This story was inspired by the following word prompts:
Word of the Day: Striving
Striving for Peace
“you’re trying to duck the issue, what can that stuff actually do?”
“Look It’s just a simple compound. It can’t do anything.”
She held up a sealed phial of liquid between her blue latex gloved fingers. The look on her lovely face was calm and composed but there was a light of something in her eyes. A certain fervour, determination and a detachment from reality. It was a scary combination.
The committee for the regulation of dangerous substances was in full session. The committee consisted of some of the brightest minds in science and a few politicians who were the ones who sounded like they knew the most.
The Minister for public health asked his question again.
“We know you have been working on this for some time. What is your purpose? What do you hope to achieve?”
“I hope to achieve peace” she replied in her soft, light voice.
“The institute in which you worked has sent us all your notes. We can see perfectly well that you have made a very dangerous substance. What we want to know is how dangerous and what you intend to do. I advise that you become a bit more cooperative with us” said the Chairwoman of the committee. She was a large woman in a boxy purple suit and a severe bob that looked like a helmet. In fact, people who worked with her called her Darth Ava. Ava Armstrong-Jones had been a top scientist and was now a top politician. She was earmarked, so they said, for the job of Prime Minister. Renowned for her no-nonsense attitude and her ability to get things done, she was always striving to prove herself. For some reason her stern tones had no effect on this delicate looking scientist. Why was she not cowed like everyone else?
“There is no need to fear from this substance. As long as it is in my hands. Of course, if it fell into the wrong hands, that would be an altogether different matter.”
A bustle of noise erupted around the table as members began muttering worriedly to themselves.
Mrs Armstrong-Jones tried to remain calm, but this woman’s unnatural detachment from her situation and the fact that she had failed to play along to her own mind games had actually unnerved her.
“We are going around and around in circles. Tell us what do you want? What does that substance do? Who are you working for?”
Still with her arm outstretched and that small phial clasped between her thumb and forefinger the woman laughed. It was high, musical laugh, liked someone dropping some wind chimes down the stairs. It held no human warmth or feeling whatsoever.
“I am working for myself. No one else has been involved. The substance is an inert liquid and harmless. That is until it mixes with oxygen, then it becomes a highly toxic poison that enters the blood stream and shuts down the nervous system. It only takes a microgram and it only takes a few minutes. I am working for world peace, let me explain. Working with this compound for the last seven years I have been able to develop an immunity to it. No one else on earth will have such an immunity. I could release it now and within ten, fifteen minutes at the most, I will be the only person in this room alive. Gradually the toxin will spread until, after a few months, I will be the only person left on this planet. The toxin targets a nerve in the brain that is unique to humans. Humans with their propensity for cruelty and destruction are the cause of most of this planet’s problems and without us, the rest of nature will survive and thrive much better. That is what I mean by peace.”
This was what she had been working for. She had taken precautions if this meeting didn’t go to plan.
Mrs Armstrong-Jones tapped at the button under her desk. This woman was clearly insane. Thank heavens they’d taken precautions.
“Go on. What do you want from us?” She was proud at how calm her voice sounded, she felt quite different on the inside.
“I want a meeting of the United Nations and I want them to declare world peace. Then I will destroy this” She responded, holding the phial above her head.
At that moment a red dot appeared on her forehead and a shot fired. As her body fell to the ground a uniformed man ran in and quickly caught the sealed phial before it smashed on the ground.
“I am sorry everyone, calm down please. I’m sure you all agree that this step had to be taken. She clearly was totally mad. I’m sorry if you were all shaken. We will have this compound tested, it may have been all a hoax, but we may just have saved the world today.”
Unbeknownst to Mrs Armstrong-Jones a large order of boxes containing a sample labelled ‘perfume’ was being despatched to thousands of homes all over the country. The woman who placed the order had asked that they gave her until this afternoon to cancel. Having not heard from her, the order went out. Not long after that humanity ended.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 21/July/2018