The True American
Somewhere in a parallel Universe, the history of the American continents took a different turn. North and South Native Americans united in their struggle against the European conquerors. They managed to maintain their independence, preserve their unique civilization and create a Native American state. In the 21st century the threat came from across the ocean once again. But now the conquerors were armed with nuclear weapons instead of guns and swords.
Our world would become a lot better if it absorbed at least some of Native American culture and philosophy.
Part 1. The ministry
Peter did not want to be late for his first interview, so he arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United States of Africa an hour ahead of his appointed time. He found the right office and began to wait. Soon a tall young man in a business suit came out of the office. He was in an excellent mood and was smiling. Peter didn't know that this guy would become his best friend and colleague. Several minutes later, a girl came out of the office and invited Peter in. A man was sitting in the office at a big oak desk and jotting something down in a notebook. A huge political map of the world was hanging on the wall behind him.
Peter: Good afternoon, sir, my name is Peter Saul.
Campbell: Hello, young man. Well, why are you standing by the door? Come on in, sit down. My name is Will Campbell, and I'm Deputy Foreign Minister.
Peter dodged in his chair.
Campbell: Surprised, Mr. Saul, that the Minister's right hand is recruiting our staff? There is nothing surprising about this. Let me tell you everything. (Campbell put on his glasses, took a folder from the table, opened it, and began to examine the contents)
Campbell: So, Mr. Saul, you have excellent references from your school. You graduated with honors from your university, completed your internship... alright... not bad.
Campbell took off his glasses and glanced at Peter.
Campbell: Jackson, your former research advisor, is an old friend of mine. He recommended you personally. He said you were his best student in 20 years. That's why you're here. (He paused and looked Peter straight in the eye) So, Mr. Saul, are you ready to serve your country?
Peter: Of course, sir! It's an honor.
Campbell: It can't be any other way, my boy. We need the country's best people right now. The best! You probably know as well as I am, Mr. Saul, that we're screwed...
Peter: (shrugging) There have been many ups and downs in the history of the United States of Africa. I think we'll be able to find a solution.
Campbell: This time everything is much more complicated and fundamental. The situation in the world is extremely volatile now. This has never happened in the history of mankind before. It's as if 9 billion people are living on a gunpowder barrel that can explode at any moment. Did you hear the Chinese shot down our plane yesterday over neutral waters?
Peter: Yes, sir, I read about it this morning.
Campbell: Relations with China are getting worse every day (Campbell sighed). Russia, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are cutting down their oil and gas production, which inflates prices even more. There are very few resources left on the planet, and the struggle for what remains of them will only intensify in the near future. I think you understand that.
Peter: Of course, sir.
Campbell: But while people in the Old World are ready to kill each other for food and drinking water, there is still abundance and prosperity in the New World, there, beyond the ocean, in America.
Campbell turned around in his chair to face a huge map of the world, which hung on the wall behind his back and poked a finger in the vicinity of the Caribbean.
Campbell: These arrogant and proud monkeys are pretending to be holier-than-thou. They are going to sit lazily and watch Asia, Europe and Africa destroy each other for the right to live a decent life. Only America has the resources and capabilities needed to save the world from disaster.
Campbell turned to Peter and went back to the table.
Campbell: We have long ignored this fact and built our foreign policy circumventing them.
Campbell: Now things are changing, Mr. Saul. America today is a key point in our foreign policy. That's why you won't go to either China, Russia, or the Central African Republic — you’ll go to America. I see that it didn't surprise you much?
Peter: Uh, no, sir, to be honest, it didn't. As you probably know, my final project researched just that - the history and worldviews of Native Americans and their state. And besides, I'm monitoring the situation in world politics. If I am not mistaken, China has been actively working for five years on developing its relations with America.
Campbell: Yeah, you're right. But the result is almost null. That's why we are gathering a team of the best of the best to make it all happen.
Campbell closed Peter's file and threw it into the desk drawer.
Campbell: Mr. Saul, the so-called Great Negotiations with the leaders of America are scheduled for next March. We are staking great hopes on this meeting.
Campbell: So, you will join our delegation on the trip to America for these negotiations. And after that, you'll stay over there and work at our embassy in Manhattan. As an attaché, for starters. But with talents like yours, I'm sure you'll move up the career ladder quickly. How do you like my offer?
Peter's cheeks reddened.
Peter: Sir, thank you for your confidence in me. Of course, I agree. Rest assured, Mr. Campbell, I will not let you down!
Campbell: Excellent, Mr. Saul. Welcome to the Ministry.
Campbell stood up and stretched his hand across the table.
Campbell: Please go see my assistant. She'll tell you what to do next.
Peter: Once again, thank you very much, sir!
Peter shook Campbell's hand again and walked out of his office
Campbell sat down in his chair, turned to the world map and stared at the western hemisphere for a long time.
Part 2. The Great Negotiations
Next March, Peter went to America with a delegation from the United States of Africa and the European Union. When still enrolled in the prep course, he has met and made friends with Bob Smith, the tall guy who was also interviewed at the Ministry. They were temporarily accommodated in a hotel in the capital of America, Manhattan.
Peter: No, not like that, Bob! You need to stretch the “o” here, you know? It's crucial.
Bob: Yeah. I thought I was good at speaking American. But it turns out I don't know a bloody thing! Or are you just being a drag, Peter, huh?
Peter: You don't speak American that badly for your position. But if you want to surprise Americans and gain their trust, you need to know a little more. Eagle Cloud once said that...
Bob: Peter, you really like talking about them, don’t you? Now I understand why you're on our team. I think you know more about Americans than they know about themselves.
Bob: Admit it, you like Americans. Isn't that right?
Peter: I'd just been studying their culture and language for too long.
Bob: And you like them nonetheless!
Peter: You may be right. There's nothing wrong with that. Their culture is unique...
Bob: (Bob chuckled) Like many other cultures on the planet.
Peter: Yeah, but... but only their culture managed to make friends with nature and preserve it. Their civilization, unlike ours, is flourishing. Look out the window, Bob. (Peter got up from the couch and came to a huge window). The old world is bogged down in wars for power and resources. Our cities are filled with garbage left over from insane consumption. We haven't had normal drinking water for a long time. As Mr. Campbell said, we're screwed...
Bob: If they shared their technology with us, we would have been fine, too. We wouldn't have to cut down forests and pollute the air to survive, either. The worst thing is that it's not even their technology, but ours.
Peter: Are you serious? It's Nikola Tesla's technology. And he did the right thing - he only shared it with the Americans. He was right to say that only in their hands it won't threaten the entire humanity and the planet. Tesla didn't want fools using his inventions to make weapons to kill each other and fight for power. Nuclear weapons are a perfect example of how we can use technology to kill and intimidate.
Bob: To me, all these are all made-up tales that the Americans themselves thought up in order not to share their technology with the rest of the world. They are screaming louder than anyone on the planet about the environmental catastrophe, about the inadmissibility of wars, about human rights and freedoms. But they don't want to put an end to all this. Although they can do it at any time. Don't you think that's crazy?
Peter: You say that as if they were to blame for the overpopulation of the planet and human greed. Native Americans deeply appreciate freedom. So they try not to interfere in other people's affairs.
Bob: Even if they see that most of the planet is on the verge of annihilation?
Peter: They believe that it's our choice, and whatever it is, it needs to be respected.
Bob: What if they're asked for help?
Peter: That's why we came here.
Bob: We came here not to ask for help, but to foster cooperation with Americans.
Peter: Cooperation? That's very optimistic. (A pause hung in the air). Okay, Bob, let's go for a walk since we've got a bit of free time. Just look at this wonderful weather!
Over the following week, Peter and Bob had no free time to speak of. Preparations for the Great Negotiations were in full swing, and the young men barely managed to get a good night's sleep. On the day of negotiations they had no time to sleep at all and spent the entire night at the embassy.
The Great Negotiations were the largest-scale meeting in 50 years between the leaders of the United States and the European Union and the chieftains of America. As usual, journalists only managed to cover the official, public part of the negotiations. That was where the leaders of the countries exchanged courtesies, spoke smoothly and delivered prepared speeches about eternal friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and the development of trade relations. But, of course, the most interesting things happened behind closed doors. Journalists were not allowed in, unlike Peter, who was lucky enough to attend the private part of the talks.
Negotiations took place in a room that resembled an enormous wigwam. All participants were seated in a circle.
Presidents, ministers and chiefs were in the front row, and their assistants and advisers sat behind their backs . The atmosphere was relaxed and informal. When everyone was seated, one of the chiefs, by the name of Good Heart, spoke up.
Good Heart: Once again, I am greeting our dear guests on American soil, I hope you are neither hungry, nor thirsty, and comfortable in your chairs.
Good Heart paused so that the interpreters could translate his words. He examined all those present with an austere look and continued.
Good Heart: With your permission, I will chair our meeting. I ask everyone to express their thoughts openly and sincerely. That way we'll get to know each other quicker and better. I ask everyone to speak if they so desire. I'm finished.
U.S. President McQueen took the floor.
President McQueen: I will omit all the welcome epithets, as there were plenty at the open meeting, so let's get to the point, gentlemen. As you know, an economic and political crisis is brewing – or, to be more precise, is raging - in the Old World, namely, in Eurasia and Africa. I believe the reasons for this crisis are clear and known to all.
President McQueen: Primarily, it's the overpopulation of the Old World, depletion of natural resources and environmental pollution. As a result, instability, upsurge of military conflicts, impoverishment of the population and other acute social problems ensue.
The president stopped and looked at the chieftains. They were listening to him very closely.
President McQueen: If radical measures are not taken to solve these problems soon, according to our experts, in 10-20 years we will entirely lose control over the situation in the Old World. Chaos will ensue, accompanied by large-scale military action that entails the use of weapons of mass destruction throughout the planet.
The president paused again. The chiefs started whispering among themselves.
President McQueen: I and my European colleagues, as well as our allies' representatives, are convinced that this it is not merely a problem of the Old World, but America as well. That's why we need to solve this problem together, the whole world as one.
The President of the United States looked over at his European colleagues, who nodded their heads in consent.
President McQueen: Joint efforts of our experts have led to the development of a 10-year program that aims to overcome the crisis situation. This program entails the active participation of America, since we have to acknowledge the fact that without your participation (he looked at the chiefs) we won't be able to implement this program on our own.
The leaders started stirring and whispering again. When they finished, one of the chiefs asked a question:
Chief: Honored friend, could you tell us about your program in more detail?
The President exchanged looks with his assistants and colleagues from Europe.
President McQueen: The program implies the expansion of cooperation between the United States and Europe on the one hand and America on the other hand in economic, environmental and military spheres (he paused for a few seconds, pondering what to say next). But I want to be honest with you, honored chiefs. So I'd like to say it openly - in order to emerge from the crisis we need the resources and the new technologies that America possesses.
President McQueen: First of all, we need energy technologies, as well as oil, gas, certain mineral resources, drinking water and increased grain supplies.
Good Heart raised his hand, signaling his desire to speak.
Good Heart: How do you intend to dispose of these resources and technologies?
President McQueen: Basically, they will go towards the stabilization of the economy. Resource prices will drop, the economy will recover. And new technologies will allow to use these resources as efficiently and carefully as possible. Afterwards, we will be able to allocate the funds needed to combat the overpopulation of the planet and solve environmental problems. We intend to allocate the lion's share of resources to the development of new technologies that will allow to avoid similar crises in the future. The program describes all this in detail (he leaned to the side). I will ask my assistants to hand over our program texts to the distinguished leaders.
The assistants handed the chiefs rather thick and voluminous folders with printed programs. The chiefs and their assistants began to examine the document given to them and talk to each other at the same time. Finally they quieted down and Good Heart spoke again.
Good Heart: For many decades, we have been watching our brothers on the planet very closely. Not just because we share our home called Earth. But also because we care about the fate of their civilization. We sincerely wish them to live well and prosper. We enjoy the benefits they have created for the inhabitants of our planet with gratitude.
Good Heart paused, then continued.
Good Heart: We have long warned our brothers of the challenges ahead, but they did not attach much importance to them. We tried to help in any way we could, but it is very difficult to clean up someone else's house.
At that point envoys of the Old World began to whisper.
Good Heart: We see that the causes of the crisis faced by our overseas brothers lie neither in the depths of the sea nor in the thick of Mother Earth. They are right here. (he put his hand on his chest) This is where we need to look for solutions to these problems. We looked at the contents of your program (he put his hand on the stack of papers in front of him), but found nothing about your hearts and your thoughts. Neither did we find anything related to the way you raise your children.
President McQueen exchanged looks with his colleagues and addressed Good Heart.
President McQueen: I'm sorry, honored Chief, but we don't understand you.
Good Heart: I mean, neither resources nor new technologies will solve your problem. Because the essence of the problem lies beyond the bounds of the material world.
A wave of uproar swept over the audience, but Good Heart continued undisturbed.
Good Heart: Our brothers must reconsider their attitude to life and the world around them. To learn to love life in all its manifestations, not just the material goods. To finally realize that everything in this universe is one and interconnected, and that every manifestation of it, whether it be stone, flower, a wild beast or man deserves equal respect and attention.
President McQueen: I'm sorry, distinguished chiefs, but I don't quite understand what philosophy and metaphysics have to do with solving a specific social and economic problem? (The President of the United States threw up his hands)
Good Heart: A lot of people from the Old World understand what I'm talking about right now. In recent years, the universe has been constantly sending you spiritual teachers to help. But you don't want to listen to them and take what they're saying seriously.
President McQueen: Do you want us to embrace your culture and philosophical views?
Good Heart: No, we want our brothers to develop their OWN. You have remained the unchanged in spiritual development as our ancestors remember you when you first stepped onto our land. You have achieved a lot in the sphere of material well-being. But you remained in the same spot in spiritual development. This lack of harmony is the real cause of all your troubles.
President McQueen: Dear chief, I must disagree with you. The Old World is the birthplace of all major world religions. And I'd like to remind you that one of the pillars of our civilization is the freedom of religion. We cannot force people to develop or not to develop their religious beliefs, nor can we force them to believe that everything in the universe is one.
Good Heart: Dear brother, religion has little to do with spiritual development, since it offers a single path for everyone. Spirituality is always an individual path, a path of personal choice. Spiritual development is not faith, it is knowledge – but the knowledge of the heart, not the head. You don't have to make anyone believe in anything. You just need to teach them how to hear their hearts.
All the chiefs nodded in consent, and the President of the United States sighed. He leaned over to his assistant and, covering his mouth with his palm, said,
President McQueen: Gary, these bloody Native Americans are pretending to be saints again. You can't deal with them point-blank. Moving on to Plan B.
Part 3. White House
Ten years have passed since Peter came to America to take part in the Great Negotiations. As Mr. Campbell predicted, his career advanced quickly, and he has been serving as an ambassador for two years. And his friend Bob Smith became one of his advisors. Despite the fact that they turned out to have completely different views of life, they remained close friends, and Bob was a frequent guest in Peter's office.
Peter: Bob, I got a call from Washington this morning. I'm being summoned to some White House meeting. I'm flying out next Tuesday.
Bob: Whoa. The White House. Must be something serious.
Peter: Yeah. And something top-secret. The official purpose of my trip to the United States is stated as family reasons.
Bob: Any reason to worry?
Peter: What do you think? First, these men from military intelligence are calling me. I think something very serious is brewing.
Bob: Well, scouts nowadays won't surprise anyone. Almost the entire planet lives under martial law.
Peter: Yeah, but not in America.
Bob: What's so amazing about this? I've always said that Americans won't be able to avoid the consequences of the global crisis. As hard as they try to pretend that they have nothing to do with it, it will affect them anyway. They were warned about it ten years ago.
Peter: Alright. Let's see what they tell me at the White House.
A week later, Peter flew to Washington. People in black suits and with headphones met him at the airport and immediately took him to the White House meeting, which had apparently started long before Peter's arrival. As he entered the meeting room, he saw many people sitting at a large table, immersed in a heated discussion. Aside from US President Barrymore, almost all the “biggies” from the US government, as well as from US military departments led by the Secretary of Defense were at the table. Mr. Campbell, who was now the head of the Foreign Ministry, was there. He was the first to see Peter walk in.
Campbell: Oh, Peter, come here, sit down. You're just in time.
Peter approached the table, greeted the president and other meeting participants, and sat down next to Mr. Campbell.
One of the president's advisors addressed Peter:
Advisor: Mr. Saul, do you have any idea why you're here today?
Peter: I have no idea (Peter shook his head).
Advisor: We're on the verge of a big war, Mr. Saul.
Peter: I understand that. I don't understand why I was the one summoned, not the Chinese or Russian ambassador.
Advisor: That's the thing - trouble came from an unexpected place. (The presidential advisor looked and nodded towards one of the people sitting at the table. Peter didn't know him, but it was clear that he was from some law enforcement agency. Probably from the CIA.).
The man with a willful expression started talking:
CIA agent: We've recently received the intelligence from America, Mr. Saul. Our sources report that the American government is secretly preparing a surprise attack on us and our allies.
Peter: What? That's unthinkable! No, it can't be, it's... it's simply impossible!
Advisor: Yes, Mr. Saul, we're just as shocked. Who would have thought...
Peter: What kind of attack are we talking about? Americans don't have the army they would need for it. The attack requires offensive weapons that America never had.
CIA agent: That's what we thought, Mr. Ambassador. But intelligence informs us that they do have weapons of this sort. They've classified them, and are keeping them secret so that they could be used suddenly. And these weapons are extremely powerful and dangerous. You know the level of their technology as well as I do. Hell knows what unknown technologies Nikola Tesla left them.
Peter came to a halt, stunned by what he heard. He couldn't believe it. The man from the security department continued.
Advisor: Because of this information, we have convened an emergency meeting. We have decided that in case of aggression on the part of America we will be forced to use thermonuclear weapons. Our European allies will support us.
Peter: What? (Completely perplexed, Peter examined all those sitting at the table)
President Barrymore expressed regret with his entire look.
President Barrymore: This is a very difficult decision for all of us, Mr. Saul, but I'm afraid we have no other choice. Nuclear weapons are our only chance to defend our right to existence and independence.
Peter: But why would they attack us?
President Barrymore: That's a question for you, Mr. Saul.
Peter: I really don't know what to tell you, Mr. President. (Peter spread his hands)
Minister Campbell came to Peter's aid:
Campbell: In fact, their motives are quite clear-cut and understandable. Over the past ten years, they have been actively promoting their religion in the Old World (Peter wanted to correct Campbell, but the latter gestured to him to keep silent). However, they haven't managed to achieve any significant results for 10 years. It's no secret that they see us as a threat to the entire planet. They made this statement publicly a number of times. Now the environmental and food catastrophe has reached its climax. That's why the Americans decided to move on to more aggressive actions. And instead of sharing the technology and resources so that we could get out of the crisis, they decided to simply destroy us and propagate their faith.
These words almost made Peter jump up in his chair. He clenched his teeth hard not to say anything unpleasant. Peter didn't expect to hear such hypocritical and cynical nonsense from his boss. But all of a sudden Peter understood everything. He realized there was some kind of a show being played out at the table.
The president's advisor was nodding his head:
Advisor: Yes, we share your views as well.
Peter did not continue to argue or make his arguments. He looked up at the president:
Peter: What is required of me, Mr. President?
After Peter received the needed instructions, he left the meeting. When the door behind Peter slammed, President Barrymore looked at Campbell.
President Barrymore: Will, do you think he believed us?
Campbell: I don't think so. (He shook his head) He's smart and smells this kind of thing from a mile away. Besides, he knows more about Americans than anyone in the Old World.
President Barrymore: As long as he doesn't do anything stupid.
CIA agent: Don't worry, Mr. President. We'll have him followed and won't let him make a mistake.(When the president nods in the affirmative, a man from law enforcement turned to his colleague) Steve, make the arrangements, please.
Part 4. At home among strangers, a stranger among his own.
The day after the White House meeting, Peter flew back to America. Almost the entire night and all the way back, he was thinking about what to do next. When he got out of the plane, a plan of action had already ripened in his brain. After spending another night with these thoughts, he went to the embassy the following morning. The first thing he did was stop by Bob's office. He was the only non-American he could really trust like himself. After knocking at the door twice and without waiting for an answer, Peter went into his friend's office.
Bob: Oh, look, our boss is back. How was your trip?
Peter: Fine. How are things around here?
Bob: Business as usual. It's a snoozefest.
Peter: That's alright, you'll be having fun pretty soon! I'll give you a...
Peter didn't finish. He suddenly realized he was probably being followed already. And maybe even tapped.
Peter: Uh, Bob, I'm gonna give you a mission. You need to find something in the archive.
Bob: What exactly? (Bob looked at Peter, perplexed)
Peter: This is the document.
Peter took a notepad from the table, jotted something down quickly and handed it to Bob. He read:
“We're being tapped. Play along with me here. I'll meet you tonight at the bay, as usual. Don't bring your mobile phone.”
Even more perplexed, Bob looked up to Peter and said with uncertainty:
Bob: Okay, boss. I'll do it.
In the evening, Peter went to “Rocky Bay,” one of the most popular and beautiful nightclubs in America. It was located right inside a huge cliff on the ocean shore. Water was splashing below, stars flickered above, and live music played in-between. The club's natural rocky walls and the internal cave system made any musical composition sound completely unique. It was always noisy, with a lot of people inside. Peter hoped it would be difficult to listen in to the upcoming conversation. Peter met Bob at the front counter. They found a free table, ordered food and cocktails.
Bob: What the hell happened, Peter? Who can be listening to us? What happened at the meeting in Washington?
Peter: Bob, I don't even know where to start. (Peter poured himself some water and took a few sips) It's just unthinkable! They've gone insane!
Bob: Peter, first things first, I don't understand a thing. Who's gone insane? What happened?
Peter: Bob, our government and the European Union want to start a war with America.
Peter: And not just any war. They plan to use nuclear weapons against Americans.
Bob: What kind of nonsense is this, Peter? What goddamn nuclear weapons? Are you kidding me?
Peter: I'm not kidding, Bob. It's all very serious. As I understand, the entire Old World political elite is in collusion against America. China, Russia, and India included. That's it.
Bob: But... but why? What's the point of this war?
Peter: It's the usual, Bob. Power and money. The crisis in the Old World has reached its peak. You read the news, don't you? People in Africa and Asia have nothing to eat or drink. Living standards in the US and Europe are droppig every day. Unemployment rates are skyrocketing. The middle class is on the verge of extinction. Bob, over the last ten years, Washington and the whole country have changed beyond recognition.
Bob: Yeah, I know. I went there last year for Christmas.
Peter: Right. Add the military conflicts of the last 3 years. Have you heard what's happening at the border with the Central African Republic? Every day they repel attacks by armed groups of people who want to make their way to the United States. There is a real war going on with hundreds and thousands dying every day. Europe has similar problems with migrants from Asia and Africa. And all this crap is only going to get worse.
Bob: Oh, yeah. (Bob shook his head) You and I don't see any of this here in America. To be honest, I can hardly believe any of this, though I do understand that it's all true.
Peter: The situation is getting out of their control. A little more and real chaos will ensue. All these ministers, presidents, sheikhs, chairmen, oligarchs, billionaires, bankers, corporations will soon lose their power. The world economy is on the verge of collapse. How can they accept that? Right, Bob?
Bob: God knows! I guess they can't.
Peter: That's right. And then these Native Americans are butting in with their worldview. Did you read the latest report by U.S. Ministry of Culture?
Bob shook his head.
Peter: The American view of life is becoming an extremely popular trend among young people in the USA, Europe, and all over the world! Books by American writers are sold out instantly. Social networks and the entire Internet are full of American philosophy and information about their lifestyle. By the way, the Americans have invested huge resources in all of this. They aimed at young people and they managed to attract their attention.
Bob: This is more dangerous than cruise missiles and tanks.
Peter: That's the thing. The younger generation likes Native Americans. They like their free lifestyle, their clothes, music and art. They like their attitude to nature and to each other, the relations between men and women, between the elderly and children. They want to be like them and live like them. Young people will soon grow up and take the future into their own hands. And trust me, there will be no place in this future for giant corporations, greedy corrupt politicians or ruthless militarists. That's what they fear most, Bob!
Bob: And therefore they are willing to go to any lengths to prevent it. Even if it takes a nuclear war?
Peter: War? No, it won't be a war. It will be ordinary genocide.
Bob: Right... I forgot that the Americans don't have nuclear weapons. But how will it benefit them, except for the resources and technology? People will not approve of the extermination of Americans.
Peter: That's why they organized the conspiracy. I believe that they will soon carry out some monstrous provocation and accuse Americans of it.
Bob: What do you mean?
Peter: What do I mean? Well, like detonate a nuclear bomb in the ocean off the New York coast, create a tsunami that will destroy the city and its twenty-five-million population. And then they'll say the Native Americans did it with their secret climate weapons. Or destroy several cities at once, to make it more convincing. It won't be their first time, you know? When the media report tens of millions dead, people will demand punishment for the aggressors. And then the authorities will be free to do whatever they want.
Bob: You think they will commit such a terrible crime?
Peter: Don't make me laugh, Bob. It's like you were born yesterday. They won't even blink an eye!
Bob: Hell, you're right. Life in America has made me a little naive. But what about China and Russia? Will they allow us to take over American resources and technology?
Peter: I'm sure they've already agreed on everything. They will split up their resources and technology. Everyone gets a piece. It will be enough to hold on to power and stabilize the economy.
Bob: But they won't have sufficient resources for too long, right? 20-30 years max. What will they do afterwards?
Peter: And then the crisis will come back again. But by then they will perfect their weapons and start killing each other with even greater efficiency. They will not change anything, merely postpone their end.
The waiter brought their food and drinks and they silently proceeded to eat.
Bob: Peter, what do we do now?
Peter put his fork on the table, finished chewing his food, and looked at Bob.
Peter: Everyone has to decide what he is going to do. I already made my decision.
Bob: You want to challenge the entire global political machine? Peter, they're gonna grind you into dust.
Peter: I'll do what my heart tells me to do.
After talking to Bob, Peter went to his girlfriend, who lived near Rocky Bay. Her name was Wave Glider, she was American. They've been together for several years. Lying on a veranda in a hammock under the stars, he told her about his trip to the United States.
Peter: ... you can't imagine how uncanny I felt in Washington. I haven't been there for a long time and forgot what stone jungle, traffic, polluted air and crowds of people are like. And the number of beggars walking the streets is just horrifying. Entire families sleep on the streets and dig through trash cans in search of something to eat. It is scary to even think about what is happening in less affluent countries.
Wave Glider: Yeah, that's sad. I've been to the United States and Europe several times. I remember I saw beggars lying on park benches when I was in London for the first time . They were all dirty, in torn-up clothes. One had a cardboard sign that said something like, “Help! I'm hungry.” I went to the nearest store and bought them plenty of food.
Wave Glider: I couldn't understand how people could have nothing to eat next to luxury houses and expensive cars. In American society, no one would be bathing in luxury if his neighbor had no food or clothing. If a person was in trouble for some reason, he would definitely receive help to get on his feet. Back in London, I was truly stunned that people may think differently.
Peter: It wasn't this bad when I was little. My mom and I lived in a small town in the south of the country, I've told you this. I remember going swimming in the lake. Huge baobabs grew near the lake, and my friends and I loved to climb them. They made treehouses and tarzies on the trees to jump down into the water. Animals often came to drink from the lake. Antelopes would take food straight from your hands, imagine that. Now this lake is destroyed. And most of the trees and animals, for whom the lake was the source of life, are gone with it.
Wave Glider: And all for what? If it made people any happier. But it's the opposite, right? You said that people in Europe and the United States very often suffer from depression. Are these happy people?
Peter: This is all the bloody system we still can't get rid of. It doesn't only devour oceans and forests, it also feeds on human souls. It devours life itself.
They lay silently for a few minutes. Then Peter continued.
Peter: You know, when I first came to America 10 years ago, I was amazed. It's one thing to read in books about how your people live in harmony with nature and yourselves. And it's entirely different to see and experience it first-hand. Here in America you begin to perceive reality differently, you look at things from a different angle. And it's not only that you have clean air and untouched nature even in your cities, but that here in America, you discover a special meaning of life. I don't even have the words to explain it. This is where you start to really love life. You feel ease and freedom. Real freedom, not fictional, off magazine covers and TV screens.
Wave Glider: Stop saying YOUR. You've become a real American a long time ago.
Peter: What does it mean to be a real American?
Wave Glider: To me, being an American means going along the path of spiritual development.
Peter: And what do you mean by spiritual development? It's just that a lot of my friends get it wrong. Take Bob, for instance. He is a good kid, but when he hears the word “spiritual,” he immediately wrinkles his nose. In his understanding, spirituality is a rejection of all material things, boredom, hypocrisy, abstinence. In general, it’s the abandonment of the plenitude of life.
Wave Glider: Hmm, spirituality is just the opposite — acceptance of the plenitude of life, living to the fullest! I think spiritual development is mostly the freedom to be what you want to be and to create the world around you the way you want to see it. That's probably the most important thing. But as you say, the system doesn't allow people to be themselves.
Peter: Yes, that's true. And now the system wants to take that right away from Americans.
Wave Glider: What? What do you mean?
Peter: I didn't tell you the most important thing. Our world is in mortal danger...
Peter told Wave Glider about the plans devised across the ocean.
Wave Glider: This is pure horror! Are they really capable of that?
Peter: They are. Don't even doubt that.
Wave Glider: So what are you gonna do?
Peter: That's exactly what Bob asked me. Here’s what we decided: I have to meet with the chiefs. Then I'll probably be hunted down as a traitor. It will look like Bob has nothing to do with it, and he'll stay on at the embassy. He'll be my eyes and ears over there. He'll most likely be followed, too, but we'll figure something out. You have to help me, too.
Wave Glider: Of course, I will. What do I need to do?
Peter: Tomorrow morning, you'll go to the House of Chiefs and ask them to come up with some excuse to call me to a meeting or emergency negotiations. Tell them anything you want — the main thing is that they call me in. Can you handle that?
Wave Glider: Don't worry. It will be alright. .
Part 5. The chiefs
A few days later, Peter was invited to the House of Chiefs. The House of Chiefs is something like the White House in Washington or the Kremlin in Moscow. It's where the chiefs gather to discuss and resolve important state issues. All of America is divided into Lands. Each Land elects a Chief who represents the interests of that Land in the House of Chiefs. It's somewhat similar to a parliament. Only in the House of Chiefs decisions are made unanimously, rather than by a majority vote. In general, leaders in America are elected and important public decisions are always made unanimously.
As usual, the chiefs gathered in a room that resembled a huge wigwam. They settled in a circle in several rows. Peter sat in the front row. A leader named Falcon Eye raised his hand and addressed Peter.
Falcon Eye: Peter Saul, I welcome you to the House of Chiefs. My name is Falcon Eye and I will preside over today's emergency meeting. Someone named Wave Glider told us that you have exceptionally important information for us. Please speak, we're listening carefully.
Peter decided not to beat around the bush, and moved on to the most important issue at once.
Peter: Distinguished chiefs, I have reliable information that the United States and its allies are preparing for a nuclear war with America.
Strangely enough, his words did not have a bombshell effect. After he was finished, the leaders began to quietly and peacefully exchange short phrases with each other. Peter even thought they simply didn't hear what he'd told them. So, after waiting a bit, he decided to continue.
Peter: Distinguished chiefs, in order to substantiate my words, I will now tell you about the meeting I attended last week at the White House. I would also like to share with you my own thoughts and conclusions, which I have made on the basis of the information I possess.
In 15 minutes, Peter presented his version of ongoing and upcoming events. The chiefs listened very carefully without interrupting. And when he finished, they began to talk quietly again, occasionally turning to Peter and asking him some questions. Then Falcon Eye spoke again.
Falcon Eye: Peter Saul, we thank you for your courageous and selfless act.
Falcon Eye: I'm sure you're aware of the consequences it will bring upon you personally. Not only is your career in jeopardy, but so is your life. My brothers and I are wondering why you did this? Why did you come to us today?
Peter: I did it because I wanted to. I am deeply convinced that the system of values and the social order that rules the Old World today has long outlived itself. Not only does it inhibit all humanity, but it also threatens all life on earth. And oddly enough, people are ready for change. But those who are at the wheel of this system do not want to lose their power and might. Which is why they will fight against any and all evolution with all they've got. When I came to America and personally experienced your way of life and your values, I realized that this is the future of all mankind. It's the only way out of the catastrophic situation in which most people on the planet find themselves today. When I found out that someone wants to take this escape route away from people and deprive them of that future, I didn't take me long to make the right decision. And most importantly, as true Americans say, that's what my heart wants.
Falcon Eye: You're right about that, Peter Saul. The human brain can be fooled, confused and deceived. But the heart can't be fooled. What are you going to do next, Peter Saul?
Peter: I will do everything I can to prevent this disaster. But I have limited capabilities. I'm just an ambassador. And at this point – probably a former ambassador already. I'm more interested in what the chiefs intend to do? As you understand, the situation is critical. The war could start very soon.
There was a little pause. Once again, the chiefs began to quietly and calmly confer. Then Falcon Eye continued:
Falcon Eye: You're greatly underestimating your capabilities, Peter Saul. We think you're the one who needs to find a way out of this situation.
Peter: I, but...? (Peter was rendered speechless by this turn of events)
Falcon Eye: It's you, Peter Saul.
Peter: But how? I don't even know where to start...
Falcon Eye: We're sure you know exactly what you need to do. You just haven't realized it yet. And we will certainly help you, Peter Saul.
Falcon Eye: The truth is, we're not very surprised or upset about what you have told us today. Sooner or later, we expected such actions on the part of our overseas brethren. And to some extent it even benefits us. They will only accelerate their end with their actions and open the way for a new future for all mankind and the entire planet. So what happened is actually good for all of us and we are grateful for it.
Peter: But how are you going to defend yourself against nuclear weapons? Do you have the technology needed for that?
Falcon Eye: I hope we don't need it. (One of the chiefs who sat next to the Falcon Eye leaned towards him and said something quietly) We're convinced you can complete your mission, Peter Saul. For that purpose, we'll give you our best warrior. You will gain confidence with him, and together you will fulfill your mission.
Peter never showed up at the U.S. Embassy. He simply disappeared, and no one knew what happened to him. While the intelligence service agents questioned embassy staff about Peter, he was on his way to the very heart of America on a high-speed train to meet with the best American warrior.
Peter thought he was going to some ultra-modern and secret military base, but found himself on a regular residential street on the outskirts of a small town. Just as in any other American settlement, there was a lot of greenery, and the buildings' architecture blended harmoniously with the natural landscape.
After finding the right house, Peter stopped and looked around. There was a large beautiful garden in front of him, with a house in the back. A man was kneeling in the garden, fumbling about in the ground. Peter went down the path. The man in the garden seemed to be very passionate about his work and didn't notice Peter approaching him from behind. Peter has already opened his mouth to say hello, but the man suddenly began to speak first, without turning around, as he continued to tinker with the ground.
Black Bull: You must be Peter Saul, right? It's a pleasure. I've been waiting for you.
Peter: Uh... nice to meet you, so I guess you are Black Bull?
Black Bull: I am.
For a few seconds, Peter was confused, not knowing what to say next. Meanwhile, Black Bull had finished his work. He rose from his knees, shook off and turned to face Peter. He was young, tall and had long black hair. He looked at Peter closely.
Black Bull: You must be tired after your journey, Peter Saul, and you're probably hungry. Let's go to my house, I'll make dinner. Sharing a meal is a good way to get acquainted.
Black Bull led Peter under a canopy by the house, with a summer kitchen right outside. He sat Peter down in a wooden chair, and started to cook. Peter looked around with interest.
Peter: You have a beautiful garden and house, Black Bull.
Black Bull: Thank you. You were probably expecting something different, weren't you?
Peter: Maybe... but I'm used to being surprised since I started living in America. It's probably a stereotype, but I thought I was going to a meeting with the military, before I found myself in this beautiful garden.
Black Bull: Why did you think you were going to the military?
Peter: The chiefs told me I had to meet with a warrior.
Black Bull: I get it. Warriors and the military are somewhat different, Peter Saul. The military is really an army. They are great guys, professional soldiers and know their business well. Warriors are a bit different. A warrior is not the one who goes to war. A true warrior is the one who sacrifices himself for the sake of others.
Black Bull: The path of the warrior is thorny and unpredictable, it requires great willpower and deep awareness of reality. Well, dinner is ready. Peter Saul, please join me at the table.
Peter and Black Bull made themselves comfortable on the grass and began to eat. During their meal Peter told him everything he knew.
Black Bull: So you think they're preparing a provocation. Why did you think it will be a tsunami and a big city like New York?
Peter: That's just my argument. I just thought that by blowing up a thermonuclear charge underwater and organizing a giant tsunami, it would be easier to conceal the tracks and accuse Americans of using climate weapons.
Black Bull: Hmm, I wonder... if I were them, I would have done the same thing. Okay, let this be our working theory. So, let's see what we've got. The US government, with the support of the global elite, secretly wants to detonate a bomb off the coast of New York to destroy the city with a giant tsunami and accuse America of it.
Peter: Wait, wait, Black Bull, it's just my speculation. There is no proof. Maybe they'll come up with another way to carry out this provocation. Maybe they'll knock down a plane, or sink a tourist ship. They have a lot of options.
Black Bull: No, they don't have any other options! I like your New York tsunami hypothesis. That's what we'll go with. Besides, it's enough for us to begin to act.
Peter: To act? Do you already have a plan?
Black Bull: No. I thought you had a plan.
Peter: I don't have a plan. I just wanted to warn you of the danger so that your chiefs take the necessary measures.
Black Bull: That's very strange. (Black Bull pretended to think) They wrote to me that you know what to do.
There was a little pause that Peter interrupted.
Peter: Well, I do have thoughts on that. But I don't know whether they are correct.
Black Bull: I'm listening to you very carefully.
Peter: Basically, we need to expose this conspiracy. To do this, you need to first prevent the provocation, collect the needed evidence, and then let people know about it - in the USA, Europe, basically, all around the world, through independent media and the Internet.
Black Bull: Great plan, Peter Saul. I'll go pack my things.
Peter:Are we going somewhere right now, just like this?
Black Bull: Let's go into town. We need to get you an American passport quickly. And tomorrow morning, we'll go to the United States.
Peter: Just like that? We'll just up and go to the United States?
Black Bull: Yeah. And what's so complicated about that? Oh, by the way, have you ever thought about your own Indian name? You need to change your name for the passport.
Peter: No. But my girlfriend sometimes calls me Twilight Cat, because I get home late from work.
Black Bull: Great, Twilight Cat. From now on, I'll only call you that, if you don't mind.
Part 6. Across the ocean
The next morning, Peter and Black Bull were already at the Manhattan Airport. They sat down in a cafe and to have breakfast.
Black Bull: What do you think of your new look, Twilight Cat?
Peter: I'm not entirely used to it. I usually wear a formal business suit. But I like my new clothes. They are very comfortable, practical and fashionable. Only the hair bothers me a bit. (Peter ran his hand over the long black hair of his wig) Are you sure it looks natural?
Black Bull: This wig was made by experienced people. The hair looks very natural.
Peter: Why are we going specifically to Washington? Shouldn't we be going to New York?
Black Bull: In order to get help in exposing the conspiracy. While you were getting your new image, I turned to my brothers from intelligence services. They're setting up a meeting with the opposition for us in Washington.
Black Bull: Yes, a Democratic Senator is coming to the meeting.
Peter: Are we going to tell him about the conspiracy?
Black Bull: Of course we are. And he'll help us publish this information about the conspiracy in the media .
Peter: And it will eventually help them to come to power. One group of liars will replace another.
Black Bull: Do you have any other options?
Peter: Maybe I do. Anyway, your government should have them. For the last ten years, you have been actively promoting your worldview among the population of the Old World. You have a lot of fans in the USA, Europe and Asia. Maybe they would be ready to unite in a political force?
Black Bull: Maybe they are ready. But they need a leader.
Peter: Do you have any candidates?
Black Bull: Yes, I do. One. But he doesn't know about it yet.
Peter: In order to defeat the system, you need more than people.
Black Bull: What do you mean when you say “system”?
Peter: I mean the complex pattern of interaction between transnational corporations, governments, banking and financial systems, media, international organizations and much more.
Black Bull: You didn't say the most important thing.
Peter: What exactly?
Black Bull: The most important thing in the system is people. People are the substance from which the system is made. They are its flesh. And the worldview is its form. It's the DNA of the system. In order to change the system, you need to change the people and their worldview.
Peter: You're right. But no one will let you change the people. Governments, corporations, banks, the military won't allow it. They will protect the DNA of their system at all costs.
A boarding announcement for their Washington flight came on. Peter and Black Bull finished breakfast and went to their gate.
In the plane a man sat down next to them. He dropped down in the next chair over, and said:
Ben: To hell with this America. I'm finally going home. (He looked at his neighbors, but was not a bit embarrassed. Looked like he was a bit drunk) Gentlemen, pardon me, do you speak English?
Peter wanted to answer something, but Black Bull got ahead of him.
Black Bull: Yes, brother, we do.
Ben: You've got to forgive me, I, eh... had a couple of drinks before the flight. I don't like planes and all that. I've traveled around your country for two weeks. It's really beautiful. But I almost starved to death here, he-he. I heard Native Americans were the best hunters in the world, but I couldn't find a place to get myself a good chop. There's no cheese either. Not even milk! I swear to God, when we land in Washington, first thing I do is go to a restaurant and get a juicy steak!
Black Bull: In America, meat is eaten only during big holidays twice a year.
Ben: Really? But why?
Black Bull: My people believe that we should not keep animals in captivity, so we do not engage in animal farming. Just like people, animals should be free. This freedom is given to all creatures living on the planet by nature itself, the mother Earth, and we have no right to dispose of this freedom. Every living organism on earth is sacred to us.
Ben: But, nevertheless, sometimes you do kill animals - during holidays.
Black Bull: Yes. Sometimes we do hunt them. Hunting is a natural process that takes place in nature. Predators hunt other animals. We do the same thing. We do not keep the animals captive, do not humiliate their dignity. The animal dies in an equal battle. It's free to escape or be killed.
Ben: But it has no chance with modern weapons.
Black Bull: That's why we hunt just like our ancestors — with a bow and arrows. And after every killing, we apologize to the animal for taking his life.
Ben: But why not hunt them more often then, not just on holidays?
Black Bull: Because there are too many people. If we hunt every day, we'll kill all the game very quickly. Then predators will be left without food and die out. Our forests and fields will quickly grow desolate and turn into lifeless wastelands. For us, hunting is more a tribute to tradition today, not a source of food. That's why we only engage in it twice a year.
Ben: You, I must say, are very interesting people. I'm serious! During my trip to America, I saw a lot of amusing and unusual things. I saw how you say goodbye to the dead, how Americans elect a chief. I even talked to shamans. But... (he leaned closer to Black Bull), I will be frank with you, in the Old World Americans are considered conceited and arrogant fools (he laughed). By the people of my generation, those over 40, anyway. And I really did feel that some Americans look at me with disdain here in America, or maybe even with condemnation. Yeah, nobody hurt me, everybody smiled at me... but I felt it anyway. Tell me, no offense or anything, I'm just wondering - do you really think you're better than us?
Black Bull: What's your name, brother?
Ben: Ben, and yours?
Black Bull: My name is Black Bull. Ben, you have to understand that there are different people in America, just like in the rest of the world. With different characters and different opinions. I know there are people in the USA and Europe who think that white people are better than black. Some 70 years ago black people were considered second-rate people in the USA. Many of my brothers do condemn the way people from the Old World behave towards Mother Earth, nature, animals and other people. Much of what you do is blasphemy for us. Also, let's not forget historic events. When Columbus discovered America, white people began to populate our lands on a massive scale. At first, my ancestors saw them as gods and willingly cooperated with them. But a bit later, when they got to know people from across the ocean, when they saw their barbaric attitude to nature, cruelty and greed, when people from the Old World began to ruthlessly exterminate Native Americans, massacring entire villages, killing women and children, they changed their attitude towards them. As you may know, the aggression of the white people led to the unification of all Native Americans in the Americas into one whole. They created their own state and expelled foreigners back across the ocean.
Ben: But that was almost 500 years ago. At that time, the world was indeed harsh and ruthless. And then democracy was established in the Old World. And everything changed for the better.
Black Bull: Do you think so? Many Americans believe that nothing has changed in the Old World. And democracy is an illusion in which people blindly believe.
Ben: What do you personally think?
Black Bull: I think that humanity and all life on Earth are in great danger right now. And all the people on the planet must come together to prevent the catastrophe from happening.
The stewardess announced that the plane is ready for takeoff. Ben took a little flask out of his pocket and took a few sips.
Ben: Black Bull, thank you for the frank conversation. You know, right now I don't feel that you're looking down at me (he grinned). How long are you going to stay in Washington?
Black Bull: A couple of weeks.
Ben: Going for Independence Day celebrations? Washington will be beautiful on these days. It's the best time to visit the city.
Black Bull: No, I'm going on business. But I will enjoy seeing the city during the holidays.
Ben drained his flask to the end shortly after takeoff and fell asleep. Peter and Black Bull were talking quietly.
Peter: Now we know when they want to... detonate the bomb. (Peter said the last two words very quietly) I couldn't fit it all together in my head, New York means Wall Street, it's where the entire financial elite in the United States is. They wouldn't kill their friends. If they had warned everyone, it would have aroused suspicion. So most of them will leave the city for the Independence Day weekend. They'll survive, and ordinary people will die.
Black Bull: We only have a week to prevent this from happening.
Meeting with opposition was supposed to be held at the hotel where Peter and Black Bull were staying. When they went down to a small conference room at noon on the next day, the senator was waiting for them. Black Bull entered the room last and locked the door behind him.
Peter: Good afternoon, Senator Brody. Thank you for responding to our request for a meeting. My name is Peter Saul. As you know, I'm an ambassador, uh... former U.S. Ambassador to America. With your permission, I'll proceed straight to the point.
Peter: Just a few days ago, I received information that the top officials of the US government and the European Union are preparing a monstrous provocation that they want to use to kindle a large-scale war with America...
The senator listened carefully to Peter's story. Then he lit a cigar.
Senator Brody: Where did you get that information?
Peter: I attended a private meeting at the White House. With the president, ministers and heads of intelligence services.
Senator Brody: That's a very serious accusation, Mr. Saul. (He stopped to take a drag) Destroying New York is certainly insane. I wouldn't believe you, but my sources have also been recently reporting unusual activity of intelligence services and the presidential administration. We knew that something large-scale and important was underway, but we couldn't even imagine that the president could make a decision of this sort...
Peter: I intend to prevent this provocation and uncover the monstrous conspiracy. I need your help. When I gather the necessary evidence, I want you to make it public and make sure that all the conspirators are punished.
Senator Brody: You do realize that this is essentially a coup d'état, right? We won't only have to replace the president, it'll be almost the entire government, including intelligence services.
Peter: All the more so. This is a great chance for you to seize power from the Republicans.
The senator nodded his head and released a thick puff of smoke.
Senator Brody: Alright, I'll help you. Are there any other conditions? What do you want for yourself? What position?
Peter: Position? I didn't even think about that... (Peter was perplexed)
Black Bull, who stood behind Peter's back before, came closer.
Black Bull: What are you going to do when you come to power?
Senator Brody: Excuse me? (Senator gave Peter a questioning look)
Peter: This is Black Bull. He represents the interests of the entire American people.
Senator Brody: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought he was your personal bodyguard. (he puffed on his cigar and looked closely at the Black Bull) It's a rhetorical question - what we will do when we come to power. What exactly are you interested in? Our relationship with America?
Black Bull: I'm more interested in how you will solve the problems that plague all of the Old World. Presidents will retire, the government will change, but the problems will remain in place. Your colleagues were ready to launch a nuclear war to solve these problems. What do you suggest?
The senator slowly took another long puff and sighed.
Senator Brody: Crises come and go. And humanity continues to survive... Somehow we will deal with the current crisis. Why does it bother you so much? America is doing just great.
Black Bull: We are concerned not only about our brothers from the Old World, but also about the entire planet. The planet is our mother. We can't wait around and watch you kill it. You believe you have received your land from your ancestors. We Americans understand that we are borrowing it from our children and descendants. Today's crisis is not an ordinary one. It could be humanity's last.
Senator Brody: Everyone is free to have their own point of view. We think differently in the Old World. You Americans would certainly like everyone to think like you. You like to speak beautiful words about mother nature and sacred animals. But we think differently. We have our own culture and life values.
Black Bull: These life values have led the civilization to a catastrophe.
Senator Brody: This is a philosophical question — have they or haven't they led it there. You Americans sure love your philosophy, don't you? (he laughed, and then puffed on his cigar again) But I have to give you credit - you perfectly understand how to sell it. Our youth appreciates it.
Black Bull: We never sold our life wisdom. But we believe that its spread among your youth may be a possible way out of the crisis.
Senator Brody: Mr. Saul, (the senator turned to Peter) do you believe that as well?
Peter: I think that the solution to the real crisis cannot be found in the material sphere. It's a spiritual crisis. Therefore, the solution must be sought in the spiritual sphere.
Senator Brody: So what do you want me to do? Should we all smoke calumets of peace, live in wigwams and pray whenever we eat a beef burger?
Black Bull stared at the senator, stone-faced.
Black Bull: Senator, you don't have to exaggerate and clown around here. You only have to ensure a leap in your society's spiritual development. It should have been done a very long time ago, but the greed and stupidity of your elite has always prevented that.
Senator Brody: What do you mean?
Black Bull: In the sense that if you propel society in its spiritual development, you are likely to lose all the tools with which you can manipulate and control it. I'm sure you understand that perfectly. You're an experienced politician.
The senator leaned down to the table and put his cigar out in the ashtray.
Senator Brody: Let me ask you, then, how should we control the society?
Black Bull: It doesn't have to be controlled. Spiritually developed people do not need to be governed from the outside. They can organize themselves. They do not need to be taught certain models of behavior and values since childhood. They will choose their own values and create their own behavior patterns based on their own desires. You won't have to accustom them to unrestrained consumption, so you can then control them through the economy. You won't have to force them to believe in and strive for the star-spangled dream so that they would work. They will decide how, where and how much to work - or not to work at all.
Senator Brody: I didn't know there was so much propaganda in America. Do you believe in all this nonsense?
Black Bull did not pay attention to the senator's biting words and continued.
Black Bull: I'm sure there's only one thing that scares you in this. You are afraid that you won't be needed in the new society and will thus lose all your power.
Peter realized that emotions were running high, and decided to end the conversation as soon as possible.
Peter: Senator, Black Bull, let's save this subject for later. Now we need to focus on the current task. Senator, I hope we have a deal. We will prevent this provocation, collect evidence, and you will help make it public. Not only in the USA, but in Europe, too. All over the world. I'm sure you have all the needed connections. Let's finish here.
Part 7. Discussion with the president
After the meeting with the Senator, Black Bull and Peter decided to have lunch at the hotel restaurant and discuss further actions.
Black Bull: Twilight Cat, what do you think about this senator? Will your people live better if he and his team come to power?
Peter: (suspended) I don't expect anything positive from him. Like I said, liars will replace other liars. Society doesn't need a new president or new authorities. It needs a radical change in people's minds. We need a spiritual revolution. And we need a leader who will lead the people.
Black Bull: Hmm, a “spiritual revolution” is a good expression. I like that.
Peter rubbed his face with his hands.
Peter: What do we do next? Do you have any idea how to prevent a provocation?
Black Bull: Who knows all the details of the operation?
Peter: Probably the CIA director. Maybe people from other intelligence services... and, of course, the president.
Black Bull: So we should go to the president and ask him. Let's try to dissuade him and convince him to turn in the conspirators.
Peter looked at Black Bull, perplexed.
Peter: Are you kidding?
Black Bull: No, Twilight Cat, I'm completely serious. You just need to know how to ask properly.
Peter: It seems that you know just how to do that... but don't forget that I'm wanted, and you can't get to the president that easily.
Black Bull: Don't worry. I'll deal with it.
A white van with “Fresh Fruit Delivery” written on its side stopped near a small square in downtown Washington.
Black Bull: Let's change first. (Black Bull shoved a bag of clothing in Peter’s hands). Change the shoes, too. These are shoes with a special sole — they are silent. Now I'll teach you how to use the "ghost."
Peter: The “ghost”?
Black Bull: It's a special device that makes you invisible to the human eye.
Black Bull took out two small devices that resembled large watches out of his pocket.
Black Bull: Here you go. Put on your wrist like a regular watch. It works very simply. This button turns on the invisible mode, and that one turns it off. Even a child can handle it. Look.
Black Bull put on the “ghost” and pressed the button. At first he became transparent, and then disappeared completely. Peter's jaw dropped.
Peter: Holy shit!!!!! Damn it, you really did disappear. Hey, Black Bull, where are you???
Black Bull: I'm here, right in front of you. (he pressed the button and appeared again) What do you think?
Black Bull: Now you try it. You need to get used to not seeing your body. Wear these glasses, too. You'll be able to see your body in them. They'll help you see in the dark as well.
Half an hour later, Black Bull and Peter left the van, and veiled by the night and the “ghost” walked towards the White House. They got through the mansion gates along with an incoming car, and inside the White house – through the garage. Then they stopped to catch their breath In one of the utility rooms of the White House.
Black Bull: (whispering) Hey, Twilight Cat, let's stop here. Let's rest a bit. We need to find out where the president is right now.
Peter: He must be in bed already. What are we going to say to the first lady when we show up in his bedroom? Are we taking her with us, too?
Black Bull: Shush. Give me ten minutes.
They sat in silence for a while.
Black Bull: Okay, looks like the president is still awake. He's in his office, alone. Good thing there are no security cameras there.
Peter: How do you know?
Black Bull: I tapped the security guards' conversations. And then I went through all the surveillance camera footage.
Peter: What? But how?
Black Bull: Legacy of Nikola Tesla. (Black Bull fumbled with a small device similar to a smartphone) This device can do so much more than this. Let's go while he's still alone in the office.
President Barrymore was sitting alone in his office in a regular home robe and glasses, staring at the computer monitor. He didn't notice how two men appeared a few meters away from him .
Peter: Mr. President! (Peter took a step forward)
President Barrymore: What? I told you, don't... hey, what the hell! Who are you? I'm calling... (President reached out for the console)
In an instant Black Bull leaped over to the president's table and pointed the barrel of some strange gun at him.
Black Bull: Another word or a sharp move, and you're dead! Listen to me carefully: We are going to have a little talk now. I'm warning you, don't do anything stupid and you'll be fine. We didn't have much trouble getting in here. It won't be hard to kill you and sneak out. Do you get me?
The president swallowed. He slowly leaned on the back of his chair and turned his eyes on Peter.
President Barrymore: Oh, it's you, Mr. Saul. You bloody traitor!
Peter: It doesn't matter right now. We're here to find out all the details of the provocation being prepared in New York.
President Barrymore: I don't know what this is all about.
Peter: Stop playing the fool! We know what you're up to for Independence Day! We need complete and precise information on the details of this operation. You have five minutes to tell us everything, or my partner will turn you into a puddle of thick mucus on the floor.
That didn't make any impression on the president.
President Barrymore: Then you'll have to kill me. I won't tell you anything.
Peter: Whoa. (Peter approached the table and sat in the chair across from the president) You are so loyal to your ideas. Honestly, I'm a little surprised. I thought you were an unscrupulous bastard who was willing to kill millions of innocent people for power.
President Barrymore: You don't know me very well, Mr. Saul. You don't know your country very well, either. You've lived in America for too long. Whatever is happening in the USA and in the Old World is probably impossible to see from over there. Our children will have nothing to eat soon.
President Barrymore: We are on the verge of a total war with China and Russia. And your American friends (he nodded towards the Black Bull) are just waiting for us to rip each other's throats out, then take over the entire planet and establish their idiotic order. Peter, they think we're second-class people, underdeveloped monsters. They think we aren't good enough to live on earth, so we should just die out!
Peter: Enough of this propaganda! We're not at a rally. To be honest, they're pretty much right.
President Barrymore: I didn't expect to hear anything different from you. You're a pathetic traitor! And I'm a patriot. And I'm willing to do anything for my people and my country!
Peter: Even kill millions of your own citizens?
President Barrymore: Thomas Jefferson once said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots.”It is a sacrifice required to save our freedom and the only way to save the billions of people living in the USA, Europe and the entire Old World. Not everyone can make this sort of decision. It requires real courage and loyalty to your ideals. That's why I'm the president, and not you!
Peter: I can't believe it! What a clever excuse you've invented for your monstrous actions. Do you really believe in all this? In being chosen by God? In your courage? In that bloody tree of liberty? Or are you just a good actor?
President Barrymore: Whatever you please to believe.
Peter: Somewhere deep down, people like you do realize they're doing the wrong thing. But you come up with excuses, which you eventually really start to believe. Otherwise, it's hard for you to fall asleep at night. Having tasted power once, it's hard to stop, isn't it? It's hard to forget this sense of greatness and importance, right?
President Barrymore: You'll never understand. You're just a worthless pawn that's playing a savior. Don't try so hard for the people. They'll never appreciate it anyway.
Peter: But they will appreciate your plans to destroy New York and launch a war with America!
President Barrymore: I'm not awaiting their approval. Because they don't understand what I understand and know. They are mostly interested in clothing and car fuel prices, or yet another socialite's new Instagram post.
Peter: But you are the ones who make them so short-sighted and primitive. You don't give them any alternative!
President Barrymore: It's all your childish fantasies, Mr. Saul! In fact, no one is preventing them from becoming interested in anything and living the way they want. Ours is a free country, after all!
Peter: Your freedom is a fiction, a beautiful wrapper. You know perfectly well how things really happen. Society brainwashes children and adolescents when their consciousness is not yet able to resist it. You entrench a stereotypical life model in their minds and maintain it throughout their lives.
President Barrymore: (laughing) Here we go, your world conspiracy fantasies again! We don't entrench anything in anyone.
Peter: You hide the truth from people. You do all you can to prevent their worldview from changing. Because you are afraid that you will lose power, and your friends won't be able to earn a multibillion-dollar fortune on stupid people. The Americans offered to help you 30, 20 and 10 years ago. But you refused. You'd rather fill the world with blood than give people real freedom!
The president wanted to say something, but he didn't have the time. Black Bull bypassed him from behind and knocked him out with a deft blow to the back of the head.
Black Bull: Twilight Cat, we don't have much time. He won't tell us anything. We'll have to use extreme measures. I'm going to conduct the rite now. Looks like this office is completely soundproof and the guards don't bother the president when he works here. I think we have about an hour. Check if the door is closed.
Peter: A rite? Did you say a rite?
Black Bull: Yes, it sounds old-fashioned enough, but it reflects the essence perfectly.
Peter checked the door. It was locked, so no one could come in by accident. Then he came back to Black Bull. He already got a special soft rope out of his backpack and tied the president to a chair. The president's mouth was already covered with scotch tape.
Peter: I thought we were just going to inject him with truth serum.
Black Bull: That would take too long and it's not very reliable. I have my own method.
Peter: What do I do? Do you need any help?
Black Bull: Yes. Take the sal-ammoniac out of the bag and wake the president up. Then sit down in the armchair and stay put whatever happens, okay?
Peter: What's going to happen?
Black Bull: Something unusual.
When the president woke up and started to grunt and wriggle in his chair, Black Bull took a wooden pipe out of the bag, filled it with some dried herbs from a small bag, sat on the floor across from the president and lit it.
Perplexed, Peter watched Black Bull smoke the pipe and mumble something under his nose. The president was just as surprised to see what was happening. After fifteen minutes of smoking and mumbling, Black Bull put the pipe aside and closed his eyes. Suddenly, the president started to stammer and wriggle again. The Black Bull opened his eyes, but there were no pupils. Only the white spots of his eyeballs. That's when the president suddenly calmed down and began to look at Peter with foggy eyes. Peter froze in expectation. A couple of minutes later, the president fainted. At the same time, Black Bull closed his eyes. He began to mumble something again under his nose. When he reopened his eyes, they were already normal, but very tired, as if he's been staring at a computer monitor for a long time.
Peter: What the hell was that? (Peter sprung up from his chair and walked up to Black Bull, who was still sitting on the floor)
Black Bull: The rite that I told you about. (Black Bull took out a small bottle from the backpack and drank it up in one gulp).
Peter: You don't look too good. As if you've been unloading bags of cement all night. That's weird.
Black Bull: That's a normal reaction. That's what it should be. Give me five more minutes, and I'll come to my senses.
Peter: So what was that anyway? Tesla’s gifts again?
Black Bull: No, not really. (Black Bull sighed deeply and closed his eyes) It's called “penetration.” Roughly speaking, my consciousness temporarily leaves the body and is transferred to another body. I can control that body for a while. Besides, I can know and remember everything that the person whose body I entered knew and remembered. That's how it works, more or less.
Peter: Unbelievable. I read about something of this sort once in a magazine. I thought it was all just a hoax. But what I saw today... (Peter shrugged his shoulders in amazement) How did it go? Was it successful?
Black Bull: Yes, it went fine. I've learned everything I need. It's exactly as we thought it was. New York, Independence Day. (Black Bull opened his eyes and slowly got up on his feet). It's time we get out of here.
Peter: What do we do with him? Is he all right? (Peter nodded towards the president, who was still unconscious and sitting down, tied to the chair, wit his head down)
Black Bull: Not really. He'll probably be in a coma for the next month or two. And then it's the luck of the draw. He’ll either recover or stay crippled for the rest of his life.
Peter: Oh, hell! We didn't cover all the bases! What we were thinking! If they find out what we did to the president, they'll reschedule the provocation date or come up with something else. Only we won't know about it anymore!
Black Bull: Don't worry. They won't know what happened to him. It'll look like a stroke.
Peter: Are you sure?
Black Bull: Trust me, Twilight Cat, it's not the first time I've conducted this rite.
Peter: What about the blow to the back of the head?
Black Bull: It left no trace. You can see for yourself.
Peter: And the scotch tape marks by the mouth?
Black Bull: Yeah, they need to disappear. Gather everything, and I'll deal with the tape. And one more thing... Twilight Cat, I learned about all the people who knew about the provocation being prepared. That senator we met... he knew everything.
Peter: What? (Peter froze in a stupor)
Black Bull: Yeah, he knows all about the New York plan. Moreover, the entire opposition knows about it. They are all in collusion.
Peter: What a bastard! You can’t trust anyone in this bloody world! Why didn't he hand us over to the authorities?
Black Bull: Apparently he's playing a double game. He thinks he's the smartest and craftiest.
Peter: Who should we trust now? What do we do?
Black Bull: We'll ask the FBI for help.
Black Bull: Yes. The FBI chief doesn't know about the provocation. That's why he should help us. I really hope he does.
Part 8. New York
Black Bull and Peter didn't come back to the hotel that night. They spent the night in a van on the outskirts of town. In the morning they had breakfast outdoors.
Peter: I still can't believe the senator knew everything. This fuckin' political system has rotted all the way through!
Black Bull: That happened a long time ago.
Peter: At this point the people have no chance of electing a decent government.
Black Bull: Did they ever have that chance?
Peter: Theoretically, they still have it now. Democratic elections have not been cancelled yet.
Black Bull looked seriously at Peter, and then suddenly laughed loudly.
Black Bull: Are you serious? Democratic elections? Twilight Cat, democratic elections are mostly a fiction, an illusion that people are fed so that they believe that ordinary men and women really do have a say. Just like 500 years ago, the people barely have a say in anything. The Old World continues to live in the Middle Ages. It's weird to talk about it in the 21st century, isn't it?
Peter: On the one hand, I totally agree with you. But on the other hand... they can actually elect whoever they want to govern the state. Or do you think the elections are being rigged?
Black Bull: No, they don't need to do that. Everything is much simpler. In fact, it doesn't matter which president or congressman the people elect. Both are sponsored by the same crowd. When was the last time you saw an independent candidate in the election?
Peter: There was one ten years ago, and in the European Union there were...
Black Bull: And how many votes did they get? A few percent. People like that barely have a chance to get to the very top of the power pyramid. In the Old World everything is controlled by those who control money. And security and intelligence services, too. And they can always put their own man in the position of power. And first and foremost, he will protect their interests, instead of the people's interests. And the bigger the country, the easier it is to implement.
Peter sighed, and Black Bull continued:
Black Bull: And even if people elect whoever they want, it's not a given that he will protect their interests. Power changes people in a major way. In addition, the government consists of more than the president. There are numerous ministers, advisors, generals and other bureaucrats. And all of them will be under pressure from those who manage billions of dollars.
Peter: But people will be watching the work of someone they elected. And they may take to the streets if something doesn't suit them.
Black Bull: They may. Theoretically. But in reality, they will be told that it's the way it should be. That what the government does is right and necessary. These people are perfectly capable of manipulating the human consciousness. Besides, as the president rightly noticed yesterday, most people are more interested in clothing prices and the new pop song than real social problems. Stupid singers' social media posts gain hundreds of times more views and likes than posts about ecological disasters or deforestation. These are not popular topics.
Peter: Yes, unfortunately, that's true. That's why they are so afraid of changes in people's worldview.
Black Bull: Of course. If people change their worldview, they will no longer be so easily manipulated. They won't be able to fool the people about democratic elections and other nonsense anymore. This means they'll have to be responsible for their actions and decisions to the full extent of the law.
Peter: So, we won't fix anything by preventing the provocation? Republicans will be replaced by Democrats, but real power still won't belong to the people. Is that how it works?
Black Bull: Indeed. That won't change the system. We'll only delay the end of the world. And we'll have the time to think our future actions over.
Peter: What do we do then?
Black Bull: Why, are you planning to retire?
Peter: No... I didn't think about what I'm gonna do when this is over.
Black Bull: You should think about it very hard, Twilight Cat.
A pause hung in the air. Peter was sitting and thinking about something, while Black Bull was eating the rest of his breakfast.
Peter: It can't go on like this! Hell, you're right! We live in the 21stcentury! We need a new political system.
Black Bull: Not just a political one, Twilight Cat. We need a new economy, a new worldview for the society, a new educational system.
Peter: Yes, we do! We can set everything up just like you did in America!
Black Bull: There is no need to copy our entire social organization. It is largely based on our ancient traditions, many of which may not be easy for your people to understand and accept.
Black Bull: But that is not required. After all, we are not just talking about the political structure. We're talking about evolution. Human evolution. It's your evolution. Nature loves diversity, so you can create something great, and perhaps even wiser and more beautiful than our system. I'm sure you'll be able to do that.
A police car was passing by. Suddenly, it stopped and backed up. An officer came out of the car.
Police officer: Hey guys! Are you all right? Do you need any help? (officer nodded towards the van on the curb)
Peter got up on his feet.
Peter: No, thank you, officer. We're all right. Just decided to have breakfast outside.
The officer nodded and left.
Black Bull: It's time for us to get moving. (Black Bull got up, too)
Peter: Can your friends find out where the Director of the FBI lives?
Black Bull: It's not easy, but I think we can find out. Give me an hour. Do you think it's best to visit him at home?
Peter: Yes. The house is hardly guarded. Security cameras only. We'll wear the “ghosts” and wait for him inside.
As it turns out, FBI Director Skinner lived in an apartment on the fourth floor of an apartment building. It was not very difficult to get in there.
Black Bull: This is his apartment. (Black Bull nodded his head towards the door) Number 8. Let's not go inside. What if his wife or children are there. We'll wait for him here.
FBI Director Skinner was delayed at work that day and got home only at 10 o'clock in the evening. He put the key into the lock of his door and wanted to open it, but suddenly noticed two strangers standing a few steps away from him.
Peter: FBI Director Skinner?
Skinner: Yes. (Skinner examined the strangers suspiciously) What do you want?
Peter: I'm Peter Saul, former U.S. Ambassador to America. We have information that someone is preparing a monstrous terrorist attack for New York. Millions of people could die. We've come to you because we can't trust anyone else. Is there a place we can discuss this?
A few minutes later the three of them were sitting in FBI Director Skinner’s living room. Peter told him everything he knew. As proof of his words, he showed a recording of a conversation with the president made by Black Bull.
Skinner: Who else is involved in this conspiracy? Who else knows about the upcoming terrorist attack?
Black Bull told him everything he knew. Skinner was shocked and perplexed to find out that almost the entire political elite of the USA was involved in this. He looked suspiciously at his guests once again.
Skinner: What if none of this is true? What if you're just playing me for a fool right now?
Peter: If we deceive you, you can detain us for misinformation with the aim of overthrowing the government. This is a very serious allegation. It will mean the death penalty for us.
Skinner looked closely at Peter, than at Black Bull. He got up and pulled out a bottle of whiskey and glasses from the cabinet.
Skinner: Will you have a drink with me?
Peter: No, thank you, I don't drink.
Skinner: And your comrade? (he looked at Black Bull)
Black Bull shook his head. Skinner sighed and poured himself a drink.
Skinner: Well, the circumstances are certainly difficult. I would even say critical. (He took a gulp from the glass) If all you say is true, hard times lie ahead for all of us. As I understand, we don't have much time? Independence Day is the day after tomorrow.
Skinner: So, as you're saying, tomorrow night, a group of people under CIA command will install a nuclear charge at sea a few miles from New York City.
Peter: Yes, that's right. The operation is headed personally by the Deputy Director of the CIA.
Skinner sighed and put the glass down on the table.
Skinner: Okay, so be it. I believe you. But if you deceived me, you'll both be roasted in an electric chair!
Peter: Deal, Mr. Skinner!
Black Bull: Another important point. (Black Bull approached Skinner and Peter) Our actions have to be careful and covert. Don't make much noise. If they find out that the FBI is in the know, they'll cancel the operation. Then we won't be able to catch them in the act, and the conspiracy won't be exposed. In this case, you are unlikely to get a pat on the back. We need real evidence, not the crazy president's chatter. Do you understand me? (Black Bull looked seriously at Skinner) That’s why you need to use as few people as possible, and only the most reliable ones. The CIA has ears everywhere.
Skinner: That's a reasonable suggestion. I'll take it into account.
While Skinner took his time speaking with someone on the phone, Peter was sending out letters to major information agencies, magazines and online media.
Black Bull: Hmm, you think they're going to bite, Twilight Cat?
Peter: They should. I'm promising them a sensation. I don't reveal all the details, but I sent them a part of the conversation with the president as bait. The most harmless part. That should intrigue them. I created a group in a text messenger app and I'll launch a live broadcast tomorrow night. Let them be ready when I tell them where to be to get that sensation.
Skinner finished his phone conversation and came up to Peter.
Skinner: Get ready. We need to go to the airfield. There'll be a special helicopter and a small workgroup waiting for us. We'll be in New York in the morning.
Peter fell asleep right in the helicopter. When he woke up, they were already flying up to New York. Black Bull was discussing the details of the operation with Skinner.
Skinner: A small FBI Coast Guard team in New York will help us. We will begin patrolling the waters of the bay, allegedly to ensure the safety of the Independence Day celebration. We'll have four small speedboats, which we'll use to track down the CIA task force and catch it in the act.
Black Bull: You have very few people, Mr. Skinner. You can count on my help.
Skinner: Good. Since you've been able to sneak into the White House and question the president, you'll be very helpful.
Skinner saw that Peter woke up and is listening to them with attention.
Skinner: Mr. Saul, tell me what happens when we uncover the conspiracy. I understand it involves not only the military and the president, but the entire political establishment, including the Congress and the Senate. Not to mention the financial gateways and corporations. We will be left without our elite and our government.
Peter: Our most important task now is to uncover the conspiracy and punish all those involved in it. Everyone must be punished for intending to launch a nuclear war and kill millions of their own citizens. You, as the director of the FBI, have to do everything possible to ensure that no one escapes responsibility.
Skinner: I'll do everything I can.
Peter: I think you’re a decent man, Mr. Skinner. I believe you.
Peter: You were right when you said we were facing difficult times. I just realized that now. This whole mess has far deeper and more serious consequences than I thought. This won't only affect the US, but Europe and Asia as well. We must destroy the old system and build a new, better, fairer and more flexible system over its remains. And the US will be a pioneer here.
Skinner: Sounds like a pre-election speech. (Skinner smiled slightly)
Peter: (shrugged) That should have been done a long time ago. The system has been cracking at the seams for several decades.
Skinner: Maybe I agree with you. But I don't see an alternative. What are we gonna do? Return to monarchy? Or do we try anarchy? Maybe your American friends can help us. (He looked at the Black Bull)
Black Bull: (He leaned closer to Skinner) This is what I'd say. Native Americans have always wondered how their pale brothers can lead normal lives when every person has so many bosses. And everyone tells him what to do. You have been trained for this since childhood. But this is just a random opinion.
Black Bull: I believe your world needs to start by rethinking who you are and why you are here. People of the Old World, and especially the pale-faced ones, are almost always guided through life by their minds (he tapped his finger on his temple), that is, their heads.
Skinner: What should we be guided by, if not our heads?
Black Bull: You need to remember how to listen to your heart. Unlike the head, it's never wrong. Even when it seems that the choice is foolish and irrational, the heart will not deceive you and always leads you along the right path.
Skinner: I know what you mean. It's akin to intuition, isn't it?
Black Bull: Something like that... yes, intuition comes from the heart.
Skinner: But computers were invented by the brain, not by the heart. And everything that we have created around us, all our technologies, emerged from the human mind, rather than the heart. Am I not right?
Black Bull: Not really. The people who came up with all of this followed their hearts. It may have been more profitable and easier for them to become lawyers, economists or someone else. But the heart wanted them to become scientists, engineers, doctors.
Black Bull: But there are great lawyers and economists who have done lots of great things — they also listened to their hearts. You need to understand that the heart and the brain, that is, the mind, are different tools for traveling through life. You need to be able to use both, but you only use one. And the second is entirely forgotten. That's precisely what brought your civilization to the edge of the abyss.
Skinner: And how do we learn to use the other tool?
Black Bull: You don't have to learn anything. You just need to remember. Each of you...
Helicopter pilot informed them over the intercom that they'll be at their destination in 15 minutes.
All day long, the FBI task force, together with Peter and Black Bull, collected and analyzed information that came from a variety of sources. One of the sources was Black Bull, who received it from the American intelligence service. Late in the evening, several groups moved in on boats and helicopters into the area of the alleged search for a CIA squad setting a bomb at the bottom of the bay. Peter, Black Bull and Skinner were in the same boat.
Peter: Mr. Skinner, I want you to know. After we catch the conspirators, we have to give a joint press conference with you. With leading publications and independent online journalists present.
Skinner: Are you sure that's what you want? I doubt that it's a wise thing to do before we unravel this tangle.
Peter: People need to know everything. I want the entire investigation to be public. No classified information. Enough of all these lies!
Skinner: (shrugging) There may be riots in the streets. Do you need that?
Peter: Publicity is our only defense. The people behind all this have enormous power and resources. They have ways to pressure almost every more or less significant person in our country and around the world. They can easily seize the initiative and expose the whole situation from the side that benefits them. They will come to power again and put their own people in the government. Better let people take to the streets. This will complicate their work, since people will monitor the situation closely.
Skinner: That's a reasonable explanation. I think I'll go along with that. I have only one question left — who will become the leader? Who will become the country's leader then?
Peter: The people.
Skinner looked at Peter thoughtfully. At that point, an FBI officer reported on the radio that the radar had spotted a ship. From that point on the events began to develop very rapidly.
FBI boats began approaching the unidentified ship from all sides.
CIA staff were busy preparing to dump the bomb at the bottom of the bay, so it was too late when they realized they were trapped. But they weren't going to give up. They blasted the engines on full throttle and tried to escape the chase.
When the FBI boats tried to get close to the CIA vessel, it opened heavy fire on the pursuers and the boats were forced to move aside.
Black Bull has decided to act. He used a harpoon with a rope mounted on the bow of the boat.
Black Bull jumped into the water and used a rope to climb onto the CIA ship.
Aboard the enemy ship, he neutralized two CIA men and made his way into the engine compartment to shut down the ship engine. A few minutes afterwards the ship stopped.
FBI boats and helicopters surrounded the ship and offered the conspirators to surrender. Realizing the hopelessness of the situation, CIA agents laid down their weapons and surrendered.
Then the FBI boats and the hijacked CIA vessel went to berth 13 at New York Port. Headquarters were established to investigate the incident with the nuclear bomb that the conspirators wanted to blow up at sea close to the city. At Peter's request, reporters gathered right there as well, waiting for clarifications from officials.
Immediately after the CIA men were captured, Skinner ordered the detention of hundreds of people across the country suspected of being involved in the plotting and organization of the terrorist attack.
Soon after getting back from the sea, Peter and Black Bull went out to the journalists and told them about the whole conspiracy story, the nuclear bomb and the nuclear war with America. He promised that very soon the FBI would provide all the evidence of what he was saying. One of the reporters shouted:
Reporter: Mr. Saul, what awaits our country and the world now? Our country has been left without its leaders. What do we do now?
Peter: Our country and the world are setting a course for great changes. We will elect a new government that will have to carry out reforms... No, these will not be called reforms, but a real revolution in our society. We have build a completely different world, with no place for the things that are happening today.
Reporter: You mean the nuclear bomb explosion?
Peter: Not only that. I mean war, injustice, poverty, corruption, deforestation, environment pollution, extermination of animals and the biosphere of the planet, restriction of human rights and freedoms, genocide and much more. But the most important thing we’ll have to do is overcome our own stupidity, irresponsibility and a passive attitude towards all these problems.
Reporter: How do you propose we do all this?
Peter: To begin with, we must realize that we ourselves are mostly to blame, rather than the president or the government. Each one of us. We've been letting them do whatever they please for hundreds of years. We let them manipulate us. We agree with the concepts and ideas they offer us.
Peter: What has happened to our world is our own fault. That's why we have to fix it ourselves. To begin with, we need to have a sweeping discussion of all these issues in our society. Fortunately, we do not live in the Middle Ages and we’ve got the Internet. We have to figure out what we are doing wrong. But we need help. It will be hard for us to realize all our mistakes.
Peter turned his head in search of Black Bull who was behind his back.
Peter: We must not forget that our friends, our brothers, who are always ready to help us are over there, across the ocean. I assure you, if it weren't for them, New York would lay in ruins tomorrow, and soon it would have been the entire planet. (Peter stopped and looked at Black Bull) I'm sure our American friends will help us figure this out and build a new world.
The crowd of journalists grumbled.
Peter: I'm not finished yet. (Peter raised his hand) I want to officially announce now that I will run in the upcoming presidential election!
The crowd exploded and pounced on Peter with questions and comments.
At dawn, after the journalists had left, Peter and Black Bull were sitting on the pier watching the sun emerge from the ocean. Skinner joined them.
Skinner: I heard you saying you wanted to be president at the press conference.
Peter: Yes, that's true. I thought that people need a leader who would set an example with his own actions. (He looked at Black Bull and smiled, and then turned to Skinner again) But I can't do it alone. Will you help me, Mr. Skinner?
Skinner: If you're going to make this bloody world a better place, I'll be happy to help you. But you're not the president yet. And it won't be easy for you to win the election. Of course, you are now a star, if I may say so, but the people who launched this attack are not used to losing. They will nominate their candidates. They will have unlimited financial and information resources.
Peter: I understand that. But I believe in the evolution of man and humanity. Nature itself wants it. It's all clear to me now. And nature lives in each of us. Right here. (he put a fist to his chest)
Peter: No one can thwart that which must happen. No money or power will be able to stop this process. Humanity must make an evolutionary leap.
Skinner: Eh... (sighed) I'd like your confidence in the force of nature. They can just kill you. A lot of people who had challenged them are now in their graves.
Peter:You don't have to worry about my safety. I'm reliably protected. (Peter patted Black Bull on the back). Didn't it surprise you that Black Bull didn't get a scratch when he decided to get onboard the CIA ship in such a risky manner?
Skinner: I've read that the Native Americans are very clever and brave. Why would you be surprised?
Peter: That's true. It's also true that last night someone fired several rounds from a machine gun at him. But as you can see, he's alive and well.
Skinner: Well, what's the secret?
Black Bull touched an unusual device that hung on his belt. For an instant, his whole body was shrouded with a blue glow that went out right away.
Black Bull: Nikola Tesla. May the Spirits watch over him!
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