Kaleidoscope Revolution, Part 1

(by uciboy2001@yahoo.com, 14 January 2003)


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THE KALEIDOSCOPE REVOLUTION
by uciboy

NOTE TO READER:  This is a continuation of "Kaleidoscope Eyes" published June
30, 2002 and "Kaleidoscope Eyes:  The Gathering Storm" published November 9,
2002.  This segment also contains characters from "The Hong Girls" published
July 8, 2002.  My thanks to Loring Holden for some ideas about plot
development.


PART I - PRELUDE TO THE REVOLUTION

Los Angeles, California
The Future

The classroom was all but empty now except for Ms. Lauren at her desk chain
smoking while grading papers, and 13 year old Vicky Martin listening intently
to Tammy Wong's account of the Kaleidoscope Revolution.

"Please don't stop," Vicky pleaded as she brushed back her blonde hair.  "You
tell it much better than Ms. Lauren.  Ever since I was small, I've read
children's books about Sister Kim and her journeys, but you bring the
characters to life in a way I never imagined."

Smoke poured through Tammy's smile.  She knew that she was getting through to
this young girl who only hours earlier was the kind of anti-smoker the
Revolution was fought to eliminate.

Ms. Lauren looked up from her grading and sternly said to Vicky, "I still
want to know who told you smoking was bad."

Vicky looked down at her desk, unwilling yet to reveal that information,
while Tammy turned to Ms. Lauren and gave her an icy stare which said, "Shut
the fuck up before you ruin everything I've accomplished here."  As a high
official in the Provisional Government, Tammy Wong was not one to be
challenged and Ms. Lauren quickly diverted her eyes back to the papers in
front of her.

"It's okay, Vicky," Tammy said, continuing to seek to build a bond with this
girl.  "Now where were we?"

Vicky's eyes brightened.  "You were saying how Sister Kim and Angela were in
Richmond, Virginia, and her mother, Mary, was telling Kim about the plans of
the tobacco companies.  Then Angela was converted and went into the city to
gather followers.  Tell me, how does the Revolution actually start?  Was Mary
Lee okay?  What happens to Sister Kim?"


"All in good time," Tammy said with a smile.  "First, the mutated cigarettes
were to be distributed around the country on November 21."

"Our Independence Day," Vicky chimed in eagerly.

"That's right!  This only gave Sister Kim a week to prepare.  But before
anything could begin, Angela had to get back to the Philip Morris Research
Lab to leave with Sister Kim.  She arrived there early the next morning after
spending all night at the rave club, gaining new recruits for the Revolution
to come...."

***************************************************************

Richmond, Virginia
The Week Before the Revolution

Angela had been told by a security guard that Kim was in the airhanger with
Robert Keyes loading a large supply of mutated cigarettes to be transported
with the girls back to New Orleans.

"Sister Kim," Angela said as she came up to her friend.  "I'm one of you now."

Kim walked slowly over to Angela and tenderly placed her hand on the new
convert's cheek.  "Welcome aboard," she said softly.  

"I brought along a friend," Angela said, pointing to Phil, the man she had
converted at the dance club in downtown Richmond.  

Kim looked over and saw his shining eyes.  She nodded her head in approval.
"It's time to go," she said.  "We have much to do."  

Suddenly Kim put her hands up to her head as she momentarily felt an
excruciating surge of pain.  It was enough to nearly make her pass out and
she would have fallen had Angela not reached out her hand to steady her.
"Are you okay, Kimmie?" she asked.

Regaining her composure, Kim assured her friend that she was fine - but she
was clearly fatigued.  "We don't have time to waste," she said.  "Let's get
back to New Orleans."

On the plane ride home, Kim detailed everything to Angela and the limited
amount of time they had to make final preparations for the Revolution.  "We
have only a week," she explained.  "We need to get in touch with our militia
units and start distributing the cigarettes."


The days passed by quickly as Angela and Kim traveled around the country in
the mornings making preparations.  Working with the tobacco companies and the
now unified militia units (thanks to Kim's persuasive abilities), millions of
cigarettes had been stashed around the country in reserves.  In the late
afternoon, Kim would return to New Orleans in time to give an evening sermon
at the New Society Church.  Each night she implied that something big was
approaching, and that the New Society would be making its mark on November 21
- coincidentally the same day as the "Great American Smoke Out."  Information
was limited, but followers were told that they would know what to do when the
time arrived.  No matter what obstacles they might face, they were instructed
to light up on that day.

*****************************************************************

November 20, The Eve of the Revolution

New Orleans, 5:15 p.m. Central Standard Time

On the eve of the revolt, Kim and Angela sat in their office at the New
Society Church in New Orleans deciding where they should be when the
Revolution began.  Their attention was suddenly caught by a newscast on the
television.

+++++++++++

"California is once again in the news," the anchor Peter Kellar said, "as it
intensifies its anti-smoking campaign while also getting ready to play host
to a young group of anti-smokers.  ABC's Diane Hunt has more."

"Peter, California has accelerated its efforts to stub out smoking in this
state."  

The camera cut away to footage of California Governor Bruce David presenting
a teenage girl with a medal at a public ceremony.  Diane's voice continued
over the footage.  "Today, Governor Bruce David presented Sandra Lopez with
the State's first 'Freedom from Smoke' award.  You'll remember that two
months ago this young woman successfully sued her parents for exposure to
second-hand smoke.  The award is meant to honor individuals who have joined
the fight against smoking in California."

The camera cut back to Diane Hunt in the lobby of the state Capitol Building
under the dome.  "I have Governor David here now, and Governor, you must be
very proud of the anti-smoking efforts you have accomplished here in your
state."

"Well, Diane, we ARE very proud of all that we have achieved.  The
prohibition of smoking inside public facilities was merely the first step.
Now, we've been working to curtail smoking in the home and save our youth
from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke."

"But Governor, aren't you worried about the implications these actions have
on curtailing the civil liberties of smokers?"

"No one," David said with the point of a finger, "has the right to put
another person's health in jeopardy by their actions.  Our anti-smoking laws
seek to preserve the right of non-smokers to live healthy lives."


"Are you concerned about the growing movement of pro-smoking groups like
Sister Kim's New Society Church and their efforts to portray smoking as
beautiful?"

David winced.  "How anyone can argue that smoking is beautiful is beyond my
comprehension.  And as for Sister Kim, I think she is a dangerous individual
spreading lies.  As you know, my administration successfully passed a minimum
age of 25 not just to purchase cigarettes, but to smoke them.  If this 17
year old Sister Kim visits our state in the future, I hope she remembers that
we here in California take our anti-smoking laws very seriously."

"Thank you, Governor."  The Governor stepped back and Diane once again spoke
directly into the camera.  "Peter, the Governor says he is proud that the
No-Butts-Anti-Smoking Society will be holding its national convention in
Sacramento beginning tomorrow.  The group has promised that thousands of
teenagers will arrive for the opening festivities to coincide with the Great
American Smoke-out.  Not surprisingly, the star of this upcoming event will
be Sandra Lopez.  Peter?"

+++++++++++

Kim clicked the mute button on the television hand control.  

"That Sandra Lopez is sooo hot," Angela said, her eyes sparkling as she
continued to watch the television screen.

"Angela," Kim said with a smile, "your Transformation has made you even
hornier than usual."

"You know I have a thing about strong women," Angela said, looking with
longing at Kim.

"Stay focused, my friend," Kim quipped, "there'll be enough time for that
when our work is through."  She sat back in her chair and took a long drag on
her Virginia Slim.  "Charter a plane to Sacramento tonight.  Where better to
start the Revolution than in my hometown, among family and old friends?"

Angela picked up the phone to make the travel arrangements.

"And one more thing," Kim added as she watched the smoke from her exhale
float slowly up towards the ceiling, "I think it's time I meet Diane Hunt.
Make the arrangements."

****************************************************************

Sacramento, California
3:17 p.m. Pacific Standard Time


"The group has promised that thousands of teenagers will arrive for the
opening festivities to coincide with the Great American Smoke-out.  Not
surprisingly, the star of this upcoming event will be Sandra Lopez.  Peter?"

Bill the cameraman held his hand up for a few seconds and then waved his
finger, announcing, "We're clear.  You made the Governor look great.  Let's
pack up."

It had been almost two months now since Diane had quit smoking.  After the
last flattering news story on the New Society Church when Kellar almost fired
her, she knew she had to shape up or she'd be out of a job.  But she actually
felt less guilty now criticizing smokers.  With each passing day, she felt a
greater freedom from the nicotine cravings and began to see the arguments of
the "Antis" much more clearly.  Sister Kim WAS a menace because she was
trying to spread a message that could hook millions of people into an
addiction that would bring an early death.

Diane waited for the instant evaluation that would be coming from Peter
Kellar momentarily.  Sure enough, the phone rang within 5 minutes of her
sign-off.

"Diane," he said warmly, "I'm glad to see you're back on the team.  I'm
looking forward to the footage you get tomorrow at the No-Butts conference.
Tell Bill I want lots of smiling faces, something with cheers, maybe a
bonfire to burn cigarettes - he knows the drill."

"Well, sir, it's pretty difficult to get cigarettes right now.  The stores
are empty after the tobacco companies stopped shipments a week ago."

"Don't worry about that," Kellar replied.  "We have reports that they're
going to be resupplying stores all around the country tonight.  We think it's
some sort of protest against the Great American Smoke-Out.  You know, get
those cravings built up after a few days of not smoking and then WHAM - hit
'em hard."

"We'll see what we can do," Diane said into the phone.

"Hold on," Kellar added.  "Okay, I've just been handed something here.  Kim
Lee is ready to be interviewed by you.  Her one condition is that it be
played live on Good Morning America tomorrow morning.  Odd request," Kellar
said softly as if he were talking to someone else in the room with him.
"Well, whether it's live or on tape, we're still gonna crucify this bitch.
Looks like I'll be hosting the show tomorrow.  You know what I expect, Diane.
Don't disappoint me."

"No sir, you won't be disappointed."

+++++++++++++++++


Rebecca Ortiz sat at her desk filing away some important documents.  Though
her official title was Special Assistant to the Governor, this 25 year old
knew that she was nothing more than a secretary - one, unfortunately, that
had to endure the 48 year old Governor's flirtations.  It was a job - and one
that she needed, but she wasn't excited about working for David.  Hell, she'd
actually voted for his opponent in the last election.  She was watching the
Governor's interview on a television in the office and knew he would be
arriving momentarily to get her reaction - or more appropriately, her praise.

"Right on cue," she said as the Governor and his bootlicking advisors walked
in, the coterie of sycophants proclaiming it the best interview he had ever
done.  He lifted up his hand and the chatter stopped as he gazed at Rebecca
with longing.  

He perched himself on the side of her desk and asked, "So Rebecca, these
kiss-asses are telling me I can walk on water.  What did you think of the
interview?"

Rebecca, uncomfortable at his gazing, replied meekly, "I thought it was good,
Governor."

"Good?" David bellowed.  "I was fucking-fantastic!  The Democrats will be
begging me to be their presidential standard-bearer in the next election."
David leaned down close to her, practically touching her long brown hair, and
whispered, "I won't forget my friends when I'm off to Washington."  Rebecca
turned her brown eyes downward so as to avoid his gaze.  "I know that behind
those thick glasses and that shy demeanor, there is a woman dying to break
out."  

Then the Governor sniffed.  And then he sniffed again.

"Is that smoke I smell on you?"

Rebecca was terrified.  She thought that she had used enough perfume to cover
it.  "I don't smoke, Governor.  It's from a friend I hang out with during my
breaks."

David sat back up, his flirtatious nature transformed into the anti-smoking
crusader as he crinkled his nose in disgust.  "I don't ever want to smell
smoke on you again, do you understand?  I'm surprised at you, Rebecca.  This
is a revolution we're fighting here.  You need to choose sides before it's
too late."
  
The Governor walked into his office with his advisors who each gave Rebecca a
sneer as they passed by her desk.  Rebecca pushed her heavy glasses further
up her nose and went back to her filing, feeling humiliated.

*****************************************************************

Richmond, Virginia
Philip Morris Research Laboratory
9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time


Robert Keyes walked into the lab and saw Mary Lee sitting at her chair with
her back to him.  "Mary," he said, "I got your call.  You said it was
urgent."  He watched Mary turn her face.  She looked exhausted and pale.  "My
God, Mary, you look awful."

Mary slowly gestured for Robert to sit down and handed him some charts off of
the table.  "After a six month period of dormancy, my mutation has once again
become active."  She paused, barely able to speak.  "The nicotine levels are
too high.  It's literally eating away my body tissue."

Robert looked down at the charts.  "What does this mean, Mary?  I thought the
mutation protected you against the health effects of nicotine."

Mary turned her eyes downward.  "It's too powerful.  My body has become so
saturated that it cannot process the nicotine fast enough."

The papers in Robert's hand suddenly fell to the floor.  "Oh my God.  Those
mutated cigarettes.  Are we about to poison the American people?!"

"Rob," Mary said putting her hand on his arm, "I've double-checked my
research findings.  Remember I told you that we had to develop a less potent
mutation in order to distribute it widely into the public?  The host's body
will have no problem processing the extra nicotine - but as a safety
precaution, we should develop an even weaker form of the mutation once the
revolution is over, one that will continue to safely guard against nicotine
poisoning even if it means weaker smoking powers to the host."    She handed
him copies of a report she had sent to the head office.  "Afterall, once
everyone is smoking you won't need a mutation as strong as my own and Kim's."

Robert gave a sigh of relief for the lives of millions of future converts, as
well as his own life.  But what about Mary's?

"Mary, there must be something we can do to put your mutation back into
dormancy."

"There is nothing that can stop it in enough time."  Mary placed her hands on
her head, her eyes closed as she felt her temples ready to explode.  "I'm
going to die, Rob, and so is my daughter."

"We have to tell Kim," Robert said as he reached for the phone.

"No," Mary said with as much strength as she could muster, and then she
collapsed onto the table.  "You mustn't tell her."  Mary knew that she was
experiencing her final moments.  "Kim must fulfill her destiny," she said
finally.  And then she died.


Robert sat beside her and placed his hand on her head.  Tears began to form
and run down his cheeks.  He had always cared so much for this woman, and now
to see her gone was very difficult to bear.  This burley African American man
began to sob quietly.

Then something strange happened.  Smoke started to emanate from Mary's mouth
and nose, and her skin color began to transform into an ashy white as smoke
oozed from the pores of her skin.  Robert stood back, afraid now as he
watched Mary's entire body decompose in front of him like a lit cigarette.
As smoke began to fill the room, he found it more difficult to breathe and
started to choke.  He turned to run, hoping he could make it to the door, but
before he could turn the knob the noxious gas from Mary's body overcame him
and he fell to the floor.  Within moments he was dead.

*****************************************************************

Sacramento
10:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

Kim and Angela arrived in Sacramento on a private jet provided by Phillip
Morris.  When Kim walked into her home, she expected a hardy welcome from her
father and sister, Annie.  Instead, she found them in tears.

"Kimmie," 13 year old Annie said with a half-smoked cigarette between her
fingers, "Mom's dead."

"They think it was a lab accident," her father added almost weeping.  "Rob
Keyes is dead, too."

Kim made no reply as Angela put her hand on her friend's shoulder.  Kim had
been close to her mother before the Transformation, but since she had begun
her quest towards her destiny, she had felt nothing else but the obsessive
desire to make the world smoke.  She knew now, after hearing of such a
tragedy, that she should feel something, anything.  But there was no sadness,
no remorse.  "She died for a noble cause," was all she could say.  "She will
be remembered."

Crying almost uncontrollably now, Annie sought comfort from her big sister as
she wrapped her arms around her.  "Soon, they'll be no need for tears," Kim
said as she stroked the back of Annie's head.  She then nodded at Angela who
proceeded to light a mutated cigarette.  "Annie, it's time for you to take
your place next to me in our revolution."  

Angela handed Kim the cigarette and she took an extended puff, exhaling a
cloud down towards her chest where Annie's sobbing face rested.  Within
moments the crying subsided and Annie stepped back, her eyes glowing
brightly.  "I'm ready to serve you Sister Kim," she replied softly as she
took the cigarette Kim handed to her and put it in her mouth.  She then
turned towards her father.

END PART I


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