By Paul Kater
The Mimosa is a black wooden ship that sails through space and occasionally jumps through time. Its crew is a very strange collection of people from all times and places (read: planets).
At the point where the following part happens, a girl named Rebel (she is from the future, about 1000 years after the "Great Turnaround" in Oz - which of course used to be Australia), is explaining what the Great Turnaround is to her fellow travellers on the Mimosa.
I had a lot of fun creating this piece as I had the opportunity to add all kinds of silly things to this piece of text. Also, I tried to put in a bit of a warning for our generation, as the same things that brought down Oz, before the Turnaround, seem to happen here in our lives at the moment. The silliness just brightens it up a bit and I hope it works.
A personal grin for me comes from the name McAbercrombieson. Mc is Scottish for 'son of', and -son, well, that should be obvious. Basically it would mean the son of the son of Abercrombie. Yes, that is how my mind works.
Something else is the presence of the "Harmony Clan" in the book; they are fashioned after friends of mine who play in a successful Irish band called Harmony Glen. They are actually writing a song about the book for me!
The Great Turnaround had basically been the aftermath of a global war in which many layers of the population had had enough of all the money- and war-mongering of a few select high-placed people and a number of big companies. At first there had only been riots and some plundering, followed by an increasing amount of civil disobedience, but soon after that the people in charge noticed that their grasp on their artificially created reality of financial dependencies was slipping, so they resorted to more crude measures like military intervention and random acts of killing. That only went so far because the households of the military personnel were suffering under the same strain as the people that were revolting, so at some point there were more and more armies that turned against their commanders. This triggered the initiation of the Great Turnaround. Before that was a fact however, the planet had gone through the Big Shitpile as most symbols of the financial institutions were taken down brick by brick and concrete plate by concrete plate. That took a while for there were many bricks and concrete plates. After that a time of 'okay, we got this far and now what?' went around, during which a lot of voices uttered a lot of opinions and ideas, most of which clashed of course.
When finally old Gwyddion McAbercrombieson, the man whose name everyone on the planet knew, rose from among the bickering and finger-pointing, everyone was curious what the man had to say so they listened. He said: "We have to turn around."
And the people asked: "Why should we?"
And Gwyddion McAbercrombieson said: "To see what is behind us. What we left there. And then we should ask ourselves if we want that back, or if we want to go ahead and create a brave new world, because I had a dream - and to be honest it was more like a nightmare - that we would go back to the good old days that started all this shit. And trust me, people, this shit's gotta go."
Most people agreed that they'd had enough of that shit and that there should be a brave new world. So they went to Gwyddion McAbercrombieson and asked if he would lead the world into this new and shining future, because they understood that he understood how it could be done. He was, after all, the man that did not want to go for that shit. Gwyddion had heard all the people outside his house and came outside. And just before he could tell them what they needed to hear the roof caved in and killed him. This unfortunate event happened because of a microscopic shift in the earth's axis which sent a tremor along a specific line in the earth's core up to where Gwyddion's house was. In the rest of the world the tremor went unnoticed but the tiny incident had a large impact on humanity's view on life, some parts of the universe and nothing more for the time being.
Gwyddion's son Frank then improvised a bit, and somehow his words reached the ears of people who also knew what to do, despite not being so outspoken about that, and that was what started the Great Turnaround, the name honouring the name and insight of Gwyddion McAbercrombieson and also the improvisational skills of his son Frank.
"And from that we created this world," Rebel said, standing by the railing and spreading out her arms as if to span the rest of the globe. "Well, the generations before us did since all that happened some nine hundred and fifty years ago."
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