Lucas stopped in front of the hotel window and stared down at the traffic 14 floors below. He looked without seeing. Since being released from the hospital two days ago, he had silently paced the spacious interior of the room. He realized that his mind had changed. He struggled to get a grasp on his thoughts. He now viewed the world differently. No longer was he some bitter, drug-addicted, entitled rich kid. He awoke in the hospital bed with a much clearer definition regarding his role in life.
Night after night in the hospital, Lucas had fought with the demons in his mind as the traces of drugs ravaged his body and soul producing nightmares that had him screaming and writhing to escape. A vision of the world appeared, a world where the oceans had once again reclaimed the coastal regions wiping out entire populations. The ice caps and glaciers were a thing of the past. The remaining population on earth living on lands scorched by the sun and then a world devoid of humans.
When Lucas finally awoke back into the real world his mind had changed. The memories of the young man who was mad at the world for not giving him everything he requested faded. He awoke with a purpose. Save the planet from the abusers who would destroy it. Now every waking and sleeping moment the dreams from the hospital haunted him pushing him forward to be the savior of the planet. How could he explain what he had seen, who would understand the perils of the planet as he had witnessed.
Barely speaking to anyone since he awoke from his drug induced nightmares he knew things would be different. Alice had sat by his side through his ranting and ravings as the drugs left his body and for that he would be eternally grateful, but he failed to find a way to explain his visions to her. How could he put into words the feeling he now felt when he didn’t understand them himself.
He peeled away from the window and continued his pacing, his eyes seeing all but noticing nothing. A sound from the couch broke through his racing mind. With a faraway look in his eyes, he turned toward the noise. Professor Ender returned his gaze; Alice also glanced up at him, sitting a cushion away.
“Enough of this shit already,” the professor, said. “For the last couple of days, you’ve walked around this room like a god damn zombie. What is going on in that twisted brain of yours?” Ender demanded. Lucas carried his gaze past the professor and Alice, his sight taking in two other occupants of the room, Jim Gregory of the Green Earth Foundation and Simon Hestor of the Blue Environment Project. The two men quickly averted their eyes as Lucas’ head turned in their direction.
Jim Gregory cleared his throat as he found his voice. “Professor Ender is right. We need to know what has happened to you. You’ve been acting strange ever since you left the hospital. What’ up?” Gregory asked the question as gingerly as he could. His foundation had a lot riding on Lucas. Over the past couple of years the young man in front of him had done more for the environmental left then the leagues of green foundations had made in a lifetime. The last thing Gregory wanted was for Lucas to get angry and decide to leave.
Since Lucas had signed on the rate of people joining one group or the other had skyrocketed. Donations were at an all-time high, and the green cause was at the forefront of people’s minds. The news was now filled almost daily with free green propaganda. No sir, Gregory thought, we certainly can’t afford to lose our golden goose. Not now when the whole movement had moved forward in giant leaps.
“What are your plans?” Gregory swallowed before whispering the question.
Lucas resumed his pacing. Raising a hand to his jaw, he rubbed his chin, his face now covered with a beard that had started growing in the hospital.
“Come on Lucas,” Ender cried, “talk to us. I’m tired of this silent treatment. We’ve got work to do, and I need to know if you are with us?
Lucas spun on his heals and through narrowed eyelids he calmly locked eyes with the professor. With his hand still stroking his beard, he patiently stared down the man who was responsible for dragging him into the environmental movement. Carefully considering his next words Lucas remained quiet.
“I say we get our show back on the road. We have canceled enough speaking tours waiting for our young friend to recuperate.” Ender challenged. “I for one am getting cabin fever. We need to get out there and spread the word while we still have momentum on our side.”
Lucas considered the professor’s statement. “NO,” he spoke. “No more words. For years, all we have done is spout nothing but rhetoric and hold our hands out for money.” Lucas fell silent again. “What have we accomplished…not a thing! We jet set around the world spreading nothing but false promises and living lavishly in five-star hotels.” Keeping his eyes locked on the professor he continued. “If you want me to remain, things will have to change.”
“Change how?” Simon Hestor chimed in.
“We’ve traveled the world and enticed millions to join our cause, but still the environment is under assault. The climate deniers laugh at us as we go about our dog and pony show. It’s time to make them pay!”
“Pay how?” Ender said tersely. “We have swung public opinion in our favor; we have protests knocking at several of the large polluters doors interrupting their production. I think our cause is doing great things.”
“Great things,” Lucas let out a spiteful laugh. “Great things like filling our coffers so we can live like kings. Is this all we are trying to accomplish. Soon our good professor won’t be able to buy suits big enough to cover his ever-increasing girth and…” Lucas trailed off. His mind flashed back to when he and Alice had first joined the professor. His brown eyes turned a rage filled black as he remembered the things Alice had told him of the way the professor had shoved his will upon her. Lucas held back with the recriminations. Those he decided he would keep to himself for now. He would deal with the professor’s shortcomings on his own.
“Hey. Is it wrong to enjoy ourselves? People are donating money of their own free will.” Hestor smirked at his own statement. “We are holding the energy companies to account, particularly when you are involved. The big polluters have no answer for you or your tactics. They are running scared so what’s the problem?”
“The problem is that all we’ve done is take people's money and given them nothing in return other than a little sideshow. No more!” A startling clarity entered Lucas’ mind. The trouble he had had sorting his thoughts since leaving the hospital disappeared. The answers he had been searching for on how to solve the impending threat of climate change and at the same time make the deniers pay unfolded as he stood in the middle of the hotel room.
“We have banded most of the enviro groups together, haven’t we?” he tossed the question out.
“Yes. Most of them have joined with us.” Gregory replied.
“And what kind of funds do we have to operate with?” Lucas continued.
“I’m not certain,” Hestor, answered, “ I believe it’s in the billions.”
“Jim. You and Alice work at bringing the remaining environmental foundations together under us. We can’t fight this attack on the environment separately.” Lucas said.
“Wait a minute, who made you boss,” Ender stammered.
Lucas raised his hand to silence the professor. “From now on I run this organization,” he said to Gregory and Hestor. “If you don’t agree I can certainly find others who will,” he threatened.
“Do what?” Gregory asked timidly.
“We must stop the deniers before the earth is no longer able to sustain human life.” Lucas intoned. “For too long our planet has been under attack. Gentlemen, I propose we take a more affirmative stance in protecting her. From this moment on we are at war against those who want to continue blindly destroying our planet.” Lucas withdrew into his thoughts.
When he spoke again, it was in an eerie whisper. “We will show the deniers and ravagers of earth and her climate a war they could never foresee. We will end the use of fossil fuels the only way possible. Mark today as the beginning of the most important fight for our planet. The start of the climate wars.”
A new Canadian Author with too many ideas in his head. Surprising even himself with where his stories go.