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Break-In News

It appeared to be the biggest news event in the history of the Universe. Mankind, according to the ever-reliable international news media, was reeling from the tremendous shock caused by this "breaking news."

The mass media were directing all their energies and vast resources, investigating this staggering event. Every concievable (and inconcievable) angle was in the process of being explored.

Reporters hurriedly filed in their stats from different parts of the world; news editors scrambled to get the information out as soon as it arrived; presenters attempted to make themselves presentable before facing their (allegedly) adoring audience; researchers succeeded in acquiring the services of "experts" in virtually every field of human endeavour and activity, hoping that they would be able to shed some light on this exceedingly, hitherto unknown, unrecorded event in human existence. These enlightened individuals engaged in much discourse, speculation, analysis, and theorizing, until these too became subjects for heated debate.

The tragedy unfolding was epic in its proportions, claimed the media, a responsible body, renowned for its love and promotion of truth. It was the same scene everwhere. There were no wars, no conflicts, no communal or sectarian strife, no political scandals, no financial scandals involving major corporations and mega-conglomerates, no sanctions being imposed upon any weak nation, no international trade wars. Indeed, it was incomprehensible. How a Race that thrived on conflict could have arrived at this state, and suddenly cease to do that which came naturally to it. No reasons had as yet, been unearthed.

The news media, accustomed to providing no news to their hapless viewers and readers, in the mistaken belief that great benefits could be derived from utterly useless information, were doing their utmost to uncover the underlying causes of this most unnatural phenomenon.

Conspiracy theories abounded. Was this, perhaps, yet another dastardly terrorist plot ? Was this possibly a reaction against globalization - a term so beloved to those whose coffers were overflowing with its realization ? Whatever be the case or cause, media magnates were loosing their beauty sleep, and in very real danger of loosing their minds, over this catastrophe. They, above all, were wholly conscious of the implications should this dreadful state of affairs continue. Nightmares plagued them of massive loss in terms of profit, power, and prestige. Some even considered engineering conflict in political, social, religious, circles, in order to be able to have a story to report. Something, anything, had to be done post haste to remedy the matter.

An enterprising, freelance journalist, meanwhile, had managed to track down elusive Nature. Securing this interview was a great scoop for him - he foresaw awards, accolades, honours pouring in, from all quarters. Nature had assented to the interview on condition that its appearance and voice be veiled, an actor, who had been employed for the purpose, had therefore assumed the guise of a tree.

" May I say how delighted I am to make your acqaintance !" said the Journalist.

"You may" replied the Tree.

"I wonder if you could give us an explanation for this curious state prevailing in the world at this particular time ?"

"I have no explanations to proffer. What Mankind does - or does not do - is beyond me."

"Well, I thought, with you being Nature, you might have had some rational insight to offer," responded the Journalist, clearly startled.

"Since Mankind is entirely irrational, it would be foolish of me to attempt any rationalisation of his behaviour," said the Tree.

" I see. May I then be permitted to ask, how you intend to react to Mankind's current endeavour to do absoutely nothing ?"

"I have, as always, my Forces on standby. They are placed strategically in every part of the world, as well as in Space. They are trained to the highest standards, and are well-equipped, as well as accustomed, to dealing with any overt threat," said the Tree, ominously.

"Do please expand on your statement."

"I have my Land, Sea, Air, and Space Forces to the ready. If Mankind intitiates any attack, we shall respond."

"How?" asked the Journalist.

"You will know, that a General never reveals his strategy or his directives," said the Tree, firmly.

"However, I will say this:  if Mankind descends into chaos once more, I will be patient - as, indeed, I always am. As has occurred at this present time, a kind of miracle appears to be in the making. For, Mankind is desisting from stupid, unreasonable, immoral, and criminal behaviour. If he returns to his previous activities, then he will suffer the consequences. He will bear witness to an increase in earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanoes, droughts, being bombarded by meterorites, etc.,"

"Oh I see !"

"It is to be hoped that Mankind will employ the least-used of his faculties, his Reason, in order to avoid any confrontation with me. For should he strive to confront me again, he will be the loser, again. And now, if you please. I am ending this interview. I have a great deal to manage, as I am sure you appreciate," stated the Tree.

The news wires hummed across communities, countries, continents, as the statements issued by Nature were relayed all around the world. The United Nations convened, to discuss the matter. The Security Council met in emergency session, to debate if it were at all possible to impose sanctions upon Nature for its threats. The journalist became famous, as did the tree, aka actor. And, the rest of Mankind sat in stunned awe - awaiting the next news bulletin.

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