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Josiah Hitchcock was born into a racially segregated world, a world in which he found himself precariously seated on the fence.
A Biological Terrorist attack on England’s Capital resulting in the deaths of 250,000 was the event that ended a time of relative World peace. Once the smoke had settled a new order of power dubbed The Resolute Board had taken control, ushering in with it segregation and war. A war that tore Josiah’s family apart, leaving him longing for change.
When he is offered a way to unite what had been broken he takes the opportunity.
Gripped by a sequence of intrusive delusions and dreams conjured by ungodly looking creatures who refer to Josiah as something other than human. He finds himself compelled to re-unite more than the Warring nations.
Holding onto his black mother’s legacy, while reaching for validation from his white father, he is urged to restore the Solus, Earth before the four Worlds’ were separated.
Josiah finds himself fighting to decipher what it all means with the goal of realising his dream of unity. Goaded further he learns that he is not the only one who’s reality is being systematically disturbed by these ominous insights.
Soon after Josiah and the others having the experiences are brought together by a knowledgeable Doctor, who knows more than he is willing to reveal. A treacherous path of dark discovery begins to unfold. As the newly formed group is made to work together and delve deeper to find out fatal truths about the world’s true nature, and how current happenings are being manipulated by its hidden history.
World at Civil War
‘The Past is dead and has no resurrection … In the Past is no hope, the Future is both hope and fruition. The Past is the textbook of tyrants, the Future is the Bible of the Free. Those who are solely governed by the Past stand like Lot’s wife, crystallized in the act of looking backward.’ – Herman Melville, White Jacket.
60, 59, 58 …
This last minute of every college day never ceased to be the slowest. He counted down these 60 seconds day after day to prove to himself that they passed by like any other and that they were not purposely dragged out to spite him.
Efficiency was everything. His bag would always be packed before his official end-of-day countdown, and he always sat as close to the lecture hall doors as possible.
This allowed him to make for a quick, unnoticed exit.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and … bell.
As always, the bell was music to his ears. He instantly grabbed his rucksack, slung it over his shoulder and headed for the doors, but before he could open them, a voice called to him from the front of the class.
“Josiah, can you remain behind for a minute? I need a word.”
Josiah’s face suddenly filled with annoyance – and he lowered his head, sighing loudly. He knew that he was not being summoned for good reason.
Professor Fitzal was his Physics lecturer, assigned mentor and a close friend of his father.
“Is there a problem, Professor?” he replied.
“Come now Josiah. Don’t act so naїve. You know the issue and I am sure you know I am
aware of it by now. That paper you wrote for Professor Wilkos was on a very sensitive topic. What exactly was it that you were trying to achieve?”
“Nothing … other than answering the controversial question asked by the good Professor. Wilkos – which was too analytically and subjectively reason out the current state of international affairs.”
“This was not what he wanted from you, Josiah. You know, some of your views could be considered borderline treason against The Board, hence why he band you from his class.”
“Yes I know, the best reaction I could have hoped for, so if it’s an apology you’re after, I refuse,” Josiah stated with a smug grin. “Besides, I am an individual and when asked to voice my opinion, I will do just that.”
“This is going to have to stop, Josiah! I will be speaking to your father about this and we
both know what his view on this subject will be.”
Confidently hidden behind a facade of bravado, Josiah fired back immediately.
“Do whatever you feel is necessary.”
“Josiah, we know that your father is the only person whose views you actually acknowledge, so if you force my hand – I will be in contact with him.”
Josiah glanced away.
“Fair enough, Professor. Are we done here, I have to go and pick up Desiree?”
“Yes, you may go. Say hello to her for me,” replied the Professor.”
Josiah responded with a mimed ‘yep’ and a pop of his lips as he turned and began to walk away.
“O, Josiah one more thing.”
“What else?” asked Josiah flippantly.
“News of Professor Wilkos excluding you from the class for your paper was rejected by the Principal.” He said calmly while packing away notes into his brown leather briefcase
“So, you will attending after all, its 2.26 by my watch. The class is due to start any minute now.” Stated Professor Fritzal smiling gleefully into Josiah’s blank face.
“You’re lying, why am I just hearing about this now!”
“Because I am your personal mentor and I was told to speak to you about it.”
“And you waited to within minutes of the class starting,”
“Yes, I didn’t want to make a big thing of it.”
“Do you know how much mental preparation it takes for me to be able to sit and listen to his toxic nonsense?
How a self-professed, upstanding educational institution such as Welton could allow and support an individual such as him is beyond me!” Josiah ranted.
“I understand it must be especially hard for you to deal with some of the things that I can imagine him saying, but life here is never going to be easy for you, you are going to have to deal with people like him, all – the – time. This is the best place to learn this.”
Josiah stared at the Professor shaking his head in disbelief of what he was hearing.
“I’m not going, I refuse, not today anyway!” declared Josiah, clearly incensed.
“On what grounds, you know that class is compulsory for all students, missing a single lesson with your record could result in expulsion. Indefinitely!”
“I don’t care anymore, I’m not going today.” Affirmed Josiah still shaking his head incessantly while turning to walk away for the
“I have to pick up my sister now!”
“No you don’t, Fantail Grammer doesn’t finish until 3.45pm my daughter started this year.”
“Isn’t that wonderful.” Josiah retorted, as he continued to walk towards the lecture hall doors, all he could think about was the topic of the lesson today. It had been one that stuck out from the beginning or the term when he received the class syllabus. He could not have been expelled from the class at a better time just the week before, now to hear he was meant to attend was intolerable.
“Josiah!” Shouted Professor Fritzal, with no effect, Josiah continued his march.
“Think about what your father had to give up keeping you and then do what he had to do to get you in Welton, if you respect him you will go!”
Josiah stopped, as he grabbed the door handle and began to turn it.
“Think about your mother, what would she had said?” Josiah paused and closed his eyes tightly before turning to face the Professor.
“I’ll attend the…!” Josiah gritted his teeth. “But don’t mention my mother again.”
The Professor said nothing more as Josiah opened the lecture hall doors clearly demoralized by what he had to do.
Josiah hardened his face to hide his emotion as he walked out into the hallway, it was as busy as his mind. He barely noticed the other students, swanning around some pausing to look at his menacing gaze.
He had wanted to go to one of the other colleges which were marginally more diverse, but his father insisted that he went to Welton. A decision that had been made when his mother was still alive, so he went along with it to honor her memory. Josiah had become skilled at navigating through his days without
getting into altercations. But when Sir Damien Laurent, the head Governor of Welton turned this modern history class from an extracurricular option to a mandatory weekly session life here had gotten worse, as all it did was highlight his presence as the only pupil of colour.
As he neared the class he recalled the courses motto given by Sir Damien
A new time for the coming age: You must know where you have come from, in order to know where you are going to.
Stood alone the statement could easily be considered positive, but Josiah knew from the off, it was not just an innocent catchy phrase, but a tool used to glorify the wrong doings of those with power and to tell history through there tainted prospective.
Josiah stopped and waited at the doors threshold looking on as his classmates
socialised while removing their coats and bags oblivious to his anxieties about the topic of today’s lesson. They all seemed so relaxed and at home settling into their seats, for them it was just another day and another lesson. For a moment Josiah wondered how his younger sister managed to fit in so well under more or less the same conditions. He could not help but think how it would feel to belong here.
Welton, the top ranked educational institute in England, year upon year it churns out an un-proportionate percentage of Board members, top bankers, pioneering engineer’s… I should at least try to be happy here.
But before he had a chance to do away with this unwanted thought himself his attention was taken by the lecturer who entered from the back of the hall. Josiah’s deep oak brown eye’s intensified as he watched the pompous
Professor Wilkos assume his positions behind the rostrum stand.
Josiah continued to tentatively watch Professor Wilkos going through his usual elaborate routine, the folding of his tartan jacket, the putting on of un-prescribed glasses that would undoubtedly be taken off five minutes into the lecture and finally the shifting through of notes which were never used. After watching all this Josiah became aware of the built up pressure in his frowning forehead.
“Right class, settle down now, I am ready to teach, I hope you are all ready to learn!”
Josiah mouthed the Professors rehearsed, reused opener, as he rubbed his clammy hands on his black jeans. He toyed with the idea of walking away, however Professor Fritzal’s reminder that missing this single lesson could result in expulsion resounded in his mind. Although on the overhand another
dispute could also proof detrimental to his place at Welton. He knew getting drawn into a verbal altercation on this lessons subject could be very easy and could get very nasty, very fast. Stuck between a rock and a hard place he took control and entered the classroom ready to bit his tongue.
“Nice of you to join us Mr. Hictchcock.” Called out Professor Wilkos.
Josiah grimaced as he sat in the first available seat removing his bag but leaving on his coat.
“Right class, we are reaching the end of the academic year and in this our penultimate lesson we will focus on the single most significant event in recent history!”
Josiah sighed to himself while opening his bag and taking out a note book and a pen.
“It is a topic that is very close to my heart, simply entitled The Forced Exodus!” The Professor exclaimed, resting his glinting eyes
on Josiah, there were a few sniggers as several students followed his gaze. Josiah looked around. In that moment he could not help but feel powerless. Bound and gagged he steadied himself and sought to escape the coming persecution. He opened his note book and reflected on the one thing he thought about whenever this topic came up.
“Let’s start off with a few basic facts, shall we!” The Professor paused for a second, acting as though he did not know his next words, then in a eureka moment he came back into his element.
“Who here can tell me the percentage decrease of ethnic minorities living in England after the Forced Exodus?”
Josiah tried harder not to listen to his ramblings and stared intensely into the note book, he began to complete a drawing that he had started during one of his free periods. All the other students sat eagerly
attentive, waiting on the edge of their seats for each ignorant sentence to fall from the Professors mouth.
“That’s correct Jessie. Now, can anyone elaborate on these figures?”
Josiah’s grip on his pen tightened he could feel the gaze of the Professor again, he knew what he wanted, but was intent not to give in. Instead he continued to stare contently at the image forming on his note book.
“Approximately seven million ethnics left these shores, only 20 percent of this figure was directly due to legislations brought into action by The Board the rest was due to social unrest.”
“Very good Jessie!” exclaimed Professor Wilkos, clapping his hands slowly.
Professor Wilkos stepped down from the raised platform and took several tentative steps in Josiah direction before he stopped clapping.
“Now, what do you think was one of the main reasons for some ethnics remaining in our country?” Asked the Professor, Josiah clenched his jaw.
“I belief the main reason was mixed cultural households Professor, of which one parent was English.”
“Wow you are in form today Jessie, the rest of you would do well to… ” The professor paused and stared hard at Josiah. “I hope those are notes you are taking down?” He provoked, reveling in his role of aggressor.
Josiah said nothing and continued to draw. Professor Wilkos assertively walked towards him.
“Josiah! I am talking to you, at least have the respect to look at me!” He seethed standing over Josiah who continued as he was. The rest of the class looked on in silence, waiting.
“Treating my lesson as an art class!” He shouted quickly snatching the note book
from under Josiah’s pen, he inspected the image he had been drawing.
“And who might this be?” he questioned holding up the note book and revealing the image to the class.
“Give it back now!” demanded Josiah jumping out of his seat causing it to fall over. The Professor took a step back and extended his free hand.
“Now, now, calm down I was actually going to complement you.”
Thoughts of expulsion and his father’s reaction made Josiah take a step back, he sighed loudly in an attempt to curb his anger.
“Can you give it back, please?” He requested putting out a hopeful hand. Professor Wilkos shook his head.
“No, no, not that easy,” replied the Professor as he began to sift through the pages.
The class remand silent, there was no comic relief, no jeers of jest, just quiet which only
intensified the situation.
“O! There’s more, and they are all of the same women, well seen as it was more of a priority to draw this in my lesson, I want you to share with the class just who the mystery women is?”
Josiah’s vision blurred, obscured by moisture and air lit up, ablaze; his focus was concentrated into the Professors beaming face. His thoughts were unsettled and irrational, he clenched both his fist tight as he fought with himself to resist the urge of giving into the Professor’s desire. The Professor smiled as he examined Josiah’s body language.
“Quiet the artist you are, she is very beautiful, for a black women.”
As the Professor opened his mouth to laugh, Josiah snapped, and reacted by sending his right stiff fist straight into his chest. Before he could even loss his breathe Josiah rapidly
struck again, this time his left fist rattled the side of the professors bowing head. Sending him tumbling into the nearest desk before crumbling to the floor.
Half the class gasped astounded while the others sat rendered speechless. Josiah turned, picked up his chair and lifted it above his head.
“Josiah Stop” Cried out several students, while the Professor looked up in silence, his eyes faulted as he attempted to reach for a nearby table to help him back up. Josiah looked down at him; anger was replaced by fear as he saw the Professor’s position and noticed a large lump on the side of his head. Dropping the chair, he picked up his note book, grabbed his rucksack and walked towards the door. Several pupils rushed to the Professor’s aid seeing that Josiah was done.
As soon as Josiah walked into the hall his
conscious mind crashed, overridden with thoughts of possible repercussions, his walk quickly turned to a run down the large empty hallways. Usually it was hard not to notice that the walls were covered with propaganda and racist views. But now all else was hazy shades of grey except the day light shining in through the crack in the large exit door at the end of the dark corridor.
Like a moth drawn to a flame, he moved toward the blissful light until he finally crossed the threshold of the doorway – into freedom. The summer sun made his eyes lose focus. He smiled briefly as the bright light hit his face with blinding effect. Diverting his focus towards the ground and away from the glare, he rubbed his eyes vigorously to clear away the orange, yellow, and red sunspots. Feeling a sharp pain in his hand he stopped to inspect it. His left knuckles were swollen, he shook his head in disbelief, he never got violent, but people never
usually insulted his deceased mother.
A wicked cocktail of emotions intoxicated his mind. Joy of probably never having to return to Welton, satisfaction that he went out in a blaze of glory, dread of breaking the news to his father, contempt towards the Professor, anguish about him pressing charges, frustration in his incapacity to show indifference, guilt that he had let down his mother but pride that he had defended her memory. So overwhelmed he was half surprised when his legs stopped, they had been on autopilot and had successfully carried him to his destination.
‘Fantail Grammar School for Girls’ read the Old English calligraphic writing that arched over the huge cast iron gates.
Desiree was his 14-year-old sister and was too old to be picked up from school, even if it was by her rebel wannabe freedom fighter brother. Between them, they had an
agreement that he would wait by the large trees across the road. To ensure that the agreement was followed to the letter, their father had informed the teachers about it. The school was very accommodating of their father’s request, since he was one of its major benefactors.
There was always a member of the staff who would wait for Josiah to arrive – ready to give the nod. Invariably, Desiree would then start to walk off with a group of friends, leaving Josiah feeling like a cross between a secret agent and a perverted stalker, lurking in the shadows – never too far behind, yet never too close to be seen.
If Josiah were indeed a stalker, today he would have felt even more out of place, since the street was empty. He looked up and down the road. There was nobody to be seen.
Josiah huffed to make light of the situation. Nevertheless, with every second that passed,
he became increasingly suspicious. He looked down at his watch.
“3:48,” he murmured.
The time did not coincide with the fact that the school gates were devoid of life. Usually, the entire vicinity would be packed with schoolgirls in their uniforms: Black skirt, white French blouse, a bulbous golden Fantail tie completed with a grey and black cardigan that held the school emblem on the left breast.
But before him there was nothing. No nodding teacher, no waiting sister and no other pupils.
Did I take the scenic route here or something, I couldn’t have taken that long! he thought, tapping the face of his watch in an attempt to check if it was working.
Whilst he stared at it, his mind had an epiphany of sorts. He recalled that he had not seen a single person on his way here.
“The corridor was completely empty when I left college!” he exclaimed
He found himself marching out from under the trees and over to the large gates, which had a large padlock and chain on. He had never seen the gates locked up like this on a school day before.
Flustered and still racking his brain for a feasible explanation, he re-checked his watch.
This time, his eyes widened.
“Nine …. ?” he questioned.
Josiah began inspecting the timepiece, shaking his arm in an attempt to account for the otherwise inexplicable time jump. He looked at the watch again. The time remained the same.
“Nine o’clock! What the hell?”
Filled with astonishment and fear and acting less on deliberation and more on impulse, he paced up to the intercom panel and slammed
his finger on the button marked ‘Office’. It rang.
Josiah became mesmerised by the red light emitting from the intercom panel. It shone directly into his left eye.
Suddenly an extremely strong gust of wind blew past his face, filling his eyes with dust. He shut them immediately and brought his free hand up to attend to the itching. He eventually managed to open his right eye as the sensation dissipated.
The sky was now dark. Josiah could feel his jaw drop in astonishment. He forgot about the dust in his eyes and looked up. Clouds coloured every possible shade between purple and red filled the sky, in an arrangement far from random. His jaw dropped further as he tried to make sense of the contrived circles. Another gust of wind came up, and this time there was something more sinister about it. He felt the coldness of