SciFi Author and Rogue Time Pirate
The Elephant Trials
This book has not yet been picked up by a publisher.
The Elephant Trials
Eastern and Western Canada have divided into two separate countries. With trade negotiations breaking down, tensions rise and whispers of war dominate the news. Overshadowed by all of the chaos, a strange scene takes place in a village in South Africa.
A small frail man named Bandi stands in front of three bull elephants. Moments earlier, the pachyderms were on a rampage destroying his village.
Burdened with a brain infection, Bandi finds he has the ability to speak with elephants. He learns they have claimed this land long before the village existed. In the first of several bizarre twists of events, the chief of the elephants, Gur, asks to be heard in the humans system of justice. With the rest of the world unaware of these events, Gur presents a defense which leads to the outbreak of a world war.
As the ground rumbled to the deep bass of thunder that emanated from the forest, the enormous bull elephant burst through the shadows of the trees into the open. The people of the village scattered in chaos, grabbed small children and belongings as several more of the large pachyderms stormed from the brush and trampled over the primitive huts in the small South African village. Cries of panic and fear mingled together into indistinguishable voices.
A young villager around twenty years old grabbed another man of similar age trying to flee. He yelled at him in his native tongue and pointed to a nearby hut. The fleeing man tried to get away as pieces of the dwellings flew through the air tossed around by the rampaging animals. As the brown dust cloud kicked up by the beasts crawled over the area, the young man took hold of his fellow villager by the arm and pulled him over to the hut through a stream of screaming people who fled from the elephants. The fleeing man struggled and fought back dragging his heels as he tried to get away.
Inside the hut, a frail old man sat on the dirt floor in the corner seemingly unconcerned about the chaos beyond his walls. He stared at the adjacent wall as if in a meditation type trance. Grabbed by the arms, the two young men hurriedly helped him to his feet and escorted him to the door. He continued to appear unfazed by the emergency at hand.
Outside of the hut, the herd of beasts had destroyed the majority of the buildings and now trampled only the rubble. Most of the villagers had vacated and hid in the shadows of the jungle. The two young men escorted the elder through the door into the light and helped him sit on a log in the clearing of the village center. The dust cloud made it difficult to see farther than the rim of the open space and turned the sun orange.
With the back of his hand, the old man motioned to the near bushes and spoke in the same native language. Hesitant at first, one of the young men ran over to the shrubs, pulled off a long stick and hurried it back.
The animals continued the destruction almost as if they had a specific agenda looking for a key piece of evidence. From the edge of the trees, the herd bull turned and charged directly at the old man on the log who remained steadfast. Two other bulls joined him and chased along on either side. With a swipe of his hand, the old man pulled the leaves off the tip of the stick providing a bare pointed end. The two younger men ran off in the opposite direction from the charging beasts which left their elder to fend for himself.
As the elephants closed-in about to squash the older villager, he quickly scribbled three long wavy lines in the dirt in front of his feet. The herd bull came to a quick and sudden stop as did the other two males. Lifting his head the dominant male let out a loud deep groan that vibrated in the chest of the old man. All the other pachyderms in the herd stopped their rampage of destruction as if awaiting their next orders. With the chaos at a rest, the dust slowly settled back to the ground exposing the leveled village to the sun light.
Breathing heavy, the massive elephant which towered over the old man and stood only a few feet away, gently touched the ground near the wavy marks. Using soft swinging motions and the very tip of his trunk, the bull made the same three wavy lines in the dirt in front of the old man.
* * *
The large classroom remained rather quiet except for the occasional cough and throat clearing. An elderly gentleman with shoulder length gray hair and a deep scar etched down the side of his face hobbled across the front of the room and sat in the tall chair next to a desk that held a pitcher of water and an empty glass. A black slate chalkboard filled the entire wall behind him. As he used his cane to lower himself down on the stool, the younger professor poured water into the glass and set it next to the visitor.
After clearing his throat, the gray haired man called out to the lecture hall style classroom, “Who can give me the important details of The Last Great War?”
A student toward the front of the class raised his hand. The old man pointed to him. “Let’s hear it.”
“Ten years after Canada divided into two countries, Western Canada made a motion to become a territory of the United States. Eastern Canada put up a blockade to stop all commerce to the West in an attempt to stop the motion. After the United States invaded the east, a three way war broke out. Eventually, Briton, Germany, the Russian Republic, and Eastern China joined in the effort. The war lasted two years and ended with a peace agreement that made Manitoba through the Yukon Territories new states of the union.”
The old man shook his head in disgust. “What about the elephants?”
The students gazed back at him with looks of confusion. With a bit more volume he asked, “What role did the elephants play in the war?”
Again the audience of students only offered expressions of disarray. He tapped his cane on the floor. “Have none of you heard of the Elephant Trials of South Africa? Has this monumental event ceased to exist in the minds of the young? If you don’t tell the tale to the next generation it will become lost forever.”
A student from the back of the room where the light failed to reach raised her hand and spoke out. “Do you mean when the South African parliament passed the bill that established the sovereignty of the elephant wildlife preserve. This event took place a decade after the war.”
Turning red in the face with anger, the old man took a deep breath to try and calm down. “No, before that ever happened.” He leaned his cane against the desk. “At the time, it was overshadowed in the news by the sounds of war and now it seems time has forgotten one of the most important events to happen to the human race.”
The old man grabbed a black computer glove from the desk and pulled it onto his hand. He brought up a holographic image of a computer screen that floated in the air in front of him. A picture of an elephant appeared and he tried to point to it. As he moved his hand the image changed to a video of an Apollo rocket launch. He moved his fingers and the image changed to a projection of himself trying to use the screen.
With ire, he ripped the glove off and threw it to the ground and the screen quickly faded away. He took a sip of water, swallowed and cleared his throat. “I guess I will have to tell this story the old fashioned way.”