When a bullet struck the side of Erast Urbansky’s knee, on the 24th of October, 302 years from your present, shot by Yevgein Garin from a sidearm, as he was chasing him through dense woods on the outskirts of Ostrov near the Russian/Estonian border, nobody could have known then, that that bullet would be the very last one ever fired in warfare. That was the final full-stop on conflict.
They exchanged coarse words, but the pursuer simply turned and walked away, leaving Erast to stagger and limp to get help. Yevgein went back to his small army, a division of the Russian militia.
They had got what they wanted, the disbanding of a small resistance group opposed to the president who seemed to be having too many interests in other countries, appearing to be rather friendly with America and Argentina, enemies as far as the resistance was concerned. It meant the militia strand had won their battle, and all conflict in the middle-east had reached a compromise the previous year, settling down into simple disagreements, but no violence. No hostility. Nowhere in the world. Crime had faded away, and the world settled into what could only be called ‘World peace’.
For hundreds of years political parties and dissident factions had always fought and argued about getting what they wanted, getting to a state of peace, but peace their way. They all vied for the same thing, for harmony, but the path to such a place was always met with hostility, conflict, and blood, almost as if they never actually wanted peace. They simply enjoyed the aggression, enjoyed violence like watching an action film or a boxing match, the crowd cheering on with bloodlust and excitement.
It seemed to have been hardwired into the psyche of the new generations that violence wasn’t a part of their make-up. Nobody went hunting. Sports fans always respected those of opposing sides. No school bullies were ever reported in any school. Violence had faded from the mind of humans, and it also seemed to emanate though to the animals, carnivores, and even insects. It seems they had all adapted into being herbivores, and nature had provided a more bountiful crop of food with more greenery and vegetation to account for it.
People got along fine. There were disagreements, but not even any raised voices. It was simply a case of: ‘I believe this….’, and the other person saying: ‘Ok, I don’t believe that, I believe this instead….’, and then them both forgetting about it and having a coffee and carrying on playing cards.
It seemed nature was adapting to it. Evolution was at work, and violence and war were things of past, the path that had to be trodden to get to a utopian planet.
Now, here it was. World peace.
It had been like that for 62 years. There were people who reminisced about the past, who remembered it vividly, and there were museums featuring old weapons and pictures, but of course, there was always the underlying sense of trust in others that was never quite realised. It meant therefore that countries still retained an army, still kept weapons ready to fire at a moments notice. Just incase an enemy came over the horizon. An enemy that didn’t exist.
It was the ‘what if…?’ factor. What if Spain decided to expand to invade another country and take over? What if Thailand decided it didn’t like Norway and sent a nuclear bomb? These were all underlying factors which meant that countries were prepared should the past ever come back. The weaponry was all there and ready, kept in its place by peace. None were ever decommissioned, and even the ones that there had been in the past were a drop in the ocean to the amount they had, and they had always been replaced by newer, updated models.
No country ever disbanded its army. There was always a kind of police force that patrolled the cities, but they never had anything to do, and that became a problem, because nature had never intended for there to be peace in the world, neither its opposite, chaos.
There was always a balance of opposites, which kept the world turning, which kept oiled the machine of life.
If everything had its opposite, if hot had its cold, if light had its dark, then peace had to have its chaos, and nature had to redress the balance.
It came subtlety, in people’s psyche. The soldiers waiting for the mythical enemy to appear found themselves needing something to do, to address their boredom. Something to do which could not be called peaceful at all.
Yet, it was not them from them whom came the first spark. It was in a person whose friends and colleagues, and even her herself would have said wouldn’t hurt a fly. A 74 year-old widow at a classical concert evening at a local theatre disagreed with a friend, and took a swipe at her, causing a slight scratch on her lip.
As it was such a strange thing to happen, an inborn aspect of human nature showing itself, the people there couldn’t carry on that night and went home wondering what, and why it happened.
A child pushed over his friend in a playground. An argument in a street broke out with raised voices and threatening gestures, causing people to look at them in wonderment.
So it went on. It was not gradual, as though nature was keen to get back to normal, bypassing the evolutionary route.
Across the course of a year, people’s repressed genetic aggressive code, wrote itself into where it should have been. However, in the course of doing so it overreached a state of balance, before retreating to where nature had placed it, in the middle, but during that time, people’s aggression intensified. Throats were cut, heads and limbs hacked away, bullets spattering bone and flesh in chaotic states of viscera, before normality resumed. Normality which included crime, warfare, aggression, and love, and happiness, and cute baby penguins.
So almost 400 years from your time, nature had restored its balance.