Peter Wynne was twenty six. He was born in 2008, the year the war between Maxel and Rubicon started. His country had been at war his whole life. Rubicon had been on high war alert for three weeks and everyone had important work to.
Peter loved harvest time; apples, pears, apricots, cherries, acorns, walnuts, chestnuts and olives. He loved the feeling at the end of a long day of tiredness from physical exhaustion.
They were picking apricots today. The whole village was up at moonrise which was about two hours before sunrise. An hour's picking then Tai Chi and breakfast. Then they continued picking until the temperature reached 37C which was at 0850. They took the morning harvest inside and let the horses out to pasture; then inside to rest and eat.
The war council had been called for 1030. That gave them time to start preparing and sorting the apricots for stewing or drying. Many villages had mechanised much of this food preparation; but that luxury hadn't reached Indigo Skies yet; the war effort was draining a considerable proportion of the national budget.
They were standing around the food preparation table still in the sorting stage when the war council started. It started on time; he knew it would; Alexandra was chairing it.
Alexandra "Thank you for joining us. You'll all be pleased to know that we'll be lowering the war alert to `medium'. It seems we took Maxel by surprise. After our anti-missile test here in Rubicon, Maxel went quiet. Then an hour later fired another missile aimed just inside our border in Eastern Provinces - we shot it down!"
Cheers around the preparation table.
The apricots were divided into four classes; drying, stewing, pulping and compost. The seeds were used as medicine and the 5% from the best apricots were planted out and grown as part of an ongoing genetic improvement program.
"Well it certainly seems our deflector technology research has paid off. So the question for us is - what do we do now? I think it's time to push forward with our peace program. And this is the perfect time - the Maxel technicians and bureaucrats will be going crazy blaming each other by now; trying to work out how it works and looking for any excuse for delays to their invasion plan until they can collect data on how well defended we are.
So let's have village discussions over the next 24 hours and we'll meet back here tomorrow. Any questions?"
Sue, "Communicator connect alex"
voice recognition sue mason at indigo sky request voice communication alexandra wynne convenor war at arcadia bunker request acknowledged priority assigned at 0001 open two way voice channel sue mason at indigo village alexandra wynne at arcadia bunkerAlexandra, "Hi Sue? you're first"
Sue, "Hi Alex, you well?"
"A bit stressed - but fine."
"Is this the big picture we want?"
"Yes always - but more so."
"Thanks - Good"
"Now how's that brother of mine - covered in apricot?"
Peter, "How does she know that?"
"I'm your big sister"
Sue, "He looks so sexy with apricot pulp over all over his muscly arms."
Alex, "Well Sue - maybe you should help him clean it off. Bye now - Hi John"
cease two way voice channel sue mason at indigo village alexandra wynne convenor war at arcadia bunkerPeter, "Sue, how could you embarrass me like that in front of the whole nation."
"Easy - the whole nation should know you're gorgeous - You know, I was just thinking - I could lick the apricot off your arms."
Whoops and hollers from the whole preparation room.
© Copyright 1999, Julie Peters