1.02 World on Fire

Everyone heard the Voice of God. The phenomenon was global. Whatever your language was that was the one you heard in your head.

At first most people tried to ignore it. They weren’t crazy. At first it was just chatter among the homeless, the bums. But they have always claimed to know the end of the world, right? Then it spilled over. It went from ‘don’t think, don’t talk, about the voice in your head’ to the only thing anyone could talk about.

It wasn’t constant. Maybe a few sentences throughout the day. It was always a positive message, always very loving and calm. It was almost reassuring. People started to compare notes. When did it happen? What did it say? In what language? And the notes matched up.

Talking heads on TV with endless suggestions of what it might be. It was God, that was the most obvious. What about aliens, that was a close second. Technology was talked about a lot. But what company would have such sophisticated equipment and use it to only spread goodwill among men? Surely not the military industrial complex because their profits were free-falling as more and more armed militias put down their weapons and turned their heads to the sky.

Every day I expected to hear ‘sponsored by Colgate’ or feel an overwhelming desire for Coca-Cola but that didn’t happen either.

Ok, there is one thing I didn’t tell you yet. People started going up in flames. Literally. But just the bad people. Death row offenders. Infamous, corrupt politicians. War profiteers in mansions. War criminals awaiting trial in Brussels. CEOs with blood on their hands. The registered sex offender down the street. Spontaneous combustion? Hellfire? These people were torched. But also peaceful protesters who just wanted answers. Leaders who declared this a false prophet, a false God.

Every night the news were full of the notorious and unknowns alike. Some were caught on camera. One minute they would be talking, or walking, and the next they would be ablaze, running and screaming for their lives. The news segment always cut out before their charred remains fell to the ground. One time I saw a blackened body still smouldering in the street here in Central City.

In just over a year the events became less frequent. It was like the earth was cleansed. People didn’t commit crimes anymore. People stopped doing bad things.

It was like the Voice was our communal conscience. A gentle Big Brother. Humanity once again had parental supervision. Take care of the poor and the ill. Find peace and happiness in a community that cares for you as you care for them. Do onto others as you would have them do onto you. Or get burned to a crisp. Easy, simple rules.

It should have been easy. But then.

I did a bad thing.


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