97 Control

November 15, 2029, Cave, Jordan

 

“Liam, hurry. The session is about to begin. Tell Kimmy to come too—she’s out on the deck.” At Seiko’s request, Liam calls Kimmy to watch the General Assembly Session of the United Nations about to be live-streamed around the world. The entire team is interested in this transmission. Master Anna Cohen is scheduled to give a report on the initial success of the Thirteen Mandates of a United World. We’ve tapped Janet in via Skype, and her video feed shows her in the bottom of our screen.

From where I stand in the kitchen, I hear Tova talking in the other room. “Can you believe it’s been nine months since she gave her initial speech on the Mandates? When she spoke in February, her words sent chills through my body. She touched a nerve in the European nations as well as in the States. I remember watching the bloody riots in America and the United Kingdom. Nearly ten thousand people died from street violence as the supporters and non-supporters clashed on the streets. I was seriously concerned America was going to have its second civil war.” Tova shudders at the memory as she pulls her curled-up legs under her oversized sweater.

I bring in spinach dip and chips just as Tova finishes speaking to her mother. I place the snacks on the table in front of our wall-sized viewing screen and greet the final two members of the Heaven Seven team who have just arrived, as well as Ambassador Jagger. I take my seat next to Tova and expand upon what she just shared with the group. “I don’t want to be pessimistic about things, but a civil war could still happen. The more the United Nations tries to enforce these mandates, the more the Americans are rebelling. There are enough guns and other weapons in homes of the United States to make a civil war a very real possibility.

“In addition to the readily-available firearms, the tension in the nation is as high as I’ve ever seen it. Nine months after Anna’s attempt at a universal pep talk, the resistance to her ideas has not diminished. She seems intent on dismantling capitalism under the guise of installing the ‘necessary’ socialism to ‘solve the ills of the world.’ She’s hitting on the raw nerves of most Americans. Ambassador, how do you see it?”

“Well, from what I’ve gleaned from history, capitalism creates a competitive spirit that brings out both the best and the worst in man. When put up against other types of governing systems, capitalism has proven to create the greater quality of life. It ultimately prevails—but has a limited number of mega-winners. Most of the money ends up in the hands of just a few. As they say, ‘to the victor go the spoils.’

“The United States just hit the point where five percent of its citizens hold ninety-five percent of its wealth. Those who didn’t make it into the top five percent are becoming restless. Some of them are heading towards full-on panic. It won’t take long for the ninety-five percent to reach up and pull down the five percent with laws and riots. Once they do, the people will forcibly redistribute the wealth.

“Conventional wisdom tells us that socialism will always appear to be the antidote of capitalism —at least by those who believe an antidote is necessary. Anna is misleading the people. She is really setting up the nations to be ruled by a single dictator. She’s aware it’s much easier to move nations from Socialism to Dictatorship than it is to move them from capitalism to dictatorship. She’s been setting up the two-step process for some time now.

“Even though things are chaotic in the United Kingdom, Israel, and the United States, some nations are quite comfortable with the change. China, North Korea, Russia, and most of the countries in the Middle East are already governed by dictators—whether they want to admit it or not. Anna’s very close to commanding the power of those nations through the mutually-beneficial contracts she offered their leaders. She’s quite the effective negotiator when she knows how they think. As far as India, Canada, and the other nations of Africa and South America, they really don’t have much power after they laid down their weapons at the request of the U.N.

“France is an exception. Like the U.K., France can keep and conceal its military inventory as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Still, the inside gossip is that their weapons are outdated, and their military budget is frozen because their economy is struggling. Two of France’s main exports are perfume and fashion. When the economies of the world begin to tighten, luxury items such as most of France’s exports are the first things to go. Instead, nations begin stockpiling the staples of survival and equipment necessary to sustain war.

“And, we can’t forget the French Ambassador to the U.N. signed the petition to end all trade agreements with the United States. That one signature significantly weakened their nation’s economy in less than twenty-four hours. France lost ten percent of its entire export market, and eighteen percent of its import market.

“Anna preys upon weak economies. They are easier to manipulate. She can infuse the much-needed capital into these nations and then name her conditions for the loans. From my perspective, she has a clear path to take over everything. The last obstacles lie in the power trio of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel. All three must fall for her to assume full control. I suspect this was the reason for the petition that asked nations to break trade agreements with the United States. The U.S. economy took a massive hit after the collapse of its trade industry, but thanks to its natural resources and the resiliency of its people, it’s stabilized. I think we’ll see more meddling into the affairs of these three nations with the goal of dividing them.”

Sterling enters the conversation with some powerful information. “There is also an impending budgetary collapse for the United Kingdom which might speed things up. All four of its countries have closed their doors to immigration and have begun rationing food and fuel. In an unusual move, it distributed 22 caliber rifles and plenty of ammo to each home. When asked why they did this, the Prime Minister will only say that citizens need to be able to protect themselves against the increasing acts of terrorism occurring in their country. Talk about irony!”

Liam nods at Janet’s and Sterling’s comments and weighs in with his thoughts. “I agree that Anna’s initial target was the economy of the United States. I also agree she’s now focusing upon undermining the solidarity of the United Kingdom. I get sensitive when it comes to my homeland. Right now, the people in my country are distracted by more pressing issues than dissecting Anna’s strategy. They don’t have time to keep an eye on her. Up until last week, they were dealing with never ending acts of terrorism, a failing economy following the poorly-executed Brexit, and an overwhelming influx of refugees from North Africa. The refugee numbers were hitting between 1,000 and 2,000 a day until the application process was halted. My homeland’s resources were being taxed to their limits. The U.K. is also regretting signing the petition for the trade ban with the United States. Lifestyles are changing now that citizens can’t get their escapism items from America like cellphones, electronics, and the finer food products. The people are worn out on all fronts and the sense of hope that has sustained the U.K. seems to be disappearing.”

“Well said, Liam.” Janet affirms Liam’s perspective. “The nations that are not caught up in the excitement of a one world government seem to be giving into hopelessness. At the U.N., we grew accustomed to the few whiney nations who were never content no matter what. And, we loosely tolerated the ones who complained about everybody and everything out of sheer boredom. But, this thing with the U.K. is something deeper. I sense surrender. You know it’s serious when even the scrappy nations start giving in.

“On another subject, my ‘resignation’ will be announced tonight, and I will be officially dropping my title. Ambassador Jill Anders is taking over. The good part of the deal I made to step down is that I will no longer be a fugitive on the run.

“I’m happy I got out when I did. Before he died, Benjamin told me Ambassador Anders has become Anna’s right-hand assistant. She plucked her out of a small district in northern California and had her father appoint her as my replacement. She had just entered her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her position has become an extension of Anna’s agenda. She received her first assignment last week—beginning the microchip implantation in the citizens of the United States.”

Sterling looks around at us and smirks. “Well, this should be interesting. My American friends often told me that Biblical prophecy is a big talking point in the United States. They said even if you weren’t raised on it during your childhood, you were very much aware of it by the time you graduated from high school. They say Americans know the entire story of the microchips and their true purpose. They refer to the microchip as the ‘Mark of the Beast.’ If these people are denied the right to express their concerns about Anna’s proposed changes, the U.N. will awaken the sleeping giant of Christianity. More blood will be shed, and we just might get that civil war you were discussing earlier.”

Tova shuffles uncomfortably in her seat and folds her hand in mine as Sterling’s comment reminds her of the fate of man. “Personally, I’m surprised Europe is leading the way with the microchips. I guess I can understand it on a superficial level. After One World Bank began offering five thousand tax-free dollars to anyone willing to switch their banking accounts and accept their microchip, the movement swept the continent. If you don’t know any better, the convenience of the easily-inserted chip seems like a simple trade-off for five thousand dollars.

“If the trend continues at its current pace, Anna will realize her goal of ninety percent penetration of the continent of Europe by the end of the first quarter of 2030. Asia will be next. India and China are enthusiastically implementing the microchips after BECA and One World Bank drew up some very lucrative deals for them. Together, those two nations represent sixty percent of the world’s population. Their small neighbor to the southwest, my Israel, will take a stand against the microchips, but it might not help too much. Israel is one of the smaller nations in Asia.”

Seiko rubs Tova’s arm in empathy. “I’m sure it’s a tough thing for you to watch. Did you know that One World Bank is implanting children and giving the money to the parents? For a family of six, that’s an immediate thirty thousand dollars in their bank account—tax free. And, that incentive amount isn’t being adjusted or converted for the varying economies. Meaning, third world citizens who make less than one thousand dollars a year are suddenly wealthy. While I applaud this part, I worry that when the masses sign on – the few on the fringe will be forced to concede. They will be easily convinced by the U.N. that this change is inevitable.”

Sterling offers his legal insight. “That is such a contradiction within the United Nations. Mandate Eleven is all about giving more rights to minors, yet the U.N. is allowing parents to have their children microchipped?  This move essentially puts the children on the government grid for the rest of their lives. Now you are telling me that the parents are keeping the money for themselves? At the very least, these funds should be set up as a college fund for the children—utilizing an education tax shelter—if they have one. It’s shocking to see how quickly things have changed. This action would have been labeled objectionable just twelve months ago. It breaks at least three human rights laws in the United States, and in the U.K. Yet, here we are—not even batting an eyelash at it. Once the U.N. has the children implanted with the chips, expect to see parental rights dismantled as part of the overall mission.”

Seiko signals the group to stop talking. “It’s starting. Secretary-General Vasquez is up.”

“I don’t like this man. He emits some seriously dark vibes.” Kimmy makes her point before sitting down with a plate of chips and dip. In keeping consistent with her habits of the past, she changes to a second topic before anyone can comment on the first. “You know one of the toughest parts about living in a cave house—not having fresh food. In another time, I would be having fresh carrots and celery with my TV—not chips and canned spinach dip. Thank goodness for preservatives, right guys?”

No one acknowledges Kimmy’s comment. She doesn’t notice.

An U.N. staff member can be heard over the intercom directing the people in the General Assembly Hall to put in their ear buds and go to the app on their iPhones or iPads to select their preferred language. He mentions the address will be given in English. After a few minutes of activity, Secretary-General Vasquez steps up to the microphone. “Thank you for your warm welcome. You may be seated. Greetings Ambassadors, distinguished guests, members of the International Press Corp, and citizens joining us tonight through the internet. Perhaps, it’s midday for some of you and early morning for others. Yet, here you are. We appreciate the viewership of each citizen. We are happy you’ve tuned in. Parts of tonight’s program will be a summation of actions made today in our earlier sessions. Our goal was to get the boring stuff out of the way so we could keep you awake this evening.” The audience breaks into laughter.

“As most of you are aware, these fine men and women sitting before me in the General Assembly Hall collectively represent the citizens of one hundred ninety-three of the world’s nations. These great Ambassadors are attempting to bring all 193 of our nations to a place of safety, freedom, prosperity, and peace. It is a noble, yet massive, undertaking. We owe them a debt of gratitude.” Secretary-General Vasquez begins the applause at the podium that slowly spreads through the auditorium.”

Sterling rolls his eyes at the others. “I guess there’s nothing as validating as starting your own applause.”

“Before we venture into the agenda, I want to ask for a moment of silence and prayer to honor the nearly eight hundred thousand citizens of Planet Earth—specifically from the continents of Africa, Europe, and the United States—who lost their lives in the horrendous tsunami four months ago. As the nations and families begin to rebuild all that was lost, I ask we give them our full support in every possible manner.”

The Seven Heaven team members look around at each other. Sterling has the courage to say what all of us are thinking. “Who is he praying to – his guest speaker?” Liam and Kimmy snicker quietly and then join the others in a time of silence. Janet is in a whole different state of mind. Whenever she stops to think of James and Benjamin, she’s overwhelmed with sadness. The tragedy never really settles in: Her dear friend and his son have been declared dead, even though their bodies have not been found. It’s the opinion of the State of New York they were washed into the Atlantic Ocean. Janet is among the tens of thousands who hope their loved ones are alive somewhere waiting to be rescued.

After the moment of silence, Secretary-General Vasquez continues with his agenda. “One would think it easy for man to see the importance of living in harmony with his fellow man. One would think it instinctive for a man to share his wealth with his brother who is starving. Yet, history has proven that these truths have eluded the generations that preceded us. It may be the greatest shame of humans thus far, that instead of doing important and instinctive things, we chose to draw lines in the sand, built walls—both actual and figurative—and selfishly squander our resources at the cost of our future generations.

“We have allowed some of our brothers and sisters to die of curable diseases while surplus vaccines expired on the shelves of the wealthy nations. We have allowed some of our brothers and sisters to die of starvation while obesity became an epidemic in those same wealthy nations. I say to the ones who participated in these atrocities, shame on you!” The audience is on its feet applauding the Secretary-General’s remarks.

Liam nearly spits out his drink. “Whoa, that was a big opening statement for the leader of the United Nations. He didn’t spare anyone’s feelings with his thinly-veiled contempt, nor did he entertain feedback on some ugly accusations. When does his term end? I’m guessing soon, because that was a statement fit for a lame duck politician.”

“Ha! You hit that one right, Liam. The answer you are looking for is December.” Sterling fist pumps Liam. “Preach brother! Oh, here he goes again.”

“Before I introduce our keynote speaker, I want to make two announcements that affect our delegates as well as the citizens of our 193 member nations. It was deci

ded in our morning session that this regional campus will become the International Headquarters of the United Nations and will house its many divisions. It seems prudent to move the headquarters to this centrally-located campus, rather than to rebuild in Manhattan. This will save the cost of reconstructing the entire campus destroyed by the tsunami. It will also remove the impression that the United Nations is in the back pocket of the United States of America—a reputation we have been battling for some time now.”

The Heaven Seven exchange glances of surprise.

“Yo bro, you’re asking for a playground pounding by throwing jabs like that. Is this the thanks the U.S. gets for carrying nearly thirty percent of the U.N.’s operational and peace-keeping costs since its inception? That statement was just wrong. And I’m not an American.” Sterling shakes his head.

After the awkward silence in the auditorium, the visibly agitated Secretary-Director presses on. “My second announcement comes as no surprise. As most of you know, the College of Cardinals sent up white smoke last week after nine months of black smoke, signifying the speedy selection of the new Pope of the Catholic Church.” The audience both laughs about the nine-months of sequestering and applauds the outcome. “The person they chose was my personal favorite. As they labored behind closed doors every single day for nearly nine months, they somehow kept their composure and wits about them and made a very smart decision. I would like to introduce our newest member of the General Assembly, Cardinal Dorothy Mallow of the United States.” The audience is on its feet with a standing ovation for the first female Pope of the Catholic Church. Pope Dorothy stands and turns in a circle—enthusiastically waving to the audience on all sides.

“Well, this is beautiful! Having a Pope come from America is something we were told could never happen, and having a Pope who’s a woman is definitely something we were told could never happen. Finally! And you know what, the white zucchetto and red shoes look much better on a woman. You go, Cardinal Dorothy! You shattered two ceilings at the same time!” Kimmy is on her feet cheering the decision.

“Kimmy, you know she’s working with Anna. How can you cheer for her?” Seiko is indignant.

“Oh, right. I got caught up in the moment. Sorry, everyone. But you must admit, if she weren’t working for the Antichrist, this would be pretty great. Yikes, I just heard it the way you must have. I think I’ll stop talking now.”

Kimmy sits down hard and drops her head onto Liam’s shoulder. He pats her on her head and lightly pinches her cheek until she giggles. “Don’t worry about it, Kimmy. As your fellow Idealist, I totally understand your ever-present optimism. Your excitement is just an honest reflection of looking for the good in everything. It’s better than when I gave Grayson my orange flip-flops and his excitement only lasted until he found a trash can. That’s right G-man, I saw them sitting outside by our garbage. I moved them to our recycling bin.”

Liam’s comment pulls me onto the edge of my seat. “I did appreciate the shoes, Liam, but they had just run their course. When did we get a recycling bin—and why? Are we seriously considering calling someone to a cave at the top of a mountain to pick up recyclable items when our goal is to stay off the grid?”

Liam starts to laugh. “Of course not, we’ll take that stuff to the city for recycling. I’m just teasing you, G-man. It’s fun to watch you get worked up.”

We all laugh until we see the Pope take her seat on the stage, and Secretary-Director Vasquez resumes the program. “We have another new member joining our delegation tonight. I enthusiastically introduce to you the new Ambassador to the United Nations representing the United States, Jill Anderson.” Ambassador Anderson stands at her seat and waves to the Assembly as well as to the television cameras.

“So, that’s it? Not even a comment for the exiting Ambassador—like, ‘we wish her success in all her future endeavors?’ Just like that, I’m out? They didn’t even mention my name. Suddenly, the deal I made doesn’t seem all that great.” Janet is both laughing and frustrated by the irony.

Military leaders are trained to tune into sarcasm. It’s almost always covering a stronger, more honest, emotion. I walk over to the ousted ambassador and give her a hug. “Ah, ignore them, Janet. They’re simple-minded fools leading other simple-minded fools to the Kool-Aid. You’re one of us now. And, everything that happens on Almighty’s watch is by design. You’ll see this whole thing differently in time.” Tova wraps her arms around both of us, making it a group hug. Janet smiles and hugs us as well.

Ambassador Anders graciously accepts his welcome from her new colleagues and takes her seat. Secretary-Director Vasquez sets the stage for Anna’s speech. Once the lights are directed to a single spot near the curtain entrance, he begins. “Tonight, we will re-visit the Thirteen Mandates for a United World and see where they are taking us. A longer, more complete version of this update on the Mandates is being emailed to the Ambassadors and distinguished guests at the end of tonight’s program. It will have the supportive stats and breakdowns of the numbers. Anyone watching this online can download a copy from our website following the address.

“Our keynote speaker this evening is no stranger to this Assembly. I’ve been known to call her our savior. She is single-handedly reorganizing the rogue governments of our planet and is conserving our resources as if our lives truly depend upon them. She has been challenging us with her vision of a united world and many nations are rising to meet her there. Since she has taken a lead advisory role at the U.N., there hasn’t been a single act of aggression between nations, nor a single bullet discharged in an act of war. I present to you our Master, Anna Cohen.” The Ambassadors are on their feet with the most enthusiastic applause of the evening.

“Did any of you hear that slight change in her title?” I stare at the screen in wonderment as I allow the change sink in. “So, Lucifer assumes her throne. It’s finally happened. And the kingdom was already built for her at the United Nations. Incredible!”

Everyone in the group looks over at me, but no one comments. We all know what’s happening here. We can claim to be amazed, but we cannot claim to be surprised.

I’m restless as I watch Anna walking back and forth across the stage—basking in the enthusiastic praise. “I think I’ll use this ‘applause pause’ to replenish the lemonade. Who needs a refill?” Sterling and Liam raise their cups. I refill their drinks and reluctantly take my seat. Tova lays her head on my shoulder. The move calms me just as she intended it to.

Liam grabs a pen and paper. “I want to write down the subtleties of her spin on the Mandates. It will be interesting to watch how many people will deny her assumption of power even as it happens right in front of their eyes. Here we go.”

“Greetings to every citizen of this amazing planet—a planet set strategically in the glorious Milky-Way Galaxy. I send greetings to our citizens in space who are blazing a trail through the universe. In a short time, we will follow your footsteps into the galaxies so we may eventually expand our civilization to the heavens above. To those of you here this evening, I ask—is this a great time to be alive, or what?” Once again, the Ambassadors and world dignitaries are on their feet. Anna does her signature move and watches as 193 delegates return the forehead to the arm.

“Wow, her appeal is going global. She has the ‘X-factor,’ that’s for sure.” Janet is smiling and shaking her head.

“I want to update the citizens of Earth on each Mandate and show you where they’ve taken us thus far, and where they will ultimately lead us.

“Mandate #1: Only one spiritual being is recognized by the United Nations. This mandate has united us. Churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques, and temples around the world are now worshiping as one. Earlier today, the United Nations Security Council decided to give a name to our shared spiritual being. They chose ‘Alpha and Omega’—the first and the last. The voting body decided the much shorter ‘Alpha’ is also acceptable.”

The audience goes quiet. It’s obvious the General Assembly was not informed of this change.

Anna aggressively fidgets with some notes on the podium before she continues. It appears she’s demonstrating a streak of anger stemming from the lack of enthusiasm for her opening mandate. This Mandate is critical to her ability to suppress Almighty’s power with the people.

In a break of her style, she thumps her fist on the podium and pushes through her material. “I want to reiterate the courts of the U.N. will not tolerate acts of prejudice, exclusivity, or crimes of passion in the name of religion. Penalties will be stiff for anyone who refuses to abide by this Mandate. The U.N. prison being built in Rome will be operational within sixty days. Our temporary prison is at capacity with its two hundred and twenty-seven inmates. In the nine months since its opening, no one who has entered its doors has been released. Once offenders of religious crimes go in, they stay in. It is the only way to send the strong message of intolerance of religious discrimination. I hope that it is clear, the U.N. is very serious about prosecuting religious crimes and will not reduce sentences after someone has been sentenced.” The audience of Ambassadors offers a lukewarm applause.

Anna’s anger increases, but she moves on. “Mandate #2: Religion shall defer to government. Because of the way this Mandate has been challenged over the last nine months, the Judicial Committee took further action on it today. Feel free to follow along on the screen behind me. Here is what they added to this Mandate: ‘From this moment forward, no statement regarding religion will be tolerated in public buildings or on public property—including parks and other government-owned parcels of land. There will be zero tolerance for prayer or scripture-reading in public schools, at public sporting events, or at any other public event funded by the U.N. or the governments of its 193 member nations.”

The Ambassadors of Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and the United States stand in protest, but are ignored.

“Did she just enact universal law? And only four nations protested? Where have the courageous gone?” Tony asks to no one in particular.

Anna continues. “In addition, employees of the governments and/or elected officials cannot speak of their personal religious beliefs in public, through written communication, or at any public event. Elected officials who are found guilty of breaking these rules can be removed from office and be stripped of their titles and benefits.”

Once again, the audience remains quiet. Anna allows her emotions to take over again. She steps back from the podium and stretches her arms out behind her. She practically jumps back to the microphone.

“I am going off-script again to emphatically state a candidate who runs for office on religious rhetoric will not be approved by the United Nations—even if they are selected by the people of their country. This issue has gone global, and there is no intention of reversing its direction. Do we understand each other?”

“Oh, dear Lord, she just lost it up there.” Sterling rubs his hands together and laughs.

“I miss the days when she just turned into a snake when she got angry. At least she couldn’t talk.” Liam chuckles.

Anna withdraws her pointed finger and body from the podium. She steps back and sips some water. She makes no apology for the outburst. “All religious statues will be removed from public properties over the next twelve months. Religious services and music cannot be broadcast outdoors where they can be heard in residential neighborhoods or from public properties. Protesters of U.N. policies cannot hand out material on walkways or along public roads. Nor can they broadcast hate-filled threats on the World Wide Web, now under the control of the U.N.

“Religion should be considered a recreational endeavor and treated as such. I hope Mandate #2 is clearly understood and honored. Those who have tried to claim ignorance on this issue are now sitting in a prison cell in Rome.”

Tony leans towards the screen for a closer look. “Did she just smirk into the camera?”

“Yes, she smirked. I don’t think I like her either.” Everyone turns to look at Kimmy.

Seiko pulls the attention her way. “Kimmy, this wasn’t about liking her. Did you not hear the big regulation she just imposed? She removed all religious rhetoric, and for that matter, all religious presence from the Internet. I hope the rest of the world really heard what was being said and not wondering if they liked her or not. Sorry, Kimmy. It had to be said.”

“It’s okay. I get it. You’re right as usual.” Kimmy smiles at Seiko.

“Mandate #3: All leaders of the world governments now require the approval of the U.N. The U.N. has already vetted the new President of the United States, Belle Brooke, the new Vice-President of the United States, Keith George, Prime Minister Bronx Whitacre of the United Kingdom, and President Sebastian Thomas of France. There will be six more presidential elections happening in our member nations by the year’s end. We will continue our vetting of the chosen candidates. So far, everyone has passed our background check. The people have chosen well. Let’s keep this up.

“Mandate #4: All nations will share in the protection and renewal of the Earth’s resources. This Mandate is governed by the Trusteeship Council of the U.N. The numbers coming in from the Council are exactly what we had hoped for. International energy consumption is down eighteen percent. Pollution is down eleven percent. Most nations are moving forward with the compliance guidelines distributed to all Ambassadors six months ago. The U.N. will now enforce the installation of solar energy panels in all government buildings. All aircraft and motor vehicles powered by less than only solar energy will be destroyed. Auto makers and aircraft producers are sharing in the cost after a ruling from the U.N. The information on this really goes on and on, and it’s all good. I’ll refer you to the supplemental document on the website.

“Mandate #5: Only one currency will be recognized by the United Nations. This one should really be addressed by our ‘geek squad’ rather than a political figurehead.”

The audience laughs—sadly proving how quickly they are willing to forgive her temper tantrums.

“However,” she continues, “as I understand their strategy, the world will safely switch to a single currency at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2030. We will use Geneva’s time zone to mark the universal ‘midnight.’ This serves as a reminder to all citizens to get your paper money and coins turned in over the next thirteen months. Your bank can do this for you in person. One World Bank can do it for you over the telephone. Kiosks present in libraries and airports around the world can do it for you as well. There is a 24-hour help desk staffed with people who can speak the thirty-eight languages of our member nations, a phone hotline, and a chat-site to assist you listed on the U.N. website. It’s time to search under Grandma’s mattress for her hidden ‘rainy day dollars.’”

The audience laughs.

“Check your kid’s rooms as well. The Primaries mirror their Traditionalist great-grandparents. They distrust authority and hide their assets.”

The audience laughs louder.

“Who are the Primaries again?” Sterling asks.

“The generation born after ours, between 1997 and 2017. They’re 11 to 31 now.” Kimmy speaks out her answer without taking her eyes off the screen.

“How do you know all this frivolous stuff?”

“Sterling, we all have access to this information. The bigger question would be why you don’t know it.”

“Easy, it falls under the social sciences.”

“Ha, and you call yourself an ‘attorney of the people?’ Anna’s right about their generational habits.” Kimmy sticks her tongue out at Sterling.

“Oh, very mature, fellow Millennial. I’m glad to see you agree with the Antichrist.”

I jump into the conversation. “Can you two please take the tension down? She’s up again.”

“All paper money will have no value in a little over thirteen months. Coins will only be worth the value of the metal from which they are made. Very soon, the people who have their microchips implanted will be able to link their financial data together. Exciting stuff!

“Mandate #6: All space exploration will be equally owned by the nations of the Earth. We have a major announcement at the end of my address regarding our planet’s space exploration program. The Director of the U.S. Space Force, Dr. Cadey Matteson, will be addressing you immediately after I finish. Please stay tuned for her critical update. I will just say important advancements have been made in space over these last nine months. When some nations resisted sharing the details of their space exploration, the U.N. got proactive and secured the rights to Sun Economics, Inc. This company’s vision to surround the planet with sixty-six satellites has become ours. We followed through on the launch of the satellites thirty days ago. We are now surrounded by a shield that can monitor all communication, track the movements of all people, alter extreme weather, follow military operations, and alert the World to any danger coming from space. These things are in-line with our vision at the U.N. I’m happy to share this technology is now owned exclusively by this organization.”

Kimmy huffs loud enough for everyone to hear. “Yes, after its two former owners mysteriously died.”

“Kimmy, please.” I know she’s right even as I correct her, but I don’t want the team to have this conversation right now.

Anna continues her over-the-top performance—taking credit for the work of some very gifted humans. “With Sun Economics, we will be able to shade desert areas of the planet and reducing the temperatures by almost twenty degrees. We can seed clouds in times of drought. We project an eighty percent success rate.”

The audience interrupts Anna with its enthusiastic applause. They are on their feet. She takes in all the praise with a content smirk on her face. Once the audience calms, Anna acknowledges their enthusiasm. “Yes, it is really that great! Did I not ask you earlier if this was a great time to be alive? There’s much more that Sun Economics can do, but I’ll save that for my State of the World Address in January. Trust me, amazing things are coming.

“Mandate #7: All weapons inventories and number of trained troops will be revealed to the U.N. Security Council. When we made this request, the resistance could be heard around the world. The deep-seated fear we carry for one another seems to suppress any sense of logic necessary for trust and compliance. Regardless, the U.N. collected accurate information through other means. In our summary investigation, we included the names of the nations misleading the rest of us by withholding their accurate military holdings. The offending nations are: India, Iraq, Iran, German, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

“These nations are now in danger of being disarmed by the U.N. in retribution for submitting falsified records. We are offering a deadline extension of thirty days for these nations to provide the U.N. with complete transparency and compliance. Should these nations follow through and meet the new deadline and provide accurate information, the U.N. will refrain from disarming them. Even so, they will be penalized for supplying false information. The U.N. Security Council has ruled that you will relinquish ten percent of your equipment and ground forces to the United Nations. This is the world of the Millennials, and transparency is our mantra!

“These collected assets will become part of the United Nations’ Armed Forces. There is one exception to this penalty, and it is being offered to the nation of Israel. The U.N. Security Council is interested in your biological warfare, chemical weapons, and drone research. Simply stated, the U.N. Security Council is offering to exchange your drone technology and chemical and biological warfare capabilities for complete penalty abatement. We feel it best these life-threatening weapons be kept by the peace-keeping U.N. Most will be destroyed in open ceremonies. Others will be kept for inter-planetary warfare.”

The team members join many of the Ambassadors by raising their eyebrows. Sterling is on his feet again, pacing as usual. “I cannot believe she just said that. She’s fearless. She doesn’t care what the nations think of her strategy. She is that sure she is right. The Press is going to be all over her tomorrow, but then again, she owns them too. She’s using the so-called transparency of globalism as a façade for uncloaking the nations. This plan offers a false sense of security to the people before the rug is pulled out from under them.”

I understand the emotion in the room. The threat of Lucifer has not been overstated. Sterling looks like a man who is about to stomp out of a conference room. I’m not too sure how much more of the Mandates he can take. We’ve just hit the half-way mark. I decide not to validate his emotion, or to belittle him with a reminder Almighty is still in control. He will come to those conclusions on his own.

“Mandate #8: All public and private businesses are required to register with, and be approved by, the United Nations. This Mandate has moved along exactly as expected. Ninety-eight percent of new companies have properly applied for international business licenses on our website. The other two percent are ignoring our governing boards and will be put out of business in two weeks.

“Seventy-three percent of established businesses have also complied with the reporting time frames. The other twenty seven percent are strongly advised to comply. The final deadline is set for December 31, 2029. Any business not compliant by then will see their social media activity, websites, phone numbers—landlines and cellular—as well as their advertising closed. The U.N. isn’t messing around on this one.”

“Does anyone else notice the Mandates have taken the turn we expected nine months ago? Suddenly, they are threats instead of happy thoughts of a better planet. Grayson, you were dead-on.”

“I would have rather been wrong.” Tova smiles at me and I kiss her hand.

“Mandate #9: All nations will have open borders for immigration. We hit a few snags with this one. For some reason, citizens largely wanted to live in Europe and North America. The influx was beginning to tax the resources of these nations. Australia was also being inundated with immigration requests. We had tremendous debate on the floor earlier today as to the importance of rebuilding cultures, nations, and continents—rather than moving everyone to Europe and North America. It seems to be demeaning to Asia, and Africa, and South America.

“For now, those seeking to immigrate are being asked to remain in the nation of their origin. Don’t worry, help is on the way. The U.N. has assigned the top forty-five member nations based upon the Human Performance Index (HPI) to adopt the bottom forty-five member nations based upon the same index. These ‘adopting’ nations are under strict contracts to raise the quality of living in their ‘adopted’ nation within eighteen months.

“We are making you some firm promises: All civil wars will end, and rogue leaders will be ousted immediately. We have the weapons and resources to make it happen, so I warn you not to test the United Nations. We are getting in and we are fixing your economies and stopping your wars. Your citizens are going to go to bed with healthy bodies and full stomachs. Your ambassadors in this room are aware of the details and will take your questions from here. All the finer details will be uploaded to our website within thirty days.

“In the near future, we will consider the best way to return immigrants who have not reached citizen status in their current nations, as well as refugees, to their nations of origin once their homelands are stabilized. Every immigrant who puts in an application to move must accept a microchip to be considered as a candidate. Furthermore, any illegal immigrant caught living in a nation where they do not have citizenship, will choose between having the chip inserted or going to prison. In time, we will have a full accounting of every person on Earth. Illegal immigration will cease to exist. We can track, find, and move people. Once again, I promise you will see an entirely different world in eighteen months.

“Mandate #10: The United Nations recognizes any and all unions of consenting adults. You will have to excuse me on this second deviation from my pre-planned words. I want to say, yes, the great institution of marriage has fallen. As the entertainer, Cher, famously stated, ‘why would anyone want to live in an institution?’ Marriage has been overrated as a sphere of protection for women and children. It has been neither. It is inside of marriage we find the oppressed and abused women and children. The U.N. General Assembly has voted all legal marriage contracts will not be recognized by our Judicial Branch as of January 1, 2030. We are returning marriages to the churches, families, and civic organizations where they belong.”

Hushed conversation can be heard throughout the auditorium. Anna pauses, but does not comment.

“How did we end up here? They’re dissolving marriages? Do they have this power?” Tova directs the question to her mother.

Janet, ever the diplomat, finally enters the conversation and does so with great calm and control. “The phrase ‘not recognize’ does not mean ‘dissolve.’ We got here because the U.S. fumbled all over itself trying to define marriage and civil unions. Gay marriage was our issue put forth to the world. When gay marriages became legal in the U.S., eighty-two percent of the rest of the world did not recognize gay unions as legal, or preferred. In all the chaos to equalize everything, a legal marriage based on a state-submitted form became irrelevant.

“The greater question is, why does Lucifer want this, right? I would guess this removes control of spouses and undermines the stability of families. As she sets up for Mandate #11, parents are being reduced to producers, and of course, suppliers—until the children can supply for the rest of us. Lucifer just sees us as another animal kingdom to devour. She’s not saying they’re dissolving marriages. She’s saying the U.N. will not recognize the union. Everyone will stand individually. It will help clear the water in their legal workings. It also removes the tension between the societies that do not recognize alternative unions, such as gay marriage. Diplomatically, it’s a smart move.”

I stare at her in wonderment. “Wow, that’s harsh, Ambassador.”

“Life is harsh. And it isn’t getting any gentler for seven years. I’m just trying to prepare you for what I saw inside the U.N., and what I see here on stage tonight. Shh. She’s back on.”

Anna stands tall and continues. “Should a case come before the U.N. courts, we will not recognize any pre-nuptial arrangements. Any current agreements can be ignored in cases of litigation. They do not need to be viewed as a binding contract. There will be no more rules about gender and family definitions. We will finally be a species free of written obligations and demands that we love one another. Loyalty is not something that can be legalized. There will be no more spouses put on pedestals, regardless of gender. Men and women will be treated equally regardless of religious and/or cultural traditions. Each adult union will be considered case by case. Should a separation happen, it is the opinion of this governing board that all assets should be split fifty-fifty. We see very little need for legal bindings. Religions can put their blessing on a union if they choose, but I must remind citizens religion will defer to government via Mandate #2.

“Man, this is like the most intense reality show ever!” Liam seems to be enjoying this as much as he seems to enjoy everything.

“I’m not sure if women won or lost right there?” Kimmy chimes in.

Tony takes her on. “You’re missing the point, Kimmy. She said they are now equal. There is no winning or losing on this platform. All the negative energy is going to be directed to the followers of Almighty. The newly-persecuted will be sought out for their religious beliefs, and there will not be a ‘protected class’ for them.”

Sterling’s back with his history lesson. “It’s not actually new to persecute people for their religious beliefs. It’s been a constant on this planet. This is just the final round. It was ugly in the days of the Holocaust, the days of Roman coliseums filled with lions devouring Christians, and in the days of sacrificing babies in some Asian nations.” Sterling drifts off at that point and just waves his hand dismissively in disgust. We all turn back to the screen.

“Mandate #11: All Children are under the protection of the U.N. until the age of eighteen. This one has many of our wealthy nations ‘up in arms.’ There is much fear in our world based on losing control. Nothing has changed in my original presentation nine months ago. Each child now has a voice that equals the voice of any adult on the planet. We will listen and we will act in the behalf of our children. Our goal is to erase all child abuse within the next five years.

“Children are our future. The talents they have been gifted with will be identified early in their development, probably by age five, and optimized for the best outcome. The U.N. will decide where to place the children to achieve the best results. In the pilot trials of this program, some have seen the removal of children from homes deemed to be too aggressive in expectations and punishment. I assure you all decisions have had good outcomes for the children we have moved. We may make a mistake or two along the way, but we see this as the best way to end child abuse.”

Sterling pauses from his pacing. “Ah, yes. I see what you mean, Janet. She is freeing children to run amok. The youngest generations will become unhinged probably around age twelve and create the chaos and irreverence you mentioned. What a mess!”

“Yes, it is a mess. I’m treading lightly here because I know you’re a victim of child abuse. You could have used this Mandate to get you and your mother out of harm’s way. It will do some very good, and very important, things. There’s no doubt about it. Eventually, man will come to his senses and govern himself appropriately. This is not a game based upon eventual sanity. Lucifer is in a short game, and this will just help her along. Her words about children are not being delivered for us adults. She is trying to reach the children right now. Notice how she got out from behind the podium to deliver that Mandate? Classic! And, now that she has their attention, she’ll lead them right into Mandate #12 and make the world an even brighter place for them. Watch, you’ll see.”

“Mandate #12: Education is mandatory. Children are benefiting immensely because of this Mandate. Their world is opening right in front of our eyes. I am most pleased with these results. The cities of the world that have a population greater than five thousand are now wired and equipped to access our educational offerings. The enrollment numbers are staggering. Our world is rising to levels of knowledge only dreamed of in the past.”

“You nailed it, Ambassador. Fist pump?” Sterling gets into position.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what to do with the fist. I’m an X-er.” She smiles as she taps her fist against his.

“Mandate #13: Universal Health Care is now available to every citizen who resides in a Member Nation. This is our most debated Mandate. The pre-existing conditions are overwhelming the World Health Organization and the CDC. We are working diligently to categorize these. I assure you personally that no citizen will be left behind. There are new cures coming I’m not at liberty to discuss at this point. Your personally assigned physicians are sending in positive information proving many of you are being more responsible for your personal health. The computer in Brussels is busy crunching numbers. We’ll have more information when we address this Mandate again on our ‘State of the World Address’ on January 20, 2030.

“I must close now.” The audience is on its feet without a single bit of coercion. Anna is glowing in the light of their overwhelming approval as she leaves the stage.

Secretary-Director Velasquez assumes the podium. “At this time, I welcome to the stage the Director of Space Force, Dr. Cadey Matteson.”

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Triple Digit TOC by K.M. Sheridan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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