Deputy United Nations Secretary General Willem Defrees would chair the emergency meeting. This was because Secretary General Chou Fen Hua remained hospitalized in Beijing victim of a heart attack. Present were the directors of the Economic and Social Council, the World Health Organization and the entire Security Council.
Willem Defrees spoke quietly with Col. Vanderhoff ordering the Chief of Security to ensure all recording devices were secured and to clear the translation studio of all personnel save the guards he and Defrees had handpicked. The meeting would be held in complete secrecy, in English, and with no notes taken. Once guards were positioned at each door and Defrees received a hand signal from Col. Vanderhoff in the translation studio above, he began the meeting.
“Gentlemen, Ladies, allow me to begin. I must insist: no notes or recordings of this meeting. Your cell phones and electronics will be returned as you leave the meeting, I apologize, but you will soon understand the necessity for this inconvenience. First, Secretary General Chou Fen Hua is dead. I have received this information only minutes ago.”
Murmurs and chatter filled the air until Defrees called the group to order.
‘This is most unfortunate and complicates the emergency we were already facing. What’s done is done, I am sorry to report, and we must needs continue forward.”
Each member realized that the United Nations under Willem Defrees’s leadership would be a much different one than that of kindly old Chou Fen Hua, a moderate. No, Defrees was known as “The Flying Dutchman” and to some as “The Firing Dutchman” for his reputation of tough pragmatism. His motto was ‘On board or overboard!” Now this meeting. What bomb awaited?
The famine, now in its ninth year, had been an unforeseen outcome of the Jihadist War of 2012. Reacting to the Israeli air attack on Iranian military installations, an attempt to disarm Iran’s nuclear weapons potential, Iran using North Korean Silkworm missiles had destroyed Haifa, and Tel Aviv with 10 megaton hydrogen airbursts 2000 meters above each city. Jerusalem, the city remained intact, however its entire population victim of the seven cesium/cobalt bombs that had been prepositioned behind its missile shield by suicide Sons of God saboteurs. Simultaneously, Iraqi military positions near the Iranian border were attracted with tactical nuclear weapons. They issued 24 ultimatums to the heads of state of Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai and the Sudan, all of which instantly capitulated. Air Force One had carried President Obama directly to Brussels where NATO considered its options. The President assured NATO members that the United States would not act unilaterally, despite the advice of his Joint Chiefs of Staff. Germans, British, and Dutch admirals and generals argued for the total annihilation of Iran. As television broadcasts from Teheran, Pyongyang and Islamabad championed the victory and warned the West that any military response would be met by immediate destruction of major European and American cities by prepositioned cesium and cobalt bombs. The United States was to begin immediate withdraw of all land and naval forces from the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, and Afghanistan or face dire consequences. Any nation failing to submit to Iran’s orders would risk attack…
As the first of these televised warnings broadcasted, France was the first nation to withdraw from NATO, then Turkey. That fault line increased in magnitude as hundreds of thousands of Europeans and Americans took to the streets demanding an end to NATO and peace with the Islamists at any price. President Obama urged his people to remain calm as he issued orders through the Joint Chiefs to stand down. He promised to address a joint session of Congress and the American people the next day when he returned to Washington. Would the U.S. unleash the dogs of war – the world trembled. That night, as Air Force One crossed the Atlantic, the communications officer passed the following flash message to Obama.
USS RONALD REAGAN attacked near the Straits of Hormuz. Heavy casualties. At least six torpedo hits. Ship listing heavily to starboard. Extremely high radiation levels detected. Rescue operations compounded by heavy seas and interference from Pakistani naval units.
At the Capitol the next day, the President delivered before both houses of Congress a short conciliatory speech, disdaining the dreadful acts by Iran but emphasizing the overreaching need to preserve peace. He asked that all nations in the Persian Gulf assist in rescue operations for our sinking aircraft carrier. More than a hundred members of the house and 23 senators, stood, turned their backs on the president, and left the chamber. Tens of thousands of Americans took to the streets calling for war. The Joint Chiefs of Staff met in emergency session that same morning, agreeing to ignore the President’s stand down orders. That afternoon, Tehran and Islamabad were reduced to glass. By the week’s end 17 nuclear explosions had occurred throughout principle European and American cities, the President and many government officials dead among the ashes of Washington, D.C. The Third World War lasted but five days; then followed what became known as The Long Sickness. Hundreds of millions suffered radiation sickness, and tens of millions died within two weeks. Though New York had been spared, the American government and military organization had collapsed with the annihilation of Washington D. C. The United Nations assumed guidance of the wounded planet. Surviving military, scientific, and industrial assets were ceded to the world body by every nation.
The immediate emergencies had been medical, treatment of the injured and reestablishment of systems of hygiene and food distribution. Predictably famine and disease followed the nuclear catastrophes. Failures in grain crops ensued with a wheat rust impervious to chemicals or genetic tinkering. Then a fungal seedling rot hit the rice paddies of Asia, Africa and S. America. Scientists theorized that the now ubiquitous radioactivity had upset not only the animal kingdom’s immune systems but those of the plant world too. The UN Security Council had established three super laboratories in Beijing, Brasilia and Mumbai to discover solutions to the food crisis, concomitant social problems, and scientific progress.
Defrees continued, “No doubt each of you is wondering why your electronics have been confiscated. It is paramount that the plans revealed to day be initiated quickly, efficiently, completely, and under exacting secrecy. Any breach of security by anyone and that includes each of you… any breach concerning any aspect of Operation Regenesis will incur the penalty of summary execution. Do I make myself clear? There will be time for questions after I explain Operation Regenesis.
Last December, our super lab in Beijing concluded the food harvest potential assessments for the next two decades and to be short and to the point as the Americans say, world population now stands at 4.5 Billion souls. The planet is producing sufficient food for 4.3 billion. However, harvests, in the face of the potato blight, wheat rust, and the seedling rot, will continue to rapidly decrease. And I must add the Beijing Laboratory did not factor in the new 88% human allergenic reaction to maize. As early as next year….next year ladies and gentlemen… food production will short fall to only enough food to feed 3.2 billion people. The scale of starvation we‘re seeing now in Africa will be commonplace on every continent. In three years time, the prediction is food production for 2.9 Billion. SuperLab Brasilia sees no remedies for the plant diseases within the next 12 to 16 years.”
Defrees paused here, allowing the assembled leaders a few minutes to grasp the enormity of the situation. Under the pall of desolation his message had wrought, these men and women, the leaders of the world, cringed. Individually, some thought of ways to ensure hoarding of enough food for their own families while others thought less selfishly and searched for schemes to protect their country’s food resources.
“Your attention, please. There is, Gentlemen, Ladies, there is a hope, a bright ray of hope from Super Lab Mumbai.” Now a short Indian man from that laboratory entered. “Here, may I present V. J. Krothapali from the Mumbai Superlab who will introduce to you Operation Regenesis.”
“Good morning, all. As you know, Superlab Mumbai’s function is exploration and initiation of genetics in the animal kingdom. Division One of the lab concerns human disease, Division Two diseases of the animal kingdom. Still another, Division Three has supervision of genetic improvement of food sources. We have modified the genetics of turkeys, chickens, pigeons, guinea pigs, swine, and over 100 varieties of fish increasing food production exponentially. When SuperLab Beijing’s data was confirmed, we established a human eugenics department within this lab. Working with Brasilia and Beijing, we have developed and already begun implementation of Operation Regenesis.” Dr. Krothapali reached into his jacket pocket and produced a packet of Elephant Ramen, bright orange with a picture of an Elephant. “I’m sure the gentlemen and ladies are all familiar with this.” Indeed they were. It was the megatons Ramen distributed by the UN that had forestalled the famine in Asia, Europe and N. America. Elephant Ramen had in large part replaced the shortfalls of grain precipitated by diseases. Each small packet was charged with a balance of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. One could survive on Elephant Ramen alone if necessary. The noodles could be boiled, fried, or eaten from the pack – and had become the most commonplace food on planet Earth. “For the past two years we have distributed billions of tons of Elephant Ramen the world over. Let me ask you, ladies and gentlemen, are there any of you present who has not eaten Elephant Ramen?
A chuckle arose from the group. Yes, every single person had eaten Elephant Ramen and plenty of it. After all, in its plainest form it was free, distributed by WHO all over the planet. Fancy flavor enhanced versions of Elephant Ramen were available from the food stalls where billions of workers caught their quick lunches. Dr. Krothapali smiled at Deputy Secretary General Defreeze who had cautioned him not to tell every secret concerning Elephant Ramen. Elephant Ramen was not SOYLENT GREEN, as rumored, processed human corpses. No, but it was processed human and animal feces, a fact the world didn’t need to know. “Four years ago, Mumbai Lab developed the Elephant Ramen formulas. Beijing Lab was tasked with initiating production and distribution and the miracle became a reality, as we all know, within the past two years. Everyone eats Elephant Ramen. Deputy Secretary General Defrees has asked me to reveal some of the secret aspects of Elephant Ramen. Shall I proceed, your Excellency?
“Yes, by all means, Dr. Krothapali.”
“Very well then. First the bad news. 5% Of all shipments of Elephant Ramen that will be delivered January through July will randomly include a lethal component that will cause a painless death within 24 hours, a death that masks a heart attack. Before the fall harvests in the southern hemisphere, world population will decrease between 25-30%. The immediate reduction in the demand for food is imperative. Without this drastic action, food riots and social unrest will occur and the world could be plunged again into the horrible pre-Israel-Islamic Jihadist wars. Gentlemen, Ladies, I’m sorry, truly sorry… Now Deputy Secretary General Defrees promised a ray of hope. Here it is. Effective immediately, every packet of Elephant Ramen will perforce include .25mg of TNY1, an enzyme which attaches to the human growth hormone. This enzyme is a product of refinement of a gene extracted from African pygmies. Each generation from now on will produce smaller and smaller offspring. Within only two generations, that’s 40 years, the average human will grow to only three feet tall and weigh no more than 60 lbs requiring less than 500 calories daily.
Gentlemen, Ladies, I give you Operation Regenesis.”
© Gary Ives
First published in December, 2012 “The Speculative Edge”