It’s a true story. A sociopathic killer goes on a murderous rampage, leaving a path of destruction that is worse than any slasher film than even Hollywood could ever imagine. The death toll is higher than any common mass murderer has ever achieved.
But this madman does more than just kill; he tortures, he rapes, he mutilates, he even tortures and murders babies in the most horrific manner. He targets the elderly, he burns people alive. He delights in the wanton destruction. He is worse than any monster that visits the worst nightmare.
When his bloodlust is finally satiated, he grabs victims that, so far, he has left alive. Men, women, grandmothers in their 80s, children and babies — some he has already wounded but some of them, who desperately need medical attention are also spirited away. And he’s not through yet. In fact, he intends to slaughter again and again and again. He has told us so.
He hides out in what he thinks is a safe space. But it isn’t. Retribution is coming. A reckoning is sure. When it does, it is brutal and overwhelming. This beast will be destroyed, the avengers declare.
Those who are innocent in or near the lair of the monster are told to flee — are told where to go and how long they have to flee. But the beast will have even more victims and, by force, compels many to remain. Some remain on their own. But vengeance is coming and, hopefully, rescue is coming for the victims the beast has snatched away. And come it does, with a righteous fury.
But something surprising happens. Everywhere, it seems, people rise up in protest — but not against the monster. No, the monster is seen as heroic, the stuff of legends. It is the avengers who are railed against.
Somehow, inexplicably, demands are made that the avengers are to stop and cease to fire. And now the motivation for the kidnappings comes clear. They will be used as pawns by the beast who promises to let a few of them at a time leave captivity — as long as those who intend to punish the evil-doers will stop punishing. A ceasefire is declared and some victims are freed. Not nearly all, because they still have their uses.
In a world turned on its head, the beast is lauded and praised by those who love the beast and all that he does and stands for but, more alarmingly, the beast is seen by many as compassionate and even heroic by gullible and ignorant people.
The supposed evil ones — the avengers — are still outside the hiding place of the monster keeping him contained. But, across the world, THEY — the truly heroic men and women who have come to kick down the monster’s door — are viewed by monster sympathizers. and even heads of some nations, as the trespassers, the lawbreakers, those who are to be reviled and opposed — even destroyed.
But those who are standing down, for now, know the truth of innocence and guilt. They know that in another time and another place, their grandparents, and great-grandparents, encountered the same beast in another guise.
Then, the beast nearly prevailed and would have murdered, raped, tortured, and mutilated them all, except for the fact that other avengers came to liberate them, and to put the beast down.
The rescue, however, came too late for over six million of their people. The survivors made a pact with each other: this would never be allowed to happen to their descendants. Never again.
So, the descendants endure the scorn of much of the world and marvel that somehow those who have perpetuated great evil are seen as people to be admired and even emulated. They have buried over 1,400 of their people who were savaged by the monster. They are warriors, these men and women outside the beast’s tunnels and hiding places.
They have heard the history of their ancestors who were enslaved, brutalized, persecuted, and murdered for thousands of years. For centuries they wandered the earth, having been dispossessed of their homeland by a mighty, now extinct, empire.
But they have prevailed and survived against heavy odds and have returned to their ancestral homeland. They are firm in their resolve that they will never be driven from it again. Not now, not ever. The beast, the monster, will not go unpunished, its victims unavenged. The current generation has made a promise to the previous victims of the beast. “Never again!”
[David Epps has been a Citizen opinion columnist since 1996. He may be contacted at email@example.com.]