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The Non-Conformity Chronicles

Chapter 17 - The Devil's Tower

"So, if you want to change the world, you first must dedicate yourself to changing yourself and to facing and overcoming all of the messy shortcomings that you possess. Along the path of doing this, you will meet others struggling with the same issues that you are. Give them a helping hand. Now, you are changing the world, the only way it can be changed. " - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         Life in the monastery is simultaneously simple, complex, relaxed and demanding. For the student, a rigorous routine of study and training is followed. In addition, everyone contributes to the labor of operating, servicing and maintaining the monastery facilities. The monastery had a large central court surrounded with buildings that skirted the edge of the cliffs. There were balconies that extended around the entire perimeter of devil's tower and extended over the edges suspended in open space. In addition, all of the roofs were flat to provide additional outdoor surface for meditation and training exercises.

         The activities included meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, a variety of Internal Martial Arts disciplines, remote viewing and specific healing applications. Advanced students received instruction in teleportation and manifestation among other advanced skills.

         The monastery was widely known for the advanced healing ability achieved by the monks. The healing services were a major contribution to the extended interconnected communities that existed beyond Central Accounting Administration. Many traveled from the Agrarian Freeholds, Indigenous Societies and Scientific Communities to avail themselves of these services and to be trained in the use of their own Spiritual Faculties.

         The Abbot has the responsibility of managing all aspects of the monastery. He participates in the group Qi Gong, Tai Chi and meditation sessions but may spend much of the rest of the day attending to his responsibilities. The Abbot has several assistants with specific areas of responsibility in the communications, administration and logistics of running the monastery. The senior monks are active in teaching and training.

         For Albert, his first introduction to life in the monastery consisted of tests to assess his abilities and knowledge. These tests were nothing like what he had been exposed to before. These teachers were not uncompassionate robots. Rather, they were more like him, they could see into his mind and watch his thoughts, feelings and responses from the inside. It quickly became evident that Albert was gifted, very gifted.

         The first question for the monks was then; why was an exceptional person born into the repressive world of genetically, emotionally, psychically, and Spiritually impaired people rather than into a more accepting and nurturing environment? The second question was; what was his purpose?

         The monks were adept at accessing the deep subconscious thoughts and memories of themselves and others as well. They guided Albert into a state of consciousness where his conscious thinking mind was still, "asleep" after a fashion, and established a dialogue with his deeper mind, the one that transcends physical reality and neurological processing. That mind addressed them from an authoritative posture and answered their questions.

         Albert was, genetically speaking, a new species of human. He came with innate abilities that the most advanced monks were only beginning to grasp. He possessed the ability to literally alter the physical reality around him. This was something that they a few of them could do on a very limited scale, but they grasped the implications. When all opportunity for growth, exploration, experimentation, insight, intuition, transcendental experience and self-determination are removed from life, life becomes non-viable. The greater force that is behind all life had examined the stale world of the Central Accountant and determined that it was non-viable and had sent replacements. Those replacements were Albert and Annie and all of the others like them.

         It was inevitable, of course, that the Central Accountant would use harsh measures to suppress change. It was equally inevitable that those who possessed the power to alter the reality would do so to protect themselves. It was also inevitable that those poor souls who had been programmed to be completely conforming would not be able to change or adapt to the new situation. The result would be a complete collapse of the Central Accounting infrastructure. Subsequently, the world that depended on the Central Accounting infrastructure would be helpless to adapt.

         A fail-safe is something that is used or activated as a last resort. Most often, however, it amounts to a doomsday weapon.

         This unpleasant scenario hadn't happened yet, but it was about to. Central Accounting Administration was aware of inconsistencies in the system and was looking for answers. Not if, but when, they started finding the anomalous children, they would attempt to take harsh measures, and all hell would break loose.

         The monks understood the implications. The only way to prevent the most unpleasant of scenarios would be to accomplish the whole person genetic re-programming before the children were found. They also understood that simply changing the genetic structure wouldn't be enough. The re-programming would be the equivalent of giving everyone a new box of tools with them not having a clue what they were or how to use them. The Central Accountant would have to be reprogrammed to provide information and support.

         Life is a force that possesses a supreme power and intelligence that a materialist reductionist scientist could never comprehend. And the intervention, in this case, is Albert . . . and Annie . . . and others like them. On the outside they look like other people, but on the inside, they are practically a different species. Once mature, they will be so powerful that they will be able to wreck the whole system with just their minds.

         This was information that Mo'ehno'ha knew he had to get to the others quickly. Dr. Schrodinger and Dr. Baker were very distracted, and absorbed with putting the genetics lab into action. Mo'ehno'ha used his quantum entanglement transceiver to get Dr. Schrodinger's attention. The scientists were informed that Albert, Annie and others yet unidentified were an evolutionary leap and they would likely replace the entire Central Accountant managed world amid whatever amount of chaos that was required.

         "Couldn't we just transfer Albert's genetics to the population?" Dr. Baker asked.

         "I don't think that would be appropriate and it may not even work," Dr. Schrodinger replied. "An evolutionary leap involves more than just genetics. It involves a maturity of consciousness that is earned with experience. You can't just hand an immature person unlimited power and expect them to act mature with it. Life has safeguards. If we insert the genes, they may not be activated until the individual is ready to use their potential responsibly."

         "So, how do we know that the genetic enhancement of the population that we are contemplating will be effective?" Dr. Baker asked.

         "Well, it is an experiment. But, in theory, we are replacing genes that were inappropriately removed, so they should be capable of integrating their new capabilities," Dr. Schrodinger replied.

         "But it sounds like natural evolutionary forces are about to replace the whole population because it has become non-viable from an evolutionary perspective," Dr. Baker said.

         "Which means that if we are going to help them, we have to move very quickly," Dr. Schrodinger replied.

         Mo'ehno'ha turned his attention to Dora. She was quite telepathic, but was distracted by her environment. So, he sat down in deep meditation and held her in his attention until he was able to get her attention.

         Dora had a very busy day. She had found herself an apartment, set up a hidden hardware connection into the network backbone and established her cover with her neighbors. At the end of her long day, she lay down and started going to sleep. At that point, she relaxed and Mo'ehno'ha connected with her mind and she sat up like being hit with a bolt of lightning. After acquiring, rather instantaneously, a full picture of the new information, she went to her terminal and went to work. There were more Alberts and Annies out there in hiding. Finding them would be very difficult, but discovering if the Central Accountant had found them would be easier. Dora set up sentinel programs in the Central Accountant mainframe to notify her when or if any anomalous children had been found.

         Mo'ehno'ha had asked his allies to look for others. Annie hadn't been noticed by them because she had not been talking to any 'invisible friends'. She simply used her inner intuitive sense to navigate the hazards of the conformist society and their psychological screening processes. Albert found it convenient to communicate with his 'friends and guardians' because he had developed relationships with them in previous lives through shamanic practices.

         Albert reached out with his mind to find Annie. This time, he found her easily. She wasn't hiding any more. She told him where she was, that she was protected and that she was exactly where she needed to be. Albert, with the guidance of the monks, began actively reaching out with his mind to see if he could find others. At first, there were no responses, but he sensed that something was there, just out of full awareness. Then he found one, then another, then yet another until there were hundreds of them.

         A telepathic conference was quickly set up with elders from Devil's Tower, the Sioux Confederation, the Agrarian Freehold Association and Los Alamos. It was agreed that the situation was becoming precarious for the next generation children. They would soon be discovered by Central Accounting audits looking specifically for them. It would also be necessary to protect them from the genetic re-programming that was being planned for the whole society. It was imperative that they be extracted and taken to safety as soon as possible.

         The plan was simple. Albert and Mo'ehno'ha's growing army of allies would identify the children. The master programmers at Los Alamos would work around the clock creating new identities for transport and erasing all records of their existence. More agents would enter the Central Accounting system to assist the children in getting to a transport tube terminal and setting the destination. This time there would be someone with a vehicle waiting for them. The assembly point would be the grand hotel in the mothballed city. From there they could be taken to homes and schools where they would be given understanding, acceptance, nurturing and education.

         With the Central Accounting auditing algorithms on full alert, genetic anomalies in children were beginning to be identified. The existence of what appeared to be spontaneously occurring genetic anomalies of unrecognized pattern and unknown significance was generating an extreme level of concern. A special investigation group was formed to study the anomalies and a research clinic was converted to serve as a working zone for this study. Children with identified anomalies were being transferred to this facility and all information on them was restricted to Omega level access only.

         Of course, Omega level restrictions meant nothing to the hackers. Following Dora's departure for New San Francisco, several of her colleagues dedicated their attention to monitoring the Central Accounting network for information on anomalous children.

         The search by Central Accounting for anomalous children was running into difficulty because they were disappearing as quickly as they could be found. However, they managed to find seven children and move them to the research clinic before they could vanish. For the children, their identification had triggered an awakening. They were now aware of who and what they were.

         A senior hacker, Charles Babbage VII, had detected their situation and was monitoring it. There was cause for concern because the Central Accounting research team was more intent on treating the anomalous children as lab rats and running invasive and damaging tests than on understanding what was really happening.

         The immediate problem was that the hackers were masters at manipulating the Central Accounting network, but they had neither the training or resources to intervene with physical force to stage a rescue extraction. The challenge was made more difficult because armed security officers had been dispatched to the scene and they had been taught that killing non-conformists and hackers in particular was a good thing.

         Charles and his team contacted Mo'ehno'ha and requested that he direct some of his allies to assess the situation. Their report confirmed the team's worst fears. The children were in immediate grave danger, but the people threatening them were in even greater danger. The researchers, doctors, security agents and administrators had no clue what power these children possessed, but the children had awoken and they knew. The seven children had formed into a collective consciousness and had the combined power of that collective, and they were assessing their options.

         Through telepathic contact with their invisible friends and helpers, they were aware that they had friends who were intent on helping them. They were also aware that there were others of their kind, that they were being aggressively hunted by both their enemies and their friends and that many of them were being transported to a safe zone as quickly as they could be found and extracted.

         Assessing options was very challenging for these children. While they possessed a mature, wise and very capable soul, their conscious minds and personalities were still that of a child in a conformist society. That child was vulnerable to fear, confusion and anger. The internal power that had been unleashed prematurely was capable of literally altering reality by mentally blending with it and then reshaping it.

         'Grokking' was the term used for this process. They could, if they chose, stop heart beats, reverse brain polarity and induce sleep, alter the shape of metal, plastic or flesh and bone, or change the perception of reality through telepathic hypnosis. With that much power, a considered, compassionate and measured approach was important. It was also a challenge because a frightened child could react violently and unpredictably.

         The hacker philosophy of survival strategy was an economical approach. They hid their existence so they would not have to devote resources to confrontation. It was too late to hide the existence of the children, and something had to be done quickly before a basic survival reaction was provoked by the intrusion of the Central Accounting system. One option was to induce a state of sleep in the facility personnel so the children could simply walk away and disappear. If this occurred, the Central Accounting network would panic and go into a full alert. All of the monitoring resources of the entire network would be directed into a massive man hunt. This level of attention would be somewhat inconvenient.

         An alternative was proposed by Grand Master Hanzo Hatori from the Mt. Fuji Monastery in what remained of the former island of Japan. Master Hatori was a descendent of many warrior traditions including the Samurai and Ninja of Japan. A warrior tradition used as a Spiritual path is not a path of aggression, but it does equip the student with many flexible options on how to deal with aggression. Unlike the hackers who avoided visibility so well that direct confrontation was never necessary, Hanzo Hatori was a master of confrontation in all its forms. Still, as a student of Sun Tzu, he preferred to win his battles without having to fight.

         The strategy to be employed was to be an act of deception. An ancient technique of deep meditation makes it possible for an individual to put their physical body into a deep state of suspended animation, a state indistinguishable from death by a standard medical examination. Dead people are more easily forgotten than fugitives.

         There were guards in the room with weapons drawn and aimed menacingly at the children. The children were telepathically instructed to put the guards to sleep. It was a simple matter of reversing the electrical polarity of the brain, an act that took even less energy and effort than stopping a heartbeat or altering the atomic forces in their bodies to reduce them to a puddle of melted metal, flesh and bone.

         The guards slumped onto the floor and started snoring. The air shimmered and became fuzzy and Hanzo Hatori materialized into the middle of the room. He addressed the children, reassured them and calmed them down, then instructed them on entering the deep meditative state that had been the trademark of certain schools of yoga for millennia. When they were all in deep trance with their vital signs undetectable, he turned and walked into the center of the room and disappeared into a shimmering blur of energy.

         When the guards failed to check in, an officer was sent to check on them. Finding everyone on the floor unconscious, he sounded the alarm. The emergency medical teams rushed in and quickly did triage. The security guards were awoken but had no memory of what happened. The children were all pronounced dead and their bodies moved to the morgue and scheduled for autopsies. There was a delay because all of the forensic pathologists were misdirected by hacker intervention.

         As soon as the room was clear, Hanzo Hatori reappeared and began gently directing the children out of their deep meditation. One by one, they regained normal conscious function and centered themselves. When they were all alert, he instructed them on the principles of teleportation. Then they all held hands while he led them into the fuzzy energy field that appeared in the center of the room. Simultaneously, they collectively appeared out of a shimmering blob of energy in the lobby of the grand hotel in the mothballed city.

         When the forensic pathologists came in to conduct their autopsy, they found them missing. Alarmed, they quickly consulted their COMM terminals and discovered that the bodies had been cremated. Consulting the standard procedure manuals, it was revealed that quick cremation was mandated in the case of death from mysterious causes. The date code indicated that the procedure was a legacy policy from the times of deadly pandemics. What no one would ever see is that mandate had been amended into the procedure manual only minutes earlier.

         When Seymour Code saw the report, he was furious. He was also suspicious. None of this made any sense and it just didn't "feel" right. Still, there were no bread crumbs to follow. Instinctively, he revised his orders on searching for anomalous children. They were now all to be treated kindly, not threatened, and transported to his office in Central Accounting Administration rather than to a research facility. It was irregular but within his authority. He wanted answers, not mysteries.

         Annie watched him from the shadows. "He has potential," she thought. "He may be worth saving."

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