Authors: Navin Weeraratne
The Hundred Gram Mission
By Navin Weeraratne
Copyright 2016 Navin Weeraratne
For John White, 1981-2010
Amazon Edition, License Notes
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Are You a Christian?
2051, Indonesia, Central Kalimantan
"Come in," she said in Bahasa, her accent Australian. "Don’t stand there in the rain!"
On the benches, children coughed like TB patients. They clung to bored mothers in brightly colored headscarves. An ancient, shoeless, Malay brushed mud from his feet and checked his phone apps. Mounted on a wall bracket, a Three Vee ran the Faith Network. Smiling Anglo commentators said that their Lord loved them, and was coming soon. All the patients discerned was that white people had amazing teeth.
"Please sit down and take a number," said the girl again. He noticed that her teeth were perfect. "Is this your first time in the clinic?"
"Yes," the man stepped into the waiting room, water dripping from his rain coat. It was hardly more than a large plastic sheet. "Are all the doctors here?"
"Here," Teeth handed him a crisp paper tag, "just wait till it lights up. Then it will be your turn to see the doctor. Since this is your first time, we’d like to ask you a few questions. It will help the doctor give you better care." She swiped her tablet and opened a new file. He noticed the gold crucifix around her neck.
"Are both the doctors here?"
"Yes, but you won’t need both of them, at least I hope not! Are you in any pain?"
He sat down on a bench. A little girl stared at him, too young for tact. Headscarves started gossiping about an absent neighbor.
"I’m fine. Can I answer the questions later?"
"That’s fine. If you need anything, just let me or the assistant know."
The Australian disappeared into one of the treatment rooms. The little girl came over to him.
"Hello. What’s your name?" he asked.
"Kumala, I’m Sukarno. Have you been here before?"
"Do you know if they get medicine from somewhere, or if they make it here?"
"They make it. In the machine."
"Do you know where the machine is?"
She pointed to a door.
"Good girl. Are you a Christian, Kumala?"
"We have a new patient tonight, a walk in," said Abigail. "Do you want him or shall I give him to Andrew?"
Elena looked up from rinsing her arms in a bucket of disinfectant. "No that’s alright, I’ll take him. Did you do an assessment?"
"No. He seemed uncomfortable."
"No worries, we’ll just assess him when he comes in."
Loud male voices suddenly came through the door.
"You said it was
new patient, right?"
Abigail frowned. "Yes. There was only one other man."
"Well there’s more now. You better go check. This better not be another sterilization fight."
Abigail stepped back out, closing the door.
Elena threw open the door. There were six masked men standing in the waiting room. They carried 3d-printed rifles and cast iron machetes. Two aimed at her, she quickly raised her hands. The others studied the terrified patients. Children howled.
"Oi!" a tall man with thinning hair stepped out of the second examination room. Beside him was a short Indonesian woman wearing scrubs. "This is a free clinic," he said in English. "We don’t have any money, and we're just here to help these people. We’ll help you too, if you need medical care. We won’t report you to the government." The woman translated into Bahasa.
They shot them both.
"Everyone, get on the ground!" One gunman yelled above the screaming. "Get on the ground or we will kill you!"
Everyone scrambled for the cut cement floor. Abigail got down, the smell of antiseptic welled from the floor. She looked about – the new patient wasn’t there. Then the door to the pharmacy opened, and he walked out. In his arms was a white box the size of a large microwave. He spoke to the gunmen.
"What are they saying?" hissed Elena.
"I don’t know. They’re talking in Banjar now."
"Is that it?" asked one of the masks.
"Yes, it’s the pharma maker," Sukarno handed it carefully to another gunman. "With this we can produce every drug that GlaxoSmithKline makes."
"So what do we do?" asked another mask. "You have spoken and acted plainly, without your mask, brother."
He bent down over Abigail and took the tablet from her hands.
"They have kept records on the patients. With this," he brandished the tablet and looked about the room. "If anyone says anything to the government," he said loudly in Bahasa, "We will come to your home." He motioned to the old Malay. "He looks Chinese. Take him outside, ask him some questions. If he is Chinese, then kill him."
"What about the two women?" asked the mask. "Can we teach these Christian bitches a lesson?"
"Teach them a lesson. Then bring them outside, and we can behead them."
Evan Stockwell, I
FBI, Directorate of Intelligence, Washington DC
"Sir? You wanted to see me?"
The brown office desk was made from real wood. It wasn't such a luxury at this level, especially if it was handed down from someone else’s tenure. On one side was a computer, on the other, a name bar that said SPECIAL AGENT LIKAVEC. It politely propped a picture of a smiling family, missing a divorced member.
At the desk was an older man in a business suit. Sitting before it was a tall woman Stockwell had not seen before.
"Come in and take a seat, Agent," said Likavec. "This is Agent Pirello, she’s with Strategic Information and Operations."
"Evan Stockwell," he held out his hand to her. "Anti-technology militancy in Flooded and Still-Third World nations. If you want to know about insurgent recruitment in oil-dry, Arab kingdoms, I’m your guy."
"I’ve heard. Good to meet you, Agent."
"You're not actually from HR, are you? Am I getting fired?" Stockwell asked Likavec, "’Cause you know, I'll spill all kinds of secrets to the highest bidder. Like where we keep the coffee, and who’s sleeping with who. That’s right, I
. I'm an important man, Sir.
"He’s always like this."
"Well apparently, you
an important man," said Pirello. "Have you heard of the Sun Tzu?"
"You mean like, The Art of War?"
"I mean like the Chinese Self-Transcending System. It's their new, military AI. It focuses on intelligence-gathering and strategy, studies extremist groups mostly."
"Sorry, never heard of it."
"Well, it's heard of
Likavec turned his computer screen around, it showed a map of Indonesia. One area was highlighted in red.
"Yesterday," he began, "at about twenty hundred hours local time, militants stormed a clinic in the Kalimantan uplands. The clinic was illegal, run by Australian evangelical Christians. The militants shot two of the staff, and then raped and beheaded two others."
The map was replaced by grim video captures. Masked men fired guns into the air, standing over bound corpses. It cut to a bearded man sitting before a black flag. Rifle in hand, he spoke slowly and deliberately.
Stockwell leaned forward.
"You speak Bahasa?" asked Pirello.
"Yes. He’s warning away all infidels. He’s naming the Indonesian government, calling them traitors. He’s naming the Chinese; foreign and local NGOs; Australia; the United States – " he stopped suddenly, and frowned.
is he saying?"
"He’s not making sense."
Pemerintahan mesin saleh
,’ which can be translated as ‘the age of spiritual machines.’ He’s referencing Kurzweil!"
"Who's Kurzweil?" Asked Pirello.
"Early Transhumanist. Thought artificial intelligence was going to bring about the Singularity. Anyway, so the dude is calling on Moslems to rise up against AI. Now he’s moving on to condemning emigration. He doesn’t mean from Indonesia, though. He means
"You know these guys?" asked Pirello.
"I can spot the tells. The group is Jemaat Ansar, the ‘Gathering of the Helpers.’"
"Are you sure?" she frowned. "They don’t identify themselves in the video. It was posted from a hijacked account."
positive. Jemaat Ansar doesn’t go after NGO-run, free clinics. Must have been too much for some of the local boys to stomach, so they got creative. Jemaat goes after technology targets."
"Technology? Like power plants and dams?"
"Anything to do with overcoming climate change. Mostly solar power and clean water. They want to keep people miserable, to support extremism."
"That’s pretty fringe."
"It is. My money is on China’s space elevator project. There’s nothing else of interest to Jemaat, there."
"The Chinese have asked for our assistance," said Likavec.
"And do we actually want to help them? Because, you know," he threw up his hands, "They’re
"The White House wants to work on its legacy. It wouldn't hurt to warm relations with Chinese in that part of the world, given its history."
"Who are we working with?"
"Ministry of State Security," said Pirello, "MSS isn’t exactly forthcoming with data, but they asked for us. For
"Agent Pirello is selling herself short," said Likavec. "She’s done similar missions, assisting law enforcement in Brazil and South Africa. The two of you should be a perfect fit for this."
"You should go grab your coat," she said to Stockwell.
"Where are we going?"
"Dulles. Do you have your passport here? Our flight is in three hours."
Four Hours Later, 50,000 feet
Stockwell looked up from his tablet. Pirello settled into the seat across from him, drink in hand. He raised an eyebrow.
"Just soda," she rattled the ice cubes in it. "You nervous?"
"A little. You seem pretty comfortable. So this is your third time?"
"This is my first time in the field, that isn’t a research trip. I don't want to shit my pants, embarrass Uncle Sam."
"When was the last time you fired your gun?"
"Well hopefully it’ll stay that way."
"I was hoping to at least line up some bottles on a wall."
"So you can brag to the ladies at the water cooler?"
"It’s expected. What about you? I bet you’ve shot like, a million bad dudes."
"I don’t know about a
. But when you’re instructing foreign law enforcement, you can’t lead from the rear. If you don’t impress them, they won’t take you seriously. Especially if you’re a woman."
"Do you find that leads you to taking bigger risks?"
"No. But you do worry about the example you set. You end up representing more than just the United States, you know what I mean?" She cleared her throat and raised an eyebrow. "Can I ask you a personal question?"
"It’s going to be a long flight, so no."
"Why do they call you 'Judgewell?"
"Because I like to judge people."
"No, it’s because I have faith in our value system, if nothing else."
"If nothing else? You
"We can do better, that’s all. Whenever someone says we're the greatest country on Earth, I like to bring them back
to Earth, and remind them of this."
"So like what, free healthcare?"
getting free healthcare. I mean how we talk a big game about freedom and democracy, but we torture foreign suspects and spy on our own citizens. Then we attack the whistle blowers and call them traitors. Calling someone un-American, is pretty un-American."
"But you say you have faith in our value system."
"What does that mean?"
"Do you believe we're the greatest country in the world?"
Pirello said nothing.
"Exactly, but it doesn’t matter that we fail to live up to our ideals. It only matters that we
them, and that we
to live up to them. They give us something to aim for.
is where American Exceptionalism lies."