The Rapture By Joshua Hansford On October 6, 2011, two events changed reality on Earth.

Cleveland Ohio soccer team won the World Cup. came. The act of God began in the world’s largest particle accelerator, a well built, metal, magnet filled tube, buried deep in the Texas countryside. A bolt of energy burst though the desert The

Then the rapture

soil and danced around the sky, discharging energy along every wavelength. The scientists of the Particle Accelerator Facility rose to their feet. periment. They had been monitoring an oddity of the last exWas it really possible a few atoms could have such a They began observing and recording, and sur-

widespread effect?

vived long enough to begin reporting to their superiors about what was happening.

Samuel Poole closed his eyes to pray and gave up. short term memory demanded attention.

His

Too many things, impossi-

ble events, balked at his attempt to rationalize them. "What the hell is going on?" He whispered, steading himself with thoughts of the report he'd write later.

An emergency occurred shortly after the Worlds Cup Soccer game. The president collapsed. The Vice President left immediAir Force two entered

ately, shortly before Cleveland rioted. the air safely. talking.

As soon as the plane leveled it was full of

"Everything had been done to save the President of the United States." Those were the last words Samuel had really listened to. Every time he lifted his attention back to the real world the whispers attacked his concept of reality. "Half of Congress is missing" "We are mobilizing a catastrophic attack plan." Several stops were made along the way to collect persons of significant importance. The security team reviewed plans for

bringing passengers safely onto the plane, executed them, and returned to their pre-designated seats. On the final leg of the

flight, Laura Falin took the oath of office and began meeting with top advisors. Due to the the exasperated state of affairs

the security detail was stationed against the wall of her office in Air Force 1. "Madam President," Dr Harry Mcgees began, "our reality has systematically changed."

"Can we change it back?" The President asked in a twangy voice. Samuel felt Dr. Macgees' shock and revulsion. He stared

across the room at the man's jaw agape. Macgee had been too busy considering the causes and effects to consider such a simple concept. He collected himself.

"No," Macgees answered, "The first reports of phenomenon were from inside the Texas particle accelerator. stroyed by seemingly supernatural forces. It was de-

No other facility ex-

ists with the capacity to perform its experiments." "What went wrong there?" The President asked. "The goal was to recreate the circumstance of what we theorized was the start of the universe. We were right. We created

a new one, and we really don't know much else." "Well, what's going to happen?" The President demanded. Samuel looked at the president and stifled a gasp. brain opened up in front of him. his vision. Her

It gave off a soft light to

Her only grasp of the situation was that a scien-

tist had switched something on that they could not flip off. The new President was an idiot. peted floor. Samuel collapsed on the car-

He woke up in his predesignated seat. sitting across from him. shook hands loosely.

Doctor Macgees was

The doctor introduced himself; they

"I'm not sure how to say this, but the situation does not allow for the normal pretenses of sanity. While we were meeting

with the President I felt you reach out to me in the most profound way." Doctor Mcgees started. I could see I still

"I believe I've been effected by the changes.

what was going on in your mind, and the Presidents’. can." Samuel said.

"Telepathy," The doctor whispered, "Can you demonstrate it?" Samuel opened his mind to the bright light in front of him. The men witnessed the drastic possibilities the other was considering. Macgees cleared his throat.

"Now son, this is America and a lot of people are depending on us to get this right. We must not act harshly."

"Of course," Samuel said. "This ability of yours could be of great value to the country. Let me help you make sure it's used as such." "Yes, yes you’re right." Macgees patted Samuel's knee platonically to reassure him. The doctor stood up and left Samuel in his seat. He returned

with the highest ranking military officer on the plane, a Rear Admiral of the Navy. Samuel demonstrated his ability again. Once

The Admiral thanked him, stood up and motioned to Macgees. again Samuel was alone in his pre-designated seat.

Later, he

was summoned to a private meeting with the president.

"Dr Macgees has informed me of your situation.

I agree

with him and Admiral Nely, your abilities could be of great use to this country, especially during this crisis." President Falin said. "I'll do everything I can Madam President." "Good, I'm assigning you to Dr Macgees’s team. Your new

mission is to confirm that everything he tells me is the truth. I don't need any scientific fantasies being mixed up with reality." "Yes Madam President," Samuel said. She nodded and he left.

Four hundred and thirty eight inmates leaned against their cell walls in hushed silence. Every violent offender had been The guards' home stereo's

on his best behavior for months. broadcast the World Finals.

It was the warden's program, that

let him watch the games in his office.

It had pacified the Inmates

population for six months, until Cleveland won.

cheered, toilets clogged, and water poured into the cell blocks. Guards shook their heads and began to enforce the rules. "There's a storm rolling in from nowhere," a guard stationed outdoors said, over the radio. Inmates noticed and began shouting questions. Bolts of lightning broke through through the ceilings, flinging cement fragments everywhere. penitentiary. trees. Thunder echoed though the

It carried the scent of fresh grass and Hemlock

Prisoners closed their eyes, tasted freedom, and heard a The warden forgot about the game. Guards mobilized

question.

to lockdown the prison.

Clouds continued to gather and grow

darker. Everyone wondered what that strange tingling was. "I would do anything to be free again," Prisoner #456985 muttered, leaning against the bars of his cell. #456985 succumbed to an intense headache. to an edge along the crown of his head. His skull grew He

His back hair grew.

grimaced and realized his lips didn't touch. "Are my teeth bigger?" #456985 asked aloud, touching his mouth. Some guards transformed and opened the cell doors.

#456985 took the opportunity.

He ran, leapt on the first

guard he saw, and raked his head across the the guards face. The guard fell, holding his face and screaming. #456985 smelt He took

metal and chemical in a new away, spatial aware of it. the guard's weapon and keys without looking for them.

In minutes the parking lot was flooded with convicts. Everyone looked different, but they were still able to recognize each other, more by scent than sight. #456985 found two friends With high fives and

and the car the guard liked to brag about. smiles, they piled in and escaped.

The fugitive goblins traveled North, scattered along the curving state highways of West Virginia. of the power that had released them. They followed the urge

They drove at conservative

speeds, windows rolled down to appreciate the fresh air and forgotten smell of the forest. A large group gathered in a Wal Mart parking lot, waiting until they had over fifty in number. #456985 got out of the

stolen car, threw his hands in the air and screamed with all the rage of a polluted planet. They rushed into the box trampling They shed their prison uni-

the elderly greeter beneath them.

forms for whatever fitted their tastes, mostly jeans and T-

shirts.

They emptied the sporting goods section of firearms, The took cell phones, cigarettes, food, #456985 howled, a shrill warning The goblins took their

knives and ammunition.

beer, and camping supplies. that echoed through

the high ceiling.

spoils and left before the authorities arrived. They continued North East toward the state border of North Virginia and Ohio. They formed a large convoy along State Route They parked their

16, avoiding the interstate police barricade. cars along the edge of the road. decoration and privacy. uted.

A few trees were planted for

The weapons were loaded and distrib-

The tallest and strongest goblins conferred with their self appointed shaman. He was old, older than any of them, grey hair He wore a soutane, a col-

twisted into tremendous dreadlocks.

lection of long dark garments that had been torn into specific shapes and layered over his frame. stores entire jewelry section. "All you boys need to do is run in there and cause havoc. The spirit is already there, it can smell the oil and it's angry. I'll need at least five of them chubby white asses from He was decorated with the

the office." The shaman said.

"You sure about that?

We can break in, kill people and de-

stroy computers but how are we supposed to destroy an entire refinery?" #74839 asked. "Leave that to me," the shaman said, "Just get me a half dozen bald fat white men and mother earth will fuck this place up." The goblins walked into the forest, cut their way though a chain link fence with bolt cutters, and spread out among the the large steel pipes that were suspended above the ground.

The oil refinery was a collection of pipes that lead to a very large metal tower. The goblins approached the central They ambushed

cracking unit, sneaking though the maze of pipes. two workers, and shot them to death.

The shaman stood over He was a street

them, drumming a large hunting knife on a pipe.

musician in his youth, earning a living off tourists by performing on a set of empty plastic buckets. The Shaman’s rhythm Wisps of

coaxed the souls of the workers out of their body.

smoke and spirit seeped out of their mouths with their dying breaths. The shaman smacked the pipe and grabbed the souls. He

threw one at the large metal column. The gasoline output valve ruptured. Gasoline that had been The shaman sparked

heated under pressure sprayed into the air.

the second soul and a large spark occurred near the spray. spraying accelerant ignited a column of flame.

The

The industry name for the metal tower is a Fractionator. Crude oil was pumped into the bottom and heated to high temperatures. The oil would separate, slowly purifying itself in the It was in no immediate danger, but the vari-

large metal still.

ous petrols, kept at such under high pressure, could not be turned off. facility. Workers inside the refinery rushed out, a fire crew rushed to it, and the plants’ administrators ran out of a small building at the edge of the facility to see what was going on. The goblins were waiting in the middle, and attacked all of them. Gunshots rang out, and they fell into a frenzy. The It triggered every safety measure and alarm in the

voice that offered them a choice of freedom screamed murder and vengeance in their ears. The refinery workers fell quickly too

concerned with the fire to comprehend the threat until a volley of gunshots rang out. Some goblins preferred tooth and claw.

They ran down the workers who had enough sense to run. "Dere!" The shaman shouted, pointing to the modest administration building, "Quick help me get dem!" The shaman and four other goblins chased them down. The

men, fat white and bald, tried to run but were far too out of

shape for any meaningful flight.

They were pushed to their

knees, facing each other in a circle. The goblins began screaming and leaping around them. shaman fell into a trance, waving back and forth. the tower of flame dispersed. closed several valves. The shaman crouched between them and dug into the ground with his knife. The earth was a dull dusty brown. He threw a The

Behind them,

Automated safety procedures had

handful into each mans’ face. shake.

One man began to cry, another to

The shaman pulled his head back and slit his throat, The other administra-

spilling the man's blood into the hole.

tors were held until shaman spilled their blood on the same spot of earth. The ground gave a sharp jolt. The shaman backed away A ridge rose from the

quickly, his assistants took off running. ground, causing tremors in the plant. and pushed against the earth.

A hand of rock burst free

Several pipes ruptured as an The goblins retreated to

Earth elemental rose from the ground. a safe distance and cheered. came apparent.

Arms, head, torso and legs all be-

It's head was a large rock wedge, the edge proIt ran toward the refinery

truding far in front of the body.

pipes with surprising speed, bending it's head toward the largest pipe at the bottom. It dove, rupturing the crude oil lines.

It rose and began methodically destroying the metal around it. The Fractionator fell with a cacophony of shearing metal and rushing petroleum. It turned to the catalyst regenerator, Superheated chemical

clasped the sides and head butted it.

laden steam screamed at it's release, and transformed the small fires around it, into a conflagration. The elemental sagged, it's task accomplished and energy depleted. It spent the last few moments tearing up the long pipes

that ran in every direction before collapsing on the ground, into a pile of rocks.

Samuel was afraid.

He sank into the corner of his modest It had only been

room, held his knees to his chest, and sobbed.

a week. He sat in the dark, waited for the lights to go away, and crawled into bed. off and fell asleep. He woke early the next day, dressed in plain military fatigues and met Dr Macgeees in the cafeteria. After a sparse With a deep breath, he turned his mind

breakfast, Dr. Macgees escorted him to the observation side of an interrogation room. mind was clouded. began to shine. A goblin sat chained to a chair, its Light

Samuel mind pushed though the glass.

Samuel gasped and grabbed Dr. Macgees' hand and

and linked their minds.

It made the reports easier to write.

Goblin Bill had taken part in the destruction of an oil field, but could not say why, even under great duress. mans ego was a direct connection to the planet. vast connections in every synapse. Lurking in the Samuel saw the

The earth was pissed, and

she was taking away the carbon based fuels like an angry mother. Later Samuel met with refugees fleeing to the Air Force base to confirm their extraordinary stories. The high military

presence reassured them enough to keep up appearances, but they were all terrified. He closed his eyes and tried to pray but

the lights kept distracting him, Samuel was lost in their fear. He fought to lock out other peoples minds, but he was too tired and too inexperienced. After the interviews he went for a cup of coffee with his head down and shoulders slouched. An unfamiliar woman, wearing Sam-

a scientist white lab coat, stood at the end of the line. uel glanced at her and gaped.

Her mind broadcast a light pink

glow of excitement and confidence. "You're not afraid," he whispered. She looked at him. him and return to her. "I'm not the only one," She whispered. Samuel felt a rush of energy sweep over

They obtained their coffee, tied up loose ends of their day over cell phones, and found a secluded bench outside the building. Her name was Joyce, and she was a witch, or so she proSamuel had always been far more interested in sports,

claimed.

and the parts of his job that involved weapons training, to worry about the specifics of religion. Still he felt something

around her, and her pleasant glow seemed to make the voices go away. Joyce's spiritual beliefs had begun manifesting into apSamuel told her about his ability. Joyce began With a few

plicable magic.

thinking to him; Samuel realized he could hear her.

adjustments to his own ability and the discovery that holding hands helped immensely, they began exchanging massive amounts of data, thoughts, memories and emotions. "I think we should sleep together," Joyce whispered. "Really?" Samuel was pleasantly astonished. "As a celebration of our bond. explained. Samuel nodded eagerly. He knew she loved him. Samuel It's part of my faith," She

wasn't sure about love, that took time, but she was a genuinely comforting person, and base need won out. and undressed quickly. They went to his room

Their lovemaking was quite simple, but

they were able to bond with each other that surpassed erotic acrobatics. Joyce's power rushed into and overwhelmed him. Tears

formed in his eyes as fear washed away from him.

They received

a round of applause from an Army Master Sergeant, who lodged in the room beneath them. They woke up entwined, neither remembering falling asleep. "I love you," Samuel said. "I love you too," Joyce replied, noting the he'd better after last night. "No, it's more than that. than words. It's more than a word, it's more

You make me want to be the kind of man my country

needs," Samuel said, shocking himself with his honesty. An hour later a very irritated Dr Macgrees picked up his phone to call Samuel. He suddenly knew that Samuel would not Dr Macgrees

answer, and that he really did deserve a day off.

blinked, wondered how he could know this, and set the phone back down. # Admiral Nely stared at the report. times, and did not believe it. He'd read it several

There was a compelling amount of

evidence that creatures of stone had risen from the ground to attack the key facilities of the countries petroleum infrastructure, but the report read like one of the pulp fantasy novels his son loved. Admiral Nely was a practical man, a line backer

from West Point that ate red meat every night, made love to his

wife on top every time and kept his uniform immaculately starched. He looked at Dr. Harry and Samuel. impatiently. The scientist fidgeted

Samuel had grown enough of his spine back over the

last few weeks to stand at attention properly. "Has the examination of the remains provided any new information?" Admiral Nely asked. "No sir. The creatures were made out of the local rock and

reverted back to inanimate rock after the attacks," Dr Macgees said. "There must be something?" "No chemical, radioactive, or molecular difference has been shown in the testing? Which leaves us to believe that the cause

of their animation was magical in nature." Admiral Nely groaned and glanced at Samuel. He'd experi-

enced the "magical mind data dump" once before and had no desire to do it again. He forced himself to swallow the impossibility

of the report instead. "Very well gentleman, lets get this over with," Admiral Nely said, standing up. They walked though well lit hallways of the mountain base. Admiral Nely's rank allowed them to access the country's new executive branch without much trouble. They entered a conference

room, ignored the fruit and pastry refreshments, and took their seats. Several scientific and military experts were already

seated, and a few more joined them. President Laura Falin entered the room twenty minutes behind schedule. and heels. She wore a red business suit, knee length skirt

Her hair was pinned up, but a few accents hung over Her makeup and jew-

the sides of her face, immaculately curled. elry matched perfectly.

Everyone stood up according to protocol

and took their seats after she had. "What’s on the agenda today gentlemen?" She asked. "Madam President, the nations energy reserves have been attacked and seriously damaged by the escaped inmate creatures. The nations is facing a national energy crisis." said. The president picked up a report that had been officially prepared for her. It was written in short simple bullet points. Admiral Nely

She read the first page, flipped to the second, glanced at it and set the report back on the desk. "Gentleman, the report I was given before all this happened told me our energy infrastructure was not going to be threatened for the foreseeable future. She asked How can this happen so quickly?"

"The United States had one hundred and fifty operating petroleum refineries. Eighty five of those were rendered inoperEarthquakes That

able an the rest were outright destroyed yesterday. have collapsed most of the major mine shafts as well.

leaves us with one hundred and twenty days of oil left." Dr Macgees said. "Can we buy more?" The president asked, looking at the new Treasury secretary. "Our available funds can only buy a fraction of what the population needs. Prices have skyrocketed, and China has re-

fused to issue us any new credit." Dr. somebody said nervously. "Would countries be able to trade for military support?" The president asked, wringing her hands together. "That isn't a viable option Madam President. Our Navy de-

pends on high quality African petrol to operate, which has suddenly become one of the scarcest resources." Admiral Nely said. "Using man power instead of air power?" The president suggested, fidgeting in her seat. "We don't have enough men after the disappearances. overall troop levels have dropped by a third. Our

We estimate that

the number of goblins loose in the country is over a million and a half. Facing odds like that, we need every available man on

home soil."

"Okie dokie," President Falin said, "Can we rebuild our refineries before the 120 days are up and drill more oil?" "No. Large industrial projects like that take well over a

year to build, and we don't have enough specialized construction workers," the Secretary of the Interior said. Dr Magees cleared his throat, "Madam President, it has also come to our attention that the worlds super giant oil reserves have become inoperable." "More attacks?" The president asked, tilting her head to face Dr. Macgees.

"No a change in the chemical composition of the oil itself. It's become more viscous and diluted, enough to make harvesting it with the current drilling impossible. Our contacts at the

oil companies assure us that they can overcome this problem, but cannot offer the timetable as to when." "When did we find out about this?" The president asked. "Two hours ago," Admiral Nely answered. "Why wasn't I informed of this until now?" The president asked. Nobody said anything. Samuel winced at her internal con-

clusion that the hour she'd spent getting ready this morning really was worth it.

"I appreciate the magnitude of this disaster gentleman, but I need options. some that are!" If my ideas aren't good enough then bring me The president snapped. She stood up, waited

for everyone to do the same and left the room. Admiral Nely cleared his throat, "I suggest that we move to the command center. won't be needed." They rose and filed out of the room "I there anything you need me to do during the planning session?" Samuel asked. Macgees pushed his glasses back and brushed his hair behind his ears, "No actually. Get some rest if you can." Dr Macgees would you join us? Mr Poole

Samuel nodded and took an elevator up while the rest took an elevator down. He returned to his apartment, showered and

realize that with everyone at work the building was actually quite on a telepathic level. He was asleep in minutes.

Joyce woke him with a kiss. "They let you out? curling up next to him. "How was your day?" Samuel asked out of habit. "A teenage boy claims he put his friends soul into his laptop. I'm scheduled to investigate tomorrow." What a pleasant surprise!" She said,

"Hrmph, sounds like a safe place to be." They both laughed more than the joke actually deserved. "How was your meeting with the President?" Joyce asked. "Bad," Samuel sighed, "It's lonely on top and all that, but she isn't thinking about what’s really going on?" "What is she thinking about?" Joyce asked. A defensive argument took shape in Samuel's head. It was

followed by Joyce's argument, "I know damn well you know." "How’s her family doing? ing well. enough. She hopes all her friends are do-

She prays a lot and worries that she's not doing Her most common thought is, 'I wish John were here.

He'd know what to do.'" Joyce frowned, "Is she smart enough to lead the country though this crisis?" Samuel took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "No. The sad truth is that the president is an idiot."

"You need to do something," Joyce squeezed his shoulder to emphasize the last word. "I'm a guard, and a lie detector test. how would I do it?" He said. "Shh. Don't beat yourself up over it. If you know it in What can I do and

your power to do something then-" "I will," Samuel cut her off, and rolled over to her.

Over breakfast Samuel's phone rang. and hung up. "I have the day off again," he said. "Really?" Joyce was shocked. "High level strategy meetings. rity risk."

he answered, replied

A telepath would be a secu-

"That's absurd, you're a vetted secret service agent. There no reason not to trust you!" the plate. Samuel held up his hands, "The President trusts me, so does Dr Mcgees. It's the high level military brass who doesn’t, beJoyce dropped her fork on

sides it gives me opportunity to spend the day with you." "Really? "Sure! You'd like to see the lab?" Your stories are always so much better than mine."

The laboratory of Reality Determination was more of a medical examination room. It had been hurriedly thrown together

since the reality alteration to separate the actual supernatural powers from the desperate liars. Samuel had seen similar labo-

ratories inside the mountain, but noted the absence of an autopsy table.

Joyce shared the lab with four other scientists and a medical doctor. Their desks were clustered near the door. Filing

cabinets lined the wall on the east, windows displayed the mountain on the West. privacy curtain. room. The back had a small medical exam table and a Laboratory equipment filled the rest of the

Joyce sat down at her desk and shuffled papers around.

Samuel found a bare spot of wall that would keep him out of everyones way and assumed the comfortable stance of his profession. A teenage boy came into the room. Joyce saw him, greeted He was dressed in

him and led him to a seat near her desk. mostly black.

Several colorful strips of cloth were attached to Samuel squinted at his T-

his pants with snaps and buckles.

Shirt and wondered if MDMFK was one of the internet based anarchist groups he'd been briefed on during the last campaign. was pale, and so large that the fat on his face absorbed any other noticeable feature. "Would you please describe where you were when you experienced the phenomena you reported?" Joyce asked, opening a new folder and clicking a pen. "I was at Bill's house; he's the one in the laptop. We He

were in his basement trying to get a net connection going again. That's where we have our LAN parties, so there's tons of computer stuff down there." Jeremy said in a nervous voice.

"Can you describe what you were doing in technical terms?" "Not really. Bill was the IT expert, I spent most of my We played WoW,

time organizing our guild and running games. it's an online game that-" "Alliance or Horde?" Joyce asked.

"For the Horde," Jeremy's voice rang with enthusiasm. Joyce gave him a how he disappeared." "He was lying on the floor, trying to straighten out some cables and asked me to pull on the Cat5 cable so he could find it. I leaned over and touched his leg with my foot when I There was a flash of light and he was gone. fist bump, "What can you tell me about

grabbed the cable.

There was a weird tingling sensation, like I was being shocked. I freaked out for awhile, but I noticed he was on the computer screen, like we were skyping." Jeremy pulled out the largest laptop that was available on the market. "Is that the computer you were working on?" Joyce asked. "No, he's actually somewhere on the internet, but he knows that this is my laptop," Jeremy said, opening the laptop. held it open in front of him. "Dude, what kind of lab did you bring me to?" The computer asked, in a nondescript human voice. He

"A government one, there's so much stuff going on I had to do something," Jeremy said. "You should see inner China if you think we have it bad," The computer said. Samuel walked over to the table to make sure he didn't miss a word about foreign affairs. table. Joyce stood up and examined the He looked at the screen,

Jeremy's cellphone vibrated.

"Yeah I know," He said. Joyce looked at him. "He thinks you're hot," Jeremy said, flushed. "How can he tell?" She asked. "The webcam," The computer said. Joyce looked down and realized that the front of her shirt was hanging open in front of the computer's web - camera. She

sat down immediately, and scribbled a few notes to regain her composure. "Do you have any idea how you got in there?" She asked the computer. "Jeremy had something to do with it. with his name. "Really?" "This is every computer geeks dream. internet now. I'm part of the I do not want out though." My kernel is tagged

I've already taken control of a a few bot nets.

I've got them building drivers instead of Ddossing." The computer said. "Drivers for what?" Samuel asked. "Power line protocols. I want to move information over I can't get

electrical lines that weren't intended for it. audio or video but I can get text so far."

Jeremy realized that every scientist was staring at the computer. Jeremy was put through a battery of tests. His reEach

sults were unusual enough to suggest paranormal activity.

of the scientist in the lab had a turn querying the computer, brainstorming ideas that would help rebuild their society. uel called Dr Magees and left several voice mail messages. finally settled on leaving very specific instructions with a sergeant at the Mountain that he was to be escorted to the lab as soon as he was available, hogtied if necessary. Samuel returned to the lab and realized that Jeremy and his computer were sitting alone. dled around a white board. "Don't take it personally," Samuel said, "They're like cats, when they like you they ignore you." "Oh, I hadn't really noticed. the guild members. I'm trying to keep track of Joyce and her colleges were hudSamHe

The servers have been down since the lights. It's

We were supposed to do a raid on Stormwind yesterday.

weird, I always played a magic user in games and now I've got some magical power, it's not as cool as I thought it would be." "I've developed powers as well. is the worst part." "I just don't want to make anything worse with mine. If The lack of an off switch

there were someone in charge that could tell me how to help, then I want to do all I can." Dr Magees flung the lab door open before Samuel could respond. His hair was disheveled, he had bags under his eyes and

his countenance was twisted with several forms of displeasure." "I need a drink or a miracle," he said slumping into a seat. Samuel put a hand on Jeremy's and a hand on Dr Macgees'. Dr Macgees watched the internet unfold in front of him. Jer-

emy’s internet connection went far beyond hypertext protocols. Every diode, transistor, and capacitor that had electricity running though it was available to him. He could transform human

intelligence to computer intelligence at a native level, that could crunch numbers and provide data interpretation at a real time level. Dr Macgees' blinked "I'd call that a miracle. think you might just save the world. Young man I

Everyone go home and get

some rest.

We'll meet back here at four AM to plan out the

presentation." The next morning Magees, Joyce and their respective teams met in front of a white board and a large pot of coffee. arrived with a box of doughnuts. Samuel

Admiral Nely joined them at at The remaining Joint

eight in the morning, and made a few calls.

Chiefs of Staff joined them at ten in the morning; Samuel went out for another box of doughnuts. local Air Force recruiter. Jeremy was handed off to a

Samuel patted him on the shoulder At noon, they or-

and felt a surprising amount of enthusiasm.

dered pizza and scheduled a meeting with the president.

Dr. Mcgees, Samuel and the military officers drove to the mountain base in a government SUV. They transferred to an elec-

tric golf card that shuttled them down a long slanted hall way to a wide elevator, that took them several floor down to the central command of the United States Military. It was a large

room, filled with rows of computers, phones, coffee machines, and whiteboards. The front of the room was a wall of computer

monitors three stories high, displaying a variety of data, updated in real time, for communal use. Everyone in the room stood at attention as the military commanders entered. Samuel smiled sheepishly as he followed

them to a spiral staircase in the middle of the room.

He

climbed to a glass conference room suspended from the ceiling. It was a large rectangle, positioned to give a semi-circle of chairs the best view of the top row of monitors. The Joint

Chiefs could make full use of their intelligence staff below while retaining verbal privacy; they prepared so many diagrams and maps in their presentation that it became impractical to hold the meeting anywhere else. Everyone in the room remained

standing for the President who entered shortly after.

"Madam President, we have a solution," Admiral Nely

said,

beaming, "For further detail I'll hand it over to Dr. Macgees." The president nodded curtly and opened the portfolio in front of her. "A young man has developed the ability to implant human intelligence into the internet. As far as we can tell, this has

only happened once and this young man is willing to do his duty and lend this power to the US government. What we have outlined

and proposed is the implementation of a National network that would-" "Excuse me?" The president said, twisting her lips to one side.

"Yes Madam President?" "How would you use this gift exactly?" Macgees blinked and looked nervously at the Air Force Chief of Staff. "After meeting with this young man, several of our tech airmen have volunteered for the procedure,” The general answered. "I do not feel comfortable putting our young men into a computer." "Several of them have readily volunteered for the task. They're quite excited about it." "Really?" "Madam President, the US Air force takes pride in recruiting the most patriotic geeks of our society. I assure you sev-

eral of them are salivating at the idea," the General Air Force Chief of staff said. "Ok, never mind the tech mumbo jumbo, what is this network going to do for us once we have it set up?" The president asked. "We plan to regulate the cost of food, fuel and raw materials though-" "That socialism!" The president snapped, with a tone of accomplishment.

"Madam President we're expecting a massive food shortage this winter, even with the population loss. The free markets People

will react with rampant inflation and price gouging. will starve; everyone but the top 10%."

The president folded her arms under her chest and huffed. She glanced at Dr. Macgees and nodded. "Um, yes, well we can also stabilize our line of transportation and defense against the local threats. muting will disappear with the fuel sources. Traditional comWe can also imple-

ment a scavenging program to reclaim a majority of valuable raw materials that have been preserved in landfills and-" "GENTLEMEN!" The president shouted, slapping her hands on the table, "Do you really expect me to tell the citizens of the best country in the world that they have to give up their cars and dig through dumps? That is unacceptable. I refuse to beBefore

lieve that this problem does not have a proper solution. I authorize anything I want to know how we're going to put things back the way they were."

Everyone stared at the President of the United States. Samuel balled his hands into fists and drove into the Presidents mind. Everyone in the room saw a series of small flashes in The blatant and irrefutable idiocy of their Samuel pushed his telepathy

front of them.

leader was laid bare before them.

to the limits of the room. Everyone blinked and realized they were thinking the exact same thing. the connection. Samuel exhaled and dropped

It had only taken seconds.

"I'm afraid that's impossible Madam President," Dr Macgees said, pushing his glasses up. The President stood up and stormed out of the room before anyone could adhere to the traditional protocols. the sheer desperation of everyone around him. into the back of the president's brain. Samuel felt

He thrust himself

The back of her high She stumbled for-

heeled shoe slipped off the back of a stair. ward, hand flailing around. knocking the wind out of her.

Her stomach struck the handrail Everyone in the room below her She

watched her body slump forward, and tip over the stairs. seemed to straighten during her fall, landing head first.

"Madam President!" An airman screamed, rushing toward her. Medics were summoned, who began CPR. A military doctor arThe

rived shortly after and pronounced her dead from the fall.

Joint Chiefs issued commands to summon the Speaker of the House of Representatives and a Chief Justice of the United States. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.