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IT was the evening of the 29th of December, 2019.
The eve of the deadline for repaying the Utopia loan. It was the night President Jimi Jacobs had feared.
The night of 29th of December was the furthest period of grace for the president of Kimberland to repay the debt to Utopia.
And once it was the midnight of the 30th, Utopia would have all the rights to own a part of Kimberland. According to the terms of the loan contract.
It was well past eight that Sunday evening. Jimi was home at the Rock Castle’s Presidential Villa.
The president was immersed in deep thought and in several imaginations of possible consequences ahead.
He had called Utopia’s CEO in the morning to beg for an extension of the repayment window. But Devlyn McCathy had insisted that the signed terms of the loan contract were never going to change.
Jimi paced about the same point in the Villa. He’d been glancing at his phone for calls and email notifications since morning.
He hoped to hear that Utopia had reconsidered. But nothing seemed forthcoming.
Jimi decided he would travel to the Utopia headquarters in the United Kingdom first thing the next morning. He was going to earnestly appeal to them to reconsider.
But then, tomorrow was too late already.
Jimi didn’t know that while he waited on Utopia’s call throughout today, the Utopia Empire was waiting for the clock to strike midnight.
So they could strike… when the iron was hot.
It was past midnight in Kimberland on the fateful 30th of December, 2019.
While Kimberland’s Mountana – the soon-to-be city of great diamond mines – while the mountainous blooming city lay quiet and fast asleep, a horrific disaster swept in with the speed of a raging storm.
A massive fleet of black air force helicopters swooped into the city skies; tearing through the winds with their huge, fast rolling blades.
And before the chatter of the flying machines could wake the city from its slumber, several powerful bombs were dropped across the face of the sleeping city.
Billows of dark fumes and flames enveloped the entirety of Mountana like wildfire.
Both skyscrapers and bungalows, billboards and signposts – every little thing came down shattering into hot ruins and debris.
Only the mountains, hills and waterfalls remain and stood out of the burning remains.
The whole city of 800,000 people was soon buried under thick dark, fumes of a massive bomb blast.
And before cockcrow when people wake from sleep, the once lively Mountana City was turned to a burning grave.
None of the residents of the beautiful city of hills and waterfalls lived to tell the story.
Kimberians woke up to news of the mass loss of lives in Mountana and they were absolutely shocked and confused.
By the morning, big international news channels reported that the mountainous city of the 2019 Olympic host nation was hit by a volcanic eruption.
Kimberland’s news media soon tolled along the theory in their news content. And the theory of a volcanic eruption soon turned to a popular opinion in the country.
It was the 1st of January, 2020.
A presidential airbus – a giant, sleek-bodied transport helicopter, and with a twenty-two-man carriage – swooped towards the huge, vast crematorium.
At the outskirts of Kimberland’s Mountana City.
A host of thousands of citizens lifted their solemn gazes as the President’s aircraft hovered in the far distance.
The standing multitude was clad in black clothes, with each person wearing a sanitary mask over their nose in the lingering overnight haze.
The hilly city of Mountana in the far distance was itself dense with several huge billows of fume. And they were the telltale of the tragedy that hit the entire city two days earlier.
Precisely the 30th of December, 2019.
The presidential helicopter soon landed at a distance.
A swarm of pressmen advanced with a surge towards the direction, with camera shutters clipping on the President’s arrival.
A set of government aides began trooping out of the helicopter, their boots thumping a heavy thud into the ground as they jumped down.
President J. J. stepped down from the helicopter; his eyes sunken and fatigued.
A podium had been erected in front of the crematorium, where he’d give a speech mourning the national tragedy.
He strode towards the podium, with his aides trotting behind and around him.
A personal aide rushed up to him and handed him a sanitary mask, while curtsying with a reverent bow.
Jimi halted and glanced at the sanitary mask in his hand a second. He shook his head and thrust the mask back into the giver’s hand.
The aide was taken aback. Why would the President not want to use the sanitary mask he just handed him?
The presidential aide started at the middle aged man, fearing he was the one at fault. ‘Your Excellency, sir…!’
Jimi raised a hand to still him and signal he was just fine without the mask. The aide only quivered nervously, his fingers fumbling with the piece.
Cameras shutters severally clipped the moment the President refused the safety mask, as the pressmen advanced in a gallop.
The President raised his weary gaze at the advancing pressmen.
He turned his head and took a long look. There at a distance were the coffins of few bodies deliberately brought out of the crematorium to signify the funeral.
He could see vast, endless photos of the victims. Faces of people that were some seventy-two hours ago living residents of the lively city of Mountana.
And a gasp of whimper escaped the president’s quivery lips.
The middle aged man picked himself up in a jiffy and trudged towards the funeral, where the poor souls laid.
The advancing pressmen turned towards the direction the president trotted and hurried along.
Jimi got to the funeral ground and there they were—the symbol of a whole city of eight hundred thousand souls lying as dead as a cold lump of stone.
He just stood still.
To the pressmen and the gathered nation, the sight of the frozen first citizen was best described as the unconscious freeze after a bullet hit at the heart.
Just before the inevitable collapse that always follows.
Time stopped to count that instant and everybody stood absolutely rooted to the ground.
President Jimi Jacobs crumbled down to his knees. Right before the frozen eyes of the entire nation.
He cried. It was like the deafening shriek of a spanked little girl.
The entire crowd was moved. Some began yanking off their sanitary masks and throwing them to the ground in the height of emotion.
And pressmen captured every detail of the momentous drama and televised it live.
All that Kimberians expected from their president was for him to mount the podium and give a formal speech.
But President J. J.’s humanity had surpassed norms and expected standards a thousand times.
Viewers at home shed a tear while they watched the live telecast.
Newspapers sold all prints through the week within the first two hours of daylight.
And news blogs recorded a high traffic flood, some having their webservers crashed on the first day.
It was the top story on newspapers and on broadcasts in Kimberland throughout that week.
When, moreover, the international community caught up with the news, debates on whether Mr Jacobs deserved to be nominated for the year’s Nobel Peace Prize filled the Internet.
Soon, almost everyone clamoured that Jimi Jacobs should vie for the presidential seat again, at the end of his first term in 2021. Volunteers also set up campaigns and programs for him for a rerun.
The gorgeous middle aged President J. J. joined the league of Kimberland’s heroes in the heart of citizens that day.
But then, not in the heart of losers who had got nothing more to lose.
Those that would unearth even hades beneath the world.
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