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The Unity Bell





The Unity Bell



From “The Chronicles of John Alkali”




Published By

Rik Johnston

Shakespir Edition


Copyright 2016

Dark Perceptions Publishing


ISBN: 9781370658978




Digital Edition, License Notes



This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only and may not be re-sold or given away to a third party. If you would like to share this book with Another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the publisher and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. Please note that this is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual people, places or events are purely coincidental.






EARTH – 2014


For many hundreds of years, the Arab nations of The Middle East had embroiled themselves in endless conflict, and though efforts were made to quell their violence, their thirst for domination over one another could not be quenched. Blood had been spilled on desert sands in mighty crusades to claim lands whose treasures lay beneath had yet to be discovered. Wars over ideologies had raged for centuries, with the city of Jerusalem changing hands many times. When the official crusades were over, the fighting over the desert lands had not ceased, Christians, Muslims and Jews, locked in what appeared to be and eternal conflict.


On May 26, 1908, fortunes literally changed for the lands in the Middle East with the discovery of oil in an area that was known as Persia. Eventually, the warfare of the region became less about religious ideology and more about the precious natural resource. As the industrial age dawned and the advent of a new conveyance known as the automobile became the newest, most important creation of mankind, demand for the oil became more and more important, and the Middle East held the lion’s share of it.


By the time of the new millennium, the need for oil was so great that it had caused much conflict between nations. While many of the Middle Eastern nations were divided, and there were dramatic power shifts in the region, they remained largely leaderless and disorganized until the year 2015.


After many interventions in the affairs of the Middle East, The United States had developed a policy of policing the world, and since most of the violence of the world was happening in the Mediterranean regions, they had a heavy presence there. The United States had even eliminated several of the important leaders of a few of the countries, destabilizing the region and giving rise to rogue and terrorist organizations with a penchant for brutality. Many of the Middle Eastern nations had come to hate the United States, for a wide variety of reasons, and it seemed as if the hostilities had escalated to the point of no return. It was the year 2014 that the American had arrived in the Middle East.


David Peatross was an American born man who had fallen on rough times. He had fought for the United States Marine Corps doing two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. The horrors of war had affected him so deeply that he had either lost his ability to speak altogether, or had chosen not to as not to inflict the terror he had witnessed upon others. In 2008, he had sustained some minor injury in Afghanistan. The injury was not enough to disable him, but it was enough for the Marine Corps to retire him from duty. He had suffered extreme PTSD during his tours, and as schizophrenia had begun to creep in, he had felt that there was a shadowy presence inside of him who was kicking and screaming to be released. He always fought the urge back as best as he could.


Discouraged, David returned to his hometown in The Devil’s City, in Washington State, only to find that his parents, who he had not been on good terms with, had sold the home he grew up in and had relocated to another state. But fortune smiled on him one rainy night when he met and eventually fell in love with Serina Jackson, who was the daughter of Thomas Jackson. Thomas Jackson was the head of one of the most influential families in the area and owner of the very powerful Jackson Consortium who handled government contracts doing all kinds of questionable jobs. As the two grew closer, David’s ability to speak returned to him.


One day, David came home from work, and found that Serina had prepared a fantastic meal of succulent grilled steaks, baked potatoes, green beans and fresh baked rolls. As the two sat down to eat, Serina gave David the best news of his life, that he was going to be a father. David had never felt so overjoyed in his life. More exciting, was that since Serina was herself a twin, the odds of having twins was very likely. David and Serina were soon engaged to be married, and this was the most blissful time of both of their lives. But it was not meant to last.






Serina had a twin named Jessica who was always of the more jealous of the two of them. Jessica was the kind of girl who was used to getting whatever she wanted whenever she had wanted it, and it wasn’t long until her desires had turned toward David. Seeing her sister’s happiness caused her great fury, and she plotted to have David for her own. Over the course of the next several months, Jessica blackmailed David into reluctantly fulfilling her desires and when he had finally had enough of her domination, he blew the whistle on the whole affair. Jessica was livid about this and soon murdered her own sister, and framed David for it. Upon discovering her body, David fled as far and as fast as he could.


Being that Serina was the daughter of the richest man in Southwest Washington, Thomas Jackson had used his considerable resources to hunt David down to the ends of the Earth. He spent many years running from Jackson’s henchmen, hiding in many locales around the globe. The game always played out the same, each time they would find him, and each time he would escape them, sometimes with their blood on his hands, always with injury. Each time that David took one of their lives, he numbed himself to the pain and he felt more and more of himself slip away. After years of running, David didn’t even know who he was anymore.


Eventually, David realized that he couldn’t run forever and needed an endgame to this deadly game of cat and mouse with the rich and powerful Jackson Consortium. In a fraction of a second he justified within his mind that he would need to become evil to fight evil. And so, he found himself in Syria where he hooked up with a small, but motivated terrorist group. Their first impression was to kill him because he was an American, but he had learned much of the basic language, and told them that he would give them the heads of many Americans if they would allow him to join them. And David joined the terrorist outfit, disguising himself in their garb, studied their religion, and learned their ways. After many months of travelling with them, he had gained influence, and true to his word, he had given them the heads of many Americans.


But David didn’t want to give them the heads of just any Americans, he wanted to take the fight directly to Thomas Jackson and his witch of a daughter, who was the root of all of this hatred. With some planning, David had managed to return to The Devil’s City, accompanied by some of his new friends, and had easily penetrated the defenses of the Jackson compound, taking Jessica and Thomas captive. They were tortured and beaten for hours, and when they had neared death, David revealed himself to them. In the next several moments, David managed to force a confession from Jessica to her father about Serina’s murder, about how it was Jessica’s fault, and how Serina was pregnant. Thomas couldn’t believe what he was hearing and kept denying it repeatedly. Jessica sobbed loudly and kept lying to her father about what had happened, and when David had had enough, he put a gun to Thomas’ head and ordered him to cut Jessica’s throat from ear to ear. At first Thomas would not comply, and so David shot him in the leg, reinforcing his point of view. David repeatedly placed his finger inside the gunshot wound and caused great pain to Thomas, who finally took the knife in his hand and slashed the throat of his pleading daughter. It wasn’t enough for David, so he clutched the knife and then took Jessica’s head off for her father to watch. They then concluded their business by dousing Thomas Jackson in gasoline and setting fire to him and his entire estate, reducing the entire crime scene to ash.


It had seemed that the shadowy figure that David had worked to keep locked up inside of him clawed and scratched its way to the surface, and would never be caged again.


David and his associates made their escape under the cover of darkness, and soon flew back to Syria where the tale was told late night in desert tents amongst the rest of the group, spreading to other groups, and soon it became common knowledge. David was soon called before the leaders of the group and given a name. His name was no longer to be called David, but Muhammad El Fadil Saladin, the conqueror of the American infidels. He was given the leadership role in the organization, from there, his name and feats began to spread far and wide across the Middle East.


The Middle East had begun to poke the bear by gouging fuel prices and making lists of nations they would refuse to sell product to. At the behest of Saladin, The United States had made the top of that list, as his hatred toward his former nation had festered in his heart.





EARTH – 2015


As word of Saladin’s triumphs spread far and wide across the Middle East, more and more nations began to take notice of his accomplishments. Saladin had developed an unquenchable bloodlust that was reaching legendary levels of notoriety, and soon clone regimes were popping up all around the region, indiscriminately killing Westerners whenever and wherever they found them. Saladin had a dream, the unity of many nations that could rise up and defeat any who spoke against them, who defied them, who tried to take from them what was rightfully theirs. He dreamed of a super-nation, one that would be an unstoppable engine of war, pounding and driving forward, crushing all opposition in it’s path. He swore to himself that he would live to see this dream become a reality.


Saladin, having known the intricacies of war, made his first attempt at uniting the nations in the autumn of 2015 at a secret summit meeting which he called the First Council of Damascus. Several of the Middle Eastern nations attended the Council of Damascus, which was meant to create unity between the nations instead of the squabbling and infighting that had occurred for so many centuries. The First Council of Damascus was no exception, the infighting amongst the nations would not be stopped. This could only be accomplished by bringing them all to a common ground, and they would need a symbol to rally behind.


One of the items that had been pillaged from one of the many raiding parties that Saladin had been successful at was a bell that had been rumored to be a relic of the ancient Library of Alexandria that had been burned to the ground in 48 BC. It still looked and sounded fantastic, as two-thousand-year-old bells go. During the First Council of Damascus, Saladin chimed the bell, which had almost a mythic and hypnotic quality to its tone. Suddenly, all eyes were on Saladin, and he was able to bring the nations who were present into line with his vision for the future.


Saladin commanded them to bring forth the leaders of the remaining nations, so he could bring them in line as well. It wasn’t more than a month until the Second Council of Damascus had convened, and The Unity Bell, as Saladin had decided to call it, brought the entirety of the Middle East together under one banner for the first time in their sordid history. (With only Israel being the exception, who refused to be a part of such an unholy alliance.)


Saladin’s plan had been to create the illusion that the Middle Eastern nations were still scattered, divided and leaderless to keep The United Nations off balance. The common battles and skirmishes were still fought, and everything appeared to the remainder of the world that all was “business as usual”.


In the meantime, Saladin could work without the prying eyes of their enemies snooping into his plans for ultimate human destruction. His idea was twofold, the first part involving slow and painful deaths of millions of people through the use of biological warfare, and the second part would involve procurement of nuclear arms, which would be used to burn to ash the infidels who dared to oppose him. He would operate behind the scenes until he was ready to strike. He was patient, cunning and had a willpower of iron. He would wait in the shadows until the appropriate moment.





It wasn’t long before other nations began to take an interest in Saladin, and his unity of the Middle East. Diplomats from far and wide came to Damascus, to treat with Saladin and to hear the chime of The Unity Bell. It wasn’t long until the entirety of the African Continent had come under the power of Saladin, and their nations added their might and wealth to the Middle East.


Recognizing the surge of power rising in the Middle East, The United States met with the United Nations in an effort to sanction the nations who had joined Saladin in an attempt to slow them down. In an unprecedented move, Saladin made a major announcement that the nations in question had seceded from the United Nations and therefore were not subject to their laws. It was on this day that Saladin announced the creation of New Babylon.


It wasn’t long before North Korea had joined New Babylon, giving their wealth and resources to the cause that was officially now in a new Cold War with the United Nations. In the following months, both China and Russia were onboard with New Babylon, creating the largest Empire that the world had ever known. Saladin had wondered if Alexander had known of the existence of The Unity Bell, and whether this particular tool had been used to conquer his Empire too.


It’s not that The Unity Bell had any real power, it was a man-made object, no different than any other. But legend of it had grown and it became a symbol for unity to those who would hate the Western world and who had a desire to see it fall. The chime was a rallying cry for the enemies of freedom and democracy, and it was carried to the forefront of their battles. When the armies of New Babylon were losing a battle, the chime of The Unity Bell would always bring the troops back into focus and they could pull out a victory over whomever they were seeking to conquer.


Saladin’s vision of New Babylon had been completed, and by bringing New Babylon together, they had created a very great threat to the world. On the other ends of the planet, North and South America had formed one single country with hopes to counter Saladin and his machinations. Europe, Japan and Australia had banded together eager to achieve the same ends that The United States had hoped to achieve, through an entirely different set of means. The world was primed for World War III, though six more years would pass before that would come to pass.


All that was left was for the world to be cleansed with nuclear fire.






Rik Johnston grew up in a rural community in the state of Idaho. During those years, he discovered that he loved writing stories about far away worlds, about military commandos and about time travel. He honed his skill under the tutelage of his high school English teacher, who recognized a degree of talent, and agreed to publish some of his stories in the local newspaper. The stories that he wrote became the basis for The Chronicles of John Alkali, an idea that he has developed throughout the years.


Rik spent a good deal of his life in Southwest Washington State, where his storytelling desires had morphed into a dream of independent filmmaking. He wrote a screenplay for what would have been his first film called Dreaming god, but instead is now adapting that screenplay for his first full-length novel.


Rik Johnston currently resides in Mobile Alabama with his wife. He has three beautiful daughters, seven wonderful grandchildren and three cats. Rik enjoys playing guitar, attending his church, and likes cinema and video games. Rik is currently attending college to learn how to repair computers and how to manage large computer networks.














I’d like to thank the following people for being a part of this process throughout the years. My Mom, for allowing me to think creatively and encouraging the use of my imagination at the earliest age. Andy Frostensen, who was a good friend who always gave me honest criticism of my work. Margaret Brackenbury, who helped me to realize my potential and who first published my work. James Schmoyer, who was one of the first in my adult life who said he’d be interested in my stories. The staff at the Longview Public Library, who put up with me for months on end while I worked on my screenplay. My co-workers at Borders Express, Gary, Elisa, Tammy, Carrie, Mishel, Cathy, Donna, and Cassandra who always pushed me to take my writing further. I’d like to thank my good friends Bryan Moon, Erika Ankenman, Kyle Powers, Christopher and Michael Shindel,, John McGregor and Julie Miller for just being really awesome people when I wasn’t a very awesome person. I must thank my beautiful children Angi, Kimi and Emily for being an inspiration in my life. I want to seriously thank my wife Cherie for the hours she puts up with me ticking away on my laptop to accomplish this, I love you and you mean the world to me. I’d like to thank my church family at Covenant Life Church, for showing me truth and providing a steady light to steer by. And I’d like to thank Yahweh for each and every day being a blessing in some capacity or another, to Him be the Praise.


Rik Johnston

Mobile Alabama



The Unity Bell

David Peatross is a man who has seen the best and worst that life has to offer. But when a jealous lover pushes him to his breaking point, he goes on the run. Tired of being hunted, he discovers a way to fight back, and is able to defeat those who would see him dead, but at the cost of himself. This is a short story in "The Chronicles of John Alkali".

  • ISBN: 9781370658978
  • Author: Rik Johnston
  • Published: 2016-11-11 00:35:09
  • Words: 3209
The Unity Bell The Unity Bell