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21 days in May
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Ancient Utopian Nightmare

While clearing out the attic of our antiquated local library the other day I found a box marked with a date in the future. Inside was some stuff I couldn't identify and a bunch of scratched blue-ray discs that looked as old as the hills.
This is a transcript of the only intelligible audio recording I could retrieve...

"How did the war start, Gran?"

"A stinking book of wishes and promises, Son."

"A book?"

"Yeah, see, the followers of this book believe that every word is perfect, that everything it says should be followed by all people all over the world."

"Wow! It must be some book!"

"It's not really, Son; they're brainwashed into thinking so but it delivers nothing new or good. It's a very old document written in the times when soldiers still wore shining armour and rescued maidens from dragons."

"Wow, that's old! That's older than you, isn't it Gran?"

"Ha, it' is, Son; much."

"Did they invade in longboats, like the Vikings?"

"No, although looking at the place now, they may as well have done. No, they had it all worked out; they used their women as baby factories, to grow soldiers and voters. Vile misogynists! This wasn't the first place they came to but everywhere it was the same story; the countries into which they were migrating were peaceful, unaware of the threat. They allowed the believers to settle in their lands, shared their harvest and broke bread with them. And the believers, they quietly grew their armies and drew their plans against them."

"Where did they come from?"

"Their religion was nothing, a long dead story almost consigned to the fiction section of the library and held as 'truth' by only a few primitive tribes of a baron land, a backwoods mythology of an ancient time with little or no power, until they found they had something to sell. You might say that we paid for our own downfall. You see, they used the revenue from selling to us, to fund many reprints of the book and the resurgent peoples spread out. Over the years the population of the lands they moved to were transformed, slowly their breeding policy tipped the balance in each land in turn and the voters voted their religious and political leaders into places of power. And each country in turn changed to the dark flag of the hoard. And still the peaceful natives of the lands didn't see what was happening.
You see, Son, their own birthrate, decimated by a century of wars, needed the influx of people to replace the slaughtered; they didn't see the problem because of their bankers greed and their own economic need, they required new people and the Muddlems breeding policy meant they had many to do the work.
In May of 2022, the Muddlems took control of this land, and this was such a beautiful land, Son; rolling green hills, flower filled meadows, all the people friendly with each other. Such a shame for all that to be trampled by ignorance!
The first Muddlem president introduced a new constitution and the many Muddlem religious leaders and politicians who were by then empowered and in parliament, voted for it. Two Weeks later, on the instructions of the President, with a majority mandate from the parliament, the Muddlems installed their own religious law and the first action taken under Pariah was that all non spiritual music and dance was banned; all the once packed theatres came under the authority of the new sacrilege laws. Only Muddlem approved spiritual plays allowed. They banned music, Son! And poetry, and literature, and innovation!"

"Why Gran? Those are all nice things that make people happy, except I don't know what inovo-nation means."

"Because that's what they're taught, Son; that stupid book holds human life in a vice grip, it deems all normal human expression to be the way of evil. Their culture never produced even a single artistic work. And that word, inn-ov-ation, that sort of means cleverness; like taking something that was working okay and making it work better."

"But that's a good thing too! How can anyone be against that? I thought everyone would want things to work better."

"Me too, Son, but they think that if it isn't in their storybook, it's of no value. If only their idol, Muddlehead the Stupid, had blown on a Tuba or embalmed a shark or something, maybe they'd not have been so hatefully opposed to freedom of expression.
It puzzled me at first, I used to wonder, 'If these Muddlems believe art, literature, dance, music and innovation are 'wrong', why settle in a country whose entire history is of highly valuing those very things?' The 'Why' became clear to me on the day of the first fire; destruction, Son, destruction of all the things we value, that's why a people migrate to a country whose values they hate.
Some say the fire, in what was surely the greatest of all libraries, was government instigated, some say it was fanatical hotheads but by that point I don't think you could have put a razor blade between those two groups. And then it spread like a virus, not just in the main archive library but in dozens, on the same day. Then, over the space of the weekend, almost every library in the country was destroyed the same way. Shortly after, academics known to oppose the teachings of the Muddlem book, those on record as calling it 'baseless nonsense' for holding as fact, as it still does, that which our great scientific endeavours have long since proved false, were 'collected' and detained in the 're-learning' camps that had constructed around the country to 'help the confused'.
It was appalling to watch, the dreadful backslide of humanity into a savage primitive belief system is, as I see it, by far the worst travesty in the history of humanity. All the great effort to comprehend the universe, all the skills deployed by workers, artisans and artists, all destroyed. All of our hopes and dreams trampled under the newly jackbooted product of an ancient totalitarian warlord. All progress halted in favour of sycophantic mumbling! I wept on the day the libraries burned, Son, I don't mind admitting it."

"Why did they do that, Gran? That's not just nasty, that's stupid!"

"That's what they're like, Son. They're so addicted to the idea of the promises in the book, they think its information alone is all humanity needs, that it's the only book needed. Mad fucking savages!
We, who could see it coming, had warned of the likely outcome of allowing those 'born' of ancient thinking to integrate, unprepared, into an established 21st century society but this land's peaceful people wouldn't listen, couldn't hear, just couldn't believe that such a plan even existed. They couldn't accept that a people promoting what they called a peaceful religion could not have noticed that their book's plan of global domination, is exactly the plan of a tyrant, oppressor or super-villain."

"Stupid people; they should have listened."

"They should've, Son, but they weren't stupid, they were just peaceful; they knew that any aim of global domination is the opposite of the way to peace and they naturally assumed that all normal, peaceful people would know that too. They were not prepared for the barbarism of the neo-ancient mind. No, Son; it was the politicians who were stupid. Their all-inclusive policies took no account of the fact that the Muddlems had not moved on from ancient times; they were fair minded liberal politicians of a fair minded liberal people, they thought 'people are people'. Now, that's understandable in a person who is not in power but for a person of authority, of responsibility and supposed leadership, to be unaware of the conflict that's likely to be the product of combining two periods of history in one land, is inexcusable. Yes, the leaders inaction, cowardice and inexcusable incompetence let this war happen. Now, whether the arms dealer shook hands with politician or not, only future historians will be able to tell but one things for sure the arms dealers rubbed their hands with glee at the prospect of another civil war in a previously peaceful nation. So the people weren't stupid, the leaders were stupid for not informing them properly of the threat of this ancient book's followers.
The general population finally started to take notice when, in the following month, all the museums were closed. All works and exhibits that offended the ideals of the book were hauled out and hurled into the sea, the Muddlems began dismantling monuments and sculptures, usually to a baying Muddlem crowd, screaming praises to their god, Allan the Bowelless. When the ancient great stone circle was dragged unceremoniously away to be made into one of the Muddlem mindrot towers, groups formed, a beginning of a resistance but the Muddlem government was in total control of the army. There were defections and after a few months of bloody street to street fighting, the country split into two warring factions, the original natives and the new Muddlem power.
Your Granddad was killed in the first day of actual fighting; the beginning of the civil war. Someone left a baby on our doorstep. Your Granddad heard it crying, got out of bed and went down to see. I don't remember anything after that until I woke up a few minutes later in the branches of the tree in the front garden. I had cuts and bruises but the entire front of the house was gone. Lovely little house it was, our first and, as it turned out, last marital home. My ears were ringing. I knew there had been an explosion but it wasn't really registering. I remember knowing your Granddad must be dead in the rubble and at the same time thinking "He's just cleaned the windows, yesterday; he'll flip when he sees this!" Then I remembered your dad, just a baby in his cot. I knew immediately he was alright, I could see right through the house into the largely untouched nursery.
It's why he's deaf in one ear, though, I'm sure!
The same thing happened to another family a few days later; the Muddlems were strapping explosives to babies and rigging them to go off when lifted from the doorstep. Sick! That fucking, humanity hating book to which they cleave excuses all actions against those who do not follow it! Barbarians!"

"What had Granddad done to deserve that, Gran?"

"I don't think he actually did anything to anyone ever son, he was a truly peaceful chap, your Granddad. I just think someone found out he didn't believe in gods. Or it could have been me, I'm atheist too and was a member of a humanist group. Or it could have been your great uncle who rented a room from us; he believed in a different god."

"Wow, that's all? Just because of that?"

"Yep."

"That's Nuts!"

"Ha! It is, Son; that's exactly what it is."

"When will the war end, Gran?"

"Who knows? They think it will end when all the World bows to the Muddlem god, Allan the Bowelless, but it won't. You see, the problem is he's pretend so his messenger, Muddlehead the Stupid, the one they say wrote the book for Allan, can't 'come back' like they want. And the psycho 'enforcers' of his doctrine will take his non-appearance to mean that followers are not showing enough piety, in some country or another, and they'll enforce stricter adherence, to the letter of the book. But their idol still won't appear because he'll still be pretend. So then there'll be an inquisition and the world will be sucked back into the same dark void it visited once before.
So, when? I think it'll be a while yet, Son, but I'll tell you what, WE'll end it.
10,000 years ago our ancestors cleared this land of the wild and vicious beasts. Then they cleared the thick thorny forests to form a nation so green and pleasant. Then they fought off endless invaders to protect what they'd achieved. And all of it, Son, all of it was accomplished while encouraging civilisation, peace and innovation.
We've done it before and we, your mum and dad, and you, your sisters and your sons and daughters and the thousands of others like us still left, will clear it again but it's a much tougher fight than we needed to have. If only the politicians had listened, if only they had not been in cahoots with the arms dealers, if only they had taken note of the psychology of the Muddlem hoard as they destroyed historic monuments in other countries then we, you, would not have to live in war, or this cave, come to that. But like I said, we'll clear 'em out and this time we'll destroy every copy of that heinous ancient supremacist document. We'll win, Son, right is on our side and right always wins against wrong, eventually."

"I hope so Gran."

"Me too, Son, me too. Now, come on, it's late, off to sleep with you and tomorrow I'll show you how to make a pipe bomb."


I'm really glad it's only fiction.
Just to be on the safe side though, to make sure it doesn't ever happen...

Anyone fancy a bit of a pray?
Or, maybe I can tempt you to a little wish?


No?
Fair enough. :)


This is one of the Too Many Questions
PEACE
Crispy
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