Welcome to Saturday Morning 3
General Sampaio did pushups with his fingers, so his
hands looked like a spider on a mirror. "You are absolutely
sure of this...event? It is not some bizarre hoax by Avalon?"
"Yes, General. I myself was incredulous at first, and I
have long had an appreciation for how imaginative the
natural world is at creating strange phenomona." replied
"This is a catastrophe! You are saying we have lost
most of our land, including the richest cropland, and a
majority of our human population? And we are on the verge
of war with this "Amazon Commonwealth"? How am I
supposed to defend this nation under these conditions?"
"As best you can, General. I cannot ask for more."
"And you say these nations claim to have weapons far
greater than anything we have seen in the war? What
could be worse than poison smoke, fire fountains and
Academician Petrocci cleared his throat. "Several
sanstring messages we have picked up seem to correspond
to a hypothetical weapon called an atomcore bomb.
This would be a device the size of this table able to
incinerate or pulverize everything within a distance
of several miles or more, and poison the land for
many years, possibly generations."
"Anyone can describe a hypothetical weapon. But can
such a weapon actually be built?" asked the general.
Petrocci looked at Philho and Vargas, who looked at
each other and nodded their heads. "We have developed
models and equations of atoms and atomcores. They
indicate that such a bomb would actually explode as described.
We have developed an atomcore fireplace, which we "lit"
just last month. It also functioned as the equations
and models predicted it would, so such a bomb is quite
likely to work as well."
"There is a big difference between a bomb and a fireplace!"
"General, a bomb and a fireplace are both basically
the same phenomona. Both are the combining of vitagen
with something else...a bomb just does it a million
times faster. If the atomcore fireplace functions
correctly, this makes us much more confident that an
atomcore bomb would also, since any mistake which would
stop one would probably stop the other."
"We have also made other observations and calculations
which indicat that we will soon have the ability to
wipe out a great city and a million people in one flash.
Since at least some of these "time zones" seem to have
developed at a faster rate than we have, it is logical
to assume that they can do so to many cities at once."
said the Aesop rakune next to the academician.
"I still am not sure about this...the predictions of
a dozen bigheads, seven of whom are aesops, led by someone
whose parents were not even born here."
"But *I* was born and raised here!"
"Enough! General, assume, for safety sake, that such bombs
now exist in other parts of the world. It would be better
than assuming they do not and being wrong."
"What about our attempts to communicate with this
Commonwealth to our north?" continued Vargas.
Ambassador Vanhorn replied "We are having some trouble
doing so. The dialect is different from any I have heard
before, with a strange vocabulary and accent. It is a little
like speaking with an aesop of Portugal if you have never
done so before, only worse. Also, I am a little concerned
with this name "Amazon". It may be too much to put on a
name, and may be just a coincidence...but why would a
nation name itself after a race of female warriors
that were a match for Athens and Sparta? I am afraid
that these people to the north might be as militaristic
as Avalon was."
"What about the food situation?"
Minister Spinola swallowed hard and paused for a
moment before speaking. "It is very grave. We have
approximately 150 million people, four fifths of them
Aesops, in what is left of Brasil. We have only about
one fifth of the food producing capacity we had last week.
I would strongly advise that we obtain as much food
imports as we can from these other timezones as soon
as it is possible, or I shudder to think what will
happen with our aesop army. I would also reverse my
previous stand against certain agricultural practices
which may cause long term damage to our land...
if we do not obtain enough food in the short term, we will
not even *have* a long term."
"Very well. All cabinet members are to prepare
reports for Vargas and me, to be delivered two days
from now, on how this timezone situation will affect
your particular area of expertise. Don't worry about the
short time...I do not want your usual verbose tomes,
we need to begin responding to this emergency immediately.
Just give us an outline on your view of the situation.
And try to come up with suggestions as to how to deal
with this crisis. If you think of something that could help,
let me or Paulo know at once. Every hour we delay could
make the situation worse, perhaps irrepairable. Also,
give top priority to this Amazon Commonwealth. The last
thing we want is to blunder into an even bloodier war
than the one we have just been through these last
five years. Thank you, and get moving."
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