What We Lost Along The Way
We met at graduate school. Tamara and I were both studying for our masters in nano particle neuron-circuitry installation. We met for the first time in August at our orientation, but she didn’t notice me until the following February when we were put together to work on neuron inject site 1237b. I had to bribe the professor to put us together, but the next two years of grading freshmen’s papers was worth getting a woman like Tamara to notice me. We fell in love, it was the first real love for each of us and we were consumed with passion and amazement at finding something so complete. Then the war came. It was a large war, many nations fought and more blood than can ever be forgiven was shed, but the world did not end, humanity lasted. Nations continued and the world went on with surprising ease when the guns came down and the bombs stopped falling. The plagues lasted longer, but man is strong and cures were found and what lasted was a small reminder of the terror one can inflect upon millions. What was never missed was the fear that lead so many nations into the great war, that, the fear, fled with the troops back into the darkness of its birth. Mankind seemed to reach its breaking point for sorrow, we simply could not take anymore and so peace came in a bath of blood and tears. The price was high, too high the pacifists shouted, but we paid and the quiet, gentle touch of peace was good.
Tamara and I married, something that before the war seemed silly and outdated felt real and solid after the things we had witnessed. For Tamara Clark and Kent Kennedy were some of the first to be sent to the labs, we were the brightest of our generation and so the task of healing the deep wounds of the war fell to us. It took twenty years before the scars were healed enough for a new generation to not notice. They were a generation of love, born from within the ashes of man’s darkest and cruelest hour. A children so sweet it made us all wonder how we could have done the things that were so well documented. Man had indeed fallen, but what all the religious zealots failed to mention was that man would rise again. Not on the hand of a god but by our own shaking from remorse legs, man rose and drew the line that had been being etched for thousands of years. The line would never be crossed the nations said, no one person nor group of nations again would hurt others in that way. Peace had come for the world but the tender personal wounds did not heal so quickly.
Tamara was an innocent young woman when I fell in love with her but the war scarred her soul, she had always been a serene and delicate person and the truth of man’s heart bore deep into her eyes. She never looked at me or anyone else the same after our work was done. Though we both shared in the success and joy of healing man it had been Tamara who found the cure, who tested it on herself in the dark, cold hours of the beginning of a new year. She had been infected by a late term patient and in the process of healing herself and thereby the race of man she lost our child and a piece of her went to the darkness. As though if part of her stayed in the darkness she could hold it back and no woman would again see what she saw.
You see, my dear friend, the plague was born from man’s ego. The idea that we could take a soul from a body and leave the perfect killing machine behind. The illness changed her and though we have three little angels born in the rubble she watches us as though she is taking notes. Watching to see the first bit of darkness come again, ready to do battle for all mankind again. She has become a warrior in a world where no one wants to admit war could ever come once more, never again they shout. The great war is meant to be the last, man has tired of his greed and his fear, all that is left is a desperate need to live near the earth and gaze at the stars. Now we look up, into the heavens and we know people are above us, living whole lives without ever setting foot upon earth. It is a good feeling to know as we watch the stars that they can and do watch back. Perhaps it is that which will make the great war the last. We no longer share only a world but the stars themselves.
Our children are nearly grown, readying themselves for their future. That, god willing, will be filled with all the joy of our lives and none of the sorrows. But that is the wish every father has for his sweet children, they were what reminded me to go on and to finish the project. They and their mother were what made me realize man’s goodness. But you look tired and it is very late. Tamara will be home tomorrow and the rumblings of politics never wait. She is the guardian warrior, the last of her kind and I am here to keep safe the one who keeps safe the world. Go to bed, sleep deep and well with none of the terrors we have spoken of. Write your stories and remind the nations what the war’s true price was. Remind man of the line he drew in blood, stained with tears and remind us everyday the price is too high to pay again, too high for sweet Tamara to pay.
Remind them, keep them watching the stars and dreaming of further adventures without fear, without terror.