Battle Zone

Norman had no idea that he was responsible for the War.   He was struck dumb when he heard the report.  Thousands, perhaps millions were tortured and murdered because of  Norman.   He didn’t like the sound of that so he stuck his head in the bucket that was placed next to the computer terminal in the office.  War snuck up on everyone.   One day a person might be drinking his-or-her morning tea and peaceably thinking about bird watching … the next morning, shots would ring out announcing a new War.   It was one thing to be engaged in a new War, but quite another to be responsible for the whole rigmarole.   No one wanted to be the one to start a conflict.   Everyone avoided conflicts of any sort which was strange in a world that depended on War.  A new one was started every month.   War was everywhere – constantly. The world economy depended on War.  The newest technology was developed in war time.   Still, Norman did not want to be labeled a “War Instigator.”   He did not want to be hunted down and blown to bits.   He knew that sticking his head in the bucket would not solve his problem, but it felt good to avoid reality.  Conscience can be  a terrible burden – Norman felt guilty about hiding and eventually he felt forced to peek over the edge of the bucket.  With some relief he discovered there was no one in the office with a gun.  He checked the computer screen.   He was an employee at Computer Strategies, a government funded analysis firm.   The computer was his major stochastic resource.   Norman never realized that his input was uploaded to the Military High Command.   When he played computer games (which he often did at work) his game analysis was uploaded as fact.  It was the game that started the War and Norman was the source.   He was faced with a dilemma: to run and hide, or confess to negligence.   When the Admin came for Norman he decided to confess.   It was a dark moment, but the officers in charge smiled and patted Norman on the back.   Norman was told that War was necessary and any reason for a new conflict was laudable.   Norman was given a raise in salary and sent off to the front lines.   He was told it was his duty to defend the pride of the nation in a War he began.   He was serving in the Battle Zone when he was hit by “friendly fire.”  Norman was severely damaged, but he survived.   As a kindness, he was placed in an electronic body-bag where he became the newest module for the War Games Computer.

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