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When All The Wars Have Ended
by Tanya Shliahov
3/18/2020 / Short Stories
SMASH! Corlize, an Air Force officer in Jupiter’s Astral Nuclear Division, clung tighter to the steering lever of her silver gunner-sphere as it hurtled past another ball of exploding rubble. It was February 2065 and she was plunging further into the fiery red core of the stem of a billowing mushroom cloud, the aftermath of a thermonuclear bomb. Zutron and Planotron, once ardent allies, were in the midst of another nuclear war and Corlize had once again been selected to test a newly developed technology capable of eradicating nuclear debris.
For ten years, the occupants of the moons of the planets Zutron and Planotron had stood tolerantly by as Zutron and Planotron fought like cats and dogs over who should be allowed to extract glinear, a valuable metal, from the asteroid belt which separated them, but after a long and tense meeting, it had been decided that these toxic wars could continue no more. The inhabitants of Zutron’s and Planotron’s moons could no longer endure the damaging effects of the lethal yellow rain which inevitably tore across the pitted surfaces of their star-like homes every time an east air swelled, and so communications had been started on how to develop an agent that could neutralise the potency of nuclear power.
Corlize’s gunner-sphere was already a testimony to what could be accomplished when the ingenuity of such great minds as Captain Horace Rayner’s and Sandra Baxter’s were put together. The gunner-sphere, a circular flying airship, once commonly used by Jupiter’s Air Force, was coated in an invisible resin which had only just recently been discovered by the pair. The resin was resistant to nuclear activity! This discovery had sent a ripple of hope through the citizens of Zutron’s and Planotron’s moons, that their anguish would soon be over, but progress had been slowed by the fallout of a messy break up between the two masterminds, Horace and Sandra, who had once been infatuated with each other.
Now, Corlize was on a mission to prove that the resin, consisting of a fungicide found growing on the underside of an ancient megalith on planet Earth, had the ability to ingest nuclear radioactivity, rendering nuclear atomic bombs powerless. Its only glitch was that the fledgling science required the shooter to enter the venomous mushroom cloud itself, which although proven to be safe now with the use of the resin, was not an assignment for the fainthearted. Now, as Corlize attempted to fire the fungicide at the heart of the nuclear warhead, which was thundering all around her, bizarrely, she began to dissect her last encounter with Captain Horace Rayner, first officer of the Novel Devices Unit of Jupiter’s Air Force. She had thought she had detected a look of concern in his cobalt-coloured eyes and a tone of affection in his resonant voice, which went beyond the normal worry of a senior officer for one of his submissives. He was hard to read though. Even if he had developed feelings for her, would it be a good idea to reciprocate his affection this soon after his break-up?
Horace and Sandra had been completely in love with each other. Everyone had envied their intimacy. What could possibly have gone wrong, and would they still continue to make amazing discoveries together capable of liberating the galaxy? To be honest, Corlize had never really seen what was so great about Sandra. She had a razor-sharp intellect to be sure, but did that really outweigh her pernicious personality? She had always believed Horace could do better, not that Corlize was saying she, herself, was so great, but she would certainly like the opportunity to try!
Then, she saw it, a sight that snapped her out of her daydream and back into reality, a sight that would never leave her, not as long as she lived. It was a small boy clinging to a weathervane that she guessed must at one point, before the nuclear blast, have been attached to a roof top. He wasn’t crying. He didn’t seem scared, and that was what was so shocking about it - plus the fact that his body was bloodied and oozing, the effects of the nuclear radiation. Corlize prayed that God would some how protect the boy clutching to the weathervane and bring an end to all wars.
Once back at command, Corlize’s first thought was to head straight to her bunker. She wanted to be alone communing with God as she read her Bible, allowing Him to heal her of what she had just seen, but she was intercepted by Captain Horace Rayner!
“Corlize. I am very impressed with what I saw you do up there!” He said.
“Thank you, Captain” she replied her voice cracking “but I think it will be the last time I go. I saw some distressing things. It’s getting too hard.”
“Well, if you need some time off that can be arranged” he said, softening. “I wish I could make the dispersal of the nuclear-eating fungicide less dramatic, but without Captain Sandra Baxter’s help, it will take time.”
“Yes, flying into the centre of an atomic mushroom cloud is quite chilling, even for a seasoned flyer such as myself” she said, trying not to let him see that she was on the verge of tears, but she hadn’t fooled him!
“Stay strong, Corlize! Remember, one day God shall judge between the nations and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore. It says so in the Bible” he encouraged.
“I didn’t know you read the Bible” she grinned, trying to look less forlorn.
“Its not something I brag about” he said “although I’ve been thinking, maybe I should be more open about my faith. We never know what life has in store for us. Maybe, tomorrow, my friend’s time could be up, and if he didn’t go to Heaven and I never told him how he could, I’d be feeling pretty bad.”
“That’s a great reason to be more open about your faith!” Corlize enthused as Captain Rayner took her arm, guiding her to a place where they could talk more.
Isaiah 2:4 NKJV
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