NEMESIS TORI (part 2 - find part one HERE)
- - - Part II - - -
TIMON DATE (TD) = TD-28999.280.2220
(Christian Date = 11,001 BC, 80 days till year's end, 10:20 p.m.)
Deep in the Sides of the North are hidden the Machines,
Disciples of the New Religion -
Start to see meaning in the seams -
That sew hot fabrics close together -
Forming patterns on their elemental reams.
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
"Man should not play God!" Jahamon Gabrali pressed through clenched teeth. He was a devout student of The Path. How could the simple readouts on a computer screen challenge his faith thus?
For many centuries, The Path had been accepted as the only true belief. It was the very Word of God! None could challenge its simple laws leading to a cleaner, healthier, happier life. And unlike most of the secondary religions, its references to bygone times were backed up with hard archaeological evidence. From the emergence of Man through the destruction of paradise by the flood, to the eventual reclamation of the land by wandering men.
None could until now, he thought. In this sinful age of the computer, we think ourselves beyond the wisdom of God! We think we can do away with the old ways, the old laws, and all of the virtues that are a part of life we were meant to lead. A familiar pain filled his mind. Some now even suggest that we no longer need God to govern our lives, that we are growing beyond His usefulness!
It went against everything he, and many others believed to toss around a God-created soul like some of the people of DL-SYS were attempting. How ever many factions within DL-SYS were involved did not concern him. They should all be punished, he thought. According to the readouts on the Intercept Terminals, staffed by his personal, private crew of obedient Techs, they had apparently succeeded.
"We have no place here!", he said as he thought of where the meddlings of sinful men had taken them. "Now, God has come." He looked at the main screen, shuddered at the thought conveyed thereupon, and fell into another deep musing of bright beings pouring out their vials of wrath upon a mostly unsuspecting world growing more and more corrupt with each passing year.
They deserve it! he thought. Not only do they deny that we are the product of God's higher reasons, but now... Now they think they can delve into the very mind of God and not pay for their sins! He looked over to the banks being attended by Devlin Arkane. Like Gabrali, he too was an devout believer in The Path. He could also see through to the core of those evil men, into their own unseen atrocities. The two of them were very well known to those of TI-SYS as being dangerous. Having a long history of trivial conflicts with both the personnel and the Systems of their rivals, their names were commonplace, especially to those associated with this blasphemous project going on.
They both turned to the sound of an informative voice. "Alpha-Regeneration Waves are closer to the theoretical values than they obviously expected. According to the relationships being maintained between the Real-Time Curve and the Probable Matrix established by their last Focus attempt, it seems they can now actually do it," came the shaky voice of a well disciplined Com-Tech. Gabrali considered this information with the results of the first two attempts on the part of that association of criminals.
Why does God allow their continued existence? I have spoke of their blasphemous actions many times now. Surely, this is no secret to God. Even I know they are attempting to break away from the World Net. He considered this for a moment as he glanced around at the pulsing terminals monitoring the progress of this third Focus attempt. Have they no sense of Brotherhood? Do they honestly think that they can survive in the absence of His Holy Presence? The anger built within him. They should not play God!
As the beginnings of a thought, considering that God was unaware of this attempt at Independence, at breaking away from their Brothers, even after he had himself relayed the information attained by his personal spies, he caught himself on the brink of a spiritual imprecation.
Who am I to question whether God knows what is best? How could I think that I might fathom a greater thought than Him? He lowered his head slightly and said, "Perhaps that is why you are here now."
Arkane, taking in all the information he needed to make an accurate assessment of the chance that the fanatic groups within DL-SYS had actually achieved what they had set out to do, turned to his close associate in many things, and said, "We have to do something." He looked around to see if any of the Techs were paying attention. Seeing that no one else listened, he continued. "Johamon, we can't simply sit around and let them indulge in this vile practice. It is against the ways the The Path! I think that is why God has contacted us now." He kept his voice low, not wanting to disturb anyone else into curiosity.
"We must inform TIMON that they will try to break away soon, you know it! What else can we do?" Gabrali spoke with the spreading of his hands, palms up.
"This is sheer blasphemy! Do you realize what they are doing?" returned Devlin as if he had not heard a word. Obviously, he was caught up in a deep, relentless rage that would stop at nothing short of destroying the entire structure of DL-SYS.
Devlin Arkane was not one to play on words too much. He had a way of making a point quick, and getting out of the conversation just before it exploded into an issue. He looked into Gabrali's familiar eyes, lowered his already husky voice, and said, "They will eventually see their way clear to attempting a take over of the whole Net! They might gain direct access to God. And with their vile technology, they could begin to 'posses' the souls of any or all of us! What possible reprise would remain then?"
"Agreed, something must be done, but as I have said, God knows of the situation at hand, and will deal with this accordingly," said Gabrali.
Arkane thought for a moment, then with squinting eyes, put forth the question that ripped Gabrali's reasuring foundation from under him. "What if He is testing us? God helps those who help themselves, you know." Before Gabrali could respond, Arkane added, "I think our faith is being put on line. I think it is up to us to wipe this filth from the presence of God."
(11,001 BC, 74 days till year's end, 3:42 a.m.)
I wish to know about nature, the enjoyer, and the field and the knower of the field, and of knowledge and the object of knowledge.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: This body, O son, is called the field, and one who knows this body is called the knower of the field.
Bhagavad Gita 13:1
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
Withered fingers played across the secret terminal keyboard as still sharp eyes waited patiently. A flowing wash of red careened across the indented darkness where the terminal had been hidden behind the old shelves. Growing flashes of green and indigo formed quick shadows across the far wall in the hole, then subsided as quickly as they had come. An evasive silence shrouded the room as he waited.
Finally it came. The fear almost overcame him and he wanted to run away. Where on such a small and exposed planet could one attempt to hide? he thought quietly to himself. Jupiter-Ammon, Pergamus, Ptah, Bruchion, Anitiok, Memfose, Serapeum, and the other secret Libraries in the Providence of Lemuria, the three at Mu... He considered the fate of these vast foundations. So far, they remained hidden from the adversary technological forces around the small world. No one alive could know of their existence until they were needed. Under his most secretive direction, many of these storehouses of knowledge had been clandestinely stocked with the sum of the knowledge of Man to date. Unable to communicate the fact to any individual not directly under his charge, the memory of these great places, tributes to the accomlishments of the Human Race, would most assuredly fade with the unassuming inhabitants of his world, very, very soon.
Perhaps, this time, with the knowledge in these Libraries, we can rebuild quickly enough... retain enough wisdom to overcome... He could just as easily laugh or cry at the idea. He viewed the terrible readout on the screen, advancing through the information as his mind imposed upon the screen memories of hideous, ancient scriptures. If the Outside Technicians at Deep Lock found out through some miracle of engineering that he had tapped into their most secret files, files that they themselves should not have had access to, the punishment would be most swift and hideous. From what he could piece together, this was the latest translation of "The Word of God" as it had been termed by some of the more enthusiastic Path Followers. He had no idea how they had also gained access to this supposedly hidden Transmission as apparently, only TIMON was to be the recipient of these signals. But with the best Systems of DL-SYS, secretly known as TI-SYS to the few hundreds who were associated, it was not very hard to decipher the code. It was, in fact, very reminiscent of some of the languages used in several of the older books around him. The actual readout made him shudder almost convulsively as a deep blue settled over the room.
"What is the source of this?" he spoke aloud and angrily before he realized it. How could any intelligence know what I alone am thinking? Could this truly be from some divine... His thoughts were cut short as the page scanned down to a list of names and associated information.
"NO!" he whispered.
No, he thought. A feeling of helplessness set in as the realization that his most private aspirations were being revealed to however many people had access to this information. Especially when he realized that the mere translation process took forty days. A bright pink shine played across his full nose and the gleam into his eyes messimerized him. What force could possibly know what I have planned for so many years, he wondered. Many have seen the pieces, but I have divulged the concept to not one living soul!
If it were possible to step up the schedule of his plans for Humanity, he would have done so. But the expanse of people and machinery involved had a momentum of its own. Too much was involved to either hasten or slow the preparations of years now with only six and a half days to go. There was nothing he could do to change the rate at which things were proceeding.
Less than a week, he thought in a wash of magenta. How could the names of those associated with their respective targets be known by anyone else but me? I have never released the target assignments from my mind. He looked down upon his secret terminal as trickles of amber played over his hands on the keys. He called up the information he wanted and fell back into the old, wooden chair. He let his arms drop to his sides with a swing, let his neck rest on the back of the chair, and looked up to the stone ceiling. The intricacies of flowing colors relaxed him until a thought crept into his mind.
What if, by my plans for Mankind, I have aroused the attention of an actual deity?
He had never felt so alone.
He had never been so exposed.
With a last thought before he passed into a strange dream-like state of some cold, watery giant creeping up behind him, Noham spoke into the flowing colors, "What have I done?"
(11,001 BC, 7 days till year's end, 8:09 a.m.)
To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.
Bhagavad Gita 10:11
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
"Run it again, there has to be an error. I simply can not accept this information!" commanded the boldly clad figure of Deep Lock Systems Senior Engineer, Bub Belzaar. He was a stout man with large appendages. His stocky frame was quite a formidable deterrent against lackey slackness. He had been in command of the DL Investigations for the last five years, and none could deny his finesse for the position. His white tunic-like garment swayed in the currents generated by his very passage through the control room.
A young assistant to several of the DL-SYS-Engineers spoke up with a certain conviction that said he had made no error. "Belzaar, we have run these figures through three TIMON Independent systems, and have received the same information each time. There is no translation error." Belzaar walked to and fro. His maintained silence said quite a lot to those who knew him. It was a rare occasion that he had little to say. The Com-Techs, as well as the remaining programmers and assistant engineers all knew that something was brooding deep in his mind. Whatever he decided here could change a great many lives.
Belzaar turned with unwarranted swiftness to face the young engineer. "So tell me, what do you make of this data?"
With all the deliberation he could muster, the young man answered, "Well, as far as I can gather from the brief bits of this transmission that we have thus far translated into human terms, I would venture a guess that...," he hesitated, "...someone is running a status report on us." He glanced to his comrades who in turn quickly glanced back to Belzaar to hear his forthcoming retort.
"And what can you discern from the type and amount of information that has been returned by TIMON?" came his quick response.
"I think that we have been thoroughly checked out for some reason - and I don't know for sure what that could be yet," answered the engineer. Belzaar glanced around the room at each and every one of his immediate ranks.
They are all exceptionally bright men, he thought. Surely they realize the implications involved here. He looked around thinking to himself. Everyone here knows by now that every bit of information concerning us has been drawn out of that damned TIMON over the last one-hundred and thirteen days. Some intelligent source has become interested in Man... or our planet, he added.
Not wanting to fathom the idea, that he knew everyone knowledgeable of this situation had already formulated within their own minds, each growing fearfully aware of the possibilities, he chanced the ominous speculation.
"Do any of you want to hypothesize as to the source, and/or nature of these communications with TIMON?" As none volunteered, he spoke the answer in their heads for them. "We must consider the thought that this could very well be the intelligence who, in fact, created the TIMON some 28,000 years ago." Silence shrouded the Com-Room as Engineers and Com-Techs thought to themselves. One less inhibited spoke up.
"What about the arguments that the TIMON is the product of our own ancestors. I know most do not take well to the idea that we are not the first technological civilization to arise on Edonos, but there is a great amount of evidence to support such a theory, however outlandish it may seem to our modern sensibilities." Others nodded their agreement, though none chose to speak at this time.
"Of course, I agree, that there has been upon this planet, a greater knowledge base than our own, example: TIMON. We are only now even gaining access into some of its deeper levels let alone understanding the functions of those levels or systems involved with them." Belzaar paced between the others as all eyes locked on his movements. "The only unanswerable question within that theory is, 'Where did they go?' What happened to our ancestors? No one has any idea as to where they went, what became of them, or if they indeed had anything to do with TIMON." He thought to himself for a moment, then ventured, "And who is to say that this is not them wanting to know of their forgotten children?" That brought about some strong emotions from the group. They had all fathomed of such relationships before in their childhood and in their history lessons, and even in some of the scientific communities that put forth such ideas. But now the issue was abruptly forced upon them. They had no choice but to contemplate their own insignificance.
The same engineer spoke again. "What is it then that you find so hard to accept with our translations?" He looked at Belzaar who for once, would not meet an inquisitors eyes. He continued, "Apparently, TIMON is just down-loading information, at an incredible rate I might add, but that is hardly a matter to confound a scientist" The room was silent save the sputters of the machines. A sense of tension began to fill the air.
Bub Belzaar approached the Identiplate on the wall, placed his hand upon its smooth surface, and allowed a light to scan the imprints of his hand. "Bub Belzaar, Deep Lock Systems, Senior Engineer, Eleven-Triad, Additive, to Cube-Square." Relays clicked within the unseen complexities of the TIMON free Systems. Belzaar had initiated a command directive for the entire facility. Those who were caught outside the perimeter, would so remain until such time when Belzaar countermanded the newly established status of TI-Systems. Those inside the compound would fall quickly into alert status, take up their appropriate stations, and await command from DL-SYS-Control. This scenario had been meticulously practiced in the strictest of confidence. As the routine log entries and information flows were being maintained into the TIMON Links that reached into every place humans did, the adjacent TI-Systems, those completely, and illegally isolated from the planetary system, kicked into full readiness. To the outside, it was just another drill of sorts. To the TIMON, the data coming in from the alleged DL-SYS-Control Center, showed no difference or interference. To those aligned with TI-Systems, their lives had just been changed forever.
The TI-Engineers all stared unbelievingly at Belzaar. He had subtly and nonchalantly executed a most illegal command. He had willfully cut off all true communication with TIMON. This had been done from time to time in the annals of history, but those attempts had been dealt with by the stoic, unfeeling coldness of the TIMON. And of course, the severity of the counter maneuvers had been glazed over through the ages, for TIMON directed all education, including history. Apparently, he knew information of which the others had not yet been entrusted. Either that, or he was stark raving mad.
"Execute all Isolatory procedures. Initiate the reserve power station relays, and make damned sure that all outgoing circuits are routed through TI-status buffer circuits. We can not afford to have extraneous, or unrelated output flow into the external channels. I'm sure you are all aware of the outcome if one of you blunders on these simple tasks." They continued to stare at him as if he would reveal the punch-line of this terrible joke any second. "MOVE!" he barked as they quickly jumped on line to complete the isolation of the facility. Belzaar thought to himself as he paced around the room once more.
What if I am wrong? He looked at the men complying with practiced swiftness all around him. If so, he thought, I have condemned us all to death. Dare I tell them what I have learned? He was stricken with a sense of deep responsibility. Not just for the lives of those around him, or the hundreds within the perimeter, but with a much more instinctive feeling. He felt as if the very human race depended on him. And, in a way, it did.
"Keep working. Don't make any mistakes, but listen to what I have to say." He returned to his personal command console, seated himself in the large, white chair, and spun to face the mass of people working under him at a furious pace. None gave him apparent attention, but he knew every single one was intently focused on his every word.
"First of all, I'm sure that you are all aware of the seriousness of the current status of our facility which has prepared for hundreds of years for just such an occasion." The Com-Techs pushed on in their tasks, seemingly deaf. "Whether by some slip of our investigations into that mechanical monstrosity, triggering some kind of alarm, or by sheer chance, we have aroused the attention of an intelligence greater than our own." He rapped on the tiny array of buttons sunk into the arm of his chair to call up certain figures. "We do know a great deal more than the outside facilities think we know." That brought a slight slowing effect to the sound of hundreds of fingers slapping consoles, but as quickly, they returned to speed. "Several things have been translated by our own TI Mainframe System. The GF-11.364 has been involved in this as well. Together, our own Systems have intercepted the incoming static wave transmission, since there is no line resistance to the TIMON, it could not know that we are likewise receiving the entire message. Of course, it has taken us much longer to make any sense out of it, but we have indeed made progress." He looked down at the display on the chair arm. The numbers were disturbing.
"All External Locks have been verified," broke in one of the Com-Techs. "We have achieved Isolation!" Several vocalizations could be heard rising over the machines, it could not be certain if they were in favor of the situation.
"Very good," responded Belzaar. I must remember that this is still a need-to-know situation. They still have family on the outside. That, in itself, is a crucial piece of information that I must not forget. But I must justify my actions adequately for them to function at top efficiency, he thought. He formulated how to evade the real issue and at the same time maintain order within the Facility. Even though the entire Facility ran taped conversations generated to correlate with the pseudo communications with TIMON, it was not safe to announce information over the external audio Systems within the Facility. Belzaar said no more. He reached over to the other arm of his chair and activated a Command Interrupt Message to appear on all secondary screens within the compound. With an uneasiness he was seldom used to, he initiated the communication:
> TRANSMISSION TO ALL TI-LINKS >>>
> SOURCE: /DL-SYS/ TI-COMMAND CENTER.
> SYSTEM CONDITION: ISOLATION.
> COMMUNICATION AS FOLLOWS:
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
IT HAS BECOME NECESSARY TO INITIATE COMPLETE SYSTEM ISOLATION. HENCEFORTH, ALL OUTSIDE COMMUNICATIONS ARE PROHIBITED. NO PERSONNEL ARE TO BREACH THE PERIMETER CIRCUITS. ALL SYSTEM MODEM SIMULATORS ARE ON LINE WITH TIMON. DO NOT TRANSMIT ON UNBUFFERED PATHS. MAINTAIN INTERNAL SYSTEM SILENCE. A FULL EXPLANATORY BROADCAST WILL BE TRANSMITTED VIA COMMAND INTERRUPT, PRIORITY ONE, SHORTLY. BE NOT AFRAID.
> END COMMUNICATION.
(11,001 BC, 7 days till year's end, 4:00 p.m.)
The Lord of Hosts is mustering a host for battle. They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the Lord and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole earth.
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
Confusion filled the noisy room. Ranks of specialists shuffled about in a most unorderly fashion jockeying for better seats. The static filters around the room hummed on unaware of the proceedings below. They maintained an envelope of random noise on all receivable frequencies to cloak the meeting about to take place. Outside Systems generated the usual pseudo-noise generation to accommodate TIMON's persistent eavesdropping into every System known to it. With their gathering masked by TI-Systems, the speaker approached the podium.
Only after several moments did her presence finally quiet the fracas for seating.
She was well built, though her concealing robe did not show it. What it did show, however, was her status of Senior Life System Engineer. This in itself, demanded great respect from most of the people present. She looked out over the now settling group and began to address them.
"My name is Isa Chyron, I am the Senior LSE." A hush invaded the room. "I have been instructed by TI-Command to brief you on the events of this morning." A slight murmur arose and dissipated as the large screen behind her flickered to life. It was at least five times her height and twice as long to allow those in the back a clear view as well.
"We have been working on decyphering the incoming messages ever since they were first discovered by the Outside DL-Techs 113 days ago." This brought about the immediate and complete attention of everyone present. They all knew what was at stake.
"First of all," she continued, "as to the source, we are still in the dark. As far as we can tell, the transmissions are still localized, and now confirmed to extend no further out than lunar orbit. None of the Maaz Outposts have detected anything, while weak signals are periodically detected by various components of the Sky-Net. One distressing note: while conferring with our Saturnalia Outpost to see if any signals had been detected, disturbingly enough, no signals at all have been detected. Not even from our own sources. SO4 has reported that all contact with every single deep space probe has been abruptly, and individually terminated. Something has either interfered with our communications, which we don't think likely, or has destroyed over three hundred separate probes. Some of these as you know have long since passed our immediate neighboring star systems. This implies that whatever source is involved in this, has a far reaching influence." The audience grew noticeably uncomfortable.
"Second, we have had our most promising minds and our best Systems working on the actual decoding around the clock. Either the outside, non-TI-SYS DL-SYS-Engineers are purposely withholding information, which we doubt, or TIMON is purposely altering the apparent output, hiding the true message from them. In effect, it seems that TIMON is trying to hide this from the entire human race." Scientist looked to each other with questioning eyes. No one seemed to have any consoling answers.
"What we have found out, if our numbers are right, is quite a disturbing thought. It seems that some intelligence is running almost a routine type check on us. Information concerning every aspect of human development for the last ten-thousand years or so, we think, along with population curves, scientific achievements, exploration and knowledge of our solar system, as well as the exact extent of our explorations into the TIMON system itself, has been sent back in response. TIMON is continually transferring data on multi-channel, omnidirectional transmitters with a very low power signal. Obviously, the reception of these signals has to take place in our very near vicinity." She referred to the large screen behind her displaying the power curves involved in the local transmission.
"Third, and most disturbing of all, is that TIMON has been instructed to access all records concerning certain groups and Institutions. Taken into account has been the type of research, power levels available to each facility, and for some reason, the philosophical education of individuals associated with these groups. It seems that a non-sequential, non-random, but otherwise unrecognizable pattern search is being conducted. The subject of this search:," she hesitated for a moment, swallowed, and said, "specific humans." A questioning outburst arose as she tried to hush the crowd and continue.
"We have...," she waited, "We have been following the outline of the search as closely and as quickly as our TI-Systems can process information. Remember, that our understanding of what is being said between TIMON and whoever is approximately six weeks behind. What we do know is that several specific target areas have been zeroed in on. Four others have since been dropped from the 'list'." The word "target" seemed to disturb them greatly. The level of tension was continually growing as she divulged the final bit of information.
She referred to the screen behind her. "As you can see, at least six weeks ago, thousands of such target facilities were marked thus." She pointed to the glowing display with a hand laser. "This is," the screen flickered to a new view, "what we received early this morning, what TIMON transmitted forty days ago." All eyes were focused upon the lines of information trying to formulate the meaning. "As you can see, the field has been drastically reduced. The numbers on the left, we think, represent specific individuals. The sequence of symbols in the middle of each column stand for a broader reference as to the location of those individuals, and the numbers on the right, we're not sure about." She turned to face them as she spoke with a slower, deeper voice. The realization of what she was about to say was beginning to grip her in an unrelenting sense of uneasiness.
She looked around at the silent faces and said, "As of the last output from the TI-Systems, we found this number to be much more detailed, specific names started showing up in translation of the remaining line of numbers. Suddenly, over 98% of this list was erased. The remaining information was expanded into greater and greater detail. It seems that the target has been found and named. The name we got from this mornings' output was DL-SYS." A frenzy of questions bombarded her once again as she urged silence so she could continue. "This in itself," she was forced once again to wait for the audience to settle,"...is not the disturbing part. There was more information accompanying this. We are in great peril, and this is the reason for our Command Directive Isolation Procedures this morning. The complete name given read, DL-SYS / TIMON INDEPENDENT SYSTEMS."
With not a sound, as if that would hide them somehow, she turned to leave, took two slow steps, turned to the still attentive eyes, not one of them blinking, and conclusively interjected, "Something is on to us."
(11,001 BC, 4 days till year's end, 11:38 p.m.)
As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
Bhagavad Gita 2:22
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
Streaks of glistening sunlight spoke through the large swaying branches of the straight and powerful looking dogwood tree. Its branches seemed to be reaching out to grasp the subtle breezes as they hurried by. In its comforting shade, the small group of students sat with their eyes focused in different places, their bodies relaxed in lazy positions, and their minds sharply intent upon the words of the teacher.
"So whether Focus 9 was a success or not may never be known for sure. However, due to the relationships between the Local Focuses, 3 through 7, and the energy drains involved in Focuses 10 and 11, we can say most assuredly that they were evidently successful." The robust man, a teacher here for many years, was the foremost specialist in Field Theories and Focus Principles. His name was Noham, simply that. As far as anyone knew, he took no other names. In developing the Realignment Theories, and contributing greatly to the very understanding of Matrix Alterations, he had gained the respect of all those who knew him.
Noham glanced around at the young people gathered beneath the lush tree, wondering.
Do they truly grasp the importance of what I am telling them? I need more time. He looked up at the tree, and continued in a gentle voice.
"The subjects of the first two attempts will, of course, always be remembered as the brave volunteers that they were. We could never had advanced further without their dedication to the project." A hush remained in place as they all reflected back upon the tragedies of those fateful trials. Two people had been lost. Not physically misplaced, but simply spread out energetically, not to be located or collected back into any semblance of form. Their limp bodies remained in the Field Chambers, but the life was gone. It was an attempt to transport them into their own bodies, a day later in time. Unfortunately, it was not known at that time of the relationships involved with the energetic fields set up around and within the human brain. Weather they had touched upon what the seat of consciousness actually is or glimpsed a veritable human soulor not, the consciousness of the test subjects could not re-inhabit their own bodies. Somehow, a presence, seemingly about the brain itself, would nullify such a similar external energetic transfer immediately upon such time as the Focus was to occur. Some had suggested that this was a natural defence mechanism against "possession" by other consciousness. Some had went as far as to suggest that if that energy barrier could be overcome, the entire human race could join into a multi-organism, single, collective consciousness.
Noham caught himself wandering along such hypothetical avenues of thought when he realized he was getting off track again. He had a tendency to end a discussion far, far from the initial idea.
"As I was saying, the lack of detectable nodal regeneration waves at the target sight, set for fifty years, seems to suggest that Focus 9 encountered too broad of a spread pattern." Pages of information concerning that incident flipped through his mind. He said, "Since the energy of the subject was indeed absorbed, not dispersed as in Focus 1 and 2, we can safely assume that Subject 9 did survive after all." A look crossed the faces of several students as if they wanted to comment, but dared not for missing some of Noham's words. Darmendes and Empedocles, both with Doctorates in Astronomy, were deeply moved by the sacrifice. "What I personally think happened," Noham continued, "as some of you may have ventured to read in my published papers of the time," (he knew very well that every single one of them had read those papers, they were, after all, going to be Focus Subjects themselves) "is that Subject 9 was indeed absorbed. If you will review the calculations concerning the Field Dispersion, you will see that, as we did not know at the time, we simply lacked a tight enough focus." Zoose and Thoram were two of the best Electrical Engineers around. They had both been involved intimately with that particular Focus attempt and knew the reasonings inside and out. With the others, they continued to take in every word being spoken. "Most likely, there are going to be several people walking around fifty years from now with distressing cases of feelings of acquaintance with each other and Deja Vu. Subject 9 will become part of the essence of several people. Who is to say what would happen if they all got together?"
The wonderings of the students seemed to flow along with the wispy clouds that afternoon. Noham always guaranteed an interesting discussion. He allowed unusual lengths between thoughts to allow his students to assimilate what they had just heard. This was such a time.
Several of the students seemed to be asleep as their lack of physical arousal would seem to suggest, but none of these students dared to miss a quiet time of reflections so rarely granted to them in the last few weeks. The entire pace of things at TI-SYS had accelerated due to the disturbing transmissions. And now with the Isolation Status, these times were precious.
Each of the students were experts in one field or another. Saiyam Unicob was the foremost architect associated with TI-SYS. Giza ran a close second for the title. Horus, along with his strangely intense curiosity with the ancient feudal systems of the past, was a very talented microbiologist. He, along with several others had translated the now famous "Feng-shen-yen-i" papers. The name held some meaning for the authors which they would not share. One student, by the simple name of Ezekiel, was one of the foremost Programmers to join the project. He had gained a great understanding of the transmissions along with a rude awakening as to the possible threat which they all could face. And in obtaining access into some of the translation centers via his quick understanding of languages, had quickly decided to join the Focus Project. As one of the necessities of becoming a possible Focus Student, he had to show an aptitude for Pattern Analysis and Language Configuration. Numbers and words had more in common than most suspected. Already, he had advanced through some of the highest calculus classes offered at TI-SYS. His understanding that Calculus was not just another extension of the mathematics invented by men, but a language discovered by Man, and not just another feeble attempt at manipulating numeric representations to organize local understanding, had granted him special attention from several of the Senior Scientists.
"What shall be said to us when we unravel the very language of God?" he had been heard to say a number of times. He now wondered what was being implied in the transmissions. Some relationships referred to the status of human development and others, somehow inextricably related, seemed concerned with planetary movements. As yet, no one had been able to venture a hypothesis that took everything into account. He wanted to be the one to figure it out.
Ezekiel looked away, down a hill to a clutter of trees below. Something disturbing came to mind, but he knew not what. His eyes fixed upon a distant pale bird careening above a sea of billowing green.
Rise to the cause of your Dreams, he thought as he watched the bird soar off to a better place than where it had been. Somewhere deep within his soul, something tugged at him, disturbing, but unattainable. I've felt this way before, he thought to himself. But in the light of the midday sun, things seemed to take on less importance than they did during those times of silent contemplation beneath the complex. I should never think my feelings are meaningless, he told himself. Something is wrong, or something is going to go wrong. I must learn what lies hidden within those transmissions. I fear the answer may be beyond us.
Ezekiel looked to Noham who unexpectedly was already locked into a glazed stare with him. Ezekiel's mind soared to formulate a barrage of questions. He shuffled them into one. "It seems a great conflict is taking place," he said aloud breaking the fragile silence.
Such insight! Noham thought. Does he already begin to understand the urgency of our situation? How much of the sinister message has he figured out in his own musings?
"Indeed," answered Noham as the other students were disturbed into awareness. "There is indeed a conflict. One in which the existence of everything we know hinges upon."
The students sat straight for the first time. No hint of such a thing had been mentioned before. What has been hidden from us? they wondered. With a sense of urgent retreat closing in on Noham's mind, he knew he had to sway the group away from this direction of thinking.
I must separate Ezekiel without him knowing it. He is too quick. He could ruin everything!
"To educate oneself is always a conflict. There are many dangers involved," Noham was saying.
What is he talking about? Why is he evading my question? Ezekiel wondered.
"For some, to know is enough." Noham looked around, intentionally avoiding Ezekiel's eyes. "For others, to know is the beginning of a deeper understanding." Noham closed his papers, almost an hour ahead of the scheduled time to signify that the days' lesson was at a close. As he sealed the binder upon the lot of papers, he looked to them once again, and said, "Sometimes understanding is a terrible curse." With that, the lesson was concluded, they each went their separate way.
11,001 BC, 4 days till year's end, 9:08 p.m.)
This supreme science was thus received through the chain of desciplic succession, and the saintly Kings understood it in that way. But in the course of time, the succession was broken, and therefore the science, as it is, appears to be lost.
Bhagavad Gita, 4:2
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
It was a rather cool night, not like one would expect to end the glorious day preceding it. The stars were out in force this night and the constellations spoke out as reminders of the ancient past when men thought of gods occupying the heavens.
Ezekiel walked alone upon a path leading through the park that crossed the middle of the entire facility. Sporadic thoughts glanced through his head, some seemingly not his own. He watched with a dull awareness the plumes of white breath cascading from his mouth. A light wind at his back swept the billowing puffs ahead of him, and caught him in messimerization. As if a thoughtless decree from some wakeful dreamer had chanced upon his open mind, visions of bright clouds moving under some distant sun filled his remote contemplations.
Some distant sun? he pondered. Distant in time! Why do I think of this now? he wondered. Thoughts of glittering glass played through his mind.
Shines and reflections.
Sparkling in the brilliance of the sun.
The memory of some poem crept into his mind and he knew not why. He passed his brief consciousness over the verses... 'And from that chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing...' He wondered at this.
Hidden meanings, he thought. This was the same sensation that had overcome him since he could first remember. And for about the last three months, its intensity had been tumultuously enhanced. At times, alien thoughts seemed to merge with his. For the last few months, these feelings had had an inexplicable ferocity to them. It was as if he were seeing out of another's eyes. And the feelings were growing stronger by the day.
Splintering shines and shivering lights reflecting the fears of some memory.
The essence of some forgotten song came to his mind, but he could not make out the words.
Why has this always captivated me so? Why does it always remain pertinent to my awareness? He tried to reason some purpose into his thoughts, but as he did, they faded into questionable memories. I will not always remember, he thought. I can not say that this will always be. He grasped at the fading offshoots of reason slipping from his awareness. He felt as if some framework had been established upon his mind and that some structure had momentarily taken form. An insight of remembered purpose - just the same - changed again the same way.
Ezekiel walked the twisting path through the dark cedar trees, noticing nothing absolute, but missing no detail as he passed. The moon was nowhere to be seen and the realization of it seemed to bring the darkness closer in on him, surrounding him in quiet apprehension.
Something is going to happen, he thought. Once again his mind went back to his teachings, to lessons engraved upon the essence of his very soul. "Your mind is a sensitive tool; Never overlook your feelings; Even if there is nothing apparently wrong with your surroundings or your environment or your situation, an imbalance would signal a disturbance for some knowable reason, even if that disturbance is actually created in your own mind, unreasonably." I must trust my assumptions more. I must believe that what I think is the right thing to think; that my actions are the correct course that I must take; I must rise to the cause of my Dreams!
A sudden wave of fear gripped Ezekiel in unexpected completeness. His mind searched out the object of his fear, not knowing if it was some immediate physical danger or the workings of his own twisted reasonings. He froze in his tracks as his mind refused to accept what he saw before him.
Two eyes as of a demon shone across the grounds. They fluttered and swayed as a play of colors concealed their true nature. In unrelenting sternness, they seemed to call him.
What is this? He dared not speak aloud for fear of provoking this thing into some frenzious rampage down Mount Abora to tear Ezekiel into nothingness. It has come for me, I know it. I feel it in my very soul. Whatever happens to me here, I can do nothing to change the outcome.
He began to slowly advance in the direction of the eyes, growing in their intensity.
This is my personal demon! he thought. I must face it with complete conviction of will. He walked closer, continuing up the hill. I must deal with whatever trials I must face to overcome it. His feet carried him up the path to the edge of the forest. He felt like running back down into the shady cover or the park, but something inside him held him motionless as he stepped out of the protective woods. I must face this. I must be strong!
Ezekiel broke from his revere with the thoughts of such a beast charging down on him fading into surrealness. But alas, the eyes still remained.
His vision focused.
On the lights of two small windows, adorning the wall of the Old Library, he stared. Realizing that no creature existed atop this hill, his uneasiness seemed only to grow more intense.
I can not believe that these feelings are of mere shadows and plays of light. Something real has been shown to me, he thought slowly as he contemplated what to do. I have come here tonight for some reason, even if I can not reasonably ascertain why. He looked up to the old windows with their haunting glows issuing forth from some unseen source within. This was the Old Library, set atop the "Mountain" as some called it, probably stemming from some forgotten metaphor dealing with the heights of knowledge. Most people rarely ventured into the archives section where the printed books and reduced films were stored. He found this curious. Almost certain that the windows which had drawn him there opened into that old section of the library, he ventured on. For reasons deep within his mind, he knew that to be his destination on this night.
There is so much more to know, he thought, as he made his way to the marbled steps.
(11,001 BC, 4 days till year's end, 9:24 p.m.)
That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this science.
Bhagavad Gita, 4:3
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
The place setting was for two. The section had been reserved since late afternoon. An actual bookshelf served as two walls in the room. Paper and cloth books, carefully preserved for thousands of years ornamented the rows of wooden shelves reaching to the ceiling. The wall facing the park was covered in real rock to
enhance the paleo effect of the room. Two windows opened with glass opacified for the evening. A single wax candle burned in each deep set window reflecting back most of the glow into the room.
The reading lights had been extinguished in favor of the more soothing artglows. Uncountable patterns could form and dissipate in the fluids cascading through the tubes and pathways of some of the artglows. Some of them were quite bright, enough to read by. But the changing hues and tints as flowing photobioelectrochemical substances played their luminescence for all to see and enjoy, had an enchanting effect not conducive to concentration or study.
This one was in the center of the low table. By the liberation of bromine molecules, the interplay of malonic acid, and other organic compounds, the views within the room were, at times, momentarily reproduced within this specific artglow. The images would remain for a moment, then reverse as if a negative exposure of a photograph were being displayed. Oscillating between these two states, the constant flow of photons reflecting off the objects within the room would work into the display, slowly replacing the emanating view. Noham had picked this one specifically for this night. It had granted him insight over the years, as he hoped it would do this eve.
Ezekiel stepped into the room. Attendants had guided him here upon his arrival into the Old Library. They had been expecting him. He knew not how. Waves of delight flooded his psyche as he noticed the assortment of artglows. He had always appreciated them more than most. Many times he had been lost for hours in their captivating patterns. The aroma of almond tea arose in a steam swirling in its own delight. A platter full of pressed maze wafers watered his mouth as his eyes fell upon Noham's.
Remaining in their mutual contemplating gaze, Noham spoke, "leave us," to the awaiting attendants. With their hasty exit, Noham gestured mutely for Ezekiel to be seated in the free chair across the table from where he was himself seated. Ezekiel found it odd that he was not at all surprised or confused. A great feeling of memory flooded him.
I have felt this before, he thought to himself. He felt as though he had just awakened from some dream into the setting in which he had dosed off. '...Through woods and dale the sacred river ran, Then reached the caverns measurless to Man...'
Nothing was said for several minutes as each seemed to have plenty to contemplate on their own. Both were partaking of the wafers and the tea, and gazing into the artglow positioned between them on the dark wooden table, its reflective qualitiy visually doubling the splendor of the plays of light before them.
Noham set down his glass with deliberation. It was apparent that he was about to state the meaning behind this strange meeting. He looked up to the shelf of books, as if seeing between the closed pages to draw from them as the ancient wells of knowledge they were. An evasive silence shrouded the room. The air felt still. Noham spoke.
"In such an hour as ye think not, my memory shall stricken your mind. I have come to show you things unholy in the world; If you turn away, you'll simply never know of them. But know ye this: They shall remain, none the same! And the ignorant shall fall prey to the truths swept away."
They both remained silent.
They both had so much to say.
Thoughts of the secret Libraries, now completed and sealed with mighty stone blocks far too heavy for the muscles of men alone to move, filled Noham's mind. He quickly vanquished the thought from his mind to hide the fact away. That information must remain intact for at least four more days, he thought unwillingly and quickly trained his mind on his companion. He looked over at the young man facing him.
Ezekiel began to speak, cleared his throat, and continued, "That is from one of those books, is it not?" He gestured behind his head with the slightest movement of his hand. Noham blinked his eyes as if waking from his own reverie, and looked down to the table.
"That, my son, is one of the most ancient writings remaining from the forgotten times," he said. He looked up to face Ezekiel. "Actually, it is from several books. Many of them contain mention of the author." Ezekiel remained silent, and patiently awaited the onslaught of information soon to follow in true Noham fashion. After sipping mostly air from his now depleted glass, Noham continued.
"From some of our most ancient surviving writings, we find great wisdom frighteningly pertinent to the trials of our own day." His gaze focused once more on the old books. "That particular writing, as I said, is of a most ancient time. Some think it predates TIMON." Ezekiel almost gasped at such a concept. Noham was implying that this writing was nearly 26,000 years old at least. Most people rarely fathomed the idea that TIMON had a beginning at all. At times, it did seem as if that vast monstrosity was actually involved in the creation of the planet itself.
"How could something survive that long?" asked Ezekiel.
"True knowledge is impossible to destroy. It merely changes form with time." Ezekiel had heard this from his teacher many times before. This time, it took on a sinister feel to him.
What is going to happen? He knows something, Ezekiel thought. Something of great importance is coming about and he knows! I wonder if anyone else at all knows as well?
"The author of this selected 'testimony' is known by the most ancient name of AHKANON. I think he was either a sage, a prophet of some kind, or just a very perceptive man. As if all others around him were simply asleep in comparison, he saw things in the earth. Most of his surviving writings have, if anything, gained in meaning over the millenia. It sometimes seems to me that he foresaw our particular crisis, and decided to inform us future 'sleepers' about what we must face."
Ezekiel thought about this for a quiet minute. What crisis? Then suddenly as if complete awareness thrust itself upon him, This has something to do with the transmissions!
"As you are probably thinking," Noham interjected, "this is most assuredly involved with the transmissions." By the slight smile creeping onto Ezekiel's face, Noham knew this to be so. He is very quick indeed! Sometimes, too quick. This afternoon would have been a grand disaster if he had kept...
"This afternoon, Ezekiel, you mentioned a 'great conflict'. Of what were you referring?"
This is it! Ezekiel thought. He is going to reveal something. "You have always taught us to reckon with our feelings; not to toss them aside."
"This is true," Noham noded. "So tell me, what do you feel?"
"I feel..." he paused, then more assuredly, "no, I know something is wrong. Something is going to happen. You know about it..."
Noham cut him off, "Yes, and you almost let the whole world know it this afternoon!" Ezekiel thought about how his question had been swiftly evaded, class had been concluded early, and his mind had been quite fogged for the remainder of the day.
"What is it about the transmissions then? Have you translated more than we have been told?" The question was senseless in his own mind. He knew beyond a doubt that this was the case.
"What is the nature of your conflict, Ezekiel?" Noham asked with a slight raising of his voice.
"Obviously, something has been discovered concerning either the source or the contents of these transmissions to TIMON. The very fact that we have been locked out of the conversation is disturbing enough. Evidently, we are in peril and the source of this has been discovered through translation."
"Indeed. Indeed..." Noham responded as he glanced around. Darkness overtook the room. By chance alone, most of the artglows were dimming in overall luminosity as they oscillated, and converged in unison, into a darkened display. The room suddenly felt cold to both of them as if some unseen mind was listening in.
Noham, with a so far unseen side of him, stared unnervingly at Ezekiel. He said in an old sounding voice, less the usually lively sound it carried, "Something is indeed wrong." Ezekiel remained intent on every word. In the long shadows of the dark room, he waited.
"What I have to tell you is what I could not say today amongst the others. They can not know. Ever!" He let this sink in before he continued. "I have several Technicians working on the translation of specific bits of the code we are receiving. I have divided up the search pattern so that not one of them, by himself, could make out any part of the message. None of them know who the others are. The rest of my colleagues think that we are having minimal success decyphering anything at all. I have done this on my own. I alone am responsible." His eyes flickered to the floor and to the window as if to see if anyone was eavesdropping. He continued in the same breath, "But, alas, I have done the right thing. The knowledge I have received would be devastating if it were to become public. Not only our TIMON Independent sectors spread about the world, but the entire human race would falter in fear. Ezekiel, our very world is at stake!"
The candles in the windows seemed to blow in some unseen breeze as Ezekiel turned to gaze upon them. He still could not fathom the connection between an ancient philosopher, current human development, and planetary motions. He ventured a risky question.
"What does this have to do with me? Why are you telling me of this and not my study mates?"
Noham sorted through the abundance of items he wanted to discuss and settled on one to suffice the question set before him.
"How much do you know about what we have uncovered within the transmissions?" he asked.
"I know that a pattern search of some kind is, or was, being conducted, and that TI-SYS was named. I even know that our secret status of TIMON Independence was revealed to be known by TIMON. As far as that is concerned, I do not understand why no retributional action has been executed. There must be a vital importance placed on timing."
He is the one indeed! He is so quick, Noham thought.
"Ah, but you know more than you think! You have indeed touched upon the source of our danger."
In the blink of an eye, Ezekiel responded, "Evidently, we still have the capability to either remain independent permanently, or a means of preventing whatever punishment is forthcoming."
"Very good. You always were quite perceptive. But tell me, can you fathom the engine of our threat?" Expecting to have to hint at answer, Noham started to speak, but was cut off before a sound was uttered.
"The only thing that seems to bear any relevance is information pertaining to the planets' motions."
How? How could he know this? If one is to save us, it will be him!
"You do jump and leap around on the loose tendrils of logic, but once again, you have landed quite safely."
The two sat for a quiet moment, and Noham began to fill in the spaces.
"What I have been able to put together with my personal Techs working on separated terminals, is that this pattern search has been completed. As you know, the search did indeed pull out DL-SYS / TI-SYS, but more than that, it pulled certain references to specific functionings within our departments. A special interest seemed to be attached to our Field Focus attempts. I believe, though this is more my own gut feeling than anything else, that somehow, we attracted the attention of the sender of the transmissions with one, some, or all of our thirteen focus attempts in the past. We know so little about subsequent field resonance, nodal probability points or Mobius stasis conditions as some of the new people call it, alpha, beta, and zeta regeneration waves... there is simply so much more to know." Ezekiel felt a rush of emotions as he listened. "It is most certain that our Primary Focus Project will be the target of whatever action will be taken by whatever force is observing us. Therefore, we have no choice but to go through with it."
This should mean something to me, he thought. I've felt this before.
"Who knows what intelligence is involved, or what we have unwittingly disturbed," Noham continued. "We are just now understanding what the real meaning is in some of these ancient books behind you. Although we have TIMON, it is such an integrated part of our existence, we don't like to dwell too long on the possibility of its nonexistence. Like it or not, there was a time when TIMON did not yet exist. This means that at some point in time, it was created somehow. The disturbing thing is, this very issue is discussed in some of the ancient religious and philosophical writings. Only now are we understanding what they were talking about.
"Many accounts concerning the creation of Edonos discuss the establishment of a supreme intelligence, of one all powerful mind that organized things for Man. Does this not sound like TIMON's role in our lives?" Verbal agreement was not necessary from Ezekiel. A blink and a continued stare confirmed he was understanding. "Some of the writings of AHKANON point to the very establishment of this power. It is told through parables and symbolism and sometimes outright, about the time just before the establishment of such a system."
"How come this is not taught to us?" Ezekiel questioned, feeling that he had been lied to.
"Most of it would have made no sense two hundred years ago. Remember, we have just in the last century gained an understanding of the workings of computers. And for only half of that have we been physically exploring the workings of TIMON. Our immediate ancestors lacked the technological foundations to justify such speculations. Anything unrelated to TIMON was pure blasphemy. How would you explain the sharing of a physical brain space by two consciousness by way of a Real Time Focus to someone who has no knowledge of Unified Field Theories?" The overused word "possession" came to mind with all the ranting and raving associated with it by The Path followers.
"How far back," interjected Ezekiel, "did our ancestors exist under TIMON, but lacking any understand whatsoever of what it was?"
"Ah, now you begin to see. A pattern will emerge once you delve into the writings concerning the old religions. It is good to remember that the victors always rewrite history. Either the victors or the largest sector purporting one belief," Noham added. "For one thousand years, and Ezekiel, I am being specific to within four days, all humans have lived and died in relatively the same world. TIMON, obvious to us now, has dictated that world. The period preceding that thousand year period has often been referred to as the 'growing period', the 'flowing time' etc. It seems that there was no direct contact between TIMON and the inhabitants of its carefully maintained world. A Pre-technological world at that.
"In all and every writing surviving from that time, the figurehead of a God is mentioned, but never is there a specific reference to TIMON or anything resembling the technical workings of this Machine. Oh, there are references to the one all powerful that created the world, but it seems to take on the essence of a memory in the Mind of Man at the time. Nothing is specific. The closer to that seventh millenia back from now, the more specific the references become. It seems the memory of a technological society survived, but faded over time. The sciences warped into religions. The facts were lost in fables and myths.
"Like I was referring to before, how do you think a human would describe the effects of a skynet system that can trace individual movements continually?" He waited momentarily for any answer Ezekiel cared to venture. With silence as his cue, Noham continued. "It has been written that their God was All Knowing, 'you can not hide from the sight of God.' You simply can not hide fro those blasted satellites either. And how would this human explain a voice emanating from thin air as a result of a simple Nodal Wave Target or even a Holosonic Driver forming polarized compression waves within the gaseous medium?" no answer. "It is written, time and time again, about how God would speak to them as an unseen spirit. And how would this human explain a simple antigrav field? And how would he explain a thermonuclear explosion, or vapor trails, or any number of things beyond his immediate understanding?"
Ezekiel realized that Noham was running again. But this time, he had no problem keeping up with him.
"What happened right before that six-thousand year point, seven-thousand past distant from now?" Ezekiel asked.
"It seems that at that time there was either a great war or some other planetary disaster that completely destroyed a planet- wide civilization intact at that time. A complex, technological civilization, I might add."
"How can you know this," Ezekiel asked with bewilderment.
"Certain facts point to it. Although most all artifacts from that time have long since passed into antiquity, some fragments remain. If nothing else, the accounts of a war just before, and possibly leading to the fall. There are many mentions by a supposed pre-technological society, of streaks of smoke piercing the sky with metallic, glistening eyes. Strangely enough, these silver angels all crashed to the ground and erupted into the light of ten-thousand suns."
"That is nothing more than a simple warhead," concluded Ezekiel.
"Simple enough to someone who has seen an airship first." Noham said. "If that is not convincing, there are accounts of 30,000 people being burned to ashes in a second and the survivors becoming sick for days afterward, their hair falling out, birds turning white, all the flora dying, etc. Now tell me, how does a bronze age man describe radiation sickness?"
Ezekiel thought about this for a moment.
"Based on the records we have," Noham was saying, "this Cycle has a duration period of seven thousand years. The pattern has apparently maintained itself through four complete cycles." The expanse of time involved almost stunned Ezekiel. It took him a moment to formulate his next question.
"What was the war over?" he finally asked.
"This, which you will learn in a moment, is what is so important and pertinent to us today. Evidently, the war itself was fought over freedom." He left it at that knowing Ezekiel's mind would circle back to the appropriate question.
Ezekiel thought of everything that had been thrust upon him so quickly.
Why would the world wage war with itself? he asked himself. We are a technological society, and who would we wage war against, and for what gain? It seemed senseless to initiate such a thing. The only threat that his own world had ever really known was the immediate one; The sender of the transmission. We have had peace now for... then the thought struck him like the weight of the world coming down on his shoulders, ...one thousand years! The parallelism was too much to be explained away by coincidence. How could the same thing be happening again unless the same forces were involved?
A thousand years of peace. What did they wage war against? he wondered.
A thousand years of peace. What might we need wage war against? If the same forces are involved, that means that the sender of the transmissions has been involved in planetary development for 28,000 years. With sudden realization as to what the numbers of his very own calendar signified he thought, this is TIMON Date: 27999.356.2213! Twenty-seven-thousand nine-hundred ninty-nine years, three-hundred fifty-six days!. His mind circled swiftly back.
The war was fought over freedom!
Freedom from TIMON!
Ridiculed by pre-techs as war with God. He could imagine the crusades against those who retained any of the sciences at all, those who kept the evil, the followers of some dark, magical religion.
Knowledge persecuted by the masses as the vile ways of an evil religious sect that had come between Man and God.
Condemned through the ages as the original sin!
Man aspired to be like God!
With an acute awareness Noham scarcely expected himself, Ezekiel looked him dead in the eyes, and said:
"We will not lose this time. The cycle will end with us!"
(11,001 BC, 2 days till year's end, 11:49 a.m.)
For I will shake the heavens, in my wrath and fierce anger, and the earth will move from its place in the skies.
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
A dim light shone out to warm the darkness of his lonely study. The door firmly latched behind him, Ezekiel read from the old books he had brought from the library two nights before. For the last sixty-three hours, he had been engulfed with these documents and the messages contained within them. Fengshen-yen-i, telling of flying dragons of silver that rode on straight clouds in the sky; Samaranagana Sutradhara, describing heavenly beings arriving from out of the sky bringing biological weapons and of the creation of molecular sized weapons to be placed inside the enemies body to render them and all they came in contact with deathly ill; Surya Siddhanta, with exact calculations concerning planetary alignments, masses, number of moons, years and days of the outer planets; Huai Nan T'zu, divulging details of quantum physics and the properties of atoms; The Epic of Etana, retranslated an unknown number of times, giving exact descriptions of the complexities of space flight; Shi Ching, highlighting the destruction of Mankind for the sin of gaining too much knowledge; Sanchuniathon, relating in mythological terminology, a great number of highly advanced creations, ideas, and understanding of the nature of things; Die Diis Syriis, pertaining to the "Teraphim" described as being a kind of heavenly communicative devices; Sactya Grantham, examining an extensive knowledge base in medicines and surgical procedures possible only with lasers and internal scanners; Agastya Samhita, providing a detailed description of how to construct various kinds of batteries, electric circuits, and the workings of the electromagnetic force; Rig Veda, disclosing the various migrations soon after the flood; Vishnu Purana, containing explicitly detailed maps of the whole earth from aerial vantage points; The names of some of the books seemed familiar for reasons he could not formulate. The Popol Vu, for instance, spoke of the "First Men" and their abilities only granted to a highly technological society. But then, it was known that this book was not an original, but a copy of a much older document dating back as far as eight or nine thousand years. There had to be a firm knowledge base on this planet before us, he thought as he began to read.
"They looked into the distance and could discern everything which was in the world. Their wisdom was great. Their eye reached every forest and mountain and lake, every hill and every valley. Verily, they were wonderous men. When they looked they saw everything around and the dome of the sky and the inside of the earth!" TIMON! The thought pierced into his mind. And they were destroyed! Ezekiel thought. By what means? He read on.
"The gods said: let us satisfy their desires a little, for what we see is not well. Must they resemble us in the end, their creators who know and see all from the distance?
"So the gods cast a veil over their eyes so that they grew dim as when the breath touches a mirror; they could see only that which was near at hand and clear. Thus was destroyed all the wisdom and knowledge of the first men."
Ezekiel thought of this for several moments. This is the same thing I have now read over and over in all of these books of so called myths and legends and religions. What does TIMON have to do with all of this? he thought as he flipped the pages finding another account of the same event, told by a man who supposedly lived "far around the sphere of the world":
"The lands of the Ten Regions were shaken and torn asunder and the cities with their millions of inhabitants sank beneath the sea."
With a sense of growing uneasiness, he searched through the pages of another book. The name was almost unpronouncable to him, Siddhanta-Ciromani. He read passages concerning their calander, disruptions in the orbital alignment of the earth in their past, and several accounts of repetitive world wide disasters. It told of several calendrical realignments and adjustments that had to be made regularly. Ezekiel knew by the archcological evidence that the year had at one time been of a different length than the 360 cycle he knew. Another curious piece of information caught his attention. Why would the "primative" ancients need such a fine division in their counting of time? They divided their time into sexagesimal divisions, he read. The day was divided into 60 kala, each equal to 24 minutes, subdivided into 60 vikala, each equivalent to 24 seconds. The divisions continued, para, tatpara, vitatpara, ima and finally kashta, or 1/300 millionth of a second. This would only be useful in the study of certain hyperons and mesons and a few other atomic particles, he thought, but of no use to a "primative", supposedly evolving culture. Another book, the Drona Parva, spoke of great flying metal creatures that spat out fire balls upon their enemies. This sounds alot like a discription of our modern fighters, he thought. But this was not what really touched him deeply. One book in particular, suposedly written after a great fall of Man, six thousand years past, contained an acount of weapons used on vast cities that obviously did not exist much past that time, as archeology had shown. He read from the translation, at times obscure. Obviously someone with little scientific insight had written the original script as best as they could with their individual understanding of the incident. This particular account was of one weapon called by the ancients, the "Brahma Weapon". He read on:
"When the weapon was discharged, smoke like 10,000 suns blazed up in splendor... then a thick gloom suddenly encompassed the hosts.
"All points of the compass were suddenly enveloped in darkness. Clouds roared into the higher air... showering blood... the world, scorched by the heat of that weapon seemed to be in a ferver.
"Darkness hid the entire army. Then we beheld a wondrous sight; burned by the power of that weapon, the forms of the slain could not even be distinguished.
"For many days there were terrible gales and people's hair and fingernails dropped out.
"Food went bad and birds that had been... [contaminated?] turned white, and their legs blistered and turned scarlet.
"The elephants made a fearful trumpeting and sank dead to the ground over a vast area.
"Then, for several years after, the sun and the stars and the sky were hidden by clouds and violent storms. It seemed that the end of the world had come..."
In a like description, this terrible book, called the Mahabharata, spoke likewise of another weapon called "Kapilla's Glance", which could burn down 50,000 men to ashes within a few seconds. A verse from the same book came to mind of which Noham had taught over a year ago to the class, most of them not understanding the significance: "Then men tampered with the 'Divine Fire', the earth split open and sixty million people in great cities were drowned in one terrible night."
How could anyone not see the connection? Ezekiel wondered. How could we have been caught so unprepared once again?
So much had happened in the last week, and in learning such an onslaught of new information, the thought that what he was now going through was contained in these ancient writings confounded him.
He flipped through the pages with the eyes of a dreamer lancing out to skewer any new fragment of wisdom that pertained to him and his world.
The cycle is so clear, he thought. How could anyone miss something as apparent as this? His eyes raised as he looked to some distant point far beyond the near wall. Six-thousand years of struggle and slow progress, followed by one-thousand years of peace. He thought of this for a moment. More like six-thousand years of paced recovery halted by one-thousand years of imposed stagnation! The thought made him cringe. What purpose would some intelligence have in creating such an atrocity as the TIMON? What possible good could come from stifling an entire race again and again? Anger built up inside him as he continued along these lines of contemplation.
He opened several of the books to marked places in turn, checking, and comparing. Insight flashed upon him.
We have been deliberately suppressed for 28,000 years! Someone, somewhere is scared of what we might become! The thought filled him with something akin to hope. What a force to unleash upon an unsuspecting galaxy, the Human potential would be!
Washes of outrage intermingled with sheer waves of ululation swept over Ezekiel simultaneously. What have I stumbled upon? What if that force became aware of what I now know? A sickening shudder careened through his veins as he realized what lay in store for him. By this time tomorrow, at least as he measured time, he would no longer inhabit this world. If their science had indeed breached the barriers of reality as its worshipers claimed, he would be carried into a far distant land. Distant in time! he thought. There, he would awaken into the physical body of a living inhabitant of that time and place. The limits of their science would in effect induce a kind of synthetic metempsychosis upon some unsuspecting consciousness in some future time. According to conventional thinking, it would not be a "possession", as the followers of The Path feared, but more of a total, all encompassing sharing. Both consciousness would be completely maintained. All the knowledge available to one would be available to the other. The only question that could not be answered was whether the two would remain as separate entities unto themselves, or, as a single collective awareness, merge into one, indistinguishable "self".
No one could tell him what this would be like, for no one had experienced such a thing and returned to tell of it. With subtle apprehension, he closed the final book, The Hadmodemes, reeking of incomparable, unfathonable age. Memories of everything he had read clung to his awareness as a thick sap upon a wounded tree. He could not break free from the thoughts seemingly forced into his mind. Of all the passages, one remained most illuminated by some deep feelings from his childhood that were forming it into a familiar sense of recognition - Remembrance! It was a first hand account of mechanical brilliance swiftly forced upon an unsuspecting population, warping it into wonder with a sense of reverent acceptance.
"...I can feel it in the air, and in the sky. I can sense it altering the life in the earth... I can feel it - Its growing stronger now... It frightens so many, but - my initial fears have... grown into a - sense of adoration for the level of perfection involved in the change..."
How could they not see the truth? he cried to himself in sadness. I can not fail! This vile cycle must be broken! Man must be free to reach for his full potential - just think what we could have been by now!
And with that, Ezekiel slid into the embracing arms of sleep for the last time. Visions of some distant paradise with beautiful forests, sacred rivers, and iced mountains crept into his first dreams. It seemed so peaceful. His mind caught the beauty of sparkling glass only to be shattered by a wakeful thought: Some force at work within the heavens considers us a threat!
(11,001 BC, years end, midnight)
"There have been, and there will be again, many destructions of mankind."
(Mountain Archives, Edonos)
The enshrouding mesh of tiny wires covered his nude body, pricking him with sensors detecting unknown states within him. Several small blinking points of light illuminated the small enclosure in jumpy combinations of flashes. The temperature was dropping rapidly, but he felt no chill. In the last few moments, he realized that he would never step back out of this mechanical confinement. If all went as predicted, he would indeed awaken, but not here. Not in this body.
Ezekiel was one of a classified number of Focus subjects picked out, not by humans, but by the very MACHINE which they were working against. He wondered if this was indeed the last attempt to save their world. What a hellish nightmare had engulfed them in the last few weeks. A great weight descended upon him, almost crushing his reason. So much had become his burden this last week. So much now depended upon him.
A chain 28,000 years long, he thought. I must weaken the links on this chain bonding Man in perpetual stagnation. What might we have been by now?
Of the unknown number of subjects involved in this last attempt, Ezekiel was but one, destined for but one place; one time.
How simple it would be for the TIMON to reach out and snatch one of us, he thought. Even in mind, safety is found in numbers. He knew that that was their reasoning for sending so many. Only one was to be sent to the specific target that all of this hinged on. One of us will be responsible for the fate of this world, and the countless generations afterward. The thought filled him with fear as well as a sense of importance. What if I fail? he thought. What of the others? Where might they end up? His mind slipped back into the briefing room, he had so suddenly found himself in...
"As Field Engineers, you have all been prepared for such an eventuality for most of your adult lives," the hefty speaker quoted from a prepared statement. "We have been left with little choice in matters. We must act now." He stared around the room to each one in turn.
What brave subjects we have chosen, he thought as he looked into the familiar faces one last time. By our actions today, a single human will hold the fate of Man in his hands.
Noham looked down at his notes, swallowed with a dry throat, and said, "Each of you knows of the problems involved in such distant Focuses. The energy drain alone will probably cripple our facility beyond repair. But, alas, much greater things are at stake than the existence of our own little world here within the TI-Perimeter."
The faces looking up at him held none of the reservations one would expect from people about to willingly give their lives for a chance, untested experiment. The sacrifice on the part of so many was realized in everyone's mind as they listened. How many lives here would be destroyed by this? They all knew of the latest Focuses attempted. Apparently, they were successful, but this was an untestable hypothesis in itself. The Field Chambers simply contained the lifeless corpse of the subject after transmission. This, of course, was one of the criteria for success. Their mathematics had not advanced to the point of forming a complete representation of a Future Matrix due to the vast amount of variables involved in supposed "free choice". But since all actions to be altered would occur in the future, those of the past/present, would not be affected by these experiments. This was according to theory, a theory which, at this time, did not apply, for their very world was at stake.
Some change made by one of these people in this room will alter events or circumstances or something in the future that will save us from this impending disaster now. The thought almost confounded Noham. If the information we have translated from these alien transmissions is accurate, we have but a few days left, and that is only an approximation. Every piece of dry land inundated by sweeping oceans thrown out of their basins, he thought. Verses from one of the old books from the library flashed into his consciousness: "The Lord of Hosts is mustering a host for battle. They come from a distant land, from the end of the Heavens, the Lord and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole earth. Isaiah 13:5" How many times has this routine played itself out on an unsuspecting world? Who knows what would happen if the entire Present Matrix shifts right out from under us in favor of a new one. Maybe our entire world will suddenly equivocate into this new reality, and we will never even know that we have done such a thing. The inhabitants would owe their existence to beings that never then existed. He pondered on this for a moment. And if one of these subjects is successful, how will we know? How can a future field focus alter events this far in the past from the target time?
A saddening thought overcame him then: I might not even exist in this new Dominant Matrix to know that things have changed. Better that than to face this catastrophe soon to swoop down upon us all.
He looked up from his reverie, and with a solemn voice, spoke one last time to the condemned people around him. "Everything you know will be carried with you. Every experience you now remember will be a tool for you to use. And every decision you make upon your arrival will be crucial to our existence."
He thought of the problems concerning the viewing of the histories of this time by the Focus subjects upon their arrival. Would they already know that they had failed or succeeded? he wondered. Or might their actions nonetheless alter the past as hinted at in the Transmissions? Can one person undo all of history, up to the time of their new existence, and still exist in the new reality? And if they did indeed cease to exist due to the changes brought about by their presence, would that not undo the initial change in the first place, returning the original Reality?
He paused for several moments, glanced around the room again, then said, "You all know of the impending destruction to our planet, if the translations are correct. And indeed, how can we risk something as great as this on chance?"
He stood as straight as possible and mustered as much conviction and control as he could, and said, "The fate of our world is in your hands. Go, and take with you the sum of our blessings." Noham spread his arms wide engulfing them all in a symbolic embrace. "You are the hope of the future. May your gods be with you."
...sensor lines crept back into his consciousness as Ezekiel opened his eyes. I am the hope of the Future, he thought. What I do could save our world from the apparent, immenent destruction.
Images of billions drowning in planetary tidal convolutions filled his mind with a sickening distress. The figures pulled from the machines concerning the shift in Edonos' orbital alignment could be interpreted no other way. What force could move the world? The memory of Noham reading from some ancient book, rewritten countless times, came to his mind: "...therefore, I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall move out of her place... Isaiah 13:13" He wondered at this as he looked to the chronometer above him, "10 seconds to Complete Field Statication". What could I possibly do against such force? "5 seconds to Cross Time/Grid Interface."
His immediate sight seemed to waver as images of something else invaded upon his awareness; images of somewhere other than where his body remained. "3 seconds..." I'm scared! "2" I don't want to... "1" ...
Noham, seated in an adjacent room to the monitor room, not wanting to see the actual screens, could hear the countdown. His nerves were about to short circuit.
Have we prepared them as best we can? he wondered. The time is past to plan. The time is at hand to reap the fruits of our labors - Survival; Existence!. He touched a contact opening the large bay windows giving a view over most of the facility. He looked upon the winding river that halved their beautiful complex. Great walls and towers were grounded round the base of cold mountains as a statement of Man's retreat from Nature.
What if we have overlooked something? Something we could not know? We know so little as it is.
He looked out at the serene, blue black sky of an almost perfect night and thought, None of those walking about in the gardens below even know of what is, or is not about to occur. Could it be that the time to reap the rewards of our insolence is now upon us? How soon will we know if our efforts have sufficed? Two weeks to confirm the calculations based on our already failing satellite network? Forty blind days before we can know for sure? How long does it take a new Matrix to form?
In a strange manipulation of emotions, Noham felt an almost comforting sensation in not knowing. Ah, he thought, the comfort of ignorance. If only I knew not at all!
From the adjacent room, the extension speaker intentionally left on, he heard the automatic counters announcing the project status, "10 seconds".
This is it, he thought. We succeed or we fail.
He looked out at the pleasant beauty of people unaware. "5 seconds," he heard the systems proclaim. His alertness grew as the last seconds ticked away. The lights outside transfixed him in a daze. His eyes stared out upon the lush greenery of this virtual paradise, he spoke, "May that which is best for the human race, now come to be..."
And with that, the air around him grew thick and fluid. Noham strained to maintain a view out of the window. Forming from nowhere, huge waves of dark water flowed into deadly existence. All the buildings began to crumble under the accumulating weight of a misplaced ocean. His nerves becoming frigid as the temperature plunged to that of the icy waters. The foundation of the control room dropped away as thousands of dying bodies were swept away in the constricting tidal currents. Forming a thought in his frightened mind, "...something went wrong,.. not again!... last... link...", Noham slipped into a frigid death as did the rest of his world.
TIMON monitored the flows.
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