway. I‟ll be on my
way then, goodbye.”

And off he went, hopefully to Freeland.

As a last bit of fun, before the serious games began, we
decided to have a laugh and walk the lovely walk from Gurnard
to Cowes. I entered into the spirit of things and wore my
Super hero costume, Nature wore her green costume, Fate
and Destiny their enigmatic costumes, Pesty and Dis wore
there normal gear. But Death upstaged us all by wearing his
alter ego costume, the Grim Reaper. He looked really ugly and
terrifying. “Hey Guys what do you think?” He did a little
pirouette. “Gross man, gross.” “I feel so good in this, it‟s
where I was meant to be. I got so angry with Brad when he
pointed out that my real role was accountancy.”
“Cut the rap crap, and lets take a hike, before the bass
drummers get us in their sights.”

“Hey Brad, you are cool, and when Lucifer say that, its a rule.”



“Ok guys that‟s enough, lets go walking.”

“Trust a woman to spoil the mood!”

We paid our bill on somebody‟s credit card and left a bemused
Doug and Sue behind. I suppose the Woodvale would never be
the same again. C‟est la vie.

Well it was really sad. Our promenade was assumed to be a
charity fancy dress walk. People actually had the audacity to
giggle as we walked past them. “Wonderful costumes, we
should ask them where they shop?”

We did have a bit of Luck when we reached the parade as a
Lancastrian tourist bus was just disgorging it‟s octogenarian
visitors. They screeched and screamed and ran back on the
bus, unfortunately prematurely ending the exit of a wheelchair
bound lady. Only a bit of fun!

We all ended up on the floating bridge, caused more than a
little consternation and then returned to our minds state. A
very good weekend was had by all.
Chapter 20

Gerald

I have never been quite sure where we are in this mind state.
But I don‟t suppose it matters much. It‟s a bit like time, fairly
immaterial when you have no concept of it. But what was
important was our ability to receive reports from Gerald. We
did not expect too much straight away, he did have 200 years
to investigate backwards. But any information from him could
give us clue as to how to prepare the Freelanders.

In the meantime I had a quiet word with Destiny and Fate as
they were saying little about this strategy. “I know you have a
major problem with this, but what else can we do?”

“I agree totally Brad, but you have to see it from our point of
view..”

“Ok I accept your point of view. But let me make a couple of
points. You will not tell me what is going to happen, because
your code of ethics prohibits you. But even if you could you
could not tell me why it happens, because you only see the big
picture. That is why we need Gerald to get down amongst the
weeds and find out why it will happen. We don‟t want a top
down analysis we need a bottom up situation appraisal.”

“Hey Brad, did you swallow the last management book you
read.?”

“Piss off Luc, I am just talking real talk. Stuff you would not
understand.”

“How about Gerald will tell it like it is! Does that make sense
to your politically correct and over burdened mind.?”
“Point taken.”

“Anyway you might be interested to read Gerald‟s first report.
Its very concise, but if you have a problem I can translate it
for you.!”

“Very funny.”

I began to have a problem with this. How could I read a report
when I had neither hands to hold it, or eyes to see it! “It‟s
telepathic arsehole.” Of course I knew that I was trying a
little experiment! Brad I do worry about me sometimes, I can
be so stupid.

Memo from Gerald:

Initial observations indicate vacuum created by Brad‟s
unexpected departure created an opportunity for HQ to
exploit. Being a free society leadership was not expected.
However disputes over boundaries, height of fences and sale
of alcohol to children demanded a legislative committee.
Freelanders were unable to provide the necessary intelligence
and legislative minds to provide such a forum. HQ saw the
opportunity and sent the Australian down as a saviour. More on
his methods will follow as I backtrack through History.

Initial findings indicate the departure of Brad before any form
of Government was established was a grave error.

Regards

Gerald
It was as I expected. My fault entirely. But when I think back
I only wanted to create a people that looked after themselves.
I will not take the whole blame for this.

“Who else you blame - only you make decision to leave people
on their own?”

“Thank you mentor for your wonderful support.”

“He who look in mirror onry see what he like. Not see dark
side.”

“Wot you mean dark side.”

“Dark side is where we do not go or even acknowledge. We orl
want good side to come through. But good side sometime too
good - does not allow potential for bad side. But bad side
essential to maintain good side.”

“You are beginning to lose me here. What the fuck are you
talking about!”

“You leave Freelanders assuming all good people. No big
problem. But they have problem whom do they call. Brad. But
Brad no there. They have big problem and they call Brad.
Again Brad not there. They turn from true faith and embrace
outside faith from HQ. Australian is answer to their prayers.
He come and he solve problem. Replace Brad as God.”

“But I left them because I did not want them to have a God. I
wanted them to make their own minds up, sort things out as
they should do. Surely that is not my fault?”
“No your fault, but very naive. People need leader on whom
they can depend. You no dependable so they turn to
alternative.”

I took this in and wandered, you can do nothing else as a mind.
Whilst I quite liked the Australian, despite his treachery, I
was pretty angry that he had taken my rightful place in
Freeland. Or would. We were after all talking about 200 years
in the future. If we acted now, as a group, we could prevent
this happening. I gathered the group and we descended on
Freeland. Which was exactly as we had left it.

I couldn‟t help myself I just had to go on a wander I needed to
satisfy my aesthetic needs. They were, and this fortified my
need to keep this place as it is, not how it will be.

The Salvation of Freeland:

When I came back they were sitting around scratching,
figuratively, their backsides. I only know this because over a
period of time in a mind state I was able to perceive, not
exactly see, what all my pals were doing.

“Ok guys how are we going to approach this?”

“Delicately, but firmly” said Nature.

“Education.” said Fate.

“I‟m not saying a word.” said Destiny.

So far nothing extraordinary there. Plenty of nothing ideas
and lots of fence sitting.

“Start a conflict.” fairly predictable from War.
“I‟m happy, the stats are good.” Death really was the most
unpredictable creature.

I told the last two I did not want to know. Which shows you
how little I understand about creatures/human beings. I
obviously thought they would starve the Freelanders to nearly
death and then blitz them with a fatal disease. Death thought
the same because he rose up angrily. Ok he appeared to rise
up angrily. “You cannot do that to me. I need consistent
figures over a very long cycle. I can‟t deal with short term
expiration of the whole of Freeland. Where am I going to get
the staff to record it all?”

“Oh you are so quick to jump down our throats without hearing
what we have to say. In fact Dis and I have come up with a
strategy that is backed up by research and will, in the long
term benefit the Freelanders. Its also quite superior to Brad
flying around the sky and getting short sound bites on TV for
being a hero. It is an excellent plan in our humble opinion.”

“I do apologise Pesty, I can be an arrogant bastard at times.
And I have treated you with some aloofness, mainly because
your awesome powers scare the shit out of me, but please tell
us your plan.” Did that sound a bit condescending? I hope not
because these guys really do frighten me. Imagine if some mad
bastard like Sadam Hussein got hold of them. Talk about
weapons of mass destruction, he would have the ultimate
weapon.

“The main problem as Dis and I see it is that Freeland has no
problems. So all HQ had to do was throw a few spanners in the
works, up went an appeal for Brad who, in their eyes ignored
them, enter stage left the Australian with answers. A very
simple philosophy which we propose to recreate, only this time
build it slow so they develop their own resilience and banish,
forever, the God dependency.

Its a two pronged attack Freeland rely entirely on growing
their own food and breeding their own animals to slaughter.
Our plan would be to disease the crops in one area, leaving
animals untouched, and do the opposite in a neighbouring area.
This would then put them in a situation where they would have
to start trading with each other, and start to deal with some
of life‟s unpleasant surprises.”

“I do not like the word trading. If we start that off we would
back to square one. Pretty soon they would start a stock
exchange and start gambling on buying and selling natural and
animal produce. How about we change trading for bartering?
And see how it goes from there.”

“Brad I do not wish to be pedantic on semantics, but what
difference will it make? Whatever you call it they will have to
start trading with each other and you cannot ignore that fact.”

“Ok, I‟m just sensitive on the trading word. I would like to see
them barter like for like, I would not like to see them trading,
which implies gain for one side. Look it up in any thesaurus and
you will see their is a slight, but significant difference. Can
you please see where I am coming from, and understand what
I want Freeland to be?”

“Brad, would we have stayed with you so long if we did not
understand you and your motives? But you have to be realistic.
Any society lives by trading. It is an inescapable fact that you
have to learn to live with. However if they do not have to live
in subservience and if they can get over this first step they
will be in a much stronger position to resist the overtures of
HQ. They must suffer some hardship and learn to overcome it
before they have a chance of remaining an independent society.
Your idealism just does not work long term.”

“Ok guys I am not convinced, but I will go along with it. And no
doubt you will be really happy doing the job you know best. I
am going to go and rest somewhere. Goodnight.”

Although despondent I knew they were right. Idealism works
for the top 10% who have no money worries and the bottom
10% who don‟t give a shit about society. Reality centres on the
80% of the people who actually contribute to life. How this
was a strategy I was going to attack HQ with escapes me for
the moment. But it is a realistic strategy. On reflection it
does not escape me - 80% is a powerful majority. Lets see if
Pesty and Dis can make it work.

Pesty and Dis go to work

They were up and away at the crack of Dawn the next day. We
observed from afar whilst they set about their tasks.
Wheatfield‟s were destroyed overnight and hordes of cattle
diseased. It would take years before the full toll took it‟s
effect but within months Freelanders were bonding together.
More importantly they were developing a strength they did not
have before. At first they cried for help from Brad. I had to
be held back to go and rescue them. I did not really approve of
this policy. But my gang held me back. And my Mentor had his
say.

“Is right way Brad. Do not fight - they must learn to fight for
themselves.”

I knew everybody was right. Then we got a second
communication from Gerald.
Hello Guys

I am finding things that I am a little unsure of. Whilst there
is one hell of a lot of arse licking going on down here there is
some resistance that I find quite surprising.

To the North of what used to be the Spanish/French border
there is a group of people who have formed a resistance group.
I will talk to them and find out why they have not succumbed
to the Australians leadership.

I whizzed to the past and your endeavours appear to going
remarkably well.

Regards

Gerald

I quickly looked up the area on a map. What was the
difference and why were these Freelanders acting differently?
“Luc can we contact Gerald and tell him that it is imperative we
found out why this resistance group sprung up, it may well be
the answer to the whole problem.”

“Consider it done.”

Some days I am Lord and Master and yes sir - no sir, others I
am just the messenger boy. I think these guys are constantly
taking the piss out of me. Anyway I do think there is serious
mileage in finding out what happened to this rebellious group
that made them that way. In my very short experience of life,
compared to my buddies, I knew that nothing in human nature
could be discounted. We are capable of the most unexpected
acts. Good as well as evil.
Following the trail of Pesty and Dis

It was a serious trail but it was working. The affected
Freelanders had hardened their attitude. They now seemed to
accept that life was not one long love song, followed by a
romantic interlude in bed with the person of their dreams.
Reality, harsh as it was, was beginning to have an effect. I
was pleased to note that they were bartering, not trading.
They had established a rather noble way of weights and
measures divided by worth to each other. Thus a side of beef
was not so much weighed as we know it but weighed in terms of
its worth to the family offering grain, and vice versa. It was
extremely complicated and worried me a little as it seemed like
the type of convoluted procedure a government would come up
with when presented with the simplest of ideas. However
unlike a government edict everybody understood it and it
seemed to be fair to both sides.

We had received a communiqué from Gerald so I called a
meeting and we discussed progress, and future strategy.

Obviously top of the Agenda was the work carried out by the
rather uglier pair of the fearsome foursome. Should they
carry these good works on throughout the rest of Freeland.
We had a huge debate over this. Nature was appalled that we
should even consider it, I was against it on principle, Fate and
Destiny, as usual rode the fence. De was stoic, he could
absorb the minor blips it was causing to his stats. Luc was
unbelievably melodramatic. I found out why later, although I
should have guessed the reason long before now. Naturally
Pesty and Dis were cock a hoop and wanted to continue. They
were, after all, two of the few beings actually doing their job.

I suggested we carry on, but keep on this same small scale.
We were, after all, in the business of toughening the
Freelanders up, not destroying them. They looked a bit miffed
and muttered on about cross pollination of healthy crops due to
the wind factor being unavoidable. So what was the point in
containment. To my absolute amazement and eternal disgrace
I came up with the political line that we had proven conclusively
that the wind stops completely 20 metres from a contaminated
field so they could contain it.

I felt the look of incredulity on Fates face. I think, in that
instant I had lost some respect. How could I come out with
such utter rubbish. My only consolation was that far greater
people than I had come up with variations on it. I still felt
terrible and apologised profusely for days.

We eventually agreed to a contained attack in all areas of
Freeland, bar the rebellious region. We needed to know more
about them before deciding on any action.

Next up on the agenda was the memo from Gerald it read like
this:

Dear Gang

Making huge progress. I had a meeting today with the leaders,
yes leaders, of this group. It appears they had been
disaffected with the non political structure of Freeland for
some time. They did not subscribe to the “one day our Brad
will come” philosophy and decided to form a committee for the
general good of the people of Freeland. They had already
embarked on this quest when a strange series of accidents
happened. Barns unexpectedly catching fire, circles appearing
in their crops. Nothing to disastrous but enough to send the
majority of citizens crying for the return of Brad.
Quite astutely they realised this was the work of an outside
force and were not in the least surprised when a stranger,
speaking in a very strange accent appeared amongst them
promising to end the strange happenings. They accelerated
their work and became the Independent Freelanders., annexing
a whole swathe of land and forming their own Government of
Independent Freeland.

They totally ignored the overtures from the Australian and
threw him out. It didn‟t bother him too much as we are talking
about a small percentage of Freeland.

Anyway to cut a long story short the Australian , surprise,
surprise, stopped the strange events in their tracks and began
to make inroads amongst the more senior Freelanders.

He appeared as a God like Deity and spoke at rallies using
phrases like I am your salvation, Love cricket, follow me and
the oddest one of all the ashes are mine for eternity.

Well the majority succumbed and gradually he built a total
dictatorship. Statues everywhere , villages dedicated to his
name. And then he began to build commerce. All dedicated to
him.

I will report when I get some more information as to how he
did this. But these free Freelanders need a long and careful
look as they are basically preserving the status quo yet
advancing. Just like Brad wanted.

Regards

Gerald
Not even a minor shock wave was generated from the group. It
was no more or less than we had expected. Except for the
independent Freelanders. Where did they inherit the nous
from?

“Genes from the South sea Islanders when Freeland was raped
would be my guess.”

“But we undid that De. It just never happened.”

“I am sorry, said Destiny, “but I have to say this. All the
tinkering about you did with time would have had some
repercussions. They were bound to be little chunks that you
missed and I reckon De‟s right and that was one of them. It
only takes a small envelope of a month or so, and just imagine
how many pregnancies were made.”

I was thinking a mile ahead of the group here and it showed by
my blabbering. “We are talking 200 years here so it would only
require a few males from the rebel group to impregnate a lot
of females from the Freeland group and this rebellious gene
would procreate, in a diluted form, but give the Freelanders
some resistance to overtures from HQ.”

“Basically speaking, yes. Couple this with Dis and Pesty‟s
efforts and they would be in a good position to withstand HQ.”

“Good thinking Fate, now we have to work out a strategy to get
the men out of the rebel group and back into Freeland. We can
hardly advocate a “save Freeland by joining our non stop raping
package holiday” can we?

We need to get the men there of their own free will, and the
women to succumb to them also of their own free will. How can
we do this?”
“You entice sufficient numbers out and I can do the rest.” said
Nature.

“Ok we need to do some number crunching here. It‟s basically
very simple, but factually very hard. X amounts of males need
to be enticed from the rebels, whilst not overbalancing the
amount of males in Freeland. That would only cause friction,
and possibly an ethnic problem, which is what caused this whole
problem in the first place.”

“Gerald‟s finished his job down there why don‟t I instruct him
to do a demographic survey of both areas. It is his bag after
all.”

“Good idea Luc, see to it. “

“Thanks for your encouragement Brad. Give me 10 minutes and
it will be done.”

He wandered off but I waited for him. There was something
seriously wrong here and I needed to find out what it was.
Although I already knew.




Chapter 21

Lucifer’s nearly defection

He was a lot longer than ten minutes. But in our strange state
who was counting time. Whilst I was waiting I spoke to Fate.
“I need to speak to Luc alone, over a few beers, in bodies. Can
you help?”

“Sure Brad. This has been brewing for while, pardon the pun,
just tell me when you want to go and where to. But you must
be incognito this time and you need a quiet place, not the
Woodvale.”

“Of course not. Any old smoky quiet bar will do.”

“Fine. Just give me a shout when he comes back and I will
arrange it.”

“Thanks Fate.”

“No problem.”

I must have waited forever till I felt his presence again. Boy
this guy was really morose. “Hey Luc, Nature has a treat for
you and I. Fancy hanging a few on in incognito earthly bodies in
a quite bar?”

“Love to Brad, but I need an early night. Thanks anyway.”

“No problem pal, but are you really sure. Pints of golden pure
ale, meat and potato pie with chips, are you sure you can
resist?”

“Just this one night - yes?”

“Of course. How could I con the great Satan?”

“Ok Brad, but only because it‟s you.”

“Lets go pal.”
Nature, who was naturally listening to our conversation, was on
hand. “Follow me boys.” She whispered. And off we went into
a dark grey night. Eventually we landed and assumed human
bodies. “Where are we?” I whispered.

“A small town in rebel Freeland. There is a pub just around the
corner that is very discreet. Have fun, I will be back in the
morning - meet me here.”

“Thanks Fate, Love you.”

“And me you Brad.”

“Hey Brad she means that. That girl really is in love with you.”

“Don‟t be stupid. What am I to her, a mortal, temporarily a
mind, and expendable when all of this unreality stops. We
have no future whatsoever, and she knows it.”

The Free Freelanders Arms

I suppose the title of the pub gave some of it‟s history away!
However tonight I was here on a different purpose. Get Luc
drunk and keep him on board. I did not want to lose this most
precious ally. Of course the first thing I had to do was piss,
for a very long time. This really is most unfair as I do not
drink a thing as a mind, yet as soon as I get back into a body
it‟s assumed that I have not pissed for x amount of days and
calculates my requirements. I have to learn how to control this
as I do not wish to spend the whole of my occasional time as a
body in some smelly toilet. Anyway I eventually made it to the
bar where Luc was on his fifth pint. He did not have the same
plumbing arrangements as me obviously.
“What you drinking boy?”

“Two pints of whatever you had.” I have tried not to bore you
with detail in this story so I will cut to the chase here.
Several pints later we got to the reason why we were here.

“Brad, I am going to have to leave you. All these other guys
have a purpose in life. De, Desty and Dis they are doing what
they know best. Destiny and Nature come along for the ride,
but they know what is in store. Me I am in charge of
controlling Gerald. Have you any idea what that does to my
street cred? My sole Imp wears a bloody suit, it‟s humiliating.
I love you Brad and I believe in what you are doing but I am by
nature a mean, motherless evil bastard and I have to get back
to that way before I am corrupted by your ways. I do hope you
understand.”

I knew this was coming, especially after a few beers, and for
once in his life Brad Johnson was prepared. Let me give you a
bit of background here. I realised that I was gradually
controlling the forces of evil and good. My previous plans had
made everybody but Luc fairly happy.

Deaths desire for evermore destruction had been dampened
down to a statistical role, that he was quite contented with.
Destiny, Nature and Fate seemed happy to go with the flow - I
was working for their aims after all and Desty and Dis,
underemployed for years where delighted to be asked to do
some work. Luc was in a different category all together. I
know that still left War but I felt he was pretty relaxed at
the moment, enjoying the time out, no doubt we would need a
little chat at some stage. I fancy him for HQ, more of that
later.

But I had a plan for him, Luc that is.
“Luc did you ever read the Old Testament?”

“Did I read it? Man I wrote half of it!”

“Really?”

“Have you ever known me to bullshit you? Of course you
haven‟t. Come on Brad when you are in my position who do you
need to impress? Anyway me and the old man, God, had our
disagreements but we agreed generally how the book would be
written. But I think we made a major policy mistake prior to
publication. We agreed that the New Testament should
reflect what in your world would represent the equal
opportunities act. We couldn‟t have one saviour who was white
and had long golden hair. So we created several saviours to
reflect different cultures. If we had known the trouble it
would cause I promise you we would not have bothered.

So what we produced in the first book was emulated in the new
book but by race, and thus became a religion within that race.
The rest is history.”

I sat there stunned. Well what else can you be when you sit
beside the co producer of the bible who admits he got it
wrong. “What did God have to say after this cock up?”

“He was very stoic about it. They will sort it out, is what he
said.”

“But we didn‟t, we cocked up for two thousand bloody years,
millions of young people died and still nothing happens. Come on
Luc there must be more?”
“Well as you can imagine he is pretty embarrassed by the
situation he created and finds it a little difficult to come to
terms with it.”

“Embarrassed, my arse. He, and you, should be mightily
ashamed at what you have done. Are you still in contact with
him?”

“We speak occasionally.”

“So what‟s your position?”

“I was only ever meant to be a counter to extreme good. I was
never meant to personify or perpetuate evil. Extreme good
was meant to met by extreme bad, not evil, behaviour. The
theory was that very good behaviour indicated subservience - I
merely had to counter that. I had no idea I was going to
blamed for the horrid atrocities mankind committed against
itself. Do I look like the sort of guy that would countenance
the crusades?”

“No you don‟t. Which means I can approach you about your
current role. We have a new beginning here. And you can help.
The question is do you want to?”

He tapped his fingers for a bit, which gave me the opportunity
to return to the toilets for a huge piss. I am sorry to keep
bringing this up but it is a serious problem. I returned to the
table to find Luc pretty much asleep. I will talk about my plan
in the morning. I needed a walk, a long one if I was to get my
head around what I had heard tonight. I had just hung a few
beers with the co-author of the Bible. That fact was totally
mind blowing.
I walked down towards the sea and onto the beach. It was
warm and windless the surf gently washed against the shore.
What on earth was I into here?

“Come to me Brad”, Fate was wearing her knock em dead body
form. She embraced me as I broke down in tears. All this has
been too much for me. “Eventually you had to know. Even
Destiny and I were unsure until tonight, although we had our
suspicions. You need to sort Freeland out and then as a final
act you need to get God on board. I am convinced he will not
want to make another major cock up. You are on the right
track Brad, it is just difficult to comprehend the enormity of
it. Can you imagine if I had told you what was going to happen?
You would have just disappeared. You are the catalyst in all
this and you are also the single man that can save the world
from self destruction.

Think about how much you have done so far! Staggering isn‟t it.
Me, Destiny and Nature, the Fearsome Foursome all on the
same side. It defies belief but here we are, all behind you.
And now you have discovered the truth, from Luc. It is all too
much to bear. Let me comfort you this one night.”

She wrapped her arms around me and I fell into the most
wondrous sleep. I dreamt warmth and understanding, I dreamt
cooperation and I dreamt peace. This may sound unbelievably
unrealistic to you but I was determined to make it happen.
Peace was my aim, and peace would be my gain. Freeland would
prosper from this attitude. I slept on, the unbelievable
believer. And I had everything in my power to make it happen.
  “There is usually a defining moment in ones life where reality
checks idealism. It comes in many shapes and forms but in the
main materialises as children or finance, usually a combination
of both. Where does one get off the spinning wheel. It is a
lot easier at A than it is at D and starts becoming
exponentially harder at all points beyond. The point of this
little exercise is to demonstrate complacency which sets in
somewhere between D and H and becomes terminal thereafter.

In my opinion the Freelanders have arrived at I with
frightening velocity.”!

Luc yawned, took a sip of his coffee and said, “Brad you could
bore for the world, what is the point of this exposition?”

“I am trying to pose a problem that will tackle your intellect in
such a way that you will come up with a solution.”

“It‟s obvious. There is simply not enough variety. Freeland is
so good it does not even need policemen. As your Mentor keeps
telling you “Arways their must be balance”. Freeland has no
balance. No problems now but in a couple of centuries plenty
problems.”

“This is where I desperately need your help. We are doing ok
with Pesty and Dis as it is a strategy that seems to be working.
But it is clearly not going to be enough. We need you on board,
perhaps in the role you originally intended for yourself, to
make it work long term. But I have to know what you consider
reasonable redress of goodness.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean why? It‟s obvious isn‟t it.”
“Obvious so you can control it, obvious so you can veto it,
obvious so Freelanders do not know who is actually controlling
them, obvious that you are in far too deep with this project
and need your arse kicked. Brad you cannot spend the rest of
your life molly coddling this race of yours. They have to face
reality without you.”

I turned away mortally offended. (I use the word mortally in
it‟s loosest sense). But Luc was right. I should not know of the
counterpoint strategy he would put in place because I could not
interfere with it. If I requested his presence I would have to
accept his actions without any argument or discussion. This
was my defining moment. Accept Luc and take a backward step
or carry on with the same stupidity that has dogged my
progress thus far.

“Ok Luc we will do it your way. What do I have to do?”

“Get back to being a mind, you are way over your time.”

“Thanks Fate, any chance of a quick piss before I change.
Please.”

She nodded. I rushed to the toilet thinking I would pre-empt
the next time I inhabited a body. Some chance. Not a single
dribble came out. I vowed to have some warning before the
next body change came so I could factor in toilet time.

Back we went to wherever and this time I was summoned to a
meeting. De in the chair, figuratively speaking, “Brad, we
love and respect you but for this next phase of our strategy
we are making you observer status only. Don‟t think we are
cutting you out totally as you still have a major role to fulfil.
But for the moment you have no input. Just sit back and
observe. We are all agreed on this.”
The Fearsome Foursome, Fate, Nature and Destiny showed me
a combined mind. I had no choice. This was my penance for
keeping Luc on board. I accepted it stoically and soared off
into the whatever to observe events from afar.
Chapter 22

Combination

It was awesome to watch. They had fused into one mind and
began their assault on Freeland with a wicked single-
mindedness. The first thing they did was advance time to
modern time. Freeland now occupied most of the land mass of
the planet. But currently they were still the same peace loving
nation that believed in barter as opposed to trade. That was
soon to change.

Nature wreaked havoc on them, storms, torrential rain,
typhoons you name it she threw it at them. War strode across
the earth sounding his clarion call to take up arms wherever he
could. Lucifer‟s imps almost outnumbered the population in
trying to gain souls. Pestilence and Disease left fearsome
destruction behind them. Death put on his best bib and tucker
and joined the party, although he had now recruited Gerald as
his chief actuary and had an army of data imputers to follow
him. Destiny and Fate just looked on. They knew the outcome
of this, whilst I did not have a clue.

In the meantime Fate and I were sneaking some good body
time. Every so often we transform and have a good night
somewhere. I still could not get rid of this constant need to
piss, but I think I had worked it out to the amounts of beers I
thought I was going to drink. But my body actually anticipated
that before I transformed and countered the effects before
it actually happened. That‟s my theory anyway. We were
falling in love with each other. Wow.

Anyway this went on for a couple of centuries and finally I was
called to a meeting. A difficult one it turned out to be as Fate
and I were having a body experience at the time the meeting
was called. We both arrived fairly flushed and excited.

“Are you two not sick of each other yet? Nature was obviously
jealous it was, after all, her green arms that had first wrapped
themselves around Brad.

De was once again in the chair. “Thanks to Luc we now have
some balance in Freeland and they have resisted the original
overtures from HQ. Our efforts have made a multi racial,
multi cultural society and we must take great credit for that.
However there is one final step to take and only Brad can do
that. Should he want to.”

“The problem is Brad” said Luc, “I have corrupted quite a few
souls and they are now working for me. But the worst thing
they will do is claim a false lottery win or nick some bodies dvd
player. I just cannot get any real feeling for even a minor
crime, let alone a real crime. I need your help here.
Remember what we discussed in that last body time? They
have no religion, sometimes you hear the odd echoes of Brad in
a song, “Someday my Brad will come”, but nobody really knows
what it‟s about. With no religion they have no reason to fight.
Everybody loves everybody else and its all ok. We need some
religion here and we need you to become the man to implant it.
We do not want you to become the messiah, that would be too
messy. We just want you to spread the message, falsely as it
so happens, that the messiah is coming.”

“Would that mean me splitting with you guys forever?”

“Afraid so Brad. Once you settle back on Freeland as a human
there will be no turning back. “

“What about Fate?”
“I can come with you Brad, Destiny has told me she will fill the
gap.”

“Do you want to come with me?”

“Of course Brad, I love you.”



They all aaghed. Can you imagine it, of course you can‟t.

I needed some time to think. It was another defining moment
in my life. Where was my Mentor when I needed him?”

“No very far away Brad san. Arways keep your eye on your
mentor. He very quick and very wise. You must go Freeland.
Proclaim the coming of Messiah. But not false as Lucifer
states. The Australian has not gone away and awaits chance to
become Messiah. You are Messiah, not Australian.”

“How can I proclaim the coming of me. It no make sense.”

“It make every sense Brad san. (how come I am suddenly Brad
san?). Fate pave way for you it is her Destiny. You
understand?”

“No.”

“You not learn much on your journeys. You speak with Lucifer,
who is affiliated with God. Lucifer tell you God cocked up and
wishes to make amends but is embarrassed. This is true?”

“Yes.”
“So God makes amends through Brad. Brad becomes new son of
God and leads Freelanders to mediocrity. This new plan from
God. So go and do your job. Is all we ask.”

“Just wait a minute, who the hell are you working for?”

“No work for anyone, purely mentor.”

“Mentors have to be assigned, who assigned you to me?”

“No assigned, pick mind and assign myself.”

“That is bollocks, you are still employed by HQ, and HQ want
this cosy arrangement so they can divert my team from the
facts.”

“No true, I am independent minds advisor, no connection to
HQ.”

“Yet you just said HQ. You little shite you are still working for
them and you want this arrangement to work because HQ want
me to “take my eye off my opponent” Well fuck you I will not
do it!”

“Have it your way Brad. But I will win in the end.”

At last the truth will out. All this time my mentor has been
Trevor, aka the Australian. This plan had been shot to bits
from the moment it was formented. Back to the drawing
board. Which meant back to my old buddies.
Chapter 23

Back to the drawing board

Anybody who has ever been in involved in any form of project
planning will know that it goes wrong the minute it leaves the
planning stage. Whether it is a party for a six year old or
building the Kariba dam, it matters not. The very first minute
it leaves the planning stage and people get involved is the time
it starts to go wrong. Thus it was with our grand scheme. HQ
were on the ball, had anticipated what we were to do and
intercepted it. If I had not called Trevor‟s bluff we would
have played right into their hands.

That still left me some questions to ask my omnipotent gang.
How come they did not suss out my mentor? Very intriguing.
More intriguing was the fact that I could not find them. I flew
around whatever, seeming like forever, and failed to contact a
single one of them. Out here where I had lived, what seemed
like forever, instantaneous contact was the norm. Time and
space meant nothing. Yet now I was isolated. Even Fate who
had vowed to come with me was not available.

I have heard these stories about executives being fired by
osmosis. They are not actually fired but no-one talks to them,
they do not get any work and they are not invited to the office
christmas party. This was my situation at present. I was a
mind in turmoil and the wilderness. What on earth, pardon the
pun, could I do?

Nothing, so I decided to have a fly past Freeland. It was now
enormous. Occupied the whole of the planet earth, except
that occupied by water of course. I just could not see what
the problem was. Everybody seemed to be so content and
relaxed. And that of course was the problem. They were
totally bland. But was it a problem?

I decided to conduct an investigative dig into their life styles.
Everywhere I went I was met with the same attitude. Benign
is the only word I can use to describe it. There was no
competition whatsoever. No sports, no commerce, nothing!
They all were so complacent it was incredible. They all
bartered and refused to travel. Even the protagonist group
spawned from the South eastern Isles appeared to have
accepted their Fate.

I thought a generation ahead and saw major problems. But in
twenty generations there hadn‟t been any, problems that is.
This was looking like life ought to be. Except for the fact that
they had not invented the wheel. Did they need it?

I did not know at this particular moment what I was supposed
to do. I thought nothing. Why antagonise a society that was
clearly at peace, self sufficient and living in blissful harmony?
Why introduce something so volatile as religion? They are
surviving quite well without it. They hadn‟t seemed to have lost
much either. People only died though natural causes and then
they were buried, for hygienic reasons. It all made perfect
sense. They were in harmony with nature. Surely that was all
that was required?

I was at a loss and dashed about like a moth in the dark.
Totally rudderless, but led by an overpowering desire to
incinerate myself against the first available light. Stupid as it
may seem I nearly fell for those incinerators that hang outside
restaurants. I was having a bad time, and what would you have
done?
This period of isolation went on for a long time. I could not see
the point of it, and was getting pretty pissed off. I actually
wanted to pack the whole business up and go back to my
original job on the floating bridge. But I couldn‟t. I was stuck
as a mind in a situation that was totally beyond my control. I
was in a huge vacuum, and alone.

It wasn‟t terrifying, that would be exaggerating, but it was
eerie, and in it‟s own way frightening. Ok guys I was scared
beyond belief. Here I was wandering through time as a mind
and not a single person contacted me. Furthermore I could not
contact anybody else. What would you feel in my position?

I was looking for reassurance that all that I had done was not
in vain when I bumped into Hope. “Hi Brad, how‟s it going?”

“Hello, did somebody speak to me?”

“Of course they did. And I am only allowed to do this when
very other bugger has failed. As they seem to have done in
your case.”

“No, I am the only failure. You would not believe how badly,
and how often I have messed up.”

“That‟s why I am here. The names Hope by the way, Sheila
Hope. I am delighted to meet you. And even more delighted to
tell you that you are on the right track with Freeland. I just
love what you have done with them. However, (I knew there
would be a “however”), there are certain areas that need
addressing. This is where I come in. Can you trust me?”

“As much as I can trust anyone in this insane environment I live
in. So what Hope can you give me Hope, or is it Sheila? And
how come you are the only creature/person I have met that
has a Christian name?”

“Basically I am an Australian, and females tend to be called
Sheila so I thought it would be rather nice if I gave myself a
first, not Christian, name.”

“It‟s a derogatory term, Sheila indicates a flash female who is
easily laid. It is nothing to be proud of or be adopted by a
Deity. Are you either of these?”

“I did not realise that I suppose I am a bit naive in the ways
of sex. I mean I just jot around centuries buoying people up.
I‟m akin to the people who manned the NAAFI vans in world
war two. A cup of hot tea and a bacon butty will take most
pain away. Not that I ever served them of course. I was too
busy in Russia at that time.

You would not believe the agony those Ivan‟s went through.
Trying to disseminate hope amongst those buggers was very
difficult I can tell you. By comparison your Freelanders are
ripe for it. But I only offer palliative medicine. Hope is
determined by what you guys have instilled in them. If they
have the faith and the self confidence in themselves then I
can make enormous changes. However if they are brow beaten
company slaves I can do nothing. They have no Hope, nor do
they want it.

It gets very difficult at times Brad. I sometimes feel that I
want to give up, but if I give up what‟s left? So I have to
major on in a largely unrewarded way in the vain hope, little
joke, that sometime someone will recognise my efforts.”

“Well you do not fit in with the little gang I am currently
working with in terms of personality. They just do not express
doubts, they are all totally self assured and I wonder how you
can help with such an underlying lack of confidence? I am
neither a psychiatrist or a social worker.”

“Brad I am not looking for you to boost my confidence, I am
looking to the Freelanders for that.”

“Excuse me, the last thing the Freelanders need is some
pathetic Deity seeking to bolster her own self esteem. They
need total, and I mean total, commitment from outside forces
who can guide them in the right direction. They have a major
battle coming up against HQ. Frankly I do not see how you can
help. And personally I do not have the time to entertain your
personality disorders.”

“Does that mean I‟m fired?”

“You were never hired.”

So she left. A better place it was without her. Who the hell
needs hope when you have real situations to deal with. Which
still leaves me with a situation I cannot remotely control.
Chapter 24

Real Time

I got sucked up into one of those oh so familiar vacuums and
found myself in a small waiting room with the gorgeous
receptionist from a million miles away. “They won‟t keep you
waiting long Brad.” She said. I looked around and realised I
was in HQ. What was going on?

“They are ready for you now. Please go straight through the
double doors.”

Can I take you with me? Better not express that thought.

I opened the doors to be greeted with a chorus of “For he‟s a
jolly good fellow” etc. They were all there. The Fearsome
Foursome, Fate, Destiny, Nature, Hope, Gerald and Trevor.

Trevor came up to me with a glint in his eye. “Congratulations
Brad San, you pass all courses for admission as Deity. You now
known as Integrity. HE explain all in few moments.” He winked
and wandered off. What the fuck was going on?

Not wasting a moment I went and joined my old buddies and
tried to pump them for information. Not a word, all they
wanted to do was to drink and arse about. I approached Fate
and she betrayed herself as a little tear run down her face.
“Sorry Brad, I was just doing my job, but if it‟s any
consolation I do love you. And if the opportunity ever arises,
well you know what I mean.”

The voice that I had heard at the beginning of this journey
entered the room and everyone fell silent. This time it had a
body attached to it, the voice, not the silence, he was tall,
dark and handsome, as they used to say. More importantly he
exuded confidence, and he wore a white suit to prove it.
Shining white no less. So much so that sunglasses were in
order.

“Hello People, I am so pleased to see you all for Brad‟s
integration as Integrity. Some of the cynics amongst may ask
why we have taken so long with this appointment. Luc I know
you are dying to say something, but just hear me out. Let me
just address Brad‟s appointment for now, is that OK?

“No problem”.

“Brad Johnson welcome.”

I felt anything but.

“Welcome to the Grand Society of Deities. Your final
encounter with Hope convinced us that you had the balls to
tackle the task we had in mind for you from the very beginning.
Everything you have done so far, starting with the phone call,
has been a test of your integrity. But let me expand a little
before we discuss your individual case.

All of us, me included, have been recruited from humans. Our
philosophy is very simple - you cannot become a Deity unless
you have experienced life as a human. It just wouldn‟t be fair.
You have to know how the shop floor works to guide. I say that
deliberately. We guide, not lead. Take Lucifer for example.
He runs around in all sorts of guises trying to corrupt. He is
very successful. But that is because there are so many greedy
humans willing to do anything to achieve fame and wealth, and I
have to say that wealth is a poor second to fame. We are a
team that, incongruously, fight each other. Or balance the ying
and yang of the human species.
An unfortunate accident, which is difficult for an immortal,
robbed us of Integrity. I won‟t go into details now but it did
border on unacceptable behaviour with a minor. You see we are
the only power that can end an immortals immortality. We
don‟t do it very often.

Your name was put forward as a man of outstanding integrity.
As were many others of course. Whilst you have been
undergoing this intensive induction so have several others. For
whatever reason they have all failed and you are the sole
contender for the role. You do not have to do anything for now
but accept this great honour that has been bestowed on you. I
will leave you with your pals to explain the situation in more
detail. Welcome aboard Integrity.”

And he left.

The guys all gathered round me. Welcome aboard Brad was the
general tone. I just slumped to the floor in total
bewilderment. What is going on. And why were we all bodies?
So many questions and who was going to answer them for me?

“It‟s difficult to comprehend Brad, but you soon get used to
it.”

“Thanks Luc, but I am beyond comprehension.”

“Lets all retire to the bar, hang a few on, and I‟ll give you a
potted history of Deities.”

“Thanks Luc. That‟s the best suggestion I‟ve had all day.”
HQ - Lounge Bar

Luc got a round in and we all sat round a large rectangular
table.

“I‟ll give you a quick history lesson and the you can fire away
with questions, Ok?”

“No problem Luc.”

“First thing is that we were all humans at one time. Even the
man himself. As he said you can‟t run an organisation without
experiencing first hand the problems on the shop floor. Don‟t
ask who came first as it is a chicken and egg situation. Truth is
we don‟t know we just accept.

Ok take me for example. I was selected because I was one of
the most evil people on Earth. If you thought Genghis Khan
was bad you never saw me in action. There was a two fold
reason for this. I was as bad as could be, therefore nobody
could be worse. Ergo I could entrap souls with perfect timing
and experience and bend them to my dark ways. But there was
a hidden agenda, that I knew nothing about. HQ were
ultimately looking for grey. By subjecting me to study the evil
I had been, they gambled that I would be repulsed. And they
were right. Eventually from black I became grey.

That is why we all supported, and became actively involved in
your Freeland project. We were, as a group, heartily sickened
by the way humans conducted themselves. Prior to Freeland w
had all but given up. There seemed to be nothing we could do
to strike a reasonable balance. The gap between rich and poor
was ever widening, ethnic atrocities were on the increase and
millions of innocents were dying of starvation through lack of
basic needs and care.
It was totally sickening. Even to me. Pesty and Dis actually
handed their notice in as they felt totally redundant. So HE,
as he is known, decided to do something about it. And radical
it was. At that time this was a huge organisation. The Greek
gods occupied a whole tower block of their own. We had all
sorts, dashing about all day attending meetings and achieving
the square root of fuck all. I mean the proof of the pudding
was in the horrendous way mankind was going. We were totally
ineffective.

Overnight HE arbitrarily axed two thirds of the work force.
He kicked all but one of the Greeks out, retained Bacchus for
some strange reason. Demolished the Persians, actually they
pissed everybody off flying around on those stupid carpets.
Anyway the end result is the team you see today. Irreligious -
just concerned with humanity. And very small. Any global
disasters and we are history. But because we are small and not
managed we can react very quickly as we did with Freeland.

Over to you Faith.”

“I can‟t say much more except that you need to go to sleep and
think about this and can I join you?”

I rejoiced and bought another round. I‟ll find out tonight
whether I am a body or not!




Chapter 25

Inauguration
“Well Brad how do you feel about being an equal? Now we can
really get some serious time together. Come to me big boy and
lets have some real fun.”

“I‟m not sure Fate. Give me some time for this to sink in. I
mean I sort of understood the Freeland stuff, the minds and
all that. But me as an immortal? That‟s pretty hard stuff to
comprehend.”

“It was hard for all of us, but we got through it. It was
nothing to do with me. I must have foreseen twenty tragedies
and twenty good events before I was even considered. Then I
got the call, much in the same way as you did. I was led a
similar dance, although mine was slightly different in that I
was asked to determine an outcome. That was really hard. I
had to determine the end, or beginning of a young man.

Under advice I decided his end would be the beginning. They
crucified him. I have never been the same since. Does that
answer your question?”

I held that gorgeous body in my arms until she fell asleep
sobbing. Mr Integrity had made his first mark. Do not shag
your partners. Well not when they have sad stories to tell and
really want to fall asleep!”

The next morning I awoke as a person. And dashed to the
toilet. I must have pissed for hours. I really do not want this
body if all it causes me is pain and discomfort. I eventually
emerged from the loo to be confronted by Dis. “Sorry Brad, it
was a wind up on my part. A little joke. I will make it go away,
I promise. “

Probably the worst thing you can do in your life is to attack the
harbinger of disease. But I felt I had nothing to loose. I
threw myself at him and punched and kicked wherever I could
find a vulnerable spot. After about twenty minutes he picked
me and threw me into a corner. “Enough stupidity Brad, you
are now one of us. Grow up.” He stalked off.

Good start Brad!

However my urinary problem had gone. Maybe being tough
around here gets results. Hah, just a tiny joke. I really
needed to find out what being Integrity meant. And I did not
know where to go. Who the hell do I talk to about it and who
will tell me what it means?

I went down to the bar and only Dis was left, singing old
Sinatra songs into a beer glass. “Sorry about my reaction Dis,
but I was really annoyed about that.”

“That‟s ok Brad. I was wrong to wind you up. Truth is I‟m
pretty bored and need to keep my skill level up, you were a
natural target. It won‟t happen again now you are one of us.”

“Tell the truth Dis, what exactly does being one of us entail?”

“Heavy commitment, for one, round the clock on call for two,
but most importantly devout belief in what we are doing. That
is where you do not have a problem. You have a commitment to
Freeland that defies belief. None of us had that belief on
inauguration. Way to go Brad, you are in seventh heaven and
ready to rock and roll.”

“That‟s the problem Dis, I‟m not where everybody thinks I am.
Outwardly I appear totally committed to Freeland, but inside
I have this nagging doubt. It‟s a simple one, I do not really
believe they can make it on their own. Where does that put me
as a doubter?”
“With the rest of us Brad. I think it was mentioned earlier
that all plans are great until they involve humans. You just do
not know how they will react. They are so strange and
paternalistic. A small club, be it sea scouts or stock exchange,
encompasses rules instantly. “We have always done it this way”
is the eternal cry of humans. And it does not take very long
for that culture to prevail. It perverts all forms of life and
becomes the natural way of doing things. I think the term is
pervasive. Or does a culture become pervasive? It matters
not. The fact is that they basically like routine and adapt to it
rapidly. This in turns leads to leadership being accepted not by
superior knowledge, intelligence or lateral thinking but by
familiarity.

Thus leaders emerge because they are good at repetitive
tasks, not because of any genuine leadership qualities. The
vast majority of humans are happy to absolve themselves of
responsibility for their day to day lives. These leaders
ultimately become indispensable because they subconsciously
adopt a system that they alone can handle. With the tacit
acquiescence of the people. They do not even have to vote. It
is negative democracy and that leads to totalitarianism.

When you look at Freeland and the type of laid back people you
have created the problem is multiplied ten fold.”

“Great philosophical lecture but how does that help me as Mr
Integrity?”

“You don‟t need the Mr.”

“I know, I was just being facetious.”
“It‟s not simple, in one way, but it is incredibly simple in
another. They need an outside influence to look up to it.”

“Then we get back into that whole God thing that caused this
disaster in the first place. I am not going there Dis whatever
anybody says.”

“Then you need to do some real lateral thinking. I can‟t really
help you as my, clearly laid down objectives, are to wreck havoc
through the input of disease. We do have a slight conflict
here.”

“That‟s ok Dis I do understand. I will have to go and think
about this. But I suspect I do not have too much time.”

“Absolutely.”

Thinking back on my misguided pride over Freeland I realised
the one major flaw. They would be easily lead and led by
leaders who only had their own interests at heart.

A burst of lateral thinking was required, and I was out of
ammunition. Perhaps I needed a holiday, after one day in the
job? Ridiculous. The answer had to be somewhere. I was
reluctant to try analysis of any kind. This had to come from
the heart, not a management stratagem. I had to feel what I
was going to do would be the right thing. Not for me but for
Freeland. I wandered around like a lost soul, which I was,
looking for a solution. Nothing sprang to mind. Come on Brad
keep thinking lateral and the answer will be obvious. But it
wasn‟t. Go to bed and think about it. The answer will be there
in the morning.

I did that. Still nothing. I needed to visit Freeland as a Deity
to see what it was they were exactly missing. Of course whilst
I was thinking HQ were acting. Freeland was being invaded by
a counter state organised by the fearsome foursome. This
time I had to act and act divinely. “See you there Brad.”

How can we act like this there must be some conflict of
interest?

I met them on their way and held them up. “Come on guys we
are on the same side. Give me a little time to prepare Freeland
for your onslaught.”

“Brad, you have your job and we have our job. Do not stand in
our way.”

“Come on guys all I want is a little time to grow into becoming a
Deity and a little time to educate the Freelanders. That‟s not
too much to ask, is it?”

There was a lot of mumbling and muttering and De eventually
came forward. “Brad we will give you 48 hours. Then we move
in.”

“Thanks Guys, I appreciate it.”

“48 hours.”

My they were being artsy to me. Classic example of doing the
job too long. No flexibility. Maybe I was beginning to
understand the problem and near to finding a resolution I had
48 hours to educate the Freelanders. I had some breathing
space. What I was going to do with it I had not a clue.

Time pressure normally makes me totally screw up. I just don‟t
like it. and I throw all my teddies out of the cot if it goes
wrong. In this case I was steely eyed and strong as a bull. My
Freelanders were in peril. I would rescue them. But not as a
super-hero. They needed a long term strategy, not a rescue.
Good solid thinking Brad, shame you haven‟t a clue about what
to do. That was me talking to myself by the way.




Chapter 26

48 Hours

He who rush solution to problem when no clear definition of
problem exists may find solution create problem. That was it -
I did not know what problem‟s would be caused. Ergo I had to
let them happen and act retrospectively. For all I knew the
Freelanders would be ok. I realised I was falling into the trap
of nanny government. The people must decide their outcome,
not the deities. A huge weight lifted off my mind as I realised
I had 48 hours of freedom to learn what being a Deity meant.

Now don‟t get me wrong here I am not absolving myself from
my responsibility to the Freelanders. But as I didn‟t want an
under confident Hope, who needed the Freelanders more than
they needed her, I could hardly foist a worried integrity on
them. You can‟t ride two horses with one arse.

I wonder what faith is doing?

“Thanks to you, nothing for the next 48 hours. Incidentally
Brad, you do learn quick.”
What a 48 hours. It was wonderful. Enough said.

Now you might wonder how time has suddenly appeared. Rest
assured it is only metaphorical, to make a point. It does not
necessarily represent 48 hours in real time as you know it. Ok?

On the 49th, metaphorical hour, I rolled over and went back to
sleep. It could be decades before I fathomed out what the
fearsome foursome had done, a few more hours in bed will not
make the slightest difference. By now you know that when I
say something so confidently things go wrong. But in this
instance they didn‟t. At least not immediately!

By now I had learnt to use the intergalactic scanning spy
computerised system. ISSCS. So I thought I would study
Freeland from afar. Not a great deal happening that I could
observe. Back to bed. But first to the bar.

Full attendance tonight. “Hi guys, how‟s it going?”

“Not too bad Brad. But how come you are not looking after
your precious Freelanders?”

“Easy Luc, I‟m taking your lead and pursuing a laid back
approach. I am being really cool about the whole thing. They
do not need nanny government they just need to think for
themselves for once. Beside I have been observing through
the ISSCS. Nothing I can do at the moment.”

They all burst out laughing.

“I‟m sorry, was it something I said?”

“Sorry Brad, it‟s you, the great antagonist to technological
determinism , believing what you see on a computerised
system. It‟s amazing how complacent you have become within
days of becoming a Deity. Did you not consider how these
systems can be totally manipulated to show you what we want
you to see?”

“Uumph, it didn‟t occur to me.”

“Well it ought to have done, that‟s all I can say.”

“Look again.” said Pesty, only this time use my password -
000000. Its my date of birth.”

I finished my pint, rather thoughtfully, and quietly left the
bar. In truth I gulped it down and rushed out of the bar. At
the console I typed in the rather unimaginative 000000,
followed by Freeland. I was shocked by what I saw. The
Freelanders were engaged in child slave trading. I could not
believe it. These decent, law abiding citizens were practising
one of the most heinous crimes known to mankind. What had
happened? It had to be Lucifer, but even he would not stoop
so low, surely.

I rushed back to the bar.

“Luc I know you are supposed to be an evil bastard but even
you would not start them off on a vile trade such as this would
you?”

“No Brad. I wouldn‟t. But accountants brains work in strange
ways. Profit is the first word they learn - morality the last.”

“Gerald?”

“Afraid so. I put him in place, to my eternal regret, and he
had no commerce to work on. He just came up with the idea all
by himself. Lets face it Brad, selling children for whatever
nefarious reasons is as ancient as time itself. But he plumbed
the depths as far as I am concerned with this.”

“Can‟t you reign him in?”

“Too late, the damage has been done. The appetite is there. I
suspect this is going to be your first, and hardest challenge.”

I looked round the room, Pesty, Dis and De just looked at me
with their innocent wide eyes. It was obvious they weren‟t
involved. “How can we follow that horror?” De said.

Oh I could see how that evil bastard Gerald had manipulated it.
Send a few drawings round, stir up the lust and then make his
pitch. A whisper in this ear, a whisper in the next. Suddenly a
new trade was born. one totally alien to Freelanders, but not of
greed, but of fear. I imagined the imps taking on the dark
role of night time intruders. Terrifying decent families with
their quiet, but horrifying antics. Doors slamming, hissing in
the background. Nothing overt, just a covert campaign of
terror. And then Gerald, the saviour. “I can make this go
away. Just give me a child.”
Integrity had deserted Freeland. I needed to give it back.




Reinstating Integrity

Where to start. First off with the parents who have
succumbed. Sadly my turning back time ploy had long gone so
no hope there. But there was a role for Hope in this.
“I know” she said, “Find every abducted child and comfort
them. Leave it to me Brad. I am up to the task, trust me.”

That left me no detective work. I could concentrate on the
real task. Abolishing this vile trade. It was going to be
difficult, but it had to be done, even if it meant divine
intervention. My first task was to eliminate Gerald and his
imps. Surprisingly Luc helped me out on this score. “Take my
tracking computer. It will tell you where they all are. Just
destroy them Brad.”

I do not want to dwell on this episode as it is a complete
departure from the usual light hearted tone. But if you deal
with humanity and reality, you have to deal with the ever
present sick side of humanity. I make no apologies for this, it
has to be addressed.

I tracked the imps down and fireballed with without a thought.
Then I had Gerald. He was in the middle of a deal with an
extremely distraught couple. I sucked him up in a maelstrom
of hate a pinned him against a blazing wall. I even turned the
heat down so he would suffer longer. “Names of your
corrupted humans Gerald, names. The longer you delay the
longer you suffer. I have no qualms or conscience in this
matter you have been totally evil.” He spat them all out to me
in the hope I would turn the heat up. Perversely I turned it
down, to prolong his suffering. I was in a turmoil of hatred and
wanted to inflict as much harm as I could on this evil bastard.

Luc tapped me on the shoulder. “Calm down Brad. You cannot
get so emotional.”

“Oh yes I can.” And I set off with the list of names he had
given me. One by one I vaporised them, and maximised the
publicity. I wanted Freeland to learn what happened to those
who trafficked in children. They did not deserve a fair trial,
four years in jail and then the chance to offend again, as they
so often do. Vaporization was the only choice as far as I was
concerned.

Hope found most of the “traded” children and returned them
to their parents. I then visited in a “physcic” guise and
attempted to imbibe integrity in them. It is better to be
terrified, and even lose your life, than surrender your child to
evil, was my message. I subliminally passed that message
across the whole of Freeland. It seemed to work as the trade
stopped as suddenly as it had begun. Hopefully forever.

At my request, Faith visited the parents who would not be
reunited and tried to comfort them, as best she could. I
hoped that this dark quest was now over.

But there was one final episode to be played out. My
interference.
HQ - Assessment

“Sit down Brad. We have much to talk about. Your
interference in Freeland for one. What the hell do you think
you were playing at?”

“Just doing the job you empowered me with.”

“We empowered you as integrity, not the avenger. As a Deity
you just cannot go out and arbitrarily dispense rough justice on
a cause you happen to choose. It‟s just not on. We credited
you with more common sense than that Brad. You are supposed
to give the Freelanders the wherewithal to sort their own
problems out, not publicly execute those you consider villains
without any pretence of justice. The Freelanders have to take
care of their own problems, you riding in as vigilante justice
will not help their cause.”

“I‟m sorry but these bastards were guilty of heinous crimes
and they needed to be eliminated. I feel no guilt whatsoever.”

“Great Brad a very short time as a Deity and already you are
judge and executioner. Have you not the wit to realise
balance? Balance is what Freeland needs, not arbitrary gun
slinging from a Deity. Imbue integrity by any means, but not
by fear. Use guile, osmosis any means you like, but not
fireballs and public execution. Am I making myself clear!”

“I understand what you are saying, but what would you have
done in my situation?”

“The same my boy. But that does not make it right. You have
to behave with decorum as a Deity. And you have to give the
Freelanders the respect they deserve. Anyway it cannot be
undone now. So let us move on.
No doubt you will remember the, failed, combined attack on
Freeland. That problem is still extant, forgive me I am
studying for an MBA. The fact is they still have no religion
down there and they are still clamouring for the return of
Brad. They need something else for them to look up to. But we
have learnt from our mistakes and we do not want to go down
the same road again. We do not wish to cause religious
arguments by suggesting several versions of the Bible, nor do
we wish to impose a single religion.

What we are considering is an irreligious religion based on your
Deity of integrity. Sounds a bit odd I know but integrity is
based on truth and honour and that is what we would like to
see down there. As I am sure you would.”

“Of course.”

“The problem is all religions need a history, a book and some
obscure facts to make them a reality. Unfortunately they also
need an earthly talisman, at least in the beginning, to enable
them to ferment and brew to fruition. We are stuffed with
that at the moment because we have not soaked Freeland with
any real history where they can draw on a religious
background.”

I wasn‟t entirely sure I liked the way this conversation was
going.

“Don‟t get too worried Brad. We do not want you to relinquish
your new found status as a Deity to send you to Freeland as a
messiah. We want you to write the book of integrity, but back
date it to the beginning of Freeland. There could be no one
finer. You actually created them, saw them through some
tumultuous times, are there unofficial God, and most
importantly care for them and their survival. What do you
say?”

Nothing, I just sat there stunned. Not too long ago I was to
be a messiah, now I am being asked to rewrite the bible. It
was all too much for my pea brain to comprehend. I tackled
the first question that came to my mind.

“If I back date it how does it get found?”

“Fate will see to that.”

“Ok who are the Freelanders who see the things that are
supposed to happen in my book? “

“Faith and Hope, and two you haven‟t met yet - Charity and
Vision will help you out..”

“What about History, is he/she to be excluded?”

“Good point Brad, I will consult on that one. In the meantime
the incredible resources of HQ are at your convenience.
Commence writing.”

“I know it‟s a bore but one final point, what will the fearsome
foursome be doing whilst I am stuck in a Library writing a
fictitious account of the birth of Freeland?”

“Point one it will not be fictitious, you were there after all,
and point two they are suspended from duties until further
notice. Does that satisfy you?”

“That seems very reasonable.”
Right my next quest in this bizarre journey is to write an
account of the birth of Freeland without being repetitive.
Wish me Luck.




Chapter 27

The Book of Integrity

I sat down at their very hi tech machine and tried to write.
Not a chance. The birth of Freeland was a living, breathing
thing, not something you could commit to a soulless machine. I
needed to relive it with a notepad and an artist. Faith is quite
good in watercolours and charcoal painting as I recall. I must
call on her.

“Not a chance Brad, I have far too much work to do here to
repair the devastation that Gerald left. However I do have a
neophyte who is dying to make a name for herself. I will
entrust her to you on the understanding that you will make no
attempt to shag her. She is very naive and I am very jealous.
Can we make that clear?”

“No problem at all Faith. You can surely trust me?”

“I trust no men. Anyway her name is Ruth, she doesn‟t have a
title, and she will meet you in the bar later on. Watch my lips
Brad, no hanky panky Ok?”

“What more can I say.”

I went to the bar later on and could not mistake Ruth. If any
you have read or seen Lord of the Rings you will have a vision
of the elvern ladies. Slim, gorgeous and enigmatic. Well that
was Ruth, unmistakeably. I sidled up to her, ok maybe I
swaggered a bit. “You must be Ruth.”

“That‟s correct Brad. How can I help you?”

“I need you to come back in time to paint and draw some
pictures. We can‟t send the Freelanders back. But we can go
back as observers. I need some drawings as to how time was.
Are you up for that? “

“I will do anything you request of me Brad.”

Phew. This could be bad news. As much as I love Faith this
lady could be a step too far. No I can handle it. Let us go. We
stepped aboard a time chariot and flew back to the birth of
Freeland.

“Capture all you see, there‟s no danger so we can linger as long
as we like.”
She drew like a soul, if a soul could draw? Great swathes
across the canvas picturing the birth of Freeland. The
beautiful landscape and seascape, the pictures of infants
being born. All would be incorporated in my book of integrity.
My favourite was the storm, when the fearsome foursome
rose and ransacked the place. It depicted hell bent on
destruction and mortals fighting for their existence. I would
not need to write much to append to this glorious, pictorial
depiction of events.

We went back to HQ to put it all together. To be honest we
gave it to the lady in PR to sort out. She sorted the drawings
out and then suggested ways in which I could place speech. It
did not take too long before we had a working copy. And, I
have to admit, it was a top story.

  The Birth of Freeland - Available in all book stores now

Faith distributed the book using a well known supply chain
distribution company. But it did not sell too well. It was up
against stuff like Hannibal 3 and Ghost Story 10. In other
words a little too serious for the inhabitants of Freeland. We
had too make them believe it was their book, their culture,
and their religion.

My master plan to scorch any bookshop that did not stock it
was shot down in flames by a surprising number of votes! With
all due respect to political correctness it had to be introduced
subliminally. How on earth due you introduce a book, which is
supposed to define your character, subliminally? I shook my
head at these meetings and usually left in a state of despair.

Eventually we agreed on a compromise. We would give the book
to everybody. Rather, the book would be given to everybody.
We printed thousands of copies and started giving them out
with the Sunday Newspapers, working on the hunch that
nobody would appreciate the increase in weight. This worked
liked a dream for the 5% who actually bought a Sunday
newspaper. That still left us 95% of the population to reach.
The daily papers were out of the question as they weighed
about 1% of the weekend papers. Any extraneous matter
would go straight in the bin.

We could not slot it through the mailbox, it was too thick, nor
could we hawk it on the street‟s, too blaze. It had to be
found, and it had too be found after an event. Especially an
event that slightly mirrored an event in the book.

I called the gang to a meeting.

“Ok guys do not take this as carte blanche to launch an attack
on Freeland. This is a controlled exercise, to promote the
uptake, not sales, of the Book. Am I making myself clear? “ I
looked carefully at these strange guys. Be ever watchful when
you are talking to the Devil my Granny once told me. And
watchful I was. For not only was I talking to the Devil I was
also talking to his associates.

“Take a chapter from the book and simulate it‟s re-enactment.
No Luc I do not want the citizens actually burned to death. I
want them to fear they will be burned to death, and then the
Book will help them.”

“Brad you are sometimes so fucking stupid it defies
imagination!”

“I‟m sorry?”

“How the fuck can I threaten someone with death by fire but
not actually have the wherewithal to do it?”
“What do you mean the wherewithal, all you have to do is
appear in your normal attire and you will scare the shit out of
everybody.”

“Oh Brad, have you not noticed that my normal attire now
consists of a midnight blue three piece suit, available from
Marks and Spencer‟s? “

“I hadn‟t Luc, but why?”

“Because we are suspended from normal duties. We have to
walk around HQ looking like management prats.”

“Take the opportunity to get your MBA then.”

“Brad we Doctored in management a long, long time ago. We
even inspired some of the crap that is currently written about
it. It suited our cause to have fools believe there is a mission
statement that explains the company‟s existence. They are so
easy to corrupt when they do not realise their only purpose in
life is to make money for other people.

Enough of that, back to your problem. To get us ungrounded
you have to speak to HE. I am sure he will agree as we were
only grounded on your say so in the first place.”

“You seem a little too keen on this. I‟m serious I want fear not
actual harm to come out of this exercise. Can I trust you?”

“Brad, can you trust me. Of course you can‟t. What type of
credibility would I have if you could trust me. Just take my
word that I would not let Brad down and forget the trust bit.”
“That‟s a bit too enigmatic for me. But I have no other option.
I‟ll talk to HE and get back to you.”

Talk about bureaucracy. HE asked for an impact statement, a
financial implication statement, a risk analysis strategy,
health and safety at work implications, a warranty that we
would target all groups regardless of their ethnicity or
disability, and a guarantee that we could not be sued by
anybody for anything. I gave up and walked out. This guy is
supposed to managing humanity not vice versa!

“Ok guys I have to surrender and fall on me knee‟s requesting
your help. If I go through official channels the generation we
are targeting in Freeland will be dead and buried. I have no
choice but to ask you to renege on my behalf.”

“Shit Brad, why didn‟t you say that the first time around. Tell
me again what do you want me us do.”

So that night the fearsome foursome recreated their infamous
raid on Freeland only this time the only deaths they were likely
to cause was dropping a rather heavy volume on a hapless
passer by.

Even this strategy seemed to have little impact. Then it
dawned on me, fool that I am. Most Freelanders could not
read. Why would they need to? They had to understand
nature and work with animals. They lived in the real world, not
a world where reading was necessary.

What was I going to do now? Frankly I hadn‟t got a clue.

We sat round the bar and I related my woes.
“Teach them to read.” someone suggested.
“Great idea. I appear, literally, out of the blue. “Good morning
Freelanders today you are going to learn to read.”

“What‟s reading Brad?”

“It‟s reading what‟s been written so you can communicate.”

“What does written mean and how does it relate to reading,
and where does communication come in?”

“You talk to each other, and by talking you understand each
other, that is the basis of communication.”

“Hey guys this is really clever stuff, when we are talking to
each other we are , what‟s the word Brad?”

“Co-mmun-icat-ing.”

“We are communicating. I like that word Brad. But it‟s too long
for normal use. We like to say we are talking. And by talking
we understand each other. It seems to me they mean the same
thing.”

“Are you guys getting the message here. Because that is what
I will be up against. Whose fucking idea was it to produce a
book for those who cannot read!”

“Mine actually and do not be disrespectful!”

“What am I supposed to be. Thankful that you have set me an
impossible task, grateful for your clear understanding of the
non - understandable, or merely grovelling in the presence of
your omnipotent power.”

“The latter normally suffices.”
“Well fuck you your excellency.”

There was an audible intake of breath at my outburst. But I
had seriously had enough of this pontificating arsehole. But
then there was a round of applause and shouts of “Right on
Brad, show the arsehole, we are behind you.”

“Silence. You will show respect in my presence.”

“Why?”

“Brad Johnson you are really annoying me, and you could well
regret it. You do not have the slightest idea of the power that
I wield.”

“Oh right the truth is finally beginning to emerge, you care
only for your own power. You do not care what happens to the
humans who are supposedly in your care. Which is why you had
me write a book that no-one could read. You just cannot see
beyond your shallow ambition can you? Well I am going to sort
it out and see what you can do to stop me.”

Foolish words Brad., probably petulantly childish. Or maybe
not, because nothing happened. I simply walked out. Very
unusual and a little worrying. I don‟t normally get away with
insubordination in this place. Maybe I had given him food for
thought, who knows. Anyway I had work to do.

I called on Ruth, who plastering a ceiling. “I am sorry if this
inconvenient, I‟ll call back later. “

“No worries Brad, I‟ll just get cleaned up and join you.”
She reappeared in 5 minutes looking immaculate. I was a
complete mess as the unset plaster just dripped down on me.

“So what‟s the score Brad now you have realised that
Freelanders cannot read.”

I was so used to being second guessed by now that I made no
comment. “I need them to have a drawing book. Not so much as
a painting by numbers but a pictorial depiction of the
philosophical events that shaped their lives. The written word
is, at the moment a busted flush. And I need to, initially,
separate history from fantasy. I intend to ask History to
prepare the chronological events that shaped Freeland , and at
the same time get her to introduce education. Your job is
purely to provide the drawings for the more unreal events.

Eventually, when the Freelanders have learned how to read and
write I would like to combine your pictorial history with the
written word of history. That will, obviously take some time.
Are you Ok with that.?”

“No worries Brad, lets get to it.”

Ruth is a talented and quick artist and in no time at all she had
thrown together the type of book I was looking for. A book
that illiterate Freelanders would understand. Again how to
introduce it was a major headache. I mean I could not go
around wakening the dead could I.

 “Sorry to disturb you, I know you have been dead a long time,
but I made a tiny mistake in creating Freeland in that I did not
give you a reason for living. Would you mind if I asked you to
pop back, for a short period and put things right?”
“Sorry Brad, why would I need a reason for living when I am
dead?”

You can imagine it can‟t you. Or maybe you can‟t.

Anyway I gave it a go and to a person they joined me. Don‟t
ask me why. So we went back generation by generation, Ruth
drawing and history writing and educating a select few. It took
a long time, as you can imagine. But eventually we created a
pictorial and written cultural history of Freeland, within which
was contained the book.

It took a while to catch on. Freelanders are slow on the
uptake. But now, this time, as we speak, etc, Freelanders
have a basic religion. And they all feel the same which was the
object of the exercise. However I was now a little concerned
that the vast majority of them could read, and by osmosis
write. Were we now going to get a swathe of left wing
politically correct arseholes writing in the newly formed
newspaper group?

The religion of Brad was gone, which achieved one objective.
All references to him in the drawing and history book were
replaced with a variety of invented characters. The book
simply stated the aims of Freeland which was essentially to
remain free and respect each persons right to an individual life
based on their decisions. With the proviso that they all
respected each others right to privacy and space. Invasion of
this space, in whatever manner, would be dealt with instantly.

As we rolled out the message through the dead generations
everything started to come to fruition. Loiterers were none
existent, people who let animals crap on public footpaths were
immediately ostracised from their local societies, which were
strong. Extraneous noise was treated in a similar manner. The
bottom line was that if you offended your neighbour or your
community you could kiss goodbye to your way of life. In a
nutshell you had a very tolerant society who respected each
other.

I thought mission achieved and, reluctantly, requested a
meeting with HE.

Meeting

“Come in Brad and sit down. Despite your general impertinence
I am willing to listen to you and let you tell me about Freeland.”

“Its gone fine, they are well on their way to self government,
moderate their own behaviour by peer group pressure and are
generally content. They have a modicum of basic, non-
antagonistic, religion and are a contended group of people.
What else can I say.”

“I supposed you think you are finished now?”

“What else can I do?”

“I‟ll think of something Brad! On your way out please send the
fearsome foursome in will you.”

I was obviously dismissed but I was not too happy with this
development. I told Luc and his buddies they were expected
and then hid in a quiet corner and eavesdropped on the
meeting.

“Hello Guys. It appears we have a problem with Freeland. Brad
has done everything expected of him, but it is too good. We
need balance down there and what we have is goodness. But
that is not why I have called you here. We will sort that out
later. More pressing business engages me at the moment. And
you are the guys who can help.”

Crouched in my hiding space I was mystified. But I still had a
lot too learn about this place and the next few moments
astounded me. “Freeland has been a good experiment that
frankly hasn‟t worked. They are far too individualistic to
accept our doctrine. Just destroy it., and let us concentrate
on the other, more important matters such as Mars and
Jupiter.”

“Should we not give Brad‟s book a chance? After all you
commissioned it.”

“I agree with you Luc, but the book has Brad‟s character writ
through it. It is all about wholesomeness, good character
building and people generally being nice to each other. It‟s just
not good enough. Anyway I did suggest we move on, did I not!”

“Sorry HE but we do not want to move on. As a collective
group we are opposed to your suggestion that we destroy
Freeland. We will agree to stirring up a bit of trouble here and
there. But we respect Brad and what he has done and we will
not destroy it.”

I couldn‟t believe I was hearing this. The nastiest most evil
people I had ever had the misfortune to meet were on my side!
What was going on? I felt a nudge at my side. “SSh I am
hiding.” “It‟s ok no-one will ever know that I was here.”

“Who are you?”

“Your creation Brad. I came out of your book and I am about
to go to Freeland to preach right and wrong to the converted.
You did not leave me with a lot to do. Which is a bit sad.”
“What do you mean “Sad””

“Well I‟m a kind of fire and brimstone chap. I like the
elements to stack up in my nature.”

“Whoa one minute how can you be a fire and brimstone “chap?”
It just not add up. “Chap is not a word that is synonymous with
fire and brimstone. It just not have a ring to it. I am the hell
raising chap pales into comparison with I am the hell raising
dragon.!”

“Ok I am bloody confused. I don‟t know what I am. You‟ve
created me but given me no specific personality. I‟m supposed
to be a god, but I can‟t get angry. And I don‟t understand
that.”

“Excuse me I am eavesdropping on a very important
conversation here. Can we just leave this until this particular
moment has passed? In other words, for the moment shut up!”

I went back to the conversation. Nothing, they had dropped
their sound boards down. I could not hear a thing. What was
going on? I will talk to Luc first thing in the morning. In the
meantime I had a pseudo god I had supposedly created to
contend with.

“Let‟s go a get a pint.”

Revelation

“Your book was meant to create a Deity that Freeland would
understand and be beholden to. That Deity was me. Created
from your book.”
“Can I just ask who you are?”

“Nature, of course. Or an off shoot of her. I am not actually
nature, just a trainee standing in for her.”

I was beginning to lose my cool with HQ and myself. Freeland
deserved a whole lot more than a novice Deity.

“Just tell me your experience on a page.”

“I have been around a bit, although that might not show on my
CV . But what I can offer you is an ability to understand that
most cultures need a change manager within weeks of
conceptualisation. It takes only a moment of time to discover
that this is the way we always do things and it takes eons to
unravel that culture.”

I do not pretend for one minute that I am capable of achieving
this turn around with Freeland, but I am willing to give it a go.
I cannot be more honest than that. I feel I am on a hiding to
nothing.

“So what change do you think you can bring about in Freeland?

“Well you all bang on about their goodness and their kindness
to their neighbours. And the fact that they are an integrated,
non aggressive religious society. What change do you want me
to bring?”

“I don‟t want you to bring any change, I love Freeland as it is.
HQ insist it is not balanced and want to enforce massive
changes. Yet the fearsome foursome seem to be on my side.”

“Who are the fearsome foursome?”
“Oddly enough the four horseman of the apocalypse. Hell bent
on destruction. Yet now they seem to be on my side. I also
have some other strange supporters, who do confuse me at
times.”

“It does seem a little confused Brad.”

“It is confused, not very long ago I was an operative on the
floating bridge between East Cowes and West Cowes. Then I
got the call to be a Hero-man, and then became a Deity. I am
not really sure what I am now. But I am sure about Freeland.
It must not be tainted by outside pressures. It has to survive
on it‟s own culture. And anyone who attempts to intervene in
that will have me to deal with.”

“You sound very forceful!”

“I am regarding Freeland. It is my baby, and will always be so.”

“So what do you want me to do?”

“Nothing other than continue the message of goodwill. Do you
think you can do that?”

“No problem Brad. Nature suggested I should come on to you,
she wanted to prove your fidelity. What do you reckon.”

“Very tempting. You have a delectable body, a vibrant
personality, beautiful eyes and legs that a model would die for.
And I would love to make love to you. But I won‟t as Nature
has my heart.”

“She knew would say that. In fat you were almost word
perfect. Just give me a little kiss.”
So I gave her a little kiss. She hugged her body close to me,
writhed around my crotch and all but shagged me on the spot.
With some huge self control I fought this attack off. And she
got the message.

“Sorry Brad, I got carried away with the awesome job I am
about to do. There are rumours , though, about your sexual
preferences? “

“Don‟t worry about that, just do your job.”

She left in a huff, a women scorned, I will never know. Bits
of conversation drifted up to me.

“I can do plague without a problem.”

“But what about Brad?”

“He won‟t get infected arsehole.”

“I did not mean that, I meant what about Brad‟s efforts and
feelings.”

“Luc, the bottom line is profit - yes. HQ has the bigger
picture. And if they need to eradicate Freeland, before we on
to better thing‟s - what‟s your problem?”

“I don‟t know, lets get a beer and talk about it.”
Chapter 28

Brad the super spy

Intriguing what Pesty and Luc were discussing. I needed to
follow them and find out more. Unfortunately the time I had
spent in an extremely uncomfortable position had put my back
out. I was barely able to walk in a question mark position, let
alone spy on the great villains. Nature came to my rescue. She
plucked me from my situation and took me back to her room.
Which, naturally, had everything a modern therapist could
offer.

“Oh do keep going on that massage, it is incredible. I am
unkinking everywhere.”

“I am not actually touching you Brad. I dare not practise my
art in case you sue me. But I am subliminally defecting healing
forces to your spinal condition by gently laying my hands on the
bottom half of your spinal column. And it feels good does it
not?”

“Oh wonderful. Right I have to track those buggers down and
find out what is going on. Do you want to join me?”
“Of course. But do you know where they will be?”

“In the pub, obviously, but how can we be discreet and
unrecognisable.?”

“Hey Brad, did you not enjoy being a mind?”

The duplicity of this girl excites and worries me in equal parts.
Ok I was to become a mind again, but only for a brief period I
added. Only to be greeted with a laconic, “Oh Brad just do
what is right for the time.”

I have to tell you ardent readers that being a mind is an
incredibly easy way to be a spy. You can only be detected by
other minds, and people in a normal state simply do not know
you are there. So we just flowed into the pub, sat behind Luc
and Pesty and listened.

“Luc what sort of shit are you getting into with this Brad guy.
He seem‟s to have you have all in a quandary?”

“Truth is he has. I actually believe in what this guy has to say.
In all honesty I like a good fight. I am not into massacres. You
tell me what fun can be had be had by being so much stronger
than the opposition. It‟s easy for you, you are a duplicitous
cowardly bastard who lays down disease. You have no moral
background whatsoever. Yet you have the brass neck to ask me
what I am doing? All I know is that you will suck up to HQ
forever. As far as I am concerned I will defend, not attack,
Freeland. Tell your friend in HQ that he has made an enemy.
And a bad one at that.!”

I was tittering with laughter until I felt this great arm on my
shoulder. I am sorry I do not have a shoulder why don‟t you
just fuck off. “Of course you have Brad, at least that I can
see. Please accept my understanding. I am now on your side.
But need leadership. Take me forward oh wonderful one, I am
forever in your debt. “

I do not believe this is happening. Luc on my side? This must
be some kind of sick joke. “What is this crap Luc?”

“Ok I was being a bit obsequious, but I seriously believe in
Freeland and will defend it to the hilt.”

“But he‟s not bothered about Freeland - he has other, grander
plans. So what‟s the problem.?”

“In the immediate future none, but in the long term disaster
awaits.”

“I know he wants you guys to destroy it, what could be more
disastrous than that?”

“Ok Brad let me explain it a little further. We cannot totally
obliterate anything. Neither can HQ, it‟s more than our jobs
are worth. The rules categorically state there must be some
residual life left behind. The reason for this is that mankind
can pick itself up with some semblance of continuity. Your
book is fundamental to this grand plan. HE, however, see‟s
your book as a threat to his ultimate goal of stellar control.”

“Why did he commission it then?”

“Because he thought you were incapable of writing it. He did
not realise the close relationship you had with Nature. And he
underestimated your determination and feeling for Freeland.
Furthermore he misread our feelings for what you have
accomplished. Like everybody in history he naturally assumed
we were evil bastards who would do anything required of us.
That was a big mistake on his part. It goes against the grain
but we love a worthwhile opponent, and you have proved to be a
very worthy one. The end result is that I have defected. That
will give him real cause for concern, despite his bluff, he is
still has to answer to a superior being.

However this does not help us in the short term. As we speak
my other buddies are doing what they can to eliminate the
Freelanders. Albeit in a less efficient way.”

“What can we, I, do to prevent this?”

“Get them back on our side.”

“How am I supposed to do this when you clearly failed?”

”Appeal to their better nature. They all have one you know.”

“Do you know where they are?”

“Not only do I know their whereabouts I can take you to them.
Fancy coming along?”



Reunion with the Beasts

Another moment of transporter madness and I was taken to
another place. There they all were poised over maps with little
plastic thingies representing themselves. “Hi guys.”

“Brad, welcome to our planning room. You are just in time to
witness the project plan for the destruction of Freeland.”

“I want to talk to you about that. What are your views on
Jupiter and Mars?”
“Oh very long term, not much to bother with at the moment.
But HE has some great ideas in the pipeline.”

“Do you not think they are just a little out of your sphere of
influence? Just suppose, Pesty, you shot of to Mars on of
HE‟s galactic craft and came back with a disease yourself. You
would not like that would you? Especially if it was a terminal
Martian disease. You as an immortal would not take too kindly
to a terminal disease, would you?”

“Brad you are talking rubbish. As an immortal I cannot
contract a terminal disease.”

“You are a thick bastard aren‟t you. You are immortal in the
Earth environment. But are you immortal when you step out of
it? I am not convinced that inter galactic travel is covered
under your terms of reference. In fact I would go so far as to
say that you are not covered. Take a look at your contract, I
think you will find it does not cover the odd trip to Mars.”

“Brad, you do so misunderstand me. All I am trying to do is
spread disease. Where I do it is academic. So why don‟t you
just piss off and let me get on with my job?”

“Just trying to save from yourself. Don‟t let me stand in the
way of your self destruction.”

So off they went the three horsemen. They returned
defeated and old men on their last legs.

For once Nature panicked. “What are we going to do with
these guys. We need them to keep a balance. They are all
dying of inter - galactic diseases. Brad you have to help.”
“Great, I have to help! These bastards have caused me more
grief than you can imagine, and I have to help them? Ok I feel
a little guilty about winding them up about their inter-galactic
abilities but it did take the heat off Freeland.”

“Brad, I am begging you, if we lose these guys we are all in
serious trouble. HE will have total control. We can‟t let this
happen. You have to help.”

Luc decided to join in the discussion. “She‟s right Brad, only
you can help in this situation. Without you taunting them they
would have just destroyed Freeland and would now be fit and
well. You have to accept some responsibility for that.”

“Oh fucking great. Once again I save Freeland and I subjected
to abuse. I did not tell those three freaks to venture into
outer space. I merely suggested it was beyond them.”

“Knowing full well what they would do!”

“Is that an accusation Luc?”

“Yes, you devious bastard. You are learning too quickly for my
liking. But my buddies are now in serious trouble and what are
you going to do about it.?”

“Nothing. Let them rot as far as I am concerned. They were
about to annihilate Freeland till I diverted them. So fuck
them, why should I care how they fare.”

Fate stuck her oar in again - “Brad you obviously do not realise
this but you are the only one who can undertake intergalactic
travel, as a mind, without any fear of contracting disease.
You are our only hope of saving the fearsome threesome. You
have to do this.”
“But why should I do it? I owe these things nothing.”

“Just think about what you are you saying Brad. Suddenly your
pal‟s are things and you owe them nothing. How about the time
they stood up for you. Does that count for nothing?”

“At the time it was very welcome. But how quickly did they
revert to type? At one time they would have defended
Freeland with all their might. Next time it‟s lets destroy it,
because HE says so. So my loyalty is now a one way street, me
and Freeland. And anybody joining better be there for the
duration, not when it suits them. Does that make my position
clear Fate, as it applies to you as well!”

“Listen Mr Johnson, it‟s about time you grew up and accepted
your role in this situation. You do not have a choice, you have
to do whatever is presented to you. I thought you realised that
by now. You and I are controlled by factors way beyond
anything we could possibly imagine. I am supposed to be Fate,
but I do not decide it. It is sent to me and I have to implement
it.

Forget HE, he is a transitory figure in this game. But a
complete Fearsome Foursome are essential to it‟s successful
outcome. You have been selected as the one to ensure their
continuance. Believe me you would not have been mine or
anybody‟s choice had we been given an option. You are vain,
obsessed and pretty inept. But we have no choice but you.

Just accept your Fate Brad and do what is required of you. Or
don‟t accept it and do it the hard way. It‟s entirely up to you.”

“Great choices you give me. What do I have to do?”
“Find an antidote for the disease that has stricken three of
the Fearsome Foursome down, and find it quickly we do not
have much time. They may yet play a part in protecting or even
saving Freeland. But not if they are dead.”

“Am I ever going to be told the full story?”

“Only when it‟s over. Now go quick - as a mind you can think
yourself on Mars and there you will be. When you have a
material product, such as a sample of the virus or bacteria
think hard and it will be collected. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sure - I am on my way.”

I thought very hard, left my body, yet again, and landed on
Mars.
Chapter 29

Mars

I was very glad I did not live here. Boiling hot, no sign of
habitation and no people. I was expecting little green chaps
with three heads and massive eyes but not a sign. Nothing. A
massive rolling red hot landscape with not a soul in sight.
Where to begin?

I flew hither and thither with no particular plan in mind. Just
trying to find a starting point. Nothing came my way,
intellectually anyway. Three of the Fearsome Foursome had
been struck down by some terminal diseases and the answer lay
here. But where?

No obvious causes for disease such as rat colonies or polluted
rivers. It was too hot for that. No population, that I could
see anyway, and no other form of life whatever. So where
could this virus or bacteria have sprung from?

So why would HE have sent them here? There must be life
because his whole philosophy is based on domination. There is
no way HE would want to dominate an uninhabited planet. It
just did not make any sense. I started to take a closer look at
the ground. Still nothing. It appeared to be a seamless mass
of boiling landscape. Then I spotted what appeared to be a
closed opening. It wasn‟t much but as I drew closer I could see
that it was definitely a shape. I gently tapped, nothing. I
should be able to go straight through this. No problem.

I wished I had not bothered. I entered a world totally beyond
my comprehension. There they were lot‟s of HE clones, dashing
about and concluding deals. These bastards were attacking
every Martian who owned the smallest plot of land. They had
set up call centres and backed it up with footmen knocking on
every door.

I was really going to struggle here - but I have to get an
antidote. I also had to understand a universe that lived
underneath molten lava. The plus points were no double glazing
salesman and no carol singers. Pretty poor plus points when you
had the whole of HE‟s propaganda machine set up against you.
I decided to go for it, and damn the consequence.

My first stop had to be the local hospital and I found it quite
quickly. I followed a speeding ambulance! Ok, so it first of all
took me to Martian equivalent of a pile up on the M25, but then
it led me to a hospital. I zoomed in and had a look at all the
areas. Spot the arsehole. I was looking for the contagious
diseases ward. Why? They were probably not contagious
diseases on Mars. What had debilitated my buddies could have
been the common Martian cold. Go to the Labs I suppose. But
what the fuck do I know.

I wandered around for hours not seeing any obvious source of
infestation. Then it dawned on me, it often takes a while! To
be so afflicted they had to have been in an area inhabited
purely by foreigners. The airport lounge - that had to hold the
answers. I turned my disease sensors on and headed for that
very place.




Welcome to Mars

It seems Mars dos not welcome it‟s guests kindly. They are
subjected to numerous health checks and bombarded with
Martian bacteria and virus. I suppose the point is that if they
can survive then they can become good Martian citizens. I
followed the route the Fearsome Threesome must have taken
and I was amazed.

These swine‟s infected you at every point. It is the only world
I have entered where you were infected with, not inoculated
against, disease. I suppose there must be some logic in it but
it escapes me!

But it does solve my problem. If the have vaccinations that
give you disease they must know what causes the disease and
ergo have vaccinations that cure it. A quick trot around the
airport should unearth a laboratory somewhere. On second
thoughts why not follow an incoming group of passengers and
see what the whole procedure was. I checked the incoming
board and found that a flight was due in from Jupiter within
the hour. No problem I would just wait for them. In the
interim period I would mentally calculate what the square root
of naff all actually meant.

At last the flight landed and I followed the passengers
through. “Jupitereans - welcome to Mars. In order to protect
our own citizens from infectious disease, and to ensure that
you will be as hardy as them we, reluctantly, have introduced
a policy of giving new arrivals injections that will give you all of
Mars infectious diseases before you can pass through
immigration. Unfortunately this does mean that some of you
will die but please do not let that put you of recommending our
wonderful planet for that life shortening break you all deserve.
Just remember that we have the finest molten lava undersea
beaches in the whole galaxy. Should you live to enjoy them.

Now if you would like to make your way in an orderly queue to
the medical desk we can begin the process. Once again
welcome to Mars and for those of you who survive have a very
pleasant holiday.”

I watched this in amazement. Surely my old buddies would not
have fallen for such an obvious means of genocide. I am going
to have to check with them before I go any further. No, wait
a minute. Lets be scientific about this Brad and check on how
many vaccinations are given and what each ampoule says.

I hate boring readers with minute detail so I will just that
there were three injections all of which, according to the
label, were individual diseases. No MMR here fortunately. I
don‟t need to talk to the guys all I need is one ampoule of each
and then I can get an antidote made.

I remembered what Nature said and thought hard over each
ampoule hopefully projecting an image into a being that had the
ability to land on Mars and physically collect them. I found out
later that that was unnecessary. By me thinking hard the
substance could be analysed and reproduced.

I thought I had done enough by now and left as quickly as I
could. I did have a passing thought that I would not like to be
the shoes of the Inter Galactic Holiday company who sent
people on a package tour to Mars. “Welcome to Mars, some of
you will die.” Not exactly great package tour advertising, but
quite in keeping with HE‟s evil mind and it seemed I had
uncovered a quite legitimate form of mass inter galactic ethnic
cleansing. No wonder HE wanted to control Mars. Any race he
did not care for could be sent on a two week budget holiday,
never to return. And who would report them?

Anyway at this moment in time the clock was racing against the
Fearsome Threesome and I had to find out what was happening.
I would deal with Mars later. But trust me they will be dealt
with.

I found myself back from whence I came. It matters not
where I am from the stories point of view. “How are they
doing?” I asked Nature. “Great, thanks to you. We managed to
obtain enough molecular analysis to produce an antidote and
the guys are responding really well.”

“Can I go and see them?”

“Not yet Brad, we really do have to explain to them what went
wrong and how it was corrected. Their egos will be shattered
and they will need a team of ego management counsellors
before they will be able to face you.”

“Ok I can live with that. In the meantime what is happening to
Freeland”

“Nothing. Without the Fearsome Foursome HE is ineffectual.
He can irritate but no more. He is waiting for a full recovery
to devise a new strategy. In fact he is already losing faith in
them since the Martian cock-up and is talking directly to the
Martian leader. For the moment Freeland is the least of his
concerns.”

“This seems like a very good time to prepare Freeland for the
inevitable. I think I will go and see what‟s going on down there.
But before that you and I have some time to catch up. On my
way to Mars I passed this amazing floating restaurant and I
have booked us a table for two this evening. We will, of
course, have to go as bodies.”

“Of course.”
What an amazing evening. A superb meal followed by an
unbelievable time in bed, followed by the best sleep I have had
in decades. The journey hither and thither was also exciting as
it was with an unlicensed inter galactic taxi. I will spare you
the details but it was a lot of fun.

Back to work. I had begun to work out a good percentage of
HQ‟s strategy.




Inter Galactic Ethnic Cleansing

Quite a title. But also a reality. That HE was purging the
galaxy was beyond doubt. Why was the question. I knew he
had plans to become an absolute ruler but I still could not
figure out exactly where he was going. Understanding his
strategy did not give me insight into his ultimate goal. Could it
simply be total control? At this point in time I do not really
know.

But they kept pouring through Mars. Day trippers, weekenders
and 2 weeks for one. All hell bent on destruction. Thousands
of beings were being exterminated in a quite ruthless exercise.
All controlled from HQ.
But why depopulate the galaxy? It made no sense. And then it
occurred to me, the last penny finally dropped. I needed to
get the Fearsome Foursome back on my side. I wish I had been
brighter and seen the problems from a higher viewpoint. This
guy was actually making people in his own image. He needed to
rid the galaxy of normal population and implant his “siblings” in
their place. We need to act fast to stop this!

The Two Goats Beard Pub

I arranged for us all to meet here. Down in the depths of
Cornwell. Real Ales and fine home cooked grub. They could not
resist it, especially as I was paying. After about 5 pints of ale
and three helpings of the beef and beer pie, with chips, they
opened up.

 I have to say that most of the locals had left by this time.
The only people left behind were the obnoxious bastards who
peddled drugs. War and Pesty had a real go at them. I don‟t
think these people will ever go back to their former occupation.
Mainly because you need arms and legs to get about. Enough
said. They were also told, in no uncertain terms, that they
should worry about their future health.

It‟s quite strange but I felt no guilt whatsoever in my guys
incapacitating and inoculating theses guys with disease. They
deserve everything they get. In fact if we could find every
drug dealer we would subject them to the most horrendous
pain before we killed them. Let their death at least equal the
life they have put a normal person through.

“Hey Brad, why don‟t we just purge the world of these
Bastards. We can do it a couple of hours. Just say the word
my man and we will be off.”
I said the word.

Within hours every Drug dealer in the World had been struck
down by a mysterious disease that took their lives. We now
had the problem of picking up those unfortunates who had
succumbed to the Drug Barons. Since they were no more we
had to shelter and debug those unfortunates. It was not going
to be easy. But my team were up to the task.

We first sorted out a 100 places where they could go and live.
Slowly they came, reluctant to accept our overtures.
Eventually it became an avalanche Their worst fears on
meeting one of the Fearsome Foursome were cast aside as I
put a den mother in charge. A kindly middle aged soul who had
a lot of experience of life. They were not to hard to recruit
and were superb in the job. A warm welcome to a drug free
environment was their message. Each person was given a room
– with a kitchen and toilet. But they were also encouraged to
go to the community hall on a regular basis. Here they could
eat, drink in moderation and were encouraged to discuss their
addiction.

I was amazed at the depravity we encountered. 12 year old
girls mugged into prostitution by being turned into druggies. It
really was a wake up call into how evil this life had become. It
reminded me of my responsibility to Freeland and my vow that
it would not take the same route. HE had much to learn about
me!

Whilst I could not abandon this world, wherever it was, my
loyalties lay with Freeland which I would protect at all costs.

The problem was separation. I did not really understand the
world I currently inhabited. Was it this world or was it
Freeland? I needed to talk to my pal‟s and sort it out.
Another pub lunch was called for. What else do you do in a
crisis!

The Wanders Arms had the most delicious pint of real ale.
Brewed locally it travelled no more than 5 miles from brewery
to it‟s point of decantation. You might argue that that made it
very young when served to a group of real ale connoisseurs.
But it was never allowed to leave the brewery until it was at
perfection in the fermentation stage and required only a couple
of days laying down time. The boys could not believe the taste.
Although the landlord was a little perturbed. Four and a half
strange creatures drinking his months allocation of real ale in
one afternoon was hard to bear. But, lets be honest, he would
not argue with this crew.

Over this golden nectar we began to devise a final strategy for
the downfall of HE. I first had to establish where the
Wanderers Arms where, if indeed it did exist. I was a little
confused! Fate reassured that although it was a real world, it
was not the world I used to know and it certainly wasn‟t
Freeland. I say Fate reassured me but that wasn‟t quite the
case as the ale and food tasted real enough. Anyway I had
enough on my mind with HE and Freeland. Wherever we were
was fine by me as long as it was not my responsibility. “Don‟t
worry” she said. So I didn‟t.

“Right what about HE the? He clearly has to be stopped else
the Galaxy will be taken over by his clones. How are we to do
this?”

“It will be difficult as HE does not actually exist, nor does HQ.
And if it does not exist how can he and it be destroyed? “

“Good positive start Death, any other observations that will
help us!”
“No need to be sarcastic Brad, I am just stating the obvious.”

“There must be some substance to the situation surely? How
can someone who does not exist inhabit a non existing place and
cause such havoc? We will just have to force his hand until he
becomes a substance, of some sort, then we can destroy him.”
Ever the clever one Fate piped up. “Why not just seek out his
force and destroy that.”

“What if he has no force?”

“Of course he has. Somewhere there must be some controlling
factor, some kind of force that he is fronting. We just have to
find it.”

“Great we are now dealing with a character and a structure
that do not exist and to destroy them we have to find a force,
that probably will also not exist, and destroy it. Just where
would we begin in this vacuous chase?”

“In the beginning.” Said Pesty.

“Oh no, not this bloody time travel again.”

“Fraid so Brad. There is not other way.”

Time Journey

I have to admit that this one was not too bad as I was able to
observe the birth of Freeland backwards. Quite impressive
really. What a world I had helped create. Eventually we
arrived back at the birth of time. There was nothing. Just
total darkness, silence and stillness. It had a really eerie
quality to it, very strange and very discomforting. Well I just
looked at my buddies with total desperation in my eyes, what
on earth, pardon the non-pc statement, were we going to find
here.

“Just wait”. Fate of course. So we waited, and waited.
Nothing but silence and stillness.

“Sorry I kept you waiting but I had an urgent email to deal
with.”

We looked at each other astonished.

“It‟s ok you won‟t see me but I can see you so don‟t worry about
it. You were a little early but not all plans work to an exact
timetable as I‟m sure you are aware. Well my Fearsome
Foursome doing exactly as I anticipated, Fate playing her part
and Brad Johnson my Superhero. What a wonderful team and
just in time to bring about the end of this pitiful existence I
got so badly wrong.

Brad it was meant to be Freeland from day 1. But I cocked it
up by listening to this team of management consultants. Give
them freedom of expression, collective responsibility,
empowerment and above all give them targets. Oh what a fool
I was to listen to these educated idiots who had no experience
of real life. I appreciate they couldn‟t have because it did not
exist, but they could have shown some foresight. Cost me a
fortune to.

Anyway that is by the by. We, I mean you, have to sort this
mess out. Don‟t get me wrong I am not sloping shoulders on
this but I cannot intervene directly. My terms of employment
forbid it absolutely. Clearly you have come here for guidance
on how to rid the universe of HE and HQ. You also need to
understand the parallel worlds scenario. I did have a
PowerPoint presentation for you but one of my advisors
suggested it might be better if I got your undivided attention
through speech. I think it‟s probably boring. But what the
Hell. Excuse me just a little in house joke.

The World as you know it, with the exception of Freeland,
does not exist. However everything you have done there is
ported to the subliminal psyche of all Freelanders. They do not
know what they know but they will know it when they need to
know it. That probably sounds a bit strange but just trust me
on it. So do not think your work with drug dealers, for
example, was in vain. Nor your humanitarian efforts in
providing the support to those that had been abused. Far to
often a problem has been eliminated without any thought given
to the effects that it will cause after the event. So I hope
that is clear in your minds.

The main problem you now face is the elimination of HE and
HQ. I cannot believe I was so wrong about him. And wrong I
was. Once again I must put my hands up to a serious lack of
judgement. Anyway as neither HE nor HQ exist practically you
have a major problem. One cannot destroy that that does not
exist. And basically this is why you are here. You seek my
advice.

HE‟s Achilles heel is his greed. If he is lead to believe he can
control Freeland he will show his true colours. And then, and
only then can he be destroyed. Once he is destroyed HQ will
vanish very quickly.

Brad, this is your last task in this strange story you have been
involved in. But only you can make HE reveal himself for what
he is. And then you can all strike. But only then, you must
wait for Brad and his signal. And only Brad will know when it is
right to give the signal. Is that clear?
Good so I bid you good day and wish you Luck. It was nice
meeting you.- ciao.”

I picked my jaw up of the floor and looked at my pals. “Was
that who I thought it was?”

They just answered me with their enigmatic looks. “Ok guys
before we do this how about a final fling at the virtual
Woodvale?”

No enigmatic looks this time and off we went for a huge booze
and scoff out. It was wonderful. The look on Sue and Doug‟s
face was worth the trip. Especially after we ate them out of
their famous beef and ale pie and drank most of their London
Pride. Enough time in the morning to get serious.
Chapter 30

The Final Journey

There was not a lot to discus the next morning. My
instructions were quite implicit and the gang could not be
involved until I gave the word. When that word would be given
would be known only to me, not for security reasons but in the
hope that I would know when the time was right.

We set up our communications protocol and once again we had a
tearful farewell I would only contact them again when I had
flushed HE out. It was a fairly poignant moment as well as we
all knew when I gave the word that would be the end of the
floating bridge, my flat in East Cowes and the Woodvale. I
apologise for being personal but when you are about to
engineer the end of the World you knew it helps to
concentrate on small issues. Whichever way it meant this
particular globe was shortly to be history. I took comfort in
the fact that it did not really exist.

On the other hand the Fearsome Foursome were as excited as
small children on a trip to a fairground. I suppose you can‟t
blame them, after all destruction is what they do. I held back
a small tear – because bad as they are I was very fond of them
and I knew I would be the harbinger of their own destruction.
I knew I would never see them again. As for Fate, maybe she
would have a part to play in the protection and growth of
Freeland. Who knows. For all the destruction I was about to
cause I had to keep my beloved Freeland at the forefront of
my mind. I just hope I have the strength of character to see
this story through to the end.

Enough prevarication - I went into mind state and went in
search of HE.
The search for HE

In the old days I could just have requested a meeting. But now
he had to know that his number was up and was keeping a very
low profile. I scatter shotted everywhere but no sign of the
bastard. Ok plan 2 I will go to Freeland and hope to draw him
out that way.

Knowing me you will find this quite normal if a little eccentric.
I ceased to be a mind in the capital of Freeland and screamed
at the top of my voice – “HE where are you – you bastard we
have things to discuss.” Imagine my utter disgust when I was
taken away by two obnoxious Freeland policemen and locked up
for the night on charges of being drunk and disorderly. I
couldn‟t believe it. This was my creation and they were locking
me up. What is going on?

Whoever I demanded to speak to was unavailable. And
whomever I spoke to could not comprehend the square root of
naff all. This was seriously pissing me of. I am here to rid the
world of the evil HE, protect Freeland, for eternity and I get
treated like some drunken bum who is busted on a routine
Saturday night. What the fuck is wrong with you people?

Eventually they let me out, with a caution. “Any more
behaviour like that and you will be locked up for the rest of
your life. Now go away and do not disturb us again.”

I was going to go away and complain about my treatment when
it finally dawned on me. They were going to lock me up for the
rest of my life for shouting on the main street. The philosophy
of Freeland was based on consideration and respect for your
fellow neighbours. If I was threatened with incarceration for
life for creating a disturbance what crime levels were there.
Obviously none. I felt a huge warm glow of happiness take over
my body. Yes – Freeland has made it.

Ok put plan 3 into action, although it really disturbed me.
Wander around as a mind, again, to track this bastard down.

Off I went seeking hither and thither. No result. “You look in
pool and see onry your reflection – maybe you should look
beyond pool to achieve ultimate goal of your self resurrection.”

I thought Gerald was long gone. But he was right. I dived into
the pool, as a mind, I did not want to be detected, or drown.
Minds need no oxygen. Anyway to cut a long story short I
emerged in HE‟s world.

HE’s World

Amazing is the only way I can describe it. He was sat there
like some old roman emperor being fed grapes and wine. “Ah
Brad, good to see you. Are you willing to come to a deal? We
really miss you, you know. Freeland is ok in my care. You have
nothing to worry about.”

“You do. Starting now.” I pressed my bleeper and the
Fearsome Foursome began their final act on HE‟s base.

Confrontation

I don‟t know how but these guys had moved into the modern
age and had weapons of mass destruction. They did not attack
in their old biblical way but attacked en masse with a huge
array of weapons I had never seen before. I suppose it was
about time they grew up!
HE‟s base, and he along with it, was totally destroyed with one
hit and then they began to seriously destroy the rest of the
World. It was awesome to watch. But also very frightening – I
was thankful that this was a virtual World, not a real one like
Freeland.

Eventually it was all over – and then came the really hard part.
I pressed my buzzer thrice, as I had been instructed.. “You
have done well Brad, but do not consider the next action part
of your doing. It was always meant to be. Just watch and
believe.”

The Fearsome Foursome appeared above the horizon. And they
were decked out in their horrific splendour. Their horses
neighed and the riders grunted. The sun back lit them and
made them appear translucent. And the thunderbolt struck
them exactly on time. They were instantly vaporised. No more
piss up‟s down the Woodvale for them.

I wandered around as a mind but there was nothing left. I
could not study the remains of the floating bridge or the
Woodvale because it had all been vaporised. Where the earth
had once been there was an empty space. Nothing remained. I
was horrified, fascinated and gleeful.

I flew back to Freeland – as a mind – I didn‟t want to get
arrested again! All seemed to be in order. I transformed and
checked into a Hotel. Where I was asked to declare any noise
making apparatus such as an electric toothbrush. I declared all
I had and went up to my room.

“I bet you did not have to declare wanton females?”

“Fate!”
“It‟s Ok Brad we were meant to be. But there is a little
problem I would like to talk to you about!”

								
To top