Brighter than the Sun


Audio Link 
(Chapter 1: Boris Mikheyev)


Guns in the Closet

War has never been in society's interest, and much less so, thermonuclear war. When the novel, Brighter than the Sun, was written the world had 65,000 nuclear bombs deployed against human living, with delivery times in the range of 45 minutes, via the big intercontinental missiles. Today, fewer bombs are deployed, with a combined destructive force that still adds up to roughly 500,000 Hiroshimas. This enormously destructive force exceeds what is imaginable. All acts of war in history combined, pale as insignificant in comparison with what humanity has prepared for its future against itself. Insanity is too soft a word to describe it, as its likely outcome is universal extermination. 

The nuclear-war game has become so insane that it has taken on a mythological flavour. I recognized recently that a close correlation exists between the 4-part chapter, "A Weapons Mythology," of my novel, The Flat Earth Society, and the first 4 chapters of my novel, Brighter than the Sun that deals with the nuclear war game in a minimalist fashion. The first chapter of this novel begins here. It, too, has a somewhat mythological flavour; a dangerous flavour that has lost none of its scary 'taste.'

The massively destructive modern weapons that are now held all over the world, by more countries than ever before, with some of the being shared, make a joke out of the concept of security. No nation on the planet can speak of security in the face of this proliferation. In addition, the advertised delivery times from launch to impact, have now become as short as 5 minutes in the case of closely positioned launch bases that encircle Russia and China. In these respects the prospects for a human future have drifted far away from the 'good old days' when a measured reaction against a global nuclear war was still possible.

In today's world, with the empire of oligarchy collapsing, the quest for nuclear war is being pushed forward with evermore insane reasons driving the game, such as the dream that nuclear war is technologically winnable, while at the same time an increasing number of institutions are in an all-out fight to assure war-avoidance. 

While war-avoidance has remained successful to date, the desperation is increasing, both for and against war, so that anything that one can imagine is possible, especially now that the imperial policies for mass depopulation, from 7 billion to 1 billion, are unfolding in the background as a factor that can no longer be ignored either.

With today's nuclear-war danger being many times greater than it had been in the Cold War years when the writing of the novel was started, the novel remains nevertheless useful to explore in a minimalist fashion the otherwise unimaginable horror that humanity allows to be prepared against it, by its indifference to the dynamics of nuclear war and its consequences in the human sphere. 

The same type of indifference, only still more so, is also evident in society's pathetic response to the Ice Age Challenge. The tragedy that society would suffer, when the next Ice Age begins with society being unprepared for it, is on the same scale of devastation than that of a full nuclear war. 

Actually, the start of the next Ice Age is more predictable than the non-occurrence of the prepared-for nuclear war, under the current circumstances. For as long the driving force to war, the system of empire, is not purged from the human fabric, the near extinction of humanity is assured, since the machinations of empire are the root for the danger on both fronts. Until this root is eliminated, nuclear war remains on the agenda, and preparations for the coming Ice Age in possibly 30 years, will not be allowed to proceed. This means, that to avoid certain doom, humanity has no option but to seek its security on the platform of the Principle of Universal Love whereby society develops an uplifted value in itself that assures its self-protection, rather than its self-surrender to annihilation.

The dialog presented here is of the first chapter of the novel, Brighter than the Sun, by Rolf Witzsche.


     When night falls a new dawn begins at some distant place on our planet. A faint hue appears on the horizon. The river is calm. A flock of birds can be seen among the rushes. There is an intense immediacy in the air. Everything happens now. Everything is vital. Everything counts. The bird's voices ring clear and shrill. What happens each morning speaks louder than all that has lingered from the day before, orchestrating new perceptions, feelings, struggles, hopes, victories. But the night is laden with fears; a wilderness haunted by doubts, insanity, and tired emotions that keep the mind slow, rigid, locked onto tradition. The sound of a siren cuts through the dark of midnight; it cuts into the mind, sharp, harsh, it echoes in thought, but it comes as no surprise to Boris Mikheyev. He raises his head. The practice alert has begun, the one he was awaiting for. He knew it would be called.

     To the others at Lenin Base the call of the siren is little more than another disturbance in a long train of impositions that the men have taken for granted as a part of life. To Boris its pulsating sound brings on a feeling of being intensely alive. The timing is perfect! The alert came as though it was written into a script. He is alone in the pit. He is ready. For days, every step of the plan has been rehearsed, timed, and re-timed, and then committed to memory. He puts his lunch on the ground, quickly, and then starts running towards the bulldozer. The eerie whine of the siren stirs an uneasy feeling as he climbs into the cab. The feeling is quickly suppressed; he starts the engine. This is no time for emotions, he tells himself. He knows that he has less than five minutes to prevent the shutdown of the automatic firing sequence that he knows will be initiated during an alert procedure. He moves the bulldozer to where a stone marker lines up with the trunk of a tree. He cuts back to idle and waits.

      The plan has been rehearsed until each move became implanted in the deep recesses of consciousness. Nothing could be allowed to go wrong. In forty-five seconds he will know if the alert is true. Fake alerts were not uncommon. He leans out of the cab window, his stopwatch set. He listens. At forty-seven seconds he hears the faint grunting noise of a silo cover being drawn aside. He resets his watch. He is now in synchronism with the launch sequence.

     What takes place from this point on is no longer the result of deliberate will. His actions become mindless; mechanical; a series of rehearsed reflexes. The plan is in control. The plan has been in control of his life for the last two weeks. With ever-growing intensity it crowded out his personal feelings. Now it has taken over his life.

     He accelerates the bulldozer. While the machine gathers speed he struggles with himself for one last time to take control of his actions. He knows that he can still call it all off, scrap the plan if he wants to, and walk away - nobody is forcing this plan on him!

     At the third marker, the last timing checkpoint, he makes a correction in speed. He notes that the plan is still in control. Its sequence proceeds uninterrupted. Eighteen seconds to go, seventeen, sixteen. The speed should be correct now! With the precision of a finely tuned mechanism the plan is acted out step by step. He verifies his speed and position at a forth marker. This is the starting point of the final, full power run. His timing is now correct. He moves perfectly with all the extreme precision that is required. There is a narrow time slot during the pre-launch sequence in which he must sever the power cable to the Launch Control Complex. The task must be accomplished precisely within the narrow window of time when the missile's internal sequence has been started for its system initialization phase, but before the end of it, when the launch control officer verifies the ready status and aborts the launch sequence. This brief window of time is his window of opportunity to change the world. It is less than three seconds wide.

     His last cue is the air blast that indicates that the fuel trunks have been jettisoned. This also marks the beginning of the internal launch program. Only the data link trunk remains connected securely nestled inside its slip-off hatch.

     The mouth of the silo amplifies the air blast, as by a giant trumpet. Boris can easily hear it. It ruptures like a gun shot followed by a noise of rushing air that takes on the sound of a train conductor's whistle at it fades. Boris knows that within six seconds the internal sequence will be aborted. He checks his position against his final marker. He is right of on the mark, infinitely more precise than he needs to be. The bulldozer is now at top speed, racing towards a trough of loose dirt below which lies the cable. He reaches forward to lower the blade. Here he hesitates!

     At this final instant at the crossroads of history, as if time itself stands still, he hesitates, pulls his fingers back from the lever. In this moment as if all time were frozen like in some galactic vortex of western SCIFI novels, a torrent of thoughts is flooding his mind from all conceivable directions; images of Tania - bright, sad, beautiful - of her waving, crying. She cries bitterly. She begs him. But whom is she crying for? For him? For the children? For mankind?

     He sees the masses of humanity reaching out to him. He alone knows the secret! He alone has the key to change, the key for mankind to have a future. His plan is perfect! No one is in danger! Not a single person will die. Only the system will be destroyed that is poised to destroy humanity if it is not overcome.

     Only why is he seeing Tania in tears? Is it a warning? Or is it just a reflection of his own fears, fears of the night, of doubts, of his reaction to emotions....

     + + +

     Two weeks before this day he was free, unaware of his stupendous involvement with the destiny of humanity.

     "Its time to get up, Boris!" Tania said when she woke him that last morning of his vacation, kissing him while he tried to open his eyes. She smiled at him when he saw her.

     He pulled her head down and shut his eyes again. "I don't want to go back. I want to stay with you forever!"

     "Oh you!" she grinned. "Except your wish doesn't count. They'll punish you if you don't get back on time!" She urged him to get up, but in vain. "Hey, you said yourself, they allow no excuses, not even missing the bus. It's four o'clock, Boris! You have no time to waste."

     He shook his head vigorously and without opening his eyes, said no!

     She kissed him once more. "I'll make some coffee for you. Would you like a fried egg for breakfast before you go?"

     He yawned. "You're an angel, you know that," he said. He pulled her onto the bed. He kissed her three times in quick succession. "At least to me you are an angel," he grinned.

     "Oh, go on!" she answered. She got up and disappeared through the open doorway into the kitchen.

     "Ah, but you're also cruel," he called after her. "Don't you know they're heartless up there?"

     "You shouldn't talk like that, Boris," her voice came thinly from the kitchen. Minutes later she came back to his bedside and urged him to get up.

     "Did I ever tell you how pretty you are and how much I love you?" he said and smiled at her. "You're even lovelier now, than when we first met. Do you still remember that day in Kasli, in the Ural Mountains, that marvelously windy day in the spring?"

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From the political and romantic fiction novel by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

Brighter than the Sun

page 1
Chapter 1: Boris Mikheyev.

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Published for free by
Cygni Communications Ltd. Canada
(c) Copyright 2009 - Rolf Witzsche - all rights reserved