Monday, October 14, 2013

Challenges from the condo #3

Challenges from The Condo #3

Chapter 1: The Party

The Condo: or...Life, a Sequel by Dalma Takács is available from (Pap. $17.99; / Kindle ed. $9.99)


The hero, Jasper Wergild and his wife Marguerite are hosting a party of old and new friends.  Join the conversation as different topics change the mood from bland to turbulent.

Nancy greets Joe's brother Pete, who is home with PTSD after fighting in the war in Iran (the story is a view of the future).




“I haven’t seen you since we graduated. What have you been up to?”

“I joined the army.”

“You poor thing. Was that your last choice?”

“No, actually it was my first choice. I wanted to do something for my country. I joined the National Guard. I was expecting to spend a few years delivering food and bottled water to US flood victims, but as it turned out, I was deployed to Iran.”

“You thought our leaders had learned something after we finally abandoned Iraq. How long did you spend in Iran?”

“Two years.”

“So, instead of battling the effects of global warming, you were sent to fight Abdul’s kinfolk.”

“You’re wrong. We did not go to fight. We went to help, and we did. We helped to build schools—”

Nancy smiled. “After our bombs had destroyed them.”

“We brought in equipment and built bridges and roads—”

“Which we had first blown up,” Nancy chimed in.

Pete’s voice rose. “We restocked their hospitals.”

“—and their morgues.” Nancy added sweetly.

His voice rose from a polite mumble to desperate wrath. People around them began to listen. “We do not murder people. The insurgents murder people. They also murder us. Don’t you watch the news?”

Joe walked up to his brother. “Pete, it’s time for us to go.” He added in a furious whisper, “Get a hold of yourself. You’re losing it.”

“I don’t want to go. I want to explain. People just don’t understand. This is a war. It’s kill or be killed. There’s no room for love, even for love of your family. You just have to make yourself numb to everyone around you and do what you’ve been trained to do.”

Jim joined the group. “Which is to kill. Same as the insurgents. The urge to destroy is part of human nature.”

“No it isn’t,” Nancy said. “You and I and Pete are not natural killers, are we, Pete?”

The anger suddenly drained out of Pete. He was like a man defeated. He looked totally blank and indifferent to the guests around him, as if he had nothing in common with people who lived by feelings and natural attachments. Joe grabbed him by the arm to lead him away. The sudden jolt roused Pete to defend himself as he had been taught in boot camp—by punching his brother in the stomach, pinning his arms behind his back, and making him lie face down on the floor.



What do you think? Is Nancy right that human beings are not natural killers?  Are wars necessary? 

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