Outskirsts of Gambela, Ethiopia
Wednesday, 14th of July, 2020
Jonathan Beed was lying in a hammock under a shade of a palm leaf roof of a humble hostel like accommodation that he has chosen as his base more than 2 weeks ago. It was the middle of the day which meant it was immensely hot and it made it hard to breath for this seventy-three year old man. He was trying to fall asleep just as he did everyday in hope to bear his painful inhales and exhales unconscious but expected to do no better today compared to yesterday. His mind vibrating back and forth thinking and rethinking the supposedly already settled things did not help at all.
He was here for two weeks and made no progress, no progress at all. Not a single sign anywhere, not even a small hint from so many conversations with the locals that he had. Was it over, was he just too old, are his eyes blind? Did his brain melt during all those years enduring heat he never knew until his thirties? He was either loosing his ways or the the person that he trusted, that sent him here purposely deceived him, that was his reasoning. It has be here, the way forward, a tangible proof, I can feel it’s is, it must be!
Jonathan, or Jon for short used to be a professor of geology in a well respected University in the south of England and was just about to get married when suddenly and apparently out of nowhere he dropped everything, boarded a boat and sailed to Africa only stating to his family and friends that he wants to see the world. In fact he wanted to explore it, discover and unveil the ancient secrets. Seeing the two Indiana Jones movies didn't help. In fact one of his most well hidden secrets was just how much he obsessed over it, how many times he's seen it, how much money he spent on it and on old maps, those of the world and of continents, countries, valleys and mountains, always searching and paying excessive prices for old never reprinted books that might contain hints everyone overlooked.
It didn't turn out like he expected of course, he didn’t discover any ancient temples buried away or forgotten magic hidden but practised by remote tribes. After coming home after a year and a half of exploring the better part of central Africa (parts not in war) with all his savings spend, unwashed with a long beard, his clothes torn but still usable by his new standards he wasn't the same man. He only came back because he needed the money, the money to try at it again. He worked as a replacement professor at places that would have him and did private tutoring on any subject he could pretend to be an expert on and after just eleven months he was off again, this time to Asia. He learned to be more cautious with money and only spent it on things that were necessary like water, food, accommodation and medicine if needed and he traded his teaching skills for whatever he could get even if it was just dinner. He travelled for almost four years before coming home, without the discoveries he longed for but still determined. And so it went for the better part of his life. With age his disappointment for never finding what he set out for diminished as the realization of all the things he saw, tasted, experienced and enjoyed sank in. Not to mention the languages he learnd, the knowledge he had on so many countries, peoples and tribes, especially in Africa. It’s not an overestimation to say he had at least one if not several very good and trustworthy friends in almost every country in Africa and Asia even if he never visited that specific place.
The thing is everybody gets old and so did Jon. He didn’t experience being old by back pain, bad sleep and being exhausted more easily even though he felt it but more with the world around him changing so fast. The power of globalization combined with the hordes of young people travelling, or backpacking as is hip to call it, started to ruin everything for him. Until one day they finally did. He returned home, got a stable job lecturing about the countries he knew so well, their history and geology and even found a nice and compatible companion, someone he could talk too without reservations. The old bachelor even proposed for the second time in his life and this time he was going to stick to it, he was finally happy in a place he never thought he could be.
But then it happened. On 16th of February 2016 a video went viral. In this video a man (or a woman) wearing a gray mask with holes only for eyes and mouth is filmed by a security camera killing up to two dozens of special agents and security forces in Langley, Virginia at the headquarters of the American Central Intelligence Agency commonly known as CIA. That is killing them with throwing what looks like three swords at one group, the swords go on jumping to other targets nearby seemingly on their own and using his hand to send the same effect as what five huge industrial blades could do over the air to cut down a second group which is sliced in three to fives pieces. The whole act lasts two to three seconds and the bullets from everybody in the room engaging the attacker do not hit or if they do cause no harm.
Now, the person in the video is without a doubt wearing a red and white symbol well known to the whole world on the weird and unusual brown-grey clothes he or she is wearing. Symbol of the Dragon, Dragon flag, Dragon banner – that what it’s been called by the media all those years ago when it first appeared and it stuck. The whole world is shocked by the act. Not only because of what looks like magic in the video and how that explains so many past events connected with that same symbol, but the possibility itself that this whole time the globally present, mysterious and never identified, caught or thwarted terrorist group is actually a one-person entity. Terrorist group Dragon was the name used for a supposed big group of extremists that first hit eleven years ago and is responsible for killing thousands of respected and successful individuals including top ranking politicians, company owners, hedge fund managers, bankers and others all over the world, but has completely disappeared more than four years ago and kept silent. Could all those acts be attributed to this one person? Or are there more of them? Is it even human or have we been landed by an alien species that’s trying to take over? Those were the questions the media and the scared and paranoid people started to ask loudly and aggressively demanding their governments to do something.
That’s what was filmed anyway, what wasn’t filmed is what happened after the video. The deaths of thousands more by a huge fire that spread in minutes and put the whole building to the torch. It nearly burned to the ground. In one of the few rooms that kind of still resembled a room a fresh Dragon banner painted over one of its walls was waiting for the rescuers and investigators, as always when a hard if not impossible crime was committed anywhere in the world.
The world at shock, but the world of Jon full of intrigue. He never gave too much attention to the whole Dragon thing, especially when travelling and he knew he was better off at the time as his views weren’t that aligned with the majority of his countryman or any countryman even without that. Being very vocal on ecology, veganism, humanism and global demilitarization he had enough on his plate, not that his opinions or protests ever changed anything. His view on the supposed terrorist group Dragon was that of extreme Robin Hood like characters that went the extra mile, most times too far, but he never heard of them killing your average normal citizens or children, bombing villages, hospitals or schools which does seems to happen on a weekly basis by a wide range of countries since forever. It was always people in power, those with excess money gained in suspicious ways or groups that posses both that ended dead under a red and white symbol. At sixty-nine suddenly he wanted the same thing again as so many years ago, to see something magical, something out of this world, not on video, but with his own eyes. Jon didn’t know where the events of this day would take him, but he knew he’s not getting married.