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The 8:30 War

The 8:30 War

8:30 said the clock on the wall when I came in, was it morning or evening? No idea, this episode lies outside of any tangible time frame.

Exactly 8:30 was the time I left that room. What happened? Did time freeze? Did 12 hours pass, or maybe 24? It sure felt like it but could it have only been two and a half hours? That would be impossible.

Where was I? Not sure, some sort of square, windowless office in a building. What nation was it in? It was in all the nations yet in no single one; in a place that is more of a non place than an actual place. By all means, it physically exists but nobody really sees it or knows what really happens within its walls. You might think this paragraph is  plagiarised from J.K. Rowling’s latest book but unfortunately it isn’t. Mainly for the fact that there is no magical element in this story.

A square table, there were three more people in the room, the numbers of chairs was double the amount needed, everyone sat there, door shut, sense of tension mounting, the meeting started.

Information, accusation, false information, unfounded accusation, accusation, assumption, conjecture, more accusations and a little more misleading information. Like a machine gun fast, sharp, heavy, painful words were unilaterally fired, the clock kept staring helplessly at the degenerating scene indicating it was still 8:30 and 22 seconds.

Short chance of a response from the receiving end, on occasion interrupted by the accusing party, but not much of a chance given the fact a ‘fait au complete’ final bullet word had been fired, there was no going back. The decision was made by the office/officer court composed of the CPO/General and the two directors/ Major + Brigadier who had already had multiple board meetings in anticipation of this event and had already written the verdict.

Unlike most trials the verdict was announced after the execution and the receiving end was only allowed a chance to defend once the bullet words had already been fired and the verdict announced.

The fact that the jury’s verdict was led by the judge was normal. The fact that the judge was also the accusing party was less normal.

It was still 8:30 and 22 seconds.

In that non-passing of time bullet words, verdicts and feeble attempts to seek a defence were made. The hope of countering the pre-written verdict and heal the wounds opened by the fast succession of bullets and restore some form of fair, rational trial soon faded.

The accusing party (the Major) underlined that he had been very humane and spent a lot of time studying the accused very carefully to psychoanalyse me and try and understand my personality, he admits he failed to understand. The accuser’s failure of properly understanding was deemed by the judge, who looked exactly the same as the accuser and sat in exactly the same seat at the same time, as further evidence that the conclusions of the pre-written verdict were fair and used it to underline the irreversibility of the decision made.


The judge was however undoubtedly humane and magnificent and little did it matter that his academic background meant he had worked with more rats than humans, more lab reports than cases but we shall not judge the judge. After all, we would not want to dare to question his authority or would we?


The trial ended at exactly 8:30 and 22 seconds with a magnanimously humane gesture of the judge who decided to have mercy and postponed firing me to the end of the year as opposed to firing me with immediate effect. Many questions remain unsolved; Who am I? Am I a victim or a perpetrator? Was I working for an office or was I an officer? Was this a 21st century trial, a court martial or was it instead a medieval-time Spanish Inquisition ‘trial’?


These final questions will never be answered but all we know is that this event did occur at exactly 8:30 and 22 seconds, in a square windowless room that is not in a nation yet it is in all of them at the same time.


It is fascinating to find out about accounts from the magical secret, parallel world of student life.


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