Alex In Wonderland — Two

지난달
“Jesus would publicly call out people in the faith community who are guilty for hurting/violating others. He wouldn't sit back in silence. He wouldn't bury the evidence. Or cover up abuse. In addition, He would never ignore, condemn, or ostracize those who've suffered trauma. He wouldn't say, “Get over it.”

― Dana Arcuri, Sacred Wandering: Growing Your Faith In The Dark

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Damir Spanic

This is a story hard to imagine that it happened and equally hard to deny that it happened. Because this is a firefight that happened barely ten kilometers away from an army camp.

The gunmen fought among themselves for three days.

The local inhabitants, who belong to different races and religions, listened to the sounds of the gunshots and explosions that erupt sporadically time and again during those three days of a fight for hegemony between a group of roughly twelve gunmen, the defending team, and a combined force of attackers of two different groups of gunmen whose number is estimated to be in the neighborhood of 500 in total. Twelve Vs. five hundred.


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Tapio Haaja

The rough estimate of the number of the attackers could be known because the attackers — after chasing away the status quoists — crossed the highway at several places in small groups where the ordinary local people who saw them tallied their number to be 500 or close to 500. This exceeded the number of the army, the paramilitary forces, and the police put together. The shooting was a once-in-a-lifetime event designed to change the status quo, militarily.

The strength of the vanquished team was twelve or much less than twenty. They'd been eating in a small hut when the attackers opened fire on them from afar after having formed a great ring around them. In reaction, they fired back long enough to erect a dummy outside the hut and then, at some point, fled for their headquarter which, in the rough terrain, is a one-day journey on foot.

It's possible that the attackers — most of whom were urban settlers and unfamiliar with jungle warfare and ill-trained — had mistaken the dummy for a real person, for three days. While the defenders, one of whom died or survived a bullet wound, lingered around for several hours and then left the spot, leaving the inept attackers to keep firing and shelling at each other in confusion for an embarrassing amount of time before realizing finally that the other party had long abandoned their position.


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Jakob Owens

Alex lived in two villages, namely, New Eden, his native village, and Razoonland, a newly created village, both of which are the two informal headquarters — or rather launchpads — of two hostile armed groups.

But how did Alex fit in with this picture? The short answer is, Alex did not fit in with this picture. He's a fiercely individualistic person and so was his father, his role model, who's an armed police personnel-turned teacher. While the rest of the inhabitants were collectivistic such that the group mentality located in their psyche was simply ineradicable.


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Carl Nenzen Loven

One particular evening in Razoonland three senior members of a death-squad knocked on the door at Alex's home precisely at 7:45 PM, that very moment when the evening news on the local radio station had just been delivered, that very moment when Alex's father got up after having eaten the evening meal, with the radio turned on for listening to the news. For some weird reason, there seemed to be a synchronicity of multiple events unfolding at that same instance when the death squad members arrived at Alex's home.

The well-tutored death squad members acting as messengers played a strange game. They informed Alex’s father, the target, that he would be punished with “severe action” should he not attend an “emergency meeting” and that he must come quickly. They gave him the location of where he should turn up to — at this odd hour of the night — expectantly to come alone.

The target — after he received the message — grabbed a flashlight (there's no electricity as the aluminum overhead cable on the power poles had been stolen by the "church-goers" who'd melted and molded them into cooking vessels) and said, “OK, I’m ready; let’s go together, boys”. The death-squad members, however, as if going together with him would have foiled their perfect plan, responded to him in chorus, seemingly feeling slightly alarmed, “No, no. Take your time. We need to be going ahead of you”. All the while they said so, they made a massive struggle to disappear into the dark as judged by the noises generated by their feet on the ground as they turned around and raced towards the gate and away from the porch. They delivered the message from the porch and didn’t enter the house.

The target emerged out of the gate of his home right behind the heels of the death squad members. He walked on the village road over to the front of the house of his next-door neighbor and said to the neighbor, “Let’s go”.

“Go where?”

“To attend the meeting”.

“What meeting?”

“The boys said there’s an emergency meeting. Didn’t they inform you?”

“Negative”.

“Maybe they forgot about you and skipped your house”.

The target and his neighbor walked on the village ring-road toward the church campus, the venue of the said emergency meeting.


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Alexander Jawfox

On reaching the destination the target and his neighbor were confronted by an armed cadre at the entrance of a makeshift Christmas Hall located inside the church campus. “What business has brought you here?”, the gunman thundered.

The target froze to ice in the night air. While the neighbor stepped forward and gave an answer to the gunman, “We’ve been invited by the boys just now, and we’ve come running to arrive on time for the meeting”.

“The meeting is over now; it began in the morning; if you want, you can join for the closing prayer”, replied the gunman — at the entrance — in a lingua franca.

For a meeting that began in the morning at 9 AM, the death squad members summoned the target at 7:45 PM, a few minutes before the end of the meeting.


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Matthew Ball

“This, this could have gone horribly wrong”, the neighbor turned his face toward the target. Indeed, a big, fat celebration over the death of a guiltless person had just been canceled somewhere in the demonic realm.

The neighbor rose up on the occasion, stepped forward, and prevented someone from pulling the trigger. Had it not been for the presence of his neighbor, the target would have had been framed for spying and had his dead body buried under the banana trees in the vicinity.

The target and his neighbor knew exactly what this odd invite meant because, in those days, the Razoonland elders had been speaking in the village, especially in the church services, that there were two so-called spies (meaning they intended to kill two specific individuals; one innocent person had in fact been buried alive and then dug out the body after more than thirty days for proper burial) in the neighborhood.

This is a game masterminded by Deuces, a self-styled brigadier.

The one and only self-styled brigadier, of the zone, had trained the youth members of Razoonland indirectly through Joshua, the president of the Razoonland's official youth club. Joshua would bring out the youth members to the Razoonland playground (which is big enough for football games) and impart both physical and ideological training to them. The three death squad members are none other than the senior members of the Razoonland's youth club under Joshua's leadership. Joshua carried a list of "archaic words” on a single piece of A4-size paper; he tells his audience that those are the ancient words, used in ancient military manuals, that the self-styled brigadier had retrieved from the past for their present-day instruction and knowledge.


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David Clode

The brainwashing happened in the playground and the church.

Mr. Keiku — the judge of the traditional court of Razoonland — stood up during "announcement time" (which is an allotment of time during the church service when any important church member could stand up and give any important announcement) and alerted the congregation that there were "two evil actors" in the land. He continued and gave additional details. He said, "the leaders" (this phrase "the leaders" would turn out to be referring to the highest body of leadership in the ethnic community, as opposed to the village-level leadership) would take appropriate action (this would turn out to be acts of murder and murder attempts against the unnamed duo).

The people started to crane up their necks and look at each other. They're all startled by what Mr. Keiku said.


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Ashkan Forouzani

Rubbing his chest with a hand, Mr. Keiku gave the analogy of removing, or having to remove, the dirt from the body while taking a shower, a message which is identical to the Nazi's idea of removing the germs from the healthy German body. These people talked in the cryptic language in the church about a murder plan.


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Stephen Radford

There's a high-profile eyewitness for this event: the visiting speaker himself. The speaker for this particular church service was from elsewhere and not a fellow villager. He's some kind of a missionary. After the speaker had delivered the sermon and had stepped away from the pulpit, going back to his seat, Mr. Keiku sprang up from his own seat and started giving his little, cryptic talk. He started out by saying that no matter how beautiful the sermon might be, it can't remove the ugly "problem of traitors among us". Mr. Keiku continued, "one of the two evil persons is sitting among us, right here, in this church service itself". That's the point in time when people started to crane up their necks and look at each other in puzzlement.

The whole ethnic community people would be turned into an informer against the target persons. There's no trial. Only a suspicion had been raised and then the target persons would be pursued and eliminated. One of the so-called evil actors had been buried alive. He would turn out to be an innocent person from another village other than Razoonland. While the other person, who once lived in Razoonland, is still being pursued. Everything had been meticulously planned. From Joshua's activities in the Razoonland playground to Mr.Keiku's cryptic little talk in the biggest church among all the churches in Razoonland.


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Collin Armstrong

The so-called emergency meeting was not a village-level meeting. It’s a high-profile event attended by the leading personalities of the ethnic community, at the highest level, who all came from three different provinces. The entrance of the meeting hall itself was, as an indication that it’s a high-profile event, guarded by gunmen. Normal village events wouldn’t receive such a tight security cover.

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