Doubt

“We are, without doubt, a black spot on this planet. We are responsible for what we’ve done. We cannot go back in time to repair the damage we’ve done so far.”

A crowd of people surrounded the young woman who gave the speech on a stage. She was in her late 20s, almost as if she had bloomed out from a university degree with great success. Sara was a true inspiration for everyone, leading her way to provide justice towards climate crisis. Most people attending today’s speech had followed Sara ever since she started silent protests towards climate justice.

“Why do we suffer from what others have done before us? Aren’t they worthy of our blame on them? And yet, we lie here on the brink of an irreversible point where out climate shall never turn its tide again. Our planet’s mercy was laid in front of us long ago while we waged war amongst ourselves. And we never thought of the future consequences. Why is it we survive all of these threats? And most of all, why is it that when it comes to natural disasters, we start blaming the planet, or even some of the gods to have performed something to make us realize what we’ve done to put ourselves in the first place?”

James, a young man in a black coat, held himself within a line of sight of Sara. His hands remained in his coat pocket. ‘Remember to act if it has to come to it. But only do it if it is necessary,‘ his superior had urged him. He imagined himself acting upon it if such a time would ever come. The way people would react in fear of getting shot themselves. But his only target was the speaker standing on the stage right now. Was she even the real one to speak? At least she was the one who said she was. But not long ago as he made his way through the crowd, he had seen a few other women with similar appearances.

“We’re here to stand our ground, to protect our ecosystem, both flora and fauna, including ourselves. If they are not going to work things out, it would do only good to see them suffer in what they’ve all built. If all citizens stand up to our cause, there shall be none to work for the corporations who deal with fossil fuels. Carbon emissions need to be zeroed out right away. Even when they know about climate change, they do not stop producing what threatens our very existence. We need to stop using our vehicles, and we need to eradicate our consumption of fossil fuels.”

James whispered into his earpiece, “I need confirmation of the woman as our correct target.” A moment of silence followed by someone on the other side of the line, “Spotted a similar woman at the south entrance, exiting the area. Agents are on it.” Another one spoke, “We’ve got another one along the east edge. There seems to be a problem, though. She’s surrounded by a lot of other women.” James responded, “Take them all in custody right away.” Hearing this, people looked at him from all directions. He said, “Don’t worry. Security.” He moved closer ahead to the woman who was giving her speech. It has to be her. Fanatics, trying to bring out an all-out civil war on behalf of the climate crisis.

“We’re all people who believe in life, in our survival of the human race, and in the sustenance of all other species. As a dominant species of our planet, it becomes our duty and responsibility to ensure that all life receives justice towards their existence. And for that, we shall not become violent in any way.”

“Status, everyone. Now.” James spoke into his earpiece. “We’ve got the south cleared. The woman isn’t a threat.” Another man said, “Same on the east. They’re all part of a women’s geographical group with a cause towards climate change. Nothing was found on them.” The man reached in front of the stage, where the security team maintained order. “Please do not cross the line, sir.” He looked down at the white line. There, just ahead of him, he saw the stage in front of him, only 20 feet away from him.

“They all speak of everything but taking care of the climate change. They’re eager to divert such matters towards goals they believe to be realistic and attainable. However, science provides us with facts that to curb such a catastrophic event, each and every nation should stand together.”

James watched as Sara continued her speech. In between, Sara drank water to ensure she didn’t have to struggle from a dry throat. Out in the background from behind the stage, James saw two men wearing blue maintenance uniforms walking away from the stage, tool-kits held in their hands. He spoke into his earpiece, “Two possible suspects walking away from the north edge of the stage. Need assistance.” Giving out their description, he moved closer to the stage, where the security guard approached him again, “Didn’t I make it clear, sir?”

“Let me through. I’m with internal security.”

“Sorry. But we all know who we are. We can’t let you pass.” Into his microphone, “Need help at the south stage.”

Pointing at Sara, James said, “That woman is a target for certain groups. And we’re responsible for taking them out before anything happens to her.”

“Please hold.” The guard checked up, “Can someone verify if there are any other security teams in the vicinity?” The answer he received was, “There are none beside us.” Then back at James, he said “I’m sorry, sir. But you need to back away, or leave right now.”

James stepped back, hands up halfway, signalling his retreat in agreement. Then he spoke back into his earpiece, “Dark blue clothes with tool kits in their hands. Potential targets. Intercept and acquire. I repeat. Intercept and acquire. I’m going for the primary target.” This has to be it. A possible explosion underneath the stage where the woman stood. That has to be it. He came back to the front of the line. The security guard placed his hand on his gun belt. “Don’t worry. I won’t be a problem. Just looking what’s under the stage.” He strained to get a good view. And there it was. Right underneath the stage where Sara stood. Blinking red dots with coloured wires and other things. He quickly rose up, “There’s a bomb underneath the stage. Right below the woman.” No sooner did the security guard pick up his microphone, James pushed the security guard and rushed to grab Sara. It was a race against time.

Sara was surprised to see a strange man approach him, “What’s the matter?”

“No time to explain,” James said. “Run.” As they ran, two gunshots were heard moments later. We’re out of time. “Jump.”

The stage exploded before they jumped off of the stage. James & Sara were both thrown away like rag dolls. They landed fifty feet away, rolling and thudding, their lives lost in the explosive blast radius.

They both never had a moment to figure out what happened. Who was behind all of this. All he would have were doubts. Who could those men with the tool kits have been? Did they even have anything to do with planting the bomb underneath the stage? Who were the guys who had fired the gunshots? Was the security guard involved? Was he the one who informed the gunmen about the bomb planted under the stage? Was it the sign to shoot at the bomb? Where could these gunmen be?

Questions. And only more questions he had. Those were James’ final moments. He wondered. What would the woman know about this? Absolutely nothing. This could be the start of an all-out civil war for a new world to come. That too, in a time when the climate crisis had already reached the tipping point. But it was theirs to figure out now. It wasn’t up to him anymore. He had died in the blast itself. The only moments for him to think were those when his soul left his body.

This post is written as part of the Word Prompt for April 2019 on Writer’s Write.

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