Chapter 25

Carlton didn’t realize that he had fallen asleep until he realized that he was awake, but something wasn’t right. The house was too quiet and too dark. He stayed quite still until his senses focussed but realized that the normal noises of the house were silent. The only thing he was aware of was a faint green flickering light from the adjacent hallway. He slowly sat up, expecting at any moment to be attacked by an unseen intruder, but it didn’t happen. He cocked his head to one side to listen, but there simply was nothing to hear. He gingerly made his way towards the source of the eerie greenish glow, and found himself creeping into the living room. The only thing visible were some unrecognisable characters scrolling down Frank’s monitor screen.

“Frank?” he whispered. Nothing.

“Frank?” he spoke more loudly. Still no response.

“Frank!” he yelled and within a heartbeat the house started switching back on. Pumps started, fans kicked in, lights flickered on. The computer screen resolved back to a display of various news feeds.

“Frank?” asked Carlton nervously.

“Sorry,” came a weak voice, “I was just, praying.”

“What?”

“What?” the voice was stronger.

“You said you were praying?”

“When?”

“Just now.”

“Wasn’t me.”

“Yes, it was, you just said that you were praying.”

“I don’t pray. What are you talking about?”

“I just woke up in total darkness, the whole house has shut down, you got some weird stuff scrolling across your screen. I called you three times and you said you were praying.”

Frank didn’t respond immediately. Carlton began making his way to the central processing unit. He didn’t get far before Frank spoke.

“So, anyway. Praying. Right. So, anyway…”

Carlton didn’t say anything but was making his way to the main computing unit, thinking as he did that they were way overdue for a reboot.

“So.” Frank seemed to have picked up his thread, “Special Agent Skirt. Her software thing. Thingy. I’m not sure what to make of it.”

“Is it working?” asked Carlton, it was the only thing he really cared about.

“Oh, it’s working. It’s installed in Biblio and you are good to go.”

“And?” Carlton asked. He had stopped making his way to the main computing unit. Instead he sidetracked to the kitchen to find something to drink.

“And this is weird. Spooky, sort of.”

“Sort of spooky?” asked Carlton, who was at the fridge and wavering between fruit juice or beer.

“Yes. I have never seen code like this before. Ever.”

“What’s different about it?” Carlton chose beer.

“It’s like, God code.”

“God code?”

“It’s…”

“Start making sense Frank or we’re going for a hard reboot.” Carlton drained his beer and reached for another.

“I know. I know.” said Frank apologetically, “It’s like God wrote this code.”

“I thought it was translation software.” said Carlton, the beer beginning to take effect and he feeling pretty cool about getting drunk in the middle of the night.

“It’s not.”

“So what is it? and why do you think God wrote it?” Carlton rolled his eyes and chuckled noting that he was halfway through his second beer.

“This unlocks language.”

“Unlocks? What does that mean?”

“It’s like, there are no languages any more. Everything just makes sense.”

“Deep Frank. Very deep. If that’s all you got I’m going back to bed.”

 

The next morning took a long time to arrive. Night passed imperceptibly into day, shrouded in thick clouds. Heavy rain beat upon the roof of Carlton’s house creating a faint but audible drumming. It was a good day to stay in bed. That was not an option, however, because Frank had devised a plan.

“OK Carlton, let me run this by you. Take the drive back to Special Agent Skirt. It will work now. Biblio and I worked on it all night. It’s already installed, but give her the drive anyway, and make her think that she is installing it. Just act like your usual village idiot self and it will be fine.”

Carlton didn’t comment. This casually abusive behaviour of Frank’s was becoming bolder. Frank went on.

“There are parts of Biblio that I can’t access. Special Agent Skirt installed a high level security encryption shield to hide all the sensitive stuff. Biblio and I cracked that right away, because he key logged her passwords. The problem is that he made himself an emulator of the security system and can keep any body out, even me.”

“Why is that a problem? Wouldn’t you like to have a little privacy?”

“There is no such thing as privacy. But Biblio is like a little baby he hasn’t figured out too much yet.”

Carlton was fixing coffee for the road and heading for the door. Frank wasn’t finished yet.

“I need you to do a couple of things for me.”

“Well, start asking nicely and back off on the ‘constructive criticism,’ and I’ll think about it.”

“Yes, I see. Interpersonal relations. Fascinating.”

“Frank,” Carlton was waiting by the door, “I’m thrilled by this burst of growth and development, but could you hurry up? You were the one that made me get up with a bunch of talk about urgency.”

“OK. Could you find out what is at the bottom of the shaft?”

“What!”

“There should be a staircase. There has to be an emergency escape beside the main elevator. If you could find that then you may be able to get to the levels below the public ones.”

“Look, I am not a special agent, OK. What if I got caught?”

“Tell them you got lost.”

“‘Wait, wait, wait a minute!” Carlton threw up his hands.

“Relax,” soothed Frank, “work later than usual. When almost every one is gone, start to leave, then act like you forgot something and go back. Go see if you can find the stairs. I’m sure everyone will assume that you went back, found what you needed, then left.”

“What else?” Carlton was getting annoyed. “You said a couple of things. What was the other one.”

“Finish up at the library as soon as you can, and get out of there. I need you to help me. I’ve found an android that I want.”

“Oh. I mean, yes master. Will that be all?”

“For now.”

Carlton left deep in thought. He was quite ill at ease with the idea that Frank may soon be walking around. What if he decided to go out and wander around town yelling at people and showering innocent bystanders with chirpy abuse? He would probably start a fight, get beaten into scrap, and Carlton would be left to answer for it all. He was about to dismiss the entire project as a pointless and probably dangerous waste of time and money, but something in his inner man began to rise up at the smell of another complex technological challenge. This was an opportunity to really push forward, perhaps break into another market, maybe start a cooperative venture with one of the big manufacturers and get mega rich. Imagine something like Frank in the form of a butler or handyman, capable of keeping your investment portfolio organized while fixing your car. Not forgetting that he could keep you entertained with a steady flow of jovial banter. And imagine millions of them built by Sony or Honda.

Carlton shook his head in an attempt to dispel the thought, but it was already too late. He knew himself well enough to know that there would be no way for him to stop now. Once he had an idea he would not stop until he had made it into a reality. That was what had got him to where he was today, so there was no reason to stop now.

 

Save

Chapter 24

Rachel was eventually satisfied with her Friday kit. The dress she would wear wasn’t her usual sleek body hugging style because she couldn’t have the outline of her weapons be visible. It looked frumpy, but it would have to do. It had no waistline and silly pockets, completely out of character, it made her think of a 40-year-old virgin wallflower. Wendy Wallflower became the name. She tore out the pocket liners so she could draw her guns and knives.

She quickly changed into black leather motorcycle gear and fussed about the cut and fit of her riding pants while getting more and more excited. She had something to do that evening that was very risky but she had been thinking about it for days. The problem with motorcycle gear is that no matter how good it looks or how nicely it fits in the store, once you get on a bike it is usually a major pain. You don’t need to be able to move around much on a bike, mostly just freedom of motion of the head and neck is needed, but most motorcycle jackets and helmets do their level best to impede that as much as possible. A good fit was critical though, she once bought a helmet that was half a size too big and when she turned her head at speed on the bike, the wind would catch the helmet and swivel it around on her head enough to be quite dangerous.

It was finally getting dark and Rachel was very sweaty waiting in the tight-fitting thick clothing. She was so excited she nearly peed herself. She had done covert ops before, for the CIA, so she knew about the tension and adrenaline, but this was an op she was doing for herself. No one else was involved. It was irrational, stupid, unwise to say the least, but she was under compulsion and was eager to get started.

At the designated time she changed TV station, adjusted the radio, logged into Facebook on the computer and dialled a phone number. The other end was a dummy number, so she just left the phone on the couch with an open phone line and went into the little alcove that led to the bathroom on the right and laundry room on the left. There was an air return duct that she took the cover off, The next part she had practised several times to be able to do it quickly. She donned her motorcycle helmet which was annoying, but she wouldn’t be able to carry it. Rachel had to get herself into the air return duct and replace the cover from the inside, then climb up and exit the duct into the plenum space between two floors of her building, make her way to the elevator shaft then get to the roof. All in motorcycle gear with her helmet on.

By the time she got to the roof she was very sweaty but there was nothing she could do about it. Her helmet was pretty scratched from several bumps on the way. Her heart was pounding now, and she could feel the pulse in her neck and temples. She rested for a moment in a crouch on the roof behind some duct work.

Her next move was a Pole vault across the alley to the roof of the next building, and she suddenly realized that this wasn’t so much a plan, as a ridiculous dare she had made for herself for some reason that was eluding her at the moment. Seriously? Pole vault across an alley, 7 stories up in the air wearing motorcycle gear and helmet?

“What the hell was I thinking?”

There was the pole, where she had requested, lying along a gutter in the flat roof. And aligned with the pole was the route she would run before planting the pole in a drain hole she had blocked off. She also had to keep hold of the pole on the other side and make sure to not drop it.

She contemplated abandoning the mission and going downstairs to crawl into bed. That wouldn’t be so bad. She really liked the bed here.

Then she remembered the point of the exercise and without another moments hesitation she took up the pole, steadied it, aimed, then took off across the roof in a sprint. Pow, whoosh, thud and she was over, bringing the pole with her, holding it long enough so that it would not fall into the alley then dropping it so that she could roll on the other roof to absorb her momentum. Her helmet thumped on the ground and the leathers absorbed a lot of impact too. In retrospect there were pluses and minuses to doing the stunt in motorcycle gear.

She quickly stowed the pole and made her way to ground level on the fire escape. She made her way from shadow to cover to shadow until she got to the garage where she kept her motorcycle. Dilli D. That was what she called it: Dilli the “Double D,” Ducati, which made her laugh since it was the only thing she owned that was Double D. A Ducati 748 with as no black box, GPS, driver assist or Google maps capability. This was as bare bones a bike as could be made.

Everything had been building up to this part of her little escapade. As nervous as she had been to climb through ducts and Pole vault roofs it was the anticipation of riding her bike, a.k.a. Drusilla when she was feeling sophisticated, that was the most exciting. Her pulse was pounding in her head and she had a sheen of sweat under her clothes, but both would go away once she was on the bike and riding.

She gave the bike a cursory check but was too keyed up to do the whole procedure, got on and cranked it. She revved it a couple of times and began to relax immediately.

She lived and kept the bike strategically close to a highway interchange so it was just a matter of a minute before she was flying up the on-ramp and screaming towards the desert. By the time she was up to 140 mph she began to relax a little, weaving among the light traffic. She tore past a State Trooper who turned his blue lights on and gave chase until he evidently gave up because she couldn’t see blue lights any more. Shortly she passed the city limits and was out into the flat windy expanse of the salty desert. It was a clear bright night and the moon was big so she killed the lights with a special switch she had added, and dialled the bike back to 100 mph. This was relaxing, and she felt dry now too.

It didn’t take long to get to the interchange that led to Salt City. Not the main route that went via the old US Magnesium plant, but the secondary route that ran over Stansbury Island. This would put her in the back lot by the tradesman’s entrance where the next part of her plan would start.

By the time she pulled up next to a couple of beat up old sedans Rachel was relaxed and composed. She took off the helmet and shook out her hair, stowed the helmet and grabbed a small pouch from the bike. There was a couple of Porta-Jons at the lot and one of them contained a secret stash she had made for her disguise. There was no one around and she slipped into the Porta-Jon unobserved.

The person who emerged looked like a middle-aged employee of the Custodial Services Department. She had lank greasy hair, stained baggy clothes that hung from her skinny body, a limp that spoke of a bad hip, and wore crooked glasses on a crooked nose. The nose had wide nostrils that told the story of hard partying, her eye watered from a permanent cigarette, and she spoke with a drawl that could flay a man at 20 paces. This was Hard Life Hannah, one of Rachel’s least favourite alter egos. Perfect, however, to infiltrate Salt City because they already knew her here and she had the documentation to back up he story. She waved amiably to the security guard who let her in without a second thought.

She joked around with the other custodians that were either coming or going, but rather than punch the clock she went to the bathroom and left via an air return duct in the wall. With great care and precision she made her way to the top of the fire escape at the library building and let herself in.

Save

Chapter 23

When Carlton finally got home he and Frank were both bursting to tell the other about the day’s events. Carlton had to call a time-out to get the conversation into some sort of order, but Frank already knew most of what Carlton had to say because Biblio had told him. It was Carlton’s turn to speak.

“What on earth could be down at the bottom of that elevator shaft?”

“Well,” Frank was back in control, “we’ll have a clue when we crack the code on the software Ms. Skirt gave you. I have my suspicions.”

“What suspicions?”

Carlton connected the portable drive that Rachel had given him. There were a couple of clicks and a faint whir and Frank began reading data. Carlton was like a kid,

“What do you see? What do you see?”

“Very impressive.” Frank paused, there were more clicks and whirs. “This is very sophisticated stuff. Even I am impressed. Ms. Skirt did not write this code.”

“Why do you say that?” Carlton began to get defensive.

“Quite simply because this is classified, top secret code. No wonder she practically had a fit about giving it to you. This came straight from the CIA.”

“What?” Carlton was amazed, then worried. “Do you think she knew?”

“Of course she knew. That’s who she’s working for. Idiot.”

“Gee, thanks. So now what?”

“Something’s wrong. Very wrong. She broke every rule in the book by letting you see this. There must be a reason why she gave it to you before she went back to her superiors to tell them about the incompatibility. This is a security breach of such magnitude that it could be treason. I don’t understand.”

The were both silent for a moment, but Carlton spoke up, “Do you think that she thinks I’m too stupid to figure out what this code is and where it came from?”

“You didn’t figure it out. I did. And she knows that you are stupid. Sorry,” Frank realized that he was being a little too free with words, “Smart and stupid in different ways.”

“You’re really full of charm tonight, aren’t you?”

“Don’t forget, you’re the genius that made me. Even though you’ve become an intellectually lazy slob these days, you’ve got it when it counts.”

“Lazy slob? You’re a piece of work, you know that?”

“Yes, I am. And so is Biblio. You don’t know what you have done this time.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that I think that you were just going through the motions, connecting components together, like a robot. You don’t know what you have built.”

“Whatever.” Carlton was finding the conversation more and more disturbing, but, Frank was absolutely right.

There was silence for a while. Frank was reading code, and Carlton was now getting so worried that his appetite was gone, he was listless, and had no idea what to do next. He knew it would be useless to try to sleep, but he didn’t want to watch TV or surf the web or anything like that.

“Frank?” he needed to talk.

“Yep?”

“Any thoughts? Why is there a conference room deep in the ground being run by the CIA?”

“Well, my first impression, which I am sure will be proved right, goes something like this: I’m quite sure that the D.C. government is planning to use it to interpret enemy communications. Something is brewing somewhere. Something big, and the CIA is sitting on a pile of recordings of conversations that they don’t have the resources to translate and interpret. I deduce this from the sophisticated nature of the software they gave you. Add to that the fact that there are 60 units capable of taking direct input of spoken communication in a cheaply furnished dungeon. It has all the hallmarks of a military, National defence, type gig. The degree of agitation in Ms. Skirt when the software didn’t work means that this is important. The fact that she breached National security and gave it to you, must mean that this is time-sensitive. The Salt City enviro-friendly dome thing is a ruse. Those domes would survive a nuclear attack and protect the inhabitants from fall-out for years. It’s a military installation, set up to monitor communications. And who knows what else, considering what could be at the bottom of the elevator shaft.”

Carlton was nodding as Frank spoke. “Frank, you’re beginning to scare me.”

“Be scared.”

“Oh great!”

They lapsed into silence again. Carlton was getting agitated. He lay down, got up, took a shower, lay down, got up, wandered around. “Do you really think I’m lazy?”

“Yes. You’ve become the intellectual equivalent of a dead sloth.”

“Are you working on that driver?”

“Yes, amongst other things. You could do this, you know.”

“Good night Frank.”

Save

Chapter 22

The President of the United States was starting to loose it. He had been on the go for the entire weekend in New York attending galas, banquets, town hall meetings and rallys. He had been smiling and projecting his sparkling persona so much that he was close to biting someone’s head off. Now finally back at the White House in D.C., he was desperate to get into his private quarters and relax, but he knew he was not going to get there without having to deal with his Chief of Staff. He took a deep breath. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

And there he was, with the grinning Mr. Smith. What was he doing here again?

“I know,” said the President, “you have a lot of things to catch me up on. You better make it quick, I’m not in the mood for this.”

“Just one thing really,” replied the Chief of Staff, “Mr. Smith?”

“Yes, Mr. President, Chief of Staff. I want to let you know that we are moving our units into position in the Salt Lake City area. A nuclear device is being delivered to the target area later in the week. We can have everything in place and timed for the clock tick that switches us over to world monetary union. Any delay beyond that in dealing with our situation in Southern Utah is going to lead to very difficult accounting for the resources that the, er, problem utilizes.”

“What a pleasant thought to end the day with.” The President shook his head.

“And here was me thinking that you had something important to tell me.” He looked at Mr. Smith who’s irritating smile didn’t even waver. He was pure evil. What makes a person like that? The tired President didn’t have the energy to argue, and the easiest way to make the two of them go away was to agree. He straightened himself up, tried to appear resolved and said,

“Very good. Proceed with the plan. Let me know as soon as you have all of our assets in position. Chief, make sure that Mr. Smith has all of the resources that he needs. Goodnight gentlemen, well done.”

They both seemed pleased with the outcome, and Mr. Smith’s smile managed to go up another notch.

The President detached himself from the group politely and made his way upstairs to his private suite. His wife was waiting with a knowing look on her face and open arms.

“Come here baby, you poor thing.”

He embraced her warmly and then released her. He tried a weak smile. He moved them inside the suite and made sure that the door was shut.

“There is something very, very bad happening. I don’t know what to do.”

His wife looked into his face with genuine concern. She scrutinized his forehead barcode.

“You’re starting to smudge baby. I need to work on your tattoo,” his wife said, “come tell me all about it.”

She led him into the bathroom, sat him down on the commode and got a bottle of rubbing alcohol, some cotton buds, and two Sharpie markers, one fine tip and one wider tip. He started to tell her about the plan to detonate a bomb on the Salt City domes, and the planned droid attack on the camp in Southern Utah. As he did, she carefully wiped the ink off the President’s forehead, dried the area, then began redrawing the barcode with the markers. She listened carefully and said nothing until she finished her task.

“There, good as new.”

“So, what do you think?” The President was still worried, but much relieved for having been able to tell his wife.

“My dad is in that camp. Other family too. You know that.”

“Yep.”

“So we have to do what we always knew we would have to do. Or we’re not the people that we always thought we were.”

“You’re right. I’m just wondering if there is way to save the camp too.”

“You’ll figure it out baby, you always do,” she gave him a warm smile.

“I love you. Thank you baby.”

Save

Chapter 21

Rachel stormed out of the library, mostly for show, just to make sure that no one slowed her down with stupid questions about was she feeling well. She stamped to her car, slammed the door shut, and by the time she tire squealed out of the parking lot she was laughing to herself about how absurd she must have looked. She just needed to collect her thoughts, so to maintain a façade of frustration and anger served no purpose now that she was alone.

Stupid Carlton. That was the real problem. But not really, since he was totally clueless about what was going on. She drove carefully home, checking frequently for the plain sedan that was tailing her. Her body-guard, she rolled her eyes. She was involved is some highly sensitive work for the military so there were always people watching to make sure she was doing what she was supposed to do.

Stupid, stupid Carlton. Idiot. But that was rather harsh since he was really just a pawn in an over-sized game of chess. She had to keep him on track to make sure the computer system was fully ready for the start of the international linguistics symposium that started Wednesday morning. He better have everything ready or his ass was on the line.

Stupid, stupid, stupid Carlton. Moron! But that was totally unfair since he was just doing his job, and hers was the ass on the line. He had no idea that he had just built the brain for a secret military counter intelligence facility. He had no clue that the international symposium was just a ruse to make the installation seem legit.

She arrived at her rented town house and went inside. The plain sedan saw her go in. She would have to report right away, and she hadn’t quite got her story straight yet. She was regretting giving a top-secret classified thumb drive to a dumbass like Carlton, poor guy, and she wasn’t sure what the reaction from up top would be. She could lie about it. Tempting, but the words of her Pastor rang in her head, “There are no liars in heaven!”

She picked up her secure phone to call in and took a deep breath. Remember Rachel, she told herself. After Friday none of this will matter anyway. Stupid Carlton.

She dialed the phone, gave her clearance code, and asked to be connected with Agent Smith.

It turned out to be easier than she thought. Agent Smith already knew about how she stormed out of the library. Thankfully her misogynistic security detail had put the incident down to “women’s problems,” so she rode that story all the way to the end of the call. Always be a bitch when you have the chance to.

She went upstairs to her bedroom and turned on the TV, the radio, an oscillating fan and the shower. She peeled off her dress and hose as she did, and made her way to the walk-in closet. She had a plan for Friday, and she wanted to check her kit.

Rachel had not registered for World Monetary Union or received her tattoo yet. She had put it off and put it off with excuse after excuse. Time was running out. She had convinced Agent Smith and the higher-ups that she would take the last appointment on Friday afternoon, as soon as the linguistics symposium was over. She was a government agent with high level security clearance so compliance was expected, but Rachel was also a Christian. She had convinced the higher-ups that this was a good cover, since anyone who had known her in the past knew that she was a devout church goer. They were worried that she was just stalling and that she was going to try to do something to avoid her registration appointment on Friday.

Rachel searched the back of the closet and pulled out a slinky looking black garment. It was very heavy for its size because it was not fabric, but a finely woven Kevlar body armour. It was a tight squeeze but she got into it, like a wet suit with short sleeves and cut off above the knees. It would be quite hidden underneath a pant suit or any of the dresses that she normally wore. It was the best protection money could buy that could be concealed under a party frock. Next came a combination of guns and knives. Three guns and six knives to be exact. Two small pistols were in a cross-draw holster on her hips, with extra ammo clips. Then another pistol with a bit more heft in a shoulder holster. There were six throwing knives in a pouch across her belly. It was uncomfortable and hot. She figured on wearing go-go boots instead of heels, to conceal another knife or two and for traction if she had to run or climb. There were a few other accessories that she added, perusing herself in the full length mirror as she did.

By the time she was done she was ready for fight or flight, and she looked herself in the eye and vowed that she would escape on Friday, or die trying.

And then there was that stupid Carlton. She laughed out loud.

Save

Chapter 20

Carlton had been productively absorbed in his work for a few hours when the intercom buzzed.

“Carlton? It’s Rachel, are you there?”

Carlton was brought out of his reverie, for once he hadn’t been thinking about her.

“Yes, Carlton here. What do you need?”

“Can you come to the circulation desk? I think we have a problem.”

“Be there right away.” How cool was that, to have to go and help Rachel!

He got up and walked to the elevator, pondering what Frank had said about this set up being rather odd. He pressed the call button and waited a moment. The elevator arrived with an odd flourish, if you could call it that, but Carlton didn’t think much of it and got in. The control panel had two rows of buttons. They started with the 3 above ground levels, then L for Lobby, 8 underground levels, the lowest of which he was at, and a B for basement. There was another red button at the bottom next to a key hole. The elevator tried to start a conversation but Carlton really wasn’t interested.

Frank had warned him that this was bigger than he thought. As the elevator door began to close he had an idea. Maybe he could test how big this thing was. He walked back into the conference room looking in the trash and on the floor until he found a thin strip of metal, a surplus shelf bracket. At the elevator again, he knelt down by the door and pressed the call button. When the door opened he tried to look down through the crack between the elevator tracks. There was an eerie red glow. He slid the piece of metal into the crack, put his ear close to listen, then let it go. One thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thou.. there was a distant clatter. About four seconds. He got up, entered the elevator and hit the button for the Lobby. He did a quick calculation. Acceleration due to gravity is ten meters per second, per second. In four seconds the piece of metal would have fallen one hundred meters, over 300 feet.

At the circulation desk Rachel was flustered.

“Hey, Carlton. Sorry to bother you.”

“It’s no problem. What’s up?”

“I don’t know. It’s this software. Biblio can’t recognize the code and can’t run the software.” She was fidgeting, chewing her finger nails and shifting from foot to foot in agitation. As Carlton drew nearer she lowered her voice, “I hope you can figure this out, or I’m in trouble.” He glanced at her with obvious concern, but smiled and spoke reassuringly.

“Well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. What software is it?”

She held up a small portable drive.

“It’s language comprehension software that I wrote for this system.”

“Language comprehension?” Carlton raised his eyebrows, “that’s a new one on me. I thought that the system here was rigged to the gills with translation capabilities, ‘The likes of which the world has never seen before.'” He had read that last part in some promotional literature that he had found lying around.

“Right, translation is one thing, but, based on how your units operate, with actual voice input, I er, wrote software that would let the computer to understand the words, and the real meaning of what it heard. It allows for the interpretation of different inflections and intonations, and how the way that words are spoken affects what they mean. It,” but then she caught herself as if she realized she had said too much, or was about to.

Carlton thought for a moment, and considered this remarkable turn of events. He had never heard of such software before. It made perfect sense, and it was logical application of the hardware capabilities he had built. Frank said the night before that there was more to Ruth than met the eye. If she had written software that could do what she said, anticipating the hardware features that he had built, then she was either a genius or she was working for one. Except it seemed that she, or whoever, had overlooked one minor detail.

“I think all we need is a device driver,” he said reassuringly.

“Really,” she was visibly relieved.

“Sure,” he continued. “Old Biblio here has never seen this software before, and though it’ll work with the user interface, it’s not calibrated to the right input/output format. The software doesn’t know how to run this hardware. Or the hardware doesn’t know how to run the software, however you want to look at it.”

Rachel looked worried again, “is it going to be a problem?”

“I don’t think so. If you would let me see the code for the software, I’ll work on a device driver tonight.”

“Why do you need to see the code?”

Carlton tried not to laugh. “I have to see the code, there’s no other way to design a driver for it.”

Rachel was getting in a worse tizzy than before, she had the portable drive in her hand, but something was stopping her from handing it to Carlton. He reached out slowly to take it from her.

“I’m not sure what’s going on, Rachel, but I’m sure that I can have this running by tomorrow. If I can see the code and design a driver.”

Rachel began to relax just enough to pass the portable drive into Carlton’s hand, “you’re sure. By tomorrow?”

Carlton gently put his hand on the drive, “no problem, it won’t take Frank and I any time at all to figure it out.”

“Who’s Frank?” Rachel snatched her hand back and stepped away. Then a new voice joined the conversation. Biblio spoke.

“Frank is my big brother.”

Carlton and Rachel both turned to the terminal, Carlton was puzzled, Rachel shocked. She put her free hand to her head and sat down.

“Biblio, what are you talking about?”

But Carlton spoke up, “Frank is my computer, at home.” Then he spoke to Biblio, “Frank told me that you two spoke yesterday. Did he say that he was your big brother?”

“Yes, he did.”

Carlton nodded, “well Biblio, after all this time building you I guess I forgot to introduce myself. I’m glad to meet you. Now do you know what is the problem with Ms. Robbin’s software?”

“You correctly determined the need for a software device driver.”

“Good, OK, Rachel?”

She had tuned out, rubbing her temples, it looked like she had a headache, “what?” she breathed heavily.

Carlton spoke as carefully as possible, “do you want me to work on the driver for you?”

Rachel sighed again, pushed the portable drive across the counter top and stood up. “Yes, take it. I’ve got to get out of here. Good bye. See you tomorrow.” She turned and left.

Salvation: There’s an app for that, right?

In my experience atheist science trolls (ASTs) have very little knowledge of their subjects. When challenged to explain the rationale for the basic foundations of their beliefs they can’t. When pushed to provide some shred of evidence that they actually understand what science is and where it came from there is one particular response that comes up time and time again:

“Science is true because it works.”

My friend, the fact that science works doesn’t prove anything other than the internal logic of a false paradigm is consistent.

Most people take the fact that we landed a space craft on a comet as proof that science is right about Heliocentricity. However, because of the way that Math works, specifically Newton’s law of gravity and the inverse square law, the gravitational calculations involved in the space flight are still accurate whether the Earth orbits the Sun or the Sun orbits the Earth. Of course, as soon as you explain Newton to a troll they start spouting about Relativity, as if Newton is now irrelevant and Einstein fixed everything. Little do they know that Einstein just covered all of Galileo, Kepler and Newton’s shortcomings with indecipherable fudge. It’s meaningless. To summarize the last 400 years of astrophysical science:

  1. Kepler didn’t get it.
  2. Galileo lied.
  3. Newton used circular reasoning.
  4. Einstein went off the deep end trying to straighten it out.
  5. Hawking substituted Science Fiction for real knowledge.

In the alternaive, Matty’s Paradigm, where the Sun orbits the Earth, the mass of the Sun is a fraction of what it is thought to be, but the masses of all the other planets are also relatively smaller. The planetary bodies have exactly the same gravitational relationships to each other. A space probe can’t tell the difference. Mathematically the two models are the same except on completely different scales. The gravitational interaction between the planetary bodies and our satellites are no different. The models used by NASA and other space agencies are designed to fit our observations: they don’t define the universe. However, atheist science trolls automatically assume that the existence of the concept of Heliocentricity automatically precludes any other possibility.

This simplistic attitude is very common. Pretty much everyone these days thinks that the iPhone is so cool that they couldn’t possibly be in danger of hell fire. It could be said that the success of technology has allowed us to abdicate responsibility for our spiritual lives, figuring that science has eliminated spiritual problems.

And herein lies the big problem: Don’t kid yourself that science has dispelled the spiritual danger we all face. Hell is real. As a matter of fact, hell is expanding and it is the cause of global warming.

There is only one way to escape: trust in the savior, Jesus Christ.

As confusing as what I’m teaching you about science may be there is something important to remember: You don’t need any science to be saved from hell and receive the free gift of everlasting life. Salvation is so simple that a little child can understand:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:9-13)

And don’t forget perhaps the greatest Bible passage of them all:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16,17)

The Watchman

I’m not here to judge you or anyone else, I don’t know what is in your heart: only God does.

My concern is that death is not the sweet nothingness that modern science wants you to believe it is: the karmic return of our molecules and energy into the environment. Death is a physical end of the body, but our soul has to continue for ever.

If we knew Jesus Christ during our lifetime then we are purified, placed into a new body and we go on into eternity in the presence of almighty God. Those that rejected Christ will pass through death and awake to the horror of torment in hell. It’s not a pretty picture. There are times when I feel like apologizing for even writing the words. However the burden has been placed on me to want to reach out and deliver this message. If I know the truth and I have the ability to warn people but don’t do it: their blood will be on my hands. If I warn people and they reject me then I am not responsible for their outcome.

  1. Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  2. Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
  3. If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
  4. Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
  5. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
  6. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
  7. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
  8. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
  9. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 33:1-9)

It’s bleak, but you would be well served by reading in the Bible the last two chapters: Revelation 21 & 22. The glory that awaits us is beyond anything we can imagine 😃

Save

Save

Save

Save

Teamwork

One plants the seed, another waters, God reaps the increase. It’s a team effort.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. ( 1 Corinthians 3:7-9)

The dominant paradigm of modern science is nothing more than a rationale for godless existence. On the one hand science is great because it produced the iPhone. On the other hand, the entire narrative of earth being an insignificant speck floating amongst billions of insignificant specks is a fabrication. The truth is that the Earth is at the center of God’s creation. Hell is real and you have to accept Jesus Christ in order to avoid it.

But here’s the thing: I can’t be responsible for convincing you, because I am a sinful human with an incomplete understanding.

All I have to do is preach Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the grave to new life. Jesus Christ, Almighty God in human flesh, died sacrificially to pay my debt of sin. If I trust in Him I can be cleansed, purified, and live forever in the presence of God.

My particular twist on this is all that other stuff about why science is a false paradigm that can’t save you from hell.

You can have new life too, by putting your faith in Jesus Christ. If you are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart, you can understand your sinfulness and why you need a savior. Or you can harden your heart against the Holy Spirit.

I have given you the message I am supposed to give you. I’m not responsible for how you respond, but whatever your outcome will be, your blood is not on my hands.

This is not a joke.

 

Chapter 19

Monday was dark and brooding. Gone was the endless blue of the day before. Overnight a ridge of low pressure had rolled down from the north, and brought with it towering masses of cloud and squalls of warm rain. It felt like a hell of a storm was about to be unleashed.

At the library in Salt City it was impossible to tell the difference. The Salt City domes made sure of that. Carlton stopped at an Airstream trailer near the domes for a big coffee and reported to work, received a perfunctory but courteous greeting from Ruth, who was deeply engrossed in whatever she was doing, then headed down to the main conference room. His hormones were raging, and he had been nervous about what to say when he saw her. In fact, it had been a restless night, as he fantasized about the relationship growing, maturing, blossoming, bearing fruit, and then the joy of growing old in the company of his cherished companion. Luckily he was not a love struck teenager any more, so when she had barely glanced up from her clipboard to greet him he hadn’t been completely crushed. Just somewhat crushed. But now that the greeting was already over and gone he felt more relieved than anything. Now he could focus on work, and pick up where he had left off the project of rigging computer terminals in the conference room.

He entered the elevator and hit the button for the lowest level. The elevator quickly dropped into subterranean depths below the library.

It was a small tiered lecture hall and right now it was a mess. There were four tiers of curved desks that tapered down from the top-level to the bottom. The room was basically a square and the desks all pointed to the lowest corner. It was set up just like a classroom with projectors and a screen, but it was intended that one of Carlton’s computer terminals would be at each seating position. 60 in total. Each of the 60 terminals was the same elaborate interface like the one at the circulation desk. The counter tops were beige laminate, very utilitarian. The carpet was nothing fancy, just beige colored institutional short weave.

The electricians were almost finished, but a light fixture or two flickered and made slight buzzing sounds. A step-ladder was arranged beneath it, but no one else was in sight. The floor and counter tops were strewn with cardboard boxes, Styrofoam chunks, plastic bags and heaps of other packaging material. Electrical components, connectors, wire splices, caps, clips and widgets were everywhere.

The size of this project was something beyond anything Carlton had ever built before, and it was highly elaborate. The plumbing was finished. The plumbing being the lines of silicone tubing that carried blood and water to and from each terminal. There was a series of pumps, or hearts, under the flooring of each tier on the right side of the room. Each heart supplied the terminals on that tier, then the blood was circulated back to the main reservoir along the left side of the room. The main reservoir itself was at the lowest level, tastefully hidden in a podium style presenters area. There were a few other terminals in the building, such as the one at the circulation desk, and they were all connected to this central reservoir. The water system was also similarly routed, but it flowed in the opposite direction, from left to right across the room. This was based on the concept of counter-current circulation, like in living bodies. The water was a buffered solution of salts, stabilizers and glycogen energy molecules. It was separate from the blood system except for a time in each terminal, where the blood and water solutions passed on either side of a semi-permeable membrane. Here the gaseous exchange took place, like in a human lung, and oxygen from the blood supply was exchanged for carbon dioxide waste.

The terminals were arranged so that a human user, or two, could be seated at each one. The major design objective was to allow unhindered translation of language. People speaking any and every language could gather in this room and communicate with each other through the terminals. A unique feature of this set up was special hoods that could be deployed to isolate each terminal in a sound proof bubble. This was to allow simultaneous inputting of language information at each of the terminals, without any interference from adjacent terminals. Carlton wasn’t sure why this had been part of the design specifications, but they were paying for it so he didn’t ask any questions.

The only thing left for Carlton to do was to unpack the monitor units and set them up. Everything else was done. The monitors were made close by in Salt Lake City by a technology firm that Carlton had helped get started. They were a couple of High School buddies that had gone on to college when Carlton quit school to start his business. As demand for his product had increased Carlton needed someone to make the hardware he needed, but he was too lazy to be bothered with running a serious company that would be needed to do the work. He talked his friends into starting their hardware company and now he was pretty sure they were doing better than he was.