The Devil released the ‘nation’ as he called himself, and stood back. His look was curious and he raised his now bloodied fingers to the air and snapped them. in less time than it took to blink, the two now sat in the ‘nation’s’ living room where they were before. The Devil lifted a bloody finger to his mouth and licked it clean.
“So now, you no longer want to be a ‘nation’ as you call it. You wish to be human? Can you tell me how this will change the situation as it stands?”
The Devil thought on it a few moments. There was only one sure fire way for this idea to succeed, and only if he was truly willing.
“There is a way, and we both get what we want, but you are not going to like it. It involves me taking your heart and bit of the soul from every person in your country that calls himself American. With that, you will become human, till death, do you part.” The Devil grinned.
The blonde coughed as the devil’s hand was removed form his chest and he couldn’t help but to crouch a little. He looked up at him from the corner of his eye and saw that with a mere snap of his fingers they were back at Alfred’s home. He reached up a hand to place it on his wound, but he noticed that it had already healed, the only thing that remained was the blood stain on his hoodie.
"I’m not sure how it would affect my place if the nation didn’t have a personification. If I became human…I’d be emotionally detached from the nation’s responsibilities, from my people’s thoughts, from my policy…Negotiations with the other nations wouldn’t be as chaotic, I’d be able to act rationally and independent from my governors and my boss…I’d be..free."
He said, the last sentence was barely above a whisper. His hand still lingered on the blood stained spot on his hoodie. What would the consequences be if this really worked out? He knew that right now he’s a threat to the world, his nation’s power got out of control and he needed to change things.
"I don’t know…if I were human I could talk them out of any threatening deals, Russia and China are already really tense around me. If I were human..I could talk to them like humans, talk to them as friends, if we could call ourselves that. But…do you know what I mean? I could influence the decisions of the representatives of nations with only the intelligence of a human mind. I’d stop being the governor’s marionette!" Alfred’s eyes started to light up at the idea to be able to save the world, just as a hero does, but ironically, all he’d do was save the world from himself and his superpowers that got out of control. It’s not a heroic act to do it. It’s my duty…For the love of my nation, for the future of my citizen…for the existance of my identity as “America”, this is necessary. Hehe, this might actually work out!
The devil smiled…
“Naturally I would want one’s soul. You see the value of a soul has gone up recently, the purer the soul the higher the value. But in your case, I can see your soul is quite far from being pure. And you are one step away from destroying it altogether.”
“What I want here tonight is not to take your near worthless soul; but instead, I want to stop you from you from your destructive intentions. I have this lovely little spot on the water. It is quiet, and quite beautiful. But for the last month I have been plagued with this recurring dream of its destruction; by your hands.”
The devil snapped his fingers, and suddenly they were in Italy. The devil is perched on his pedestal, and Alfred stands at the shore choked by heat. The ocean boils and burns before them, the sky blots out the sun and it is filled with never ending storms, that rain only fire and lightning. The cities crumble in blazes that have killed off all life long ago.
"You are a very evil man; you are going to bring hell to the human world. But unlike all of these helpless humans you will destroy, oh and you will destroy them all, I have the power to stop you or destroy you if I have to.” The devil turned his attention to ‘the self’ wondering of his reaction to this shared vision.
Alfred sat there and tried to be as calm as possible and listened to the devil speak. The way he acted gave away the superiority only a powerful being could posses. So did he come to get my soul? He is right…I feel myself falling apart from all those voices shouting in me…But what can I do about it? I’m a representative of a whole nation, the minds of the people is my mind, but yet I’ve got this stubborn, human part within me that doesn’t want to accept my fate…This demon knows something I don’t. About me…about so many other things. Not quiet sure how to react to his confident speech, the blonde was about to ask a question as to why he wanted his soul, when it didn’t take a blink of an eye to understand his intentions. Suddenly the scenery changed right before his eyes and an ocean of flames ate away at the water, covering the skies in black and engulfing the air with the smell of death. Alfred didn’t understand what was happening and turned around to see what was behind him. The once beautiful Italian city lied in ruins, corpses were lying everywhere, some were still burning. Amongst all these dead people some ran around aimlessly, searching for their beloved ones or were panicking, having lost their sanity over all of what they’ve seen.
Alfred stood there and watched the scenery ahead of him with wide eyes. Helplessness overcame him at the thought that this was, as the demon said, his doing, although he knows he would never actually want to start a war. But yet, being a “nation” he can never fully control how he’d act.
A few moments more passed, he listened to the devil speak, but didn’t tear his eyes away from the misery ahead of him. “Say…If what you show me is the future, does it make sense that I keep existing?” He turned his head towards the devil, his eyes fixed to the ground. “With the way things are now there is no other way but to destroy me,…right?”
Somehow Alfred already knew that in order to prevent the next World War from breaking out his “nation” needs to be eradicated, or at least the politicians who decided to start it needed to be…gone. Or convinced otherwise. Whatever decision it is, Alfred was connected to the thoughts of the governors and sooner or later he’ll lose his mind completely and fall for the ideals of the United States of America - his own people. Alfred turned his head back to the flaming town and a disgusting feeling overcame him. Guilt, helplessness, shame, shock, self loathing…it was all mixed up.
"I don’t want to see this…" he whispered and looked to the ground in front of him that was covered in ashes.
Is this it…? I thought my land would follow a golden future, follow the laws of liberty and enjoy a wonderful life…Heh, how childish. In the end I never really grew up.
(( plot twist ;) ))
((Great music to relax or to get into a lounge-mood. ♫))
00:00 Noel Sanger - One More Time (Solarity Vocal Mix)
03:30 Shingo Nakamura & Kazusa - Move On
06:17 Blend & MH20 - Diamond Beach
10:32 Lessov - Ever After
15:06 Deadmau5 - The Veldt (feat. Chris James)
18:09 Deep Forest - Sweet Lullaby (Martin Mittone Remix)
22:13 Dinka - Constant Sorrow
26:43 Alpha 9 - Come Home
31:18 Deadmau5 & Glenn Morrison - Contact
33:54 Mango - Sayonara
37:48 Oliver Smith - Restless (Signalrunners Remix)
42:00 Matt Lange - Sixty Six
45:25 Chicane - MiddleDistanceRunner (feat. Adam Young)
47:44 Reflekt - Need To Feel Loved (feat. Delline Bass) (Adam K & Soha Vocal Mix)
53:13 Mango & Kazusa - Sunahama
56:48 Jhonny & Peps - Hymn
1:01:04 MitiS - Life Of Sin
1:05:10 Sylvia Tosun - Underlying Feeling (Adam K & Soha Club Mix)
1:10:58 Dusky - It’s Not Enough (feat. Janai)
The devil sat alone perched on a pedestal that jutted out of the waters. This was his favorite spot to come to at the ocean. None of the humans ever found their way here so it was quiet like he liked it. He watched as the waves would crash one after another into the posts that used to make up the pier. Water slapping and seagulls calling were the only sounds that could be heard.
He had another nightmare last night. While having nightmares were not uncommon to him. This one particular nightmare began to repeat itself. In the entire world the power of three was divine. There was three of everything. There was ‘the self,’ ‘the dark side’ and ‘the light side.’ In this case, the devil had had a nightmare about ‘the self.’ the being that was his representation to the humans. Now this person was from what he understood, a power or a ruler of a land, but more than just a king. He seemed to be the land? Alfred did not quite understand what that meant. He only knew that according to his dreams ‘this self’ would end up destroying the world.
The devil looked back over the ocean again. The ocean was his only reason for coming to the human world. In the nightmare the same ocean sat on fire and boiling, and the sky was full of lightning. Essentially this same ocean had become like hell. He glanced back at the serene view of the city off in the distance and suddenly its view became like distorted. Everything was in ruin and ablaze. While he did not care about the humans, well minus the old man who sold him fruit. But that was only because he was close to death anyways he told himself. His peaceful perch at the ocean was something he did not want to give up.
The nightmare had to be more than a coincidence. He stood up and with a heavy heart he drew out a black stone blade that glowed with blue magical ruins, and sliced it across his finger. When the silver drop of blood hit the water, the portal to hell opened up above the water. He placed the blade back into it sheaf. This would be the quickest way to get to what the humans called the United States; the home of ‘the self.’ Alfred was now curious as to what this dream was a bout and wanted to meet this being. He dropped off the pedestal and was gone in an instant into the portal.
The meeting was a complete mess, every nation was frantically trying to state their own opinion as if time was running out. Indeed it was at least to the rest of the world, America thought. Nervous discussions filled the room, their voices melting together in a monotonous noise as Alfred sat there, silently. His hands were folded together as his gaze went through the room, void of any emotion.
However his head was shouting and he had an inner struggle with the shouts of his people and his own human mind, at least what was defined as that. Why is it that it was unnerving him so all of a sudden? The last time he was that disarranged was when he fought for his independence, creating the self-image of the nation he is now: The United States of America.
His people were fighting against each other and for their conviction, the supporters of their motherland, of England, and the soldiers of independence known as the revolutionaries of a new identity, the first true Americans of the soon-to-be nation of the free. Back then Alfred thought he’d lose his mind, being torn psychologically by those two convictions. Sometimes it seemed to him that being a nation was more of a pain than a gain, just as it is now. His people were on the verge to start a new world war.
This tension lied heavily in the atmosphere, the nations were incredibly nervous around Alfred, but too afraid to provoke him they don’t dare to talk to him. This situation was serious, Alfred knew it himself. He has changed over the last years along with the thoughts of his people and he became very unstable. The slightest protest or critique on his policy made him burst into a fit of rage only to calm down again. In the next second he smiled just as he usually did. He wasn’t even aware of his actions, everything he does seems to get out of control, seems to contradict “his” morals, but then again, what were “his” morals if his whole existence is identified through a mass of people living on a large measured piece of land?”We’ve been in this room for hours and didn’t make any progress…” Alfred heard Matthew sigh next to him. He was the only one who stayed out of the discussions and couldn’t do anything but watch the arguments helplessly.
When he felt Alfred’s cold stare a shiver went down his spine and he turned his head away. Alfred frowned. Everyone was avoiding him, but it was only comprehensible after all he said and did. But it wasn’t his fault! At least this is what he wanted to tell himself, but everything that happens will eventually effect him as a nation. “Enough. Let’s end this meeting.” After the representative of America stood up, the room became silent. All of the nations turned their head towards Alfred.With those words said he opened the door and left the room. As soon as he closed the door behind him he held his forehead and beads of sweat started to form on it, his breath picking up. “Not again…I need to return…” he said to no one in particular as he called his private jet company and ordered a flight back from Brussels to the United States.
His mental health was constantly deteriorating along with the political relations with the nations worldwide after his boss declared war on the whole of asia, willing to us nuclear bombs to underline his point. It all seemed so senseless to Alfred. Being a nation he can’t help but be a patriot and love his country, but it becomes a constant struggle with himself as a human. A few hours later he sat in his plane on the travel back to his place. As he watched the clouds out of the window he felt his eyes get heavier.
I just want it to end, this struggle, those senseless arguments…I don’t want to have a war destroy my home or anyone else’s home…I don’t want to be…what I am, not anymore…’ he thought, before he finally closed his eyes and falls asleep, fatigued from those inner voices.
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July 29, 1958: NASA is Created
On this day in 1958, the United States Congress passed legislation creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since its creation, NASA has played a vital role in coordinating all of the US’ activity in space. The agency spearheads and sponsors space exhibitions and has launched numerous orbiting satellites that have produced information about the solar system and universe.
In recent years, many feel that NASA has experienced numerous setbacks. The most significant being the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.
Celebrate NASA’s birthday with PBS NewsHour’s video of the agency’s newest vehicle “Curiosity.”
photo:Astronaut Edward H. White II’s Space Walk on Gemini IV ca.1965, (NASA)