News on the tragic turn of events at the battle field began streaming in the early hours of the evening. The Commander-in-Chief had already been flown to hospital, with reports on his progress remaining a tightly guarded secret. There was heavy security presence all around the precincts of the state of the art medical facility and the city.
Fingers remained crossed with hope being the heartbeat that kept the nation going. The mood in the streets was somber, with a curious populace conversing in low tones, gathered in social spots, shopping malls and their homes. Telecommunication channels were literary jammed with activity. Members of the fourth estate were barred from the hospital and no update was available after the initial breaking news item.
The head of the presidential press unit arrived at the hospital moments after, leading his team, and was quickly ushered to the VIP ward where the commander-in-chief was recuperating only moments after the medics had frantically fought to resuscitate him!
It would later emerge this move was made on an executive order with the head of state apparently aware his time was short. After a brawl that saw muscles flex in a heated power display, the chief medic had given a nod only after the head of state through his Chief of General Staff had signed a consent form in the presence of his family!
A massive retaliatory attack on the nation’s neighbor long time foe responsible for the state of affairs had been thwarted at the very last-minute after the Commander-in-Chief declined to sign the authorization, sending the entire security fraternity into fits of rage.
There was talk of night vigils hurriedly convened as the evening progressed to pray for the leader. Only a sizable number of customers remained in the 24HR service Mediterranean Dishes overlooking Josiah Fumigants Inter-continental complex owned by the President’s nephew who had notably named it in his honor.
Their eyes were momentarily drawn to the big screen at about 10:00 o’clock as a visibly shaken vice-president standing before a half mast flag went on air to announce the Nation’s darkest day in a joint televised live feed. The president had passed on following bullet wounds sustained in combat earlier that day at the place of the final showdown, victory and culmination.
In an unusual twist of events, the second in command invited the Nation for a recorded national farewell message from the departed leader to be aired on all broadcast channels at 0900HRS the following morning.
The Nation would be on a two-week mourning period. The streets went silent. Activity in the social hub drew to a standstill. Father, mother and child held their mouth in shock as the clergy moaned in pain. The legend was fallen. The sound of a wail and a lament rend the air. One could tell it would be playing for a while. It was a sad day.
Media stations went on a frenzy with normal transmission interrupted to air various analysis of the slain leader as tribute began to pour in from all over the world.
His resilient term of three decades and one had ushered in unparalleled reform, with the most outstanding one being the nation-wide super lighting initiative that saw all other forms of power synonymous with his predecessors decisively extinguished and set the Nation alive right from the heart in unprecedented fashion.
The discovery of the long-lost B-chip in the 8th year of his presidency had generously availed the coveted technology to roll out the spectacular program dubbed In Honor of Alpha The Majestic that saw sweeping changes introduced in every segment of life. He would tower high above successor and predecessor alike. His place in the Guinness Book of Records would forever be unchallenged. In life and death, his song would sing on.
Many still recalled with nostalgia the grand nationwide festival, another of his key initiatives that had rekindled such fond memories of the Nation’s heritage. It was the renewed promise of peace, togetherness and a shared dream that re-birthed the glory that was so much part of whom they were as a people. The sunlight was seven times brighter, its radiance like the light of seven full days.
The phrase: “To Alpha the Majestic and to the Nation!” would always evoke that special moment as he made a toast with the first lady and top brass of his officials on National TV at the culmination of the remarkable gala, a gesture that resounded through the four corners of the country. He was over saturated with such a broad smile one could count all his thirty-two teeth in slow motion!
Who would have thought this would be the ending for the hero who had diligently restored order, virtue and responsibility in letter, spirit, heart and mind? One could say it was bound to happen, one way or the other. It would appear his mission was accomplished or so it would have seemed until he got to the concluding remarks of his farewell recorded sometime before his demise.
“It is a true saying the end of something is better than its beginning. In my reign I redefined the word zeal. To the many coming after me it should be a constant reminder that where zest exists wisdom must be the constant companion, for there exists such a word as jurisdiction.
“Be careful lest you fall in the trap of doing it for the plain reason you can. Every airborne missile owes its entire operation to its deployment settings. I strongly believe in the potency of the capsule that makes up whom you are; each one of you and collectively. We are all airborne somehow, destined for some impact somewhere in life.”
He paused for a moment to adjust himself. Someone stepped forward to help him but he gently raised his hand in protest. He appeared calm and composed, his eyes firmly trained on the camera.
“My mission was heralded long before my arrival, for there is one who is before all things; in whom all things hold together. What a privilege to be at his command!This has to be each step of the way. Watch out therefore lest in the flare of a potent capsule you gush-off your coordinates and nose-dive to obscurity. If I will have any solace, may it be because this lesson is home with you.
“Choose your battles carefully, for the temptation of compulsion is real and constant. The bullet that felled me should never have come close to me. It was a case of self-inflicted head on collision between two different worlds; the one on his rightful coordinates took the day, the looser ended up in his final moments in a hospital bed. For ultimately there is but one Commander-in-Chief. He runs the show! To zeal, wisdom.”
©The Blazing Trail 2012
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