Clear Springs Press

The Non-Conformity Chronicles

Chapter 14 - The Mission

"Holding positive ideas and good intentions is not sufficient by itself to change the collective reality. We still need direct communication between individuals, we need to translate our ideas into action, and we need to recognize the freedom of choice of those who choose alternatives different from our own." - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         The craft covered the distance to the mothballed city in less than an hour. It came silently to a halt and settled on its landing legs in front of the hotel. The four of them disembarked and entered the hotel. They found Albert sitting in the lobby patiently waiting.

         Several of his invisible friends showed up. To Albert's surprise, all of these new people, except Dr. Baker, could also see his invisible friends.

         "Is Annie OK?" Albert asked.

         Pete jumped in, "She was really hard to find. She shields herself so well that she is practically invisible. We would never have found her if we had not known to specifically look for her and where to look. We finally convinced her that we were friends and gained her trust. She has not been discovered yet, but they are running genetic tests so she won't be safe for long."

         Albert turned to the others, "Can you help her?"

         "We will do our best," Dora replied and headed to a terminal. She quickly reconfigured the hardware interface and logged into the region 8 backbone. From there, she accessed the region 8 Central Accounting Mainframe and paused to intuit the access codes for the master genome database.

         Mo'ehno'ha stepped up and said, "You concentrate on the terminal and I'll concentrate on the access codes. That should make it a bit faster."

         "Thanks," Dora breathed.

         Dora's fingers were flogging the keyboard at a blurring speed and Mo'ehno'ha was keeping up with the access codes at each security level.

         "It looks like she has been identified as having an anomalous genome," Dora reported. "She has been taken to a genetic surgeon. I'm going to change her data file to indicate that she is normal, then I will rescind the order for re-programming."

         Dora was working furiously and fast. Suddenly, she stopped and exclaimed, "I've been locked out! I can't believe it, this has never happened before! Someone in Central Accounting Administration has detected my presence and locked me out!"

         More furious typing and Dora reported, "OK, now I have administrator access to the Central Accountant core." More furious typing and she exclaimed again, "The order for re-programming has been cancelled. She has been ordered to be transported to the Central Accounting core facility. The order is Omega level priority and it was issued by Seymour Code!"

         They all sat around in stunned silence for some time. "This means that she is not in any immediate danger. Seymour Code knows about Albert, he just doesn't know what happened and why. It also means that Seymour Code knows that we have been in the system. He set a trap for me and managed a rather good ambush. The Omega Chief of Security is obviously no slouch, but I wonder what he is up to?" Dora reflected.

         "My sense is that he is aware that something is going on and doesn't know what. He's fishing for answers and won't stop till he has them. He's hoping that Annie will lead him to some of them." Mo'ehno'ha replied.

         "If that's the case," Dr. Schrodinger volunteered, "we don't have much time to lose. We have to move fast before he discovers other anomalies."

         Dora turned to Dr. Baker, "I had hoped to give you an introduction to the people and world that you didn't know existed. I had hoped to get you acquainted with some new friends and colleagues before asking you to do your most critical part. I had hoped to give you an understanding of the reasons we are doing what we are about to do. I had hoped to have you share in the motivation and dedication that we all share."

         "I'm getting the picture," Dr. Baker replied. "You are all examples of what the people of my world would be like if there had been no genetic manipulation and social engineering."

         "Not exactly," Dr. Schrodinger replied. "You see, human evolution is impossible in a world that forces absolute conformity. When emotional and Spiritual growth, imagination, creativity, exploration and experimentation are totally suppressed, all evolution stops. It is the nature of the principle of life to experiment, explore, imagine and change. Suppressing that nature is a death sentence for the entire species."

         "In your world, I played the role of an artist. But artists do not create new art, they just act like librarians organizing, cataloging, imitating and presenting the art of your historical past. When have you ever seen any new art, heard any new music, watched a new play or explored unfamiliar ideas?" Dora asked.

         Dr. Baker was in shock as he contemplated the implications. "I never have," he said meekly.

         "We are conspirators!" Dora said. "We intend to rescue the human race from mediocrity and extinction. We would be considered terrorists of the most vile and dangerous kind by the Central Accountant and all of those under its control."

         Dr. Baker looked into Dora's intense contrasting blue and green eyes and got that "hair standing on end and cold lightning running up his spine" feeling again. He was starting to hyperventilate. He was realizing that their interest in him was not personal. They had an agenda with him playing a central role. Dora had told him before, but now it was beginning to sink in.

         "What do you want of me?" he asked.

         "We need someone who is familiar with the operation of the system to implement a whole population genetic re-programming. We want to replace all of the genetic components of imagination, intuition, creativity and psychic abilities that have been removed or suppressed." Dr. Schrodinger replied. "Then we want to add a few extra," he added with a smile.

         "How do you expect me to do that?" Dr. Baker asked.

         "Ah, delightful details," Dr. Schrodinger responded. "We have taken an old genetics lab out of mothballs for our use."

         "Old!! To accomplish what you suggest would require state of the art equipment," Dr. Baker replied.

         "I mean no disrespect, but the genetic engineering tools of your world are obsolete and relegated to museums in my world. We will be working in what essentially amounts to a museum. It will have all of the tools that you are familiar with, plus a complete set of tools from what would have been your next generation, if your development hadn't been frozen. We will also bring in a few current technology tools," Dr. Schrodinger explained.

         Dr. Baker was experiencing a profound sense of deflation. He was learning that he was an evolutionary dead end, that his medical and scientific knowledge was obsolete and that what he had believed to be his purpose in life was counter to the purpose of life itself.

         "We had best get moving," Dora said. She sat back down at the terminal and began typing. "I will go back into the Central Accounting system. We may need feet on the ground to deal with developments. I am creating identity, clearance and access cards for a new identity. I will plant myself near a cyber café and tube transport terminal in New San Francisco."

         "I'll take Albert and go to Devil's Tower. The monks there can train him to use his gifts fully and they may be able to aid our efforts through their own gifts," Mo'ehno'ha said. "Ordinarily, I would travel by horse, but time is short, so could I ask for a lift?"

         "No problem, we will drop you off," Dr. Schrodinger replied. "We can also give Dora a lift to the outskirts of New San Francisco. Dr. Baker and I will head for the labs in Los Alamos."

         "I'll be ready as soon as the printers finish with my new identification cards and a fresh wardrobe," Dora replied.

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