A satire of dysfunctional government and wealth distribution.
Chapter IV: Day/Page 30 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . .
CHAPTER IV: Nature of Reality
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” ― Carl Sagan [1934-1996]
The next morning the team reconvenes to review the results of the temporal-wormhole test. Joining them is a cadre of support engineers and members of the military, including a strongly-built Hawk who the Admiral introduces as Major Bedlam—“his guy” for initiating the reset on the hapless people of the Blue Planet. Bedlam says nothing, but watches everyone closely with red, passionless eyes. There is a quiet menace about him that makes Sofia uncomfortable. (That is one spooky looking guy.)
Pils explains that he sent a test probe to the planet the previous day and that any minute now they should begin receiving data. Moments later a holographic image of a bluish planet and grey moon flashes into view over the conference table, flickers for a few seconds and vanishes.
Pils stares blankly at the empty space.
A second image materializes briefly—what appears to be an exploding supernova—before flickering and vanishing, too.
“Check the feed,” Pils says to a support engineer.
“It looks fine,” she responds. “The problem must be on the other end.”
“What problem?” snarls the Admiral.
“I’m not sure. There… there seems to be a disturbance of some kind.”
“Well, when will you be sure?” the Admiral growls.
“Admiral,” cautions Professor Hawkeye. “I have complete confidence in Pils. Let him do his job.”
An instant later the image of the planet and moon shimmers into view again, flickers, and stabilizes. Pils takes hold of the image and stretches it from the sides to expand it; sweeps away the moon and returns the now-enlarged holographic planet to the center of the table for all to see. Then, with a gentle flick to spin the image slowly on its axis, he says, “That’s her. That’s the Blue Planet.”
Wispy-white gossamer lace draped over limpid cerulean seas. Dense verdant forests, rusty arid sands, and jagged lines of mountainous spines snaking over continental backbones, dappled black and white. The planet pulled at Sofia in a way she could not explain, as if, like its moon, she too was drawn by its gravitational power. (She’s absolutely beautiful.)
Swift leans over and whispers . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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