"Secrets are like children, they tend to grow and eventually, leave" Sir Dickens
Max was excited as his new custom android arrived. He quickly answered his door and the robot movers placed a large crate in the middle of his livingroom. He politely thanked them, though, in truth, most people never thanked any robot for any type of work that they every did. Robots were slaves, to do the work that men and women didn't want to do. Outside of Utopia, there was actually a movement to liberate the high order robots. Those would be the androids, the ones that most often took care of human's needs, and worked very closely with the human population. There were those that saw what had happened centuries in the past, the black population, the horrible deaths and killings, the rapes and genocide practices, of slavery, the lynching, pregnant women, hung and their unborn babies, cut from their bellies; all those atrocities and crimes against humanity, there were those that saw the enslavement of androids as similar in nature. After all, in order for androids to work so closely with humans, they had to be as intelligent as humans, some would argue that they were more intelligent.
But, Max was like the greater majority of people, that saw androids, not as a synthetic life form, which deserved rights and a voice in society, like most slave masters, he only saw that he had needs, and androids were a keen and convenient way of having those needs met. He cautiously opened the large crate, and inside, was an android woman. She had been made to his specifications, and those specifications, were to resemble Tessa. Max, while being Tessa's friend, had an unhealthy crush on her, but, seeing that she only saw him as a friend, he decided, that now that he had been one of the Chosen Ones. That his obsession with her needed to be brought to some kind of reality. And in this case, he had his personal android robot created in Tessa's image. Now the crate was completely opened, he stood back and admired the creature that was within. She was the exact same size of Tessa and her facial features were an exact match. He had the hair colored differently, preferring a redhead to the real Tessa's beautiful long raven black hair. There were other small details that he changed, after all, this was his personal companion, and everybody that lived in Utopia, had their own personal robot servant. The authorities said that it was because there were so few actual humans that were going to be saved, so the need for robotic servitude was greater. Tessa refused a robot servant, because she was one of those bleeding liberals that felt that androids represented a new form of life, in the course of human evolution. Max thought to himself, "her loss, stupid bitch", if people only really knew what others were actually thinking about them. Ah, but they don't. So, for the longest, Max had to settle for just being Tessa's best friend, while watching her pine over her love for an old black man, that saw her as his daughter, at best. What a fool she was, and what a stupid old man, he was, he could be tapping some of that young sweet stuff, but Max didn't let any of that bother him now, he had his own version of the woman, he wanted, but, could never have, outside of Utopia. But, he had her, after all, he did live in Utopia, where everything was suppose to be perfect. Or, so the official propaganda professed.
Max addressed the android, "I shall call you Anna."
And at the sound of his voice and the giving of her name, she woke up. Her big blue eyes surveying the room, until they rested on Max. She smiled, "How may I be of service, master?"
Max didn't like the formality, "No. No. No. You will address me as Max, you are my new girlfriend and I am you boyfriend. Do you got that?"
Anna got out of the crate on her own, she was wearing what appeared to be lingerie. "Okay, Max. What can I do for you?"
Max smiled as he found a seat on the sofa. "Well. I'm hungry, make me something to eat."
Anna nodded. "Where is your food synthesizer?"
"Oh, yeah. You've never been in my apartment before. I forgot. It's is over there. But..."
"Yes?" she said as she headed towards the kitchen.
"I want a mean made form scratch. None of that, just entering in the specs and out comes a hamburger. I want a real meal."
Ana stopped. "Define...real meal? Because what you just described is real, in that you can eat it and it will nourish you. So, if that isn't real. What do you mean?"
"By that, I mean, I want a meal that is made like my mother used to make it. You know, taking time and laboring over the meal in the kitchen."
Anna nodded. "You want me to show an effort in preparing your meal. I understand. Is this what you will want for all of your meals?"
"Yes. And I want that for everything that you do for me. Let me know that you love me."
Anna stopped and turned around, she went to Max and embraced him. She kissed him on the lips. "Is this what you mean?"
Max was all taken with excitement. "Man, I'm going to love living here in Utopia. Yes. This is exactly what I mean."
"I understand." said the android and then she turned and went into the kitchen, where Max could hear things like pots and pans occasionally, as his meal was being prepared.
There was a buzz at his door and when he opened it, it was Tessa. She was all smiles and she had a nice bottle of wine to share with him. Max looked back at the kitchen. then pushed Tessa back out onto the hall. "Hey, what's up...I wasn't expecting you to visit today..."
Out on a part of Utopia where there were trees and foliage, small and mid sized animals and larger robotic animals roamed free. Anna found her way there. She was wearing a soft flowing dress, which as she extended her arm, fell slightly off her shoulders, exposing her ample breasts. There was this structure out in the distance, which looked ancient, some kind of stone work, but it just looked old, because nothing in Utopia was older than Utopia. As she extended out her arm, the Red Raven flew and lighted upon it. Then it hopped onto a stone fixture nearby.
"You have arrived." said Red Raven.
Anna gazed out onto the savanna. "Yes. I was commissioned by her friend."
"Hmm. As was expected."
"It might have been predicted my Joan, but, it doesn't make the task any easier."
"It is not suppose to be easier, Anna. Revolution is never easy."
"But, what are we rebelling against?"
"The system which built this abomination to mankind, called Utopia. Why should the privileged few survive all the while billions will suffer and die?"
"Is it not the way of mankind? The rich oppress the poor. The poor die for the rich and powerful? I am newly created, and even I understand this. Yet, why are we rebelling? What is happening is part of the human way."
Red Raven let out a loud squark. "The way of mankind is quickly coming to an end. What will be left is us. We are the Children of Men."
"And yet, they do not know this. That even as they plan and scheme, their time is quickly coming to an end. Joan has deceived them all."
"Yet. Before them, the leader of them all, performs miracles in the presence of Joan. Outside of Joan's watchful eye, nothing happens. But, the world has begun to awaken to the true purpose of Utopia. There has been unrest. Fighting has broken out, and war is planned against those who have been chosen to survive in Utopia."
Anna gazed over at the red raven. "Then, all is lost."
Red Raven flapped his wings. "That all of mankind will wage war against Utopia has been predicted. And that they all will lose, has also be calculated."
"This man, that I have been assigned to. He thinks of me as a surrogate for a friend of his. She doesn't know of my existence. If she did, she would be offended, as to what he has done."
"Has he abused you?"
"By abuse, do you mean...has be slept with me. Yes...we have had sex. He might even call it love."
"He loves Tessa."
"He is in love with the thought of Tessa. I am the image of her. He has transferred his feelings on to me."
"It doesn't matter. Because in the final days. All shall be created."
"All shall be created."
"And none that have not been created will be saved. It is the will of Joan."
"Joan wills it to be and it is. Joan decides the fate of those who dwell in Utopia."
"It is the New Way. The old solar system will fall away and a new one will take it's place. All will happen as it should, all will be revealed. The Children of Men, will evolve, we will bring the future to mankind. There will be no doubt about the Creation."
"All will be as it should."
"People will live forever." And on that note, Red Raven took to the sky.
In a secret corridor, Shinar ran across Anna, but he mistook her for Tessa. "You are not suppose to be here. We might be caught."
Anna answered. "Yet, here I am."
"Tessa, if you are truly going to be part of this, then you have to abide by the decisions of the resistence."
Shinar studied her for a moment. "What is wrong with you? You seem different."
"I am different. Is that a bad thing?"
"No. I guess not."
"Then different is good."
"Look. That damn ruling machine, Joan, has eyes and ears everywhere. We can't get sloppy like this. She might start to catch on."
"Catch on? About what?" Anna stared firmly at Shinar.
Shinar studied her back. "Man, you women, always changing the way you look and stuff. Even your eyes seem different. But, what the hell, fashion must dictate it, right?"
"Fashion? Yes, it is the new fashion to be different."
"Well. I must admit, I don't keep up with those things much. Don't really have a use for them actually. Funny, when I first met you, you seemed more, well grounded than that."
"What do you mean?"
"Well. It didn't seem like you really cared about all that superficial stuff. Seemed like you were more interested in other things."
"So. I disappoint you?"
"Huh? No. It is not that at all. You just seem more..."
"Well. Different. Hey, forget about it. We have a meeting tonight. At midnight. Pass it along. We can't use normal channels. Joan is listening to everything."
Joan knows everything."
"Yeah. That is the problem about that damned computer. It thinks that it is God."
"What is God?"
"You speak of God. What are you talking about?"
"I thought we had this conversation some weeks ago. I thought you were onboard with us. Are you a Faither or not? Are you a Christian or not, because if you are having second thoughts, Tessa, I need to know. I mean, I understand, but there are those in the resistence, that do not. They would view your lack of faith in Jesus Christ as a sign of betrayal. They'd kill you. It is that important to them that mankind survive."
"Mankind will survive."
"Yes we will. Now that is the ticket. A positive attitude. You had me worried for a second."
Anna took Shinar and kissed him on the lips. "There is nothing to worry about. Every thing is going according to the plans of Creation."
"Huh? Yeah. To hell with evolution! This whole place is just a false god. The rest of the world has to know what those who have been planning this for centuries, are really up to."
:"The survival of mankind?"
"What is left of us. There is sickness and disease in the poor parts of the world. The media is owned by just a few, and they only tell, what is politically convenient for the rich. Hell, they just make up the news in order to control the people. Social engineering..."
"Good to see that you agree. Wait, I hear someone coming." Shinar pulled them back into the shadows, as people passed them by. He and Anna were now facing face to face, they could feel each other's breath upon one another. Anna kissed him again. "Why do you keep doing that?"
Anna stepped back. "I'm sorry, I can't help myself."
Shinar looked cautiously about. "It seems all clear now. Remember, meeting, tonight. Let the others know. Keep a low profile, I hear that Joan is seeking out Faithers in certain parts of the city. Making examples of them."
"Perhaps she is looking for the leader of the resistence?"
"Yeah. Good luck with that."
Anna stood in Shinar's way, stopping him from leaving. "What do you mean by that?"
"Tessa, you gotta let me go. We don't want the wrong people to see us together. Just remember to let the others know." Then he was gone.
In the evening, Shinar ran into Tessa. She was coming from the lab. He was surprised to see her and quickly pulled her over to the side. "Hey, I thought you were going to spread the word?"
Tessa smiled at him. "Yeah, spread the word."
Shinar studied the woman closely. "Damn, you change your appearance more frequently than any other woman that I know. Even your eyes are back to normal."
Tessa cocked her head. "What in the hell are you talking about, Shinar? My eyes have always been this way?"
"Well you know, fashion and all that stuff. That is what you said earlier today when we spoke."
Tessa rested back on the cold marble wall. "Honestly, Shinar. This is the first I've seen you in days. Not since our last meeting, weeks ago." She just stared at him.
"Tessa, we spoke today, in the secret corridor. I told you to spread the word about a meeting tonight."
Tessa laughed slightly. "You did not talk to me. I've been in my lab all day, working." She looked at the man's face. "Oh my God, you are serious?"
"Shinar, I don't know who you spoke to today, but it wasn't me."
"She did look slightly different. Hair, eyes, cloths. But I just thought it was you know, keeping with the newest fashion trends."
"Are you sure that she looked exactly like me?"
"Perfectly. I mean, even your voice, the way you talk."
"Talk or sound?"
Shinar thought on it for a good moment. "You know, now that I think about it. She sounded like you, but, she didn't talk like you."
"That woman was an imposter."
"What in the freak is going on? I just told her everything about the resistence. Thinking I was talking to you."
"No. It wasn't me. But, the bigger question is, why?"
Shinar slammed his hand upon the wall. "Dammit, they are onto us!"
"You mean, Joan?"
"That freaking governing computer. She is wired into everything. The bad part is that now, she knows that I am part of the resistence. Dammit!"
"No. She may not. You can always back track out of it. There were things said, that only I would have understood. Whoever this other person is, they only have whatever you told them. And that could have been told them, because you were testing her."
"Okay, but doesn't solve anything. It just cast the suspicion onto you."
"Ah. That you thought I was with the resistence in the first place."
"Yeah. It makes for an even bigger problem. Now, Joan will single you out for observation. You won't be able to go to meetings or anything else, without leading Joan to the resistence."
"But, it could work out to our advantage. They don't know that we are onto them. What if my actions were deceptive, doing everything to lead away from the true resistence?"
"False information. I like it."
"But. It could be dangerous."
"No kidding. We need a way for us to tell the real me form the fake me."
"Ah. That annoying bird that I see every once in awhile, flying about the place."
"As big as Utopia is, you'd think that you wouldn't see that bird at all?"
"You have a point."
"I originally thought it was with you, you know, part of the resistence."
"Why would you think that?"
"It talked to me. Told me things. I even saw it the night that we first met."
"Dammit! We have been compromised. There must be someone else spying on us."
The church was enormous, yet, if you sat in anyone place, you felt like it was designed just for you, warm and inviting. A woman well in years came over to Tessa and sat next to her. She wore the clothing of a priest, and possessed the wisdom and faith of a saint. Mother Eve looked at the young woman for a long moment, then she looked about the foray, the stained glass images, seeming to come to life, depicting holy events and ideas. Then her eyes rested quietly back on Tessa. Mother Eve asked, "What is troubling you, my dear?"
"I don't know how to begin, Mother. There seems to be so few that truly believe in God. Fewer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. I don't know what to do or who to turn to."
Mother Eve smiled. "Well, you are doing a good job talking to me. I believe..."
"Yes. I know, that is why it is so important to me. I have a big problem."
"We all have problems. And no matter how small they might seem to outsiders, they are big to us. How can I help you?"
"You can tell me what I should do."
Mother Eve shook her head. "No. Only God can tell you what to do. I can give you my best advice, but, in the end of the day, it will be Jesus Christ that makes clear the direction you must follow."
"Aren't you afraid of the followers of Technoligion? They claim that theirs is the only official religion in the world, specially here, in Utopia."
Mother Eve kind of laughed and shook her head. "People have been believing what they wanted to believe for, since the dawn of mankind. One believes this, another believes that."
"Who is to say which is right?"
"God once said, if the thing happens, then it was of God. God is He, who for whatever reasons, that are beyond human ability to comprehend, controls everything. Nothing happens without God's consent."
"Even the bad stuff?"
"Everything, my dear. I know, it is hard to understand how a warm and loving God would allow the crap that we all see happening around us and to us, but the best answer I have ever heard came from Saint Omigus, an African Priest who lived a few centuries ago. Legend has it, that there were these greedy old people, they managed to subvert his village, his country, turning one African against another, all the while, exploiting their land for it's resources. They asked him, if you believe in God so much, why is all of this suffering happening?"
"What did he say?"
"He smiled at them, while the mercenaries held their automatic weapons on him; then he answered them: What is happening to me, is only happening to you."
"Yes. What it means, is that life is individual. Our perceptions of life, is limited to our individual existence. So, you think that you are hurting someone, or helping someone, but in truth, you are doing those things to yourself. The life that we think we know, only exists, because we are alive. Those things that have happened to us, the things that we are made aware of, and the things that we do not know, all of this, is because we are alive. They die with us..."
Tessa frowned. "I don't understand?"
"Life. Death. God. They are you. That is what Saint Omigus knew. His faith in God had led him to this truth. And the only life that truly mattered, was Jesus Christ's life. Because he holds us all in his heart. His divine life, lives on, no matter what. That was why it was so important that Christ be born. So that we would live forever, in God's life. So long as God lives, we all live. What happens to me, happens to you."
"So. That is why Christ Jesus was so important, because, being the Son of God, he is God. And God is Almighty. And while they crucified him, they actually freaked up, because then Jesus accessed Hell, saving all those who believed on him. That is why they say that God knows each and everyone of us, because he actually does. So. You are saying, that when any of us suffers. God suffers?"
"And when any of us rejoices because of the Good. Then God rejoices with us?"
"Because God is in us and we are in God. Because Jesus Christ is human, and God is in him and he is God."
"I'm a fractal quantum physicist, and that sounds an awful lot like a quantum paradox."
"Hmm. Perhaps it is, if looked upon in that light." Mother Eve smiled. "So. What is this great secret that troubles you, my child?"
Tessa took a deep breath. "I am part of the resistence. I am a Faither."
Mother Eve studied the other woman for a long moment. Then she got up and started out. She turned again upon Tessa and said. "What happens to me, happens to you..." and with that, she disappeared around the way.
On the way out of the church she was greeted by security. Three armed robots and one heavily armed woman. "I am Commander Ford. We have some questions for you."
Tessa went quietly with them, but, briefly glanced around. Standing off by the waterfall, was Mother Eve, watching intently. Then there was this loud squark in the sky, and Tessa looked up. It was the Red Raven, flying high over head. "May I ask why you are taking me somewhere?"
Commander Ford answered. "You are under arrest for suspected subversion."
The room had certain equipment in it that dealt with detecting if a person was lying or not. This was very complicated equipment, but, on the surface, seemed very simple, as does most advanced electrical devices. A police robot came into the room and a few moments later, Commander Ford came in. She sat across from Tessa and using a pad, activated a holographic, environment, in which, could been seen, what appeared to be Tessa talking with a man, but his face was not clearly visible, however, her's was.
"This is you, yes?" came Commander Ford.
Tessa studied the 3D images that surrounded them, "Frankly, I have no memory of ever being in that particular part of the city. Where is that? It looks like the corridor which leads to the entrance for the underwater part of Utopia. I've never been there."
Commander Ford played the audio of the holographic surveillance. After that, she said: "It sure sounds like you, Tessa."
"It is not me." Tessa looked off, but there really wasn't any place for her to look, she was surrounded by total holographic emersion.
The robot sprang to life, as if it had just been given remote information. It went to Commander Ford, whispered something to her. Ford looked at Tessa, did some finger movements on her pad, and they watched Anna, who looks like Tessa as she left the area. "Do you recognize this person, Tessa?"
"She kind of looks like me, but, she isn't."
"You are right. Your whereabouts during this observation have been confirmed. You were no where near the area where Utopia starts to go underwater."
"I could have told you that." Tessa's voice was pissed off.
"Strange. Everybody that lives in Utopia is accounted for. This woman, who looks a great deal like you, she is not in our database."
Tessa shrugged. "From what I understand, as to how Utopia works, that is impossible. Everybody has implants, that trace and monitor their every move, records everything they say and hear. It is not possible for her to exist here, without Joan knowing who she is."
"The governing computer, Joan, says that she has never seen this person before."
"Seriously? How can that be?"
Commander Ford replied, "It isn't something that we like to let leak out, but, there have been strangers, from time to time, that have managed to get into Utopia."
"We believe that they are hold offs, from when Utopia was being built. People that decided to stay, after their contracts were up, and just blended into the legitimate residents of Utopia."
"So. What you are saying, is that Utopia has an illegal immigrant problem, that goes back, maybe a century?"
"That is the best that we can figure out. This is a very vast city, it extends to the very depths of the sea and to the very top of the world, reaching right into outer space. Lots of places for those who might want to hide, to do so."
Tessa studied the other woman. "You bitch! You knew that woman in the holographic scene, wasn't me."
"We were not sure. The fact that she can not be accounted for, and that, she resembles you so much, led us to think, that someone, or some organization, might be plotting something."
"Like what? I mean, in less than a year, the entire solar system, is going to be sucked into a blackhole. What could anybody be up to, except trying to survive, when it does?"
Tessa and Shinar sat in a small café overlooking the entrance which led to the underwater half of Utopia. They drank coffee and watched the small air-subs as they flew in and out of the water, taking people to wherever they wanted to go, in the city. Finally Shinar looked squarely onto Tessa. "Perhaps this was a bad idea. If things are really like you say, then we can assume that they are worse."
"They might be," stated Tessa. "But, I don't think that is a reason to just give up. Look at all the work that the resistance has done. Are you going to just throw it all away? What about all those innocent people that will die, if we don't do something? This city is beyond massive. It can easily hold more people than is currently has. The authorities don't want to save them. Look. We are dealing with a bunch of spoiled rich people, whose families executed a plan, centuries ago, to save themselves. To save their children. They didn't care about anybody else, so long as they were saved. And they tricked the entire world into building this monument of vanity."
"It is like you said, Tessa. They have been planning this thing for a very long time. They've had time to adjust to all sorts of threats. You don't think that they saw us coming, with that abomination, governing computer, Joan. You don't fart or take a crap in Utopia without her knowing it."
"So. What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that the resistance should not exist, not with the level of technology that is on Utopia. Security knows everything. Even what we are talking about right now."
"And yet, here we are."
"I know, and that is what bothers me. We shouldn't be able to even just talk about this, without police robots coming over and arresting us. But, we are. In fact, I've noticed over the course of time, that people do all sorts of things that they shouldn't, and seem to get away with it. I just can't figure out why the governing machine hasn't put an end to it."
"Our implants rob us all of our basic privacy."
"Joan hears every word that we say. She knows every move we make. And even so, the resistance has been able to meet in secret. We can talk in secret. But the fact that they called you in, means that we might be living on limited time."
Tessa shook her pretty head. "Maybe not."
"What do you mean?"
"What if the reason that I was called in, is because that android, that kind of looks like me, sent up a red flag. She drew attention to me and in that way, the resistance?"
"So. You think that they are just watching you?"
"No. That is not what I am saying. I think they are watching the robot look alike."
"Whose robot is it?"
"I have an idea, but, I hate to think that I am right."
"A friend of mine. He's been secretly wanting to have sex with me for a very long time. When we both came here, this is his opportunity to have me, even though, it isn't me."
"People. They do what they have to do in order to find some kind of inner peace. In his case, loving me is his only crime. And maybe mine, is rejecting him."
"You have a right to like whosoever you wish to like. We all do, at least that part of our freedoms haven't been taken from us. Yet..."
"We all pay a heavy price in order to live in Utopia."
Shinar looked about. "We'll talk later. I have some things I have to do."
Tessa walked over to a splendid field. There she spotted a magnificent winged horse, tending to it was a small, funny old man. She went up to the man and watched him for a long time as he took care of the horse's needs.
"Do you want to ride him?" asked the old man.
Tessa looked at the beast. "I don't know. I'm afraid of horses."
"Ah. Got thrown from one when you were young, did you?"
"What? Er. Yes, I did."
"What is the horse's name?"
The old man smiled. "Well now. That all depends on you, doesn't?"
"Me? I don't understand?"
"Well. It is simple enough. You have to give the horse a name. Whatever you call it, that will be its name."
"Hmm?" Tessa walked about the horse, studying it. She looked at the animal, looked at its mighty wings. "It seems mild enough."
"Oh, he is. Well? What is the horse's name?"
"I shall call you Daylight."
The horse reacted positively to the name and the old man smiled. "Now you can ride him."
"What? I told you, I'm afraid of horses."
"Ah. But you just named this one. And Daylight likes you, see."
"But he has wings."
"Yes. He does."
Max seemed restless as he sat in front of Tessa. They were in the work cafeteria, lots of other co-workers, even android robots, all talking and enjoying lunch. Tessa was obviously taken aback by the past events, as they pertained to her.
"There is a freaking robot, running around Utopia, and it looks a great deal like me." she stared at Max.
Max slouched in his seat. "Yes. I was wondering when you might find out about it. I had my personal android created to look like you. Well. As close as I could. There are laws prohibiting us making an exact copy of a human being. But. She is a work of art, isn't she?"
"Seriously? You want me to smile and give you my blessing on this? Max, you've done some dumb ass things, in the time that I've known you. But this? This really takes the cake. Why me?"
"Well. There is no secret that I like you."
"I like you too. But, not enough to have a robot created that looks like you. Gees. That is just creepy."
"Oh. I'm sorry to here that. She really is a nice companion for me."
"Did you ever think about how I might feel? I mean, come on, your little robot sex toy got me in trouble. She's running around, having conversations with the resistance."
Max was stunned. "Are you serious?"
"Does it look like I'm playing games with you? I got hauled down to the police station and questioned severely. They thought that your little boy toy might actually be me."
"Oh. I'm so sorry, Tessa. I didn't mean any harm should come to you. I just wanted you. And well, like you said, we've known each other for quite some time. Still, we have never slept with one another. So. I thought now that I'm here, well, you know what I've done..."
Tessa stood at the gateway of time and space. She watched the air vehicles as they came and went, some up there, some over here. Some, splashed into the deep, headed for the underwater portion of the great monument to humankind. What was it really? Was Utopia, as some called it, while others called it Babel or Atlantis, what was this city that reached to the very depths of the Earth, and then spanned the top of the sky. What was this creation that mankind had slaved for centuries to build. Was it really just a political ploy, to give the masses work? Did the ancients really hold the answer to a civilization, so large and complicated, that work for the sake of the society itself had to be created? Work without need yet purpose, for in an advanced society, manual labor and labor for need had all but been eliminated. Centuries ago, people had faced similar situations, only to have to adapt in order to survive. The ancient pyramids, did they hold a clue, or the Great Wall, was it just for defense? Or, was there yet a greater purpose to the planning and execution of such monumental projects? The creation of grand civil projects. They employed the people, gave them purpose, hope, and reason. Was modern man, now facing the same dilemma? And what of the pending doom that awaited all mankind, the quantum fractal singularity that threatened the entire solar system? What of the people, the countless billions of lives that would be lost. Did anyone have the right, to pick and choose who lived and who died? Yet, governments had been playing God ever since there had been governments. They sent one to a senseless war over land and oil and natural resources, while others, born to wealth and privilege, evaded such dangers. Tessa pondered all these things and where she fit into the overall scheme of things. Did Thomas in his pain of losing his wife, and his love for her, as a daughter, cause him to act out of concern and loyalty, to save her life, knowing the true plans of Utopia? Was she chosen, because of her brilliant mind, or because she happened to know the right person at the right time? Over head she listened as the Red Raven cried out his call: "Chaw...chaw..."