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TRIAGE by William Walling


by William Walling

250 pages
An admittedly inhumane method of population control via global triage

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TRIAGE Synopsis


Six billion-plus human beings crowd the globe at the turn of the millennium, 2001, and the fragile environment began showing signs of a marginal ability to sustain them. Despite wars, famines, pestilence, the effects of climate change and a plethora of natural disasters, the relentless numbers keep marching upward at the alarming, exponential rate of three or four births per second, eleven or twelve thousand per hour, signifying that the global population was due to double again in a relatively short span.

The late 21st century United Nations Organization, a quasi-world government, having grown “teeth” in the form of International Peacekeeping Forces similar to the Légion étrangére, votes to cease treating the symptoms and concentrate upon curing the disease ravaging humanity — overpopulation. The U.N.’s nine-member committee, with little known physician Dr. Victoria Duiño as chairperson, renders triage judgments similar to the “sorting” practiced by emergency medics who evaluate the victims of military conflict or civilian disaster, but directed toward seriously endangered segments of the population per a simple formula: those who will not survive without immediate treatment must be attended first; those who will survive without immediate treatment must be put aside for eventual treatment; and those deemed not survivable even with treatment must be offered termination medication.

This “inhumane” practice, reviled by Church and State, creates conflict between elderly Dr. Duiño, libeled the “Matriarch of Death” by the Vatican, and her adversarial colleague, Deputy Chairperson Bennett Rook, who deems her triage philosophy “too soft,” and urges a swifter, much more draconian attempt to balance the population equation. The subject of vitriolic denunciations, political and ecclesiastical attacks, and several assassination attempts, Victoria is victimized when her only grandchild becomes pregnant without Genetics Board approval, a punishable offense. Sensing that she herself, and through her Triage Committee, are the actual targets, not her granddaughter, who unwittingly used birth control placebos someone substituted for genuine medication. Dr. Duiño invokes the aid of U.N. Security Director A.J. Broward, who pledges his star detective, Mildred “Auntie” Forchet, to total secrecy and assigns her to the investigation.

The chase leads from a Brooklyn assistant pharmacy manager to a shady Cleveland consultant, to a murdered Philadelphia dealer in black market pharmaceuticals, to a prominent congressman’s stooge, and finally to the current paramour of homosexual Bennett Rook.

Thoroughly enraged, Victoria confronts Rook and bluntly advises that since his crime has made him “the strange godfather of my great-grandchild-to-be” he will either arrange legalization of her granddaughter’s pregnancy, or find himself out in the cold, mean, hungry streets. She then stuns him after he agrees to do her bidding by announcing her retirement, and informs him he would have become committee chairperson if not for his vile, duplicitous scheme to unseat she herself and promote out-and-out genocide as a cure-all for the world’s overpopulation ills.


Decades later, with zero population growth achieved, the practice of global triage is not only an unpleasant memory, but Saint Victoria has for Vatican political purposes been belatedly canonized. Aged and ill, U.N. Commissioner emeritus Bennett Rook has shifted his crusades focut to halting business practices detrimental to the environment, carry-overs from prior corporate indiscretions of those known pejoratively as TTCB, “Those Twentieth Century Bastards,” which continue to degrade human condition of the great cross-section of humanity. Much to the dismay of his superior, U.N. Department of Environment and Population Director Nils Christiansen, Rook’s polemics and diatribes antagonize U.N. Secretary-General Lowndes in Geneva, his North American factotum Alonzo Mateo de Alarcón, and Monsignor Velk, the Jesuit attorney acting as UNDEP chaplain who provides a pipeline into department activities and intentions. Lowndes & company berate Chistiansen for harboring a “renegade,” and attempt to still Rook’s strident voice in order to escape pressure from the corporate moguls who consider Rook a radical anarchist of the first water, and whose activities on UNDEP’s behalf constitute a severe blow to anything resembling a profitable business climate.

For some time Rook has used his position and power to secretly aid in forwarding the research and development of nuclear fusion power generation, a goal he conceives to be the sole hope of once and for all putting human society back on the road to a meaningful future. After and during press conferences abhorrent to global businessmen and women, Rook’s personal bodyguard, Anton, a one time convicted felon, successfully helps him avoid more than one assassination attempt. In a penultimate press conference, Rook springs a “tomato-in-the-face surprise” on the attendees and worldwide holovision audience by means of a set-up wherein he receives a note while on the air and announces that sustained nuclear fusion has at last been achieved.

In the wake of a final assassination attempt, once again defeated by the bodyguard, Rook collapses. Visited in the hospital by Director Christiansen, Rook, forever an “optipest,” voices doubt about whether the crimes of “Those Twentieth Century Bastards” can ever be overcome. But win or lose, he tells Christiansen, we’re duty-bound to try.


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About the Author
Born at an early age of mixed parents, a man and a woman, his early years were a disaster. His imaginary playmate would have nothing to do with him, although he thought the playmate was the greatest. Since then it's been all downhill.



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