Part 7

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 "I'm sorry, I don't understand. Were you not just yesterday dedicated to solving this mystery?"

"That's when it was a mystery; when one discovers that their government is the enemy, it causes one pause for reflection. Since the order came down from the governor herself, we have been at odds with the federal government. As you know personally, this has the potential to end very badly for us here. You need only to look at gravesites the far end of the courtyard to understand." They turned their heads in the direction in which John Brown was already gazing. They could see in the distance an area surrounded by a two-foot-high wall of stone within which stone markers some, many centuries old stood upon the sacred ground. Several old trees stood along its perimeter as if to offer shade and comfort to those souls resting there. With the gentle breeze blowing through the leaves and the mountains in the backdrop it would have been easy to forget the turmoil that was facing them. But John needed to remind them of the history of this place. "Hundreds of years ago it was the Spanish then the Anglos who came to dominate and destroy our people and culture. There has been peace for centuries. Today there are few here that remain to remember the old ways. I will not allow what is left to be swept away. If I will be forced at long last earn my war bonnet, it will be for the protection of what is mine, and for that of my people. "

"You are correct John; I do know personally the lengths to which this government will stoop to protect its power. History has born all that you have spoken of to be true. However, I had hoped that in the end the evolving cornel of justice that had been one of the cornerstones of this nation, would win out over the darker forces that had conspired to overtake it. Now as this experiment seems to be nearing its end there would be a good reason for one to make a stand in any way they can."

"What are you talking about? Nearing its end; these people will never stop."

"What would you say if I were to tell you that there had been a very secret coup deep in the fabric of this nation's security services? I had been made privy to the existence by the late Senator Smith before his murder."

John's head turned back towards Jaden and asked, "Why were you left alive? It doesn't make any sense."

"I can't answer that right now, but I intend to find out."


Of the seventeen preemptive initiatives authorized by the monitor, there had not been one where the anticipated effects were achieved. In fact, in some cases, the exact opposite had precipitated. Analyzing data on human behavior was one thing, conducting social engineering with violence and murder as your tools, was another thing entirely. To add insult to injury each initiative had caused the greatest mayhem to the most vulnerable areas. Additionally, these were places where the system itself had determined to have the highest probability of potential unrest. The net effect was to create the unrest it was trying to avoid. Predicting human behaviors seems would require a bit more imagination. As reports from throughout the surveillance network streamed in, the monitor reappraised the conditions. Many of his drones, his remote eyes, and ears, were being shot from the sky. What made things worse was that despite what his sensors and his reports were telling him, his calculations still favored this plan of action. For a logical mind, this was a conundrum. He could not reconcile what was streaming in through his sensors with what he found in the cold comfort of his numbers. Surly he pondered that one of these must be incorrect.

Leonard was working late, which was not entirely unusual. Tonight he was putting the final touches on a robotic mobile unit. It was within such a unit that the monitor could if he so desired place his consciousness. During their first conversation, the monitor had requested him to build such a device. Leonard gave an auditory command to the unoccupied vessel. "Sit up" to which the automaton responded readily. Lifting the faceplate of the robot he revealed there a crystalline lattice glowing with soft orange light. He turned to the adjacent desktop to the view again the blue screen and the blinking white cursor. Reaching out to the keyboard he began to contact the monitor. "Monitor, the mobile unit that you had requested is complete. Please acknowledge?"

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