MITOSIS — the process by which a living cell replaces or becomes adjunct to another; a form of growth.
HEGEMONY — state of absolute dominance of one entity by another.
CHAPTER ONE - THE ALARMIST
THE PIDGEON HOTEL/New York City—
It had been raining in New York City for forty days and forty nights. That was not unusual for April and May since the real onset of global warming. Dr. Harold Evers, a research scientist and chairman of the Research Grant Committee of the European Union’s Commission on Higher Education, was there to give a speech to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. His subject was the state of the planet Earth.
In his opening remarks the Director of the Academy referred to Dr. Evers as a one-time child prodigy, a certifiable genius, with accomplishments in a variety of scientific fields, including nuclear physics, material science, robotics and gravimetrics.
As Dr. Evers was called to the dais to deliver his talk, a shiver of apprehension ran down his spine, for he knew that at the end of his lecture a certain message would be issued to his cadre of followers that would either bring new hope to the planet or perhaps plunge it into war.
“Ladies and gentlemen and fellow scientists. It was with great pride that I received your most gracious invitation to be here today. Speakers at this podium have included some of the world’s greatest minds, the present occupant not included.
A titter of applause and laughter wafted through the audience.
“My subject today is the state of the planet, a topic much too vast for my limited talents.
Breaking it down, we can ask, what is the state of the world’s environment and how are it’s life forms doing?
“To put it simply, the condition of the environment is disastrous. Global Warming wages unabated and the leaders of the world seem not to know or care that the simple reduction of greenhouse gases can never reverse the Greenhouse Effect. Only the planting of millions of trees can accomplish that task and no such effort is underway. That is the big picture. We all know the micro-effects of the warming and we all know that every attempt to counteract such things as species decimation, desertification, coastal inundation and emerging super weather trends is doomed to failure until we initiate the reversal process. But the leaders of the world seem lost in a reverie of inertia.
“The people of our world fare no better. Already millions are displaced from their coastal and riverside habitats. Billions suffer from hunger and malnutrition, 35 million in your own country. Overpopulation and air and water pollution still threaten us. As if that were not enough, ignorance and disease run rampant. Over half the population lies in poverty and their future is bleak. It is literally true in our world that the wealthy thrive and the poor survive and there is no relief in sight. Women still occupy secondary positions in most societies. An upsurge in slavery is troubling and increased nuclear proliferation is outright frightening.
“But war fares well. Upwards of 100 million die every year from it, from revolution and civil unrest. And still Islamic fascists keep a third of the world in daily strife, with suicide bombings, vehicle attacks, the destruction of religious sites and various assassinations.
“The foregoing, in a nutshell, is the state of our planet. Deteriorating and inhumane.
Human rights violations, as defined in the UN Charter, proliferate in all countries. Water as a resource is becoming scarce, but Global Warming may well make that consideration irrelevant.
Energy shortages and rising costs—oil at $200 a barrel— threaten to thrust us into a more primitive age. The discovery of toxic levels of mercury and other pollutants in deep-water food fish species casts doubt on the viability of the oceanic food chain, which nourishes billions daily.
“A day is coming which we will call the expiry date of this planet—when it can no longer support life in an organized state—and that date is about 5 years from today. Expect environmental chaos and widespread political anarchy.
“The question, then, remains: What can we as scientists and citizens do to ameliorate the condition of this world? First, work in fields that address the above abuses. Second, plant trees wherever you can. Third, register and vote. While it is true that passing laws will not be enough, especially when so many laws seem born in corruption and serve only special interests, vote we must, or leave withering trees the testaments to humankind’s technology.” There, it had been said and done. Dr. Evers now had bigger fish to fry. He left the dais, thanked his hosts and left the hall. He had no entourage. He hailed a cab, went to his hotel room, picked up his luggage, checked out, and hailed another cab to JFK airport.
When he arrived, he booked a flight to Vera Cruz, placed one of his suit cases in a storage locker, threw away the key and went to the terminal bar. He ordered a gin and tonic with a slice of lime and began pondering the days ahead, a raging question constantly in his mind—would the plan work? It was too late to think about it now, he told himself. A ton of work loomed.
The sky was full of planes. Dr. Harold Evers’ flight was landing now. His wife, Sheila, a professor of mathematics at Oxford, waited for him to deplane. When he didn’t, she clasped her hands together and said, “Oh, dear.” She would have to track him down. Where could he be? she wondered. Numerous calls to his cellphone went unanswered.
They were supposed to go to Bermuda for their second honeymoon. Could he have gone directly there from New York? Wouldn’t he have told her, sent her an e-mail or called her cellphone? Maybe he took an earlier flight. But still, wouldn’t he have called?
She telephoned their hotel in Bermuda, but he hadn’t checked in and wasn’t expected until their scheduled flight from London was to arrive. Then she called his hotel in New York, but he had checked out. Damn, she thought, it wasn’t like him not to call. She began biting her neatly manicured nails and finally decided to cancel their flight. She retrieved her luggage at the baggage counter and called her driver for the car. When the car arrived and the luggage had been loaded in the trunk, she plopped down in the leather seat in back and the silver Rolls sedan whisked her back to their Winghampton estate. When they had arrived, she went upstairs, undressed, then put on a negligee, got into bed and cried herself to sleep.
When she awoke, she had the idea of calling the hotel in New York where the event he was to speak at was held, but they had seen neither hide nor hair of him since he finished the speech. My God, she thought, something may have happened to him in New York City. She had heard tales of travelers’ woes in that behemoth before. A phone call to the New York Police Department was unproductive. She would have to go there to fill out a missing persons report or have someone in New York do it for her. Then it dawned on her that he may have been mugged or even kidnapped, and began trembling when a host of such scenarios began racing across her mind. Finally she resolved to book a flight to New York and begin checking the hospitals there.
If he had been mugged, he wouldn’t have ID and could be lying in a coma. Even worse, she thought, he might be dead. She held her breath against the thought and began preparations for her trip.
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This page contains the first chapter of The Mitosis Hegemony by Arthur van Kaseman as a sample. This sample has been published with permission from the author and/or publisher of The Mitosis Hegemony, whoever originally submitted the book for review.