It was a calm evening in the lush forest in Washington State. A group of men and women were spread out on a hillside, resting. Some were napping in the shade, others talking quietly in small groups. All of them were decked out in camouflage clothing, but they were not soldiers, at least not the typical government sanctioned corporate sponsored killers. Their camouflage was marred with peace signs, psychedelic swirls and other symbols of their army: eco-warriors.
Off in the distance was a continual buzz of chainsaws, diesel engines and heavy equipment hard at work. Every once in a while a loud crash of a falling mighty pine, old growth that took hundreds of years to grow, brought the quiet group back to reality. It took hundreds of years to grow a forest only to be destroyed by greed in a few short years. It was their mantra driven home by their great leader. When a tree crashed down he looked up from his magazine and made eye contact with individuals of his army, driving home the point of why they were gathered on this mountainside. It was time to strike back for the good of the planet.
Their rugged leader sat leaning against a tree. He was doing “research” reading a popular tech magazine. “This is a tragedy,” he stated out loud to no one in particular but all those near listened. “Who would want to live their days hiding in a black box imagining the world, instead of actually going out into it?” Disgust was evident in his voice. “We must do something to save the human animal from its own destructive ways. It is not enough to save Mother Nature and only some of her offspring. We must be willing to save them all.”
He threw the magazine down. The radiant woman sitting next to him picked it up. Her brunette hair was bunched into dreadlocks that fell halfway down her back, green army pants and a brown tank top hugging her curves. She flipped open to the page the great man sitting beside her was reading. The piece was titled “Fantasy is Fiction No Longer: Technology finally delivers the final frontier where the mind meets reality.” An Op-Ed piece by Frank Church. She scanned the article for the highlights.
Their leader stood and stretched as he addressed the crowd, his army. “We are going to need to do something about this. We cannot allow humanity to go down this path. Someone has to be the consciousness of the masses. They have been blinded by the mass produced media driven corporate greed which now wants to turn us all into nothing but simpletons, slumbering away in dream boxes, in coffins. If that is our future then we might as well be dead. No, we must wake them. All of them! But before we can wake them we have to stop the machines that make them slumber. Technology is the bane of modern human existence. But we are the warriors to rid the world of this monster and free humanity once more to be human. It is not enough to stand on the wall and defend the wilderness, we must move the army into enemy territory and take back what is rightfully ours.”
Passion and life emanate from his very being as he spoke. His audience was captivated and on fire for action. His charisma led the way for others to follow and blindly they did, trusting this great man to reestablish the natural balance of the world.
If it was his timing or just coincidence as he finished his impassioned oration the last of the chainsaws in the distance died off. Soon after, they heard the sound of diesel engines from the work trucks firing up and then motoring off into the woods.
The leader looked across the hillside at his army, a ragged bunch that had stood by him time and time again. He also looked over the beautiful natural scene around him, pine trees standing majestic, brush and flowers dotting the hillside and all of it illumined by the setting sun. He looked down at the stunning beauty reading the magazine. “Nadia, when this job is done I have a special mission for you.” She looked up into his green eyes and nodded. She would do anything for this man.
“Ok Army it is time to go to work. Today we protect these precious life-giving woods. Tomorrow we move to protect the feeblest animal of them all from itself, the human animal. You know the drill: move down in your squads smash anything human made, but do not harm any humans that may still be around. Move quickly, be stealthy. Meet at the rendezvous as planned, code word is ‘lightening bug’”
The hillside suddenly came alive with movement. Small groups of camouflaged troopers moved off towards the clear-cut area ahead. Half an hour later they converged on the site where the cutting equipment was stashed. Soon a new sound emerged from the forest floor. Instead of man against nature it was the distinct sound of man against machine: metal upon metal, rock against glass. After a mishap that caused a small forest fire they learned to not burn the machines. But after the night’s attack of destruction and sabotage they might as well have been burnt.
With their mission done, the army slowly slinked off into the night. They would meet up later to toast another victory and end the night with a bit of carousing at their campsite near a natural hot springs. The leader watched from the hillside. It went smooth, as he knew it would. But his eyes were not on the destruction below but rather on the false sunrise on the horizon, the lights from the city, which reached all the way out here in the forest. Those lights would have to be extinguished someday.
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