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Military Intelligence, by Oxie Moreon

war, conflict, satire, oxymoron, feminine, values

Feminine Values

Donatella emerged from the library, her rucksack of books strapped securely to her back, the weight evenly distributed. Eve would approve, thought Donatella, and briefly smiled. She had kept one book in hand, her haste to read it being great, the book in question being the definitive study of the art of war by the world famous Cambridge academic, previously of The Institute of Strategic Studies.

"Military Intelligence," by Oxie Moreon, (ISBN 0 - 00666 - 00 - -1). Available from any branch of Backwards Books Ltd., or online from www.meaninglessbollocks.com.

Donatella gurgled involuntarily as she discovered that mainstream warmongering had something in common with academic sociology - she doubted that either camp would be aware of this congruence and it certainly surprised her.

The sociologists begin their otherwise laudable, methodical study with the debatable (but seemingly not debated) assumption that everyone is a blank, amoral canvas waiting to be painted entirely by their environment. The warmongers begin their meticulous calculations with the assumption that everyone is an amoral, egoistic, anarchistic thief who needs subduing.

Students of mythology will recognise this act of faith as being justified by the apocryphal old-testament tale known as The Parable of Noia.

After lengthy cogitation, during which the profoundly preoccupied Donatella first collided with Agnes Daily (who apologised profusely, thus causing Donatella great embarrassment), a complete stranger (male, who seemed very happy and willing to repeat the experience) and a lamppost (which remained unmoved by the event), she was able to recollect two or three people she'd met who may possibly qualify for such dismal assumptions. Two or three out of several thousand.

Donatella experienced the lamppost as a particularly stable event in a seemingly wobbly world, so she leaned against it, the post fitting securely between her shoulder blades, before resuming her study of "Military Intelligence".

'Reading something grown up for a change?' said Biggot, bending slightly to check the title of the book.

'No,' replied Donatella, feeling a crimson hue advance with military precision across her cheeks. 'I'm trying to gain insight into the workings of a diseased mind. Not just any diseased mind, mind you. The particular variety of diseased mind that assumes the coming century should be as mindless, destructive and unreflective as the one before.'

Astonishing though it may seem, chapter 1 of the book was an exposition of the type of war that was planned for the 21st century. Planned before any potential enemies had even been identified.

The plans were high-tech and high $, with low military casualties on the aggressor's side, rather than a discussion of whether it may be time for Homo sapiens (sic) to grow up, or for God / Goddess / evolution to choose a more promising species in which to attempt consciousness.

To his credit, Biggot actually paid attention to her speech up to and including the word "No". After that he was busy marshalling the forces of down-nose-sneering, recitation-of-Daily-Muleisms, tip-toe-balancing and hands-locked-behind-the-back-for-pontifdefecation.

"Education of the naive, relatively young, misguided and female" was his noble aim.

'It's all very well for you, sitting safely in your squat or bedsit,' he intoned. 'How would you feel if the commies or Alka-Seltzers dropped chemical weapons on you?'

Donatella felt ashamed. Not of her views, but of the fact that Biggot's tirade of patronising, patriarchal Sulphur mono-Hydro Telluride seemingly triggered an automatic self-doubting process. "Little girl," he may have added, but didn't need to, since it added itself.

As Biggot minced robotically back towards the specially designed pile-comforting driver's seat of his Rolls Royce, Donatella felt her true self float back to the surface. How would I feel? She belatedly wondered.

1. It wouldn't happen. Not even the most deluded power-maniac on Earth feels threatened by me, or indeed by the whole relatively sane district in which I live.

2. I'd wonder 'Why does anyone hate me/us so much that they'd ever consider inventing and using such weapons?

3. Why do I even think in terms dictated by Biggot after he clearly didn't listen to a word I said? Okay nit-pickers, he didn't listen to more than one!

Answer? I won't think in his terms.

Donatella recalled the dream she'd had of two dark spirits, one thin, nervous female; one thick, nerveless male, whispering in people's ears. Dark and Dread seemed suitable names for them. Perhaps Biggot could see or hear them when he spouted his doctrine with his eyes shut? Did he also see the great man and the priestess?

As Donatella resumed walking along the pavement, the sun gently emerged from behind the clouds and she tucked "Military Intelligence" back into her rucksack and let the memory of Dark And Dread develop into its antidote - the Priestess and the Great Man.

There had been a globe with an image of a priestess and a very large man in the background. She imagined the pavement she walked on as the shallow edge of a clear stream and came to a place where the bank had been trod down to water level by cattle and sheep.

The great man and the priestess had removed their clothes and were walking downstream, turning occasionally as they went into deeper water to let the current flow across their skin. They held hands where the water was both deep and fast-flowing.

Having waded into water up to her neck, the priestess washed her hair then that of the giant man as he knelt beside her. They moved into the shallows and the great man noticed several leeches on the priestesses ankles and one in the middle of her back. They removed the leeches from each other's skin and moved out of the water onto banks of gravel where floodwater had recently been. They sunbathed for a few minutes to dry themselves then walked back along the gravel towards their clothes.

A group of tourists came along the path, a couple of feet above the gravel banks, and seemed surprised to see the naked couple. A man consulted his guidebook to the area whilst his female companion debated whether or not to take a photo. Most of their group resolutely refused to believe their eyes. Having completed their cleansing, the priestess and the great man dressed and went to help the wounded and homeless in Iraq.

'Every day the children of the world repeat the same mistakes and every evening the adults repair as much as they can,' the priestess sighed philosophically to her giant companion as she took his hand.

Donatella came around with a start as a man tapped her on the shoulder.

'You seemed miles away. Are you alright?' Vic, the vicar from the local Seek church asked.

Donatella laughed and beamed at him. 'Never better!' she said. 'Talk of the Devil. I mean, Fancy bumping into you!'

'What do you mean?' he asked, slipping into his reassuring bed-side manner.

'Oh nothing. I was just daydreaming about religious stuff. Sort of...'

Copyright P.J.Fairbrother 2003

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