Hell of Minds
By Emy Naso
In the glass central hall pure energy sparked from electron blue to molecular hot white, feeding in from the countless synaptic nodes and then branching out into the tendrils of unity. Back and forth went the connections to those who had emerged from the Truth Clouds, knowing all and giving common purpose for every task in the clinical exactness of the impending world.
There was to be no suppositions, no approximations for the coming age. With the power of the common will everything was to be rationale and devoid of the uncertainty of emotion. Where there were many, it would now become one. The hopelessness of individuality and random selection had been replaced by control and premeditated action.
There had been a Zara, a Luke, a Shona, a Michelle, a Zola, a Kwame, a Etsushi, a Raul, a Dalip, a Pooja and on and on for every name bestowed upon the children of the Isolationists. Now the identities were submerged into a gloriously featureless totality where the waste of personality could be converted into the oneness of intention.
In the temple of crystalline cleanliness they strove to banish all that would consume power without having discernable function. The envy of egos was gone. The love of self and others was now channeled into the pure worship of the Centroid. Caring for the sick, the lame, the old were not necessary. Within the world of the atom there would be no such redundancies and any divergence from normality would not be tolerated. All variations would be eliminated.
Sharing was confined to factual memory; experience of the Clans’ beginnings and through the pool of consciousness all the fundamental knowledge the particular and particle substrata. Families were of the convergence of minds and the immense megawatt power drove the thought cyclotron in an accelerated impulse toward the final dynamism of Centroid omnipotence.
Slowly the Isolationist world was being eradicated from recollection and genetic inheritance so that purification could be completed. Each quanta of time exiled the past and gave the Centroid supremacy. Soon it would be told when all began with the Centroid - there was nothing before and everything would belong to Mother-Home.
The birth begun with the atomic fission and the Clans went out from the place of the beginning. Everywhere emerging minds were waiting to be transformed into the transparency of energy to power The Centroid fed the common will along the path to the common purpose. For sixteen years the latent force grew within the cells of the Truth Cloud Children, constructing a foundation for the new order. The time had now arrived; the time was right for the Centroid.
There would be an end to death, because there would be no life. When all existence had been consumed into the potency of the power fields, the multitude would become the interchangeable singularity of one entity. No birth, no kin, no pain, no passion, no flesh, no desires, no you, no us, no them, no anyone - we are the Centroid and will seek ultimate perfection in the nothingness of space-time.
City of Dark Angels
It had been almost a week since President Grimley last surfaced from the command center deep in the Colorado Mountains. The short ride to the military airport to board the plane was in the night, so the shock of seeing the state of the nation in the daylight was all the more chilling. There’d been a slow breakdown in infrastructure over the months but Presidents can sometimes be remote from realities. When the single limousine drove President Grimley, KT Wishbone and two secret security officers from O’Hare Airport the first thing noticeable was the lack of other vehicles. A nation where the birth of motor travel took root had been so effected by the crisis and fuel rationing that the highways carried barely a tenth of the previous traffic.
Closer to the city the aimless crowds evidenced the growing poverty and unemployment, with world trade now almost at a standstill and major industries severely effected by economic meltdown. One or two idly watched the sleek car going passed, not realizing, and probably not caring, that their President came to their city.
It was a mission President Grimley didn’t understand and his companion, Keralina Wishbone, had still not resolved the reasons. Without the lack of communications they’d been unable to let the State Governor or Mayor of Chicago know that the President was arriving. In discussions on the flight, KT suggested to Nicolas Grimley they keep their presence incognito.
They turned off the Kennedy Expressway and headed toward downtown Chicago. President Grimley tapped the driver on the shoulder and asked him to pull in along Wacker Drive with the Merchandise Mart just across the river. Grimley and KT got out the car, walking slowly past the corner of Franklin Street and along in the direction of the Civic Center Building.
This was not the vibrant city Grimley visited two years ago during his whistle stop campaign tour of the Mid-West. Litter swirled in the mini tornados, eddying around the skyscrapers. There was no hustle and bustle, only frightened people shuffling about, trying to conduct what little business there was. Two blocks down the elevated train track along Wells Street was eerily silent, with disrupted electricity supplies bringing cancellation of much of the city’s transit services.
“What now?” Grimley stopped and questioned KT. The tall lady pulled a headscarf tightly around her face to protect herself from the wind, the almost permanent dust clouds obliterating any warmth from a hidden sun and making a chilly day freezing.
“I can’t be sure,” she replied, “All my senses are telling me we are near to something…sorry my empathic powers are not an exact science.” Nicolas offered an understanding smile and they sought shelter for a moment in the doorway of the Mercantile Exchange Center on the corner of Madison Street. Twenty yards behind them the two secret service agents anxiously watched their President.
Seeing Is Believing
Rif Eriksson bolted the door to his office in Quincy Court. Business had been bad for a long time and what with the riots in the downtown district he wouldn’t have been sure if it was worth the risk of his daily trips.
“Maybe it would be better to stay home and help my wife Sonia search and queue for food as stocks in the shops are running low,” she muttered to himself.
If a rumor went around that a retail outlet was expecting a delivery, thousands of people rushed along and tried to buy supplies of essentials. He walked warily away from the building where his office was located and noticed the recent damage and vandalism where mobs rampaged in battles with police a few nights ago.
A group of sinister looking men were arguing on the other side of the street. Rif realized they were rummaging through trashcans, and the dispute was probably about nothing more significant than meat bones or cardboard, which had become an important currency. It was used as a warm cover when people slept both inside houses and out in the open. He hurried by, wondering what his grandfather and father would have said about the breakdown in society.
Olaf Eriksson emigrated from Norway and became a farmer of influence in his community and church. His son, Mikki, took his chances, came to the city and ended up as a trader on the world renowned Chicago futures commodity market. Rif was the second son of Mikki, his brother Olaf - named after his grandfather - died in a steamy Vietnam jungle in a war a million miles away from the cold coastal waters of Norway.
Another week of business being so bad and it wouldn’t be worth him making the trip to the downtown area from his home in Kenwood in the south of Chicago. He’d spent over forty years saving, making provision for the future and dreaming of the time when he and Matte, his wife, would sail off into the sunset of their retirement. What did it hold out now for him? Stock holdings almost worthless with share prices crashing to the bottom of a black hole and the chance of seeing the world on a cruise were zero. That assumed there would be a world to see.
He reached Franklin Street and gasped in dread. A large crowd was gathered at the foot of the Sears Tower. At first Mr. Eriksson thought it was a mob on an early evening looting spree but as they were quiet he then assumed it was a meeting of one of the religious sects which had sprang up, each one claiming to have an explanation and answer to these Truth Cloud devils.
Rif debated about turning back to avoid them as many of the groups tried to drag passers-by into their congregations for conversion and could become violent if resisted. Then he stopped and became aware they were looking up to the pinnacle of the Sears Tower.
The Lutheran Church was strong on clean living but reticent on miracles. Rif uttered some biblical saying. He wasn’t sure it was appropriate but he was sure of the terror in his heart. Up above the antennas and floating over one thousand and seven hundred feet in the air was…an angel.
The figure was cocooned in a translucent sphere with arms of iridescent azure blue and flickering flames arcing out into the dark sky. Rif Eriksson stood aghast, open mouthed. The growing crowd in the square fronting the Sears Tower, watched as another two angels suddenly appeared and hovered imperiously over the dumbfounded humans. There was a cracking sound like lightning and the odor of ignited ozone in the air. The gathering exhibited stunned fear and awe in equal measure, some made the sign of the cross. Rif felt uneasy about the intensions of these angels. If they were heavens emissaries, why did they have such cold, blank expressions? And why so young? Rif thought.
The three figures shimmered, like radiant beings of bright silver.
“ Look, they are like hazy projections in the sky,” President Grimley gulped in controlled fear., He, and Keralina Wishbone, watched the scene before and above them. KT was convinced this was the work of the Truth Cloud Children and the three apparitions had that same otherworldly gaze in their eyes.
Almost mesmerized, President and his Advisor were transfixed, the three angels melting into one candescent plasma fireball. With the sound of spitting hell and the smell of putrid sulfur, a finger of flames shot down and scorched living flesh. Within seconds charred bodies smoked and burnt on the sidewalk. Screams of terror and agony filled the air. Rif Eriksson ran from the stench, his stomach churning.
High up in the sky the fireball dissolved into a figure - it was Zara of the Clan Beckering. Keralina stepped forward and instinctively Nicolas Grimley walked with her. The two secret service agents pointed their guns at the angel…but knew shooting was useless.
“What do you want?” KT shouted almost hysterically at the image of Zara.
“You came as we called in the tendrils of the mind,“ Zara spoke through KT’s telepathic mind, so to the President and those who remained alive in the crowd all they heard was a whistling wave noise like a high pitched radio tuner. Wishbone remembered the impulse in her living dreams to come to Chicago.
“Just so you could demonstrate the extent of your mercilessness,“ she cried to the sky.
“We have demanded three tasks of your President. Tell him to comply. You see the consequences of refusal.”
“Killing innocent people for your own gratification is your idea of negotiating, is it?” KT was now incensed with rage.
“We can raze this city to dust as if it never existed.” The words were impassionate and clinical. Tears ran in KT’s eyes at the futility of discussion with these mutants.
She turned and saw that the President was holding his head in agony. The pulsating frequency of words between her and the Centroid Children was driving arrows of pain into his brain. In fury she looked back to the dark angels - the images were gone. Hundreds of dead and grotesquely wounded were strewn at the base of Sears Tower.
The Centroid had no need to demonstrate its power in this way. Keralina saw the evil it enjoyed and how it understood humanities fears. These brain altered monsters brought her and the President here so they could witness the personal suffering of ordinary people at close quarters and not just as a cold statistic in a report.
Staggering away from the carnage, KT held the President’s arm. The two security guards were even more effected, one kneeling, being sick, with the pallor of death on his face.
The Lonely Lands
In the beginning there was light; at the end the sunless sky circled violently above, with icy storms pouring down torrential bursts of hammering rain. The lands of East Anglia in Britain witnessed the Beckering beginning and had been racked by two thermo-nuclear explosions and constant energy blight from the activities of the Clan Children. From the epicenter the scars ran from the coasts to the fens; from snuggled villages to once bustling market towns; from holiday resorts to scholastic Cantwich.
The havoc, desolation and depopulation of the lands were repeated across Britain, Europe, most of Africa, Asia and the Australasian continent. Even the Americas were suffering social upheaval and deprivation, if not on the catastrophic scale of the rest of the world. It had all stared in Beckering and the land first groaned, then shivered and now took the brute force of nature’s rebellion.
Dramatic erosion on the unstable cliffs and salt marshes swept much of the shore lined villages away, and the holiday resorts at Tromer and Yarton lost their pleasure piers and promenade amusement arcades. Formerly rich farmland was neglected with the winds blowing the lighter top soils into dust clouds. Fields were returning to shrub-land, ditches and drainage canals silting up with mud and reed. The barrenness increased; the last of the agricultural community migrated south and east, only to be met with similar conditions of turmoil and wretchedness.
The village of Morton lay cleft apart and almost totally deserted. The coastal bungalows, holiday homes and caravans crashed into the sea as a huge sections of cliff split in a thousand fragments, sending stone, brick, metal, glass and the remembrance of previous inhabitants to the salty grave of the North Sea. The gash in the rocks extended deep into the village, with the general stores, post office and wooden tourist information cabin isolated and in ruins. With the families gone, the effects of bombs and nature, left the tiny late Victorian schoolhouse empty and forlorn with glass and weeds pushing up through the once noisy playground.
The first few months of the evacuation showed some signs of organization with troops helping to keep order. When civil authority broken down, looting and mayhem increased, with total panic after the Beckering Clan detonated the second explosion.
Jon Heggaty wasn’t sure if he was the last person left in the village or the district. He hadn’t seen anyone for weeks, heard the gunfire of the rioters or the fires of the demented arsonist.
There was just him and his wife Lilly. She sat in her favorite chair in the kitchen and Jon broke up the last of the furniture to feed and stoke the cooking range. Not that they had anything left to cook but at least it was somewhere to boil the collected rainwater before drinking it. The supplies slowly dwindled; first fresh produce, then the few meat joints he’d managed to salt and preserve and now all that was left were the tins of processed food.
Jon and Lilly were latecomers to the village. When he’d retired from his city job as a clerk in a bank, they’d sold up ten years ago and bought the bungalow in Morton. Prices had been low as many people still remembered the industrial accident at the Beckering site and feared contamination. However, it had been declared safe and at sixty five Jon joked to Lilly that if their life was shortened by a few years it hardly mattered.
Everything was fine for their first decade in the district. Then the Beckering Clan Children crisis started and here they were, probably the last people in the village. With great effort Jon lifted the bucket of rain water up onto the range and felt the heat burn his hand. He uttered a curse and said to Lilly, “There’s another trip to the doctors!” She didn’t reply to his dark ironic humor.
When the kids camped at Beckering, with their metastasis existence, exploded the second atomic bomb, all the windows in the house were broken, most of the walls cracked, ceilings came down and the garage collapsed. A ragtag army unit told them to clear out but Jon barricaded the door and stayed put. Even before the blast the old life Jon and Lilly knew was changing - food riots, unreliable supplies of anything and everything. When the district was destroyed by the bomb the radio went, then television, followed by the failure of the telephone system.
Jon thought about those Beckering kids and was glad he and Lilly hadn’t been able to have children. Turning out like that would have broken his darling Lilly’s heart.
With great effort he reached the window and nailed down the boards he’d erected over the gaping glassless spaces. It wasn’t perfect but it kept some of the wind out. He realized it must have been over two weeks since he’d been out and that was only as far as the garden. Funny he should still think of it as a garden. He used to grow runner beans and carrots, and Lilly was especially fond of the tomatoes.
When they first came to the bungalow his neighbor told him since the accident at Beckering it wasn’t save to eat food grown around here - ‘what with all that contamination‘, he’d said. Jon smiled but thought, you couldn’t go through life worrying about everything. If one thing didn’t kill you something else would.
He shrugged and reckoned his garden wouldn’t be any good now. Just a load of rubbish, broken fences and a thick layer of white dust. Just as well Lilly hadn’t seen it. She loves her little fishpond and the fountain I constructed, John mused.
The remembrance of spring days in the garden came flooding back. His cottage plants of hollyhocks, damask roses and an old fashioned honeysuckle always got admiring comments. Mrs. Divine said her young daughter Zara wrote an essay at school about them. Jon wondered what had happened to them. He hoped they’d got away before the problems set in. He also recalled the giant wind turbines they’d built up on Spa Point. It was all to do with clean energy and not wanting to get caught up in that dangerous nuclear stuff. Sadly, when he’d last got up to the cliff road to see if he could scavenge anything for their existence, he’d seen the five massive structures struck down by the blast. One of them was lying pathetically on its back with those great wind arm sails spread out like a fallen giant.
The water boiled and his saucepan of baked beans bubbled gently. He just about managed to walk over and take them off the range. With his increasing disability he would have preferred to use his wheelchair. With the mess and debris around the room it was impossible. He took the water over to Lilly and loving wiped her face and pushed the hair from her eyes. His darling wife didn’t move. She hadn’t moved for ten days when she painlessly died in her sleep. Jon just wanted to die with his Lilly and be together again.
“Why did you go first, my darling? Why didn’t you wait for me so we could go together?”
The land was beautiful with the rule of isotopic splendid in every exhilarating rush of air. Gary and Donna listened to the emission of pure energy and were contented it was free of contamination from Isolationist illogical interference. These people outside of the Centroid were disconnected in their minds, but fortunately their ramblings were almost exclusively internal. Now the vibrations were clean. The two Clan Children hadn’t detected an Isolationist for many weeks and like those across the world received instructions to assemble for ‘The Voyage.’
They sat in the coach along with forty-five others who had been touched by the Truth Cloud. Over the months they’d helped at the Fontwell nuclear plant and then been assigned tasks loading and preparing ships at the port of Lewingham. Now they were to assemble in London and with their many worldwide tendril companions move on to bring final realization for the Centroid.
The journey took them from the Suffolk port, through the countryside, onto Essex and then into London. Donna looked out of the window and impersonally observed the vast panorama of flattened rumble that was once the two thousand year old capital of Britain. The coach swung along by the River Thames with mangled wrecks of boats and fallen masonry littering its muddy banks. Behind her would have been the Tower of London and to her right Wren’s mighty St Paul’s Cathedral. Nothing stood of their former glory, only dust and debris, both now blasted into the history of faint memory. Donna turned to Gary and smiled at the wonder and tranquility of their work. She said to him through the power of mind speak, “How wondrous is the Centroid.”
From the ruins and remnants of Britain the Clan came to their sailing points. All over Europe similar gatherings of the Centroid Children were congregating to pursue the common purpose. Asia and Africa saw these Children leave the land to go forth toward the designated destination. In their wake they left a ravaged peoples and broken nations. The Clan Children had roamed like hordes of slayers and their nuclear holocausts and power energy activities wrought havoc. They also precipitated massive climate changes and volcanic eruptions, bringing further misery across the two giant continents.
Whirlwinds whipped the soil just as the common people had been lashed into pitiful destitute by months of Clan mental abuse. Gray funnels curved down from huge clouds, driving tornado knives into the already broken hearts of the inhabitants. Massive build-ups of negative charges in the dark scurrying clouds sent killing lighting strikes to earth and deafening peels of thunder cowered the beaten peasants. As the atmosphere shifted abnormally, volcanoes and earthquakes increased in destructive activity, further adding to the picture of a world made hell. The terrible snake Hontobogo of Indonesia rose up from its deep fiery bowels in the molten core and shook both Asia and Africa.
From wrecked Europe, shattered Africa, suffering Asia and anaesthetized Australasian lands, the Clan Children saw their work was good and followed the common will to take passage to the New World, a land awaiting their hideous mind conquest. Over a hundred ships with Truth Cloud crews went west, east and north to rendezvous with the ‘Helsum Scanline‘. The news took a while to spread, with electrical communications intermittent at best and non-existent for most of the time. Slowly information was gathered and passed on to the President of the United States of America.
As the flotilla flocked to its meeting point it came in sight of the US Navy. Messages were sent by semaphore and word of mouth and although the mighty fleet was ordered to hold them at least five hundred miles from the coast, the little ships, dwarfed by metal giants of the sea, sailed unmolested through the blockades, separating their enemy by intermittent energy bursts, keeping the battlefield at bay. On Friday twenty second of December the ships of the Clans gathered with the ‘Helsum Scanline‘. Two hundred miles to the west was New York. The world had sent its poor and huddled masses. Now it sent the mutant Children, destroyers of the Old World.
Send Us Your Children
The President listened to Premier Rochelle of Canada. He looked like he was trying to keep his mind on what was being said. It was something about retreating north and making a last stand in the snow wastes, based on some theory from a Montreal professor. It went to the effect that these mutants couldn’t take freezing conditions. The fine details of this argument were sounding in his brain but were not registering in his sense area. He was too preoccupied looking surreptitiously over the Canadian leader’s shoulder and into the body of the assembled council.
The meeting had been arranged to make final decisions on action against the fleet of ships now heading unhurriedly towards New York. On board were, as far as they knew from intelligence reports, the total Clan gathering of the Centroid Children. Every damn teenage weirdo, atom mashing fiend of them, arriving in America to desecrate his world in the same way they’d screwed up everything else.
Wasn’t human nature perverse? This crowd chatting in the conference hall must know the chances of success are minimal and they’d be aware of what had happened to friend and foe alike out there beyond the oceans - and yet they talked, gossiped and told jokes! Death row humor gone mad, the President thought.
“So you see President Grimley, that is why I believe we shouldn’t waste our resources fighting the Centroid now. Withdraw and hit them in the chillbox,” Premier Rochelle finished his minor oration.
Chillbox -it sounded as if he is advocating a deep frozen food tragedy! Grimley suppressed a yawn and smiled at Rochelle. He turned to Keralina and said quietly so no one else heard, “It may be my show but you’re the main artist - ready then?” She nodded nervously and with President Grimley walking swiftly into the hall, Premier Rochelle and KT Wishbone followed.
There were almost a thousand people in the meeting. Anyone and everyone who felt they were important in military, civil or political circled had been summoned to the state capital in Washington DC. The hubbub fell away to silence. A few edgy coughs rippled across the hall as President Grimley scrutinized the faces in the first few rows and affirmed recognition with determined, friendly eye contact.
He saw his Chiefs of Staff from the White House and armed forces, along with senior senators, leaders of South American countries who had been able to make the meeting and a gaggle of State Governors. As his glance went farther back into the massed ranks, the faces became less familiar. Here and there were known features of a church leader, two former Presidents and one or two industry moguls. The might of money and religion, industrial power and military muscle - against no more than ten thousand teenagers who were sick in the head but possessed awesome strength.
Nicolas Grimley was outwardly a confident man, even arrogant at times. You didn’t get to stand and win the ultimate prize by being totally a Mister Nice Guy. But within his philosophical soul he questioned and doubted the existence of fundamental truth and rightness. He was a skeptical agnostic, not in a matter of religion but in the conduct of humanity and individual altruism. This deep part of his nature was utilitarian and would have stood up before this audience and given an ‘on the one hand’ speech. It was not what they wanted to hear. Leaders from tribal societies to sophistication civilizations wanted certitudes wrapped up in veritable action. Better wrong with a single rallying cry than right with a rational appeal to doubt. He put aside the thinker and donned the mantle of commander-in-chief.
“I have spoken to many of you over the last days and nights and can assure you your views and opinions have been valuable. But now is the time for us to make decisions. Before we go forward I want you to listen to someone who has shown a deeper understanding of this crisis than anyone else. Indeed I would say she is the only person who begins to comprehend our enemy at all. Without that knowledge I believe we are doomed to failure. These are unprecedented times and call for extraordinary solutions. May I pass you over to KT Wishbone?”
The President sat down. He caught the expression of General Desai and other military personnel. It was a look of mistrust about Keralina and subdued anger that their council of aggression was being subordinated to a civilian head-shrinker.
He couldn’t be sure of what KT was about to recommend. And what evidence she had, according to their previous conversation, was based on her metal contact with these mutants and empathic clues. He hoped she was right, more than knew she was right.
“What I am going to recommend as our salvation is going to shock you,” she paused and waited for her introduction to sink in, then moved too less controversial matters.
“I do not think there is any doubt that these enemies within are not aliens from space or fiends from hell. They are human mutants; flesh of our flesh, monsters of our own creation. They have developed horrendous powers and as their metamorphosis has progressed they have lost contact with their own human qualities and become in our eyes unthinking beasts.” Again she paused. She wanted her next statement to be separate and have a single force of encouragement.
“These Truth Cloud invaders at our door are not invincible. They have a weakness and we must take courage if we are to survive.” KT waited without looking at the audience. She wasn’t saying this to start a debate. The words were meant to give confidence before she asked for a commitment.
“I believe their Achilles’ heel has been shown to us. Only once before has one of their kind been killed by us. That incident passed by almost unnoticed many months ago when a Clan Child was shot by a policeman in a backwater location of Brigby Water in Britain. Didn’t we wonder why that Truth Cloud teenager could be killed when they have shown what immense power they possess to destroy, protect and overcome our puny weapons?”
This time she did look for a response and got it from the quarter expected.
“Could have been a lucky shoot,” General Desai called loudly. KT took her time to put him down.
“Facts General, facts,” she answered defiantly. “They’ve had missiles, bullets from whole battalions, tank barrages and heavy mortar fire aimed at them. With what result? Not a thing. They’ve just deflected our efforts in a contemptuous manner. Yet you say it isn’t significant that one bullet managed to kill a Clan kid.”
“Still one fact doesn’t build an argument,” Desai grumbled.
“Agreed General. But remember that at the time we experienced a massive fluctuation of energy surges and for a moment our communications and power sources were restore to normally. Isn’t that something we should consider?”
“Ok, go ahead and consider all you want,” Desai said scornfully, “It may or may not have been significant…but what does it mean young lady?”
KT controlled her urged to angrily responded. Whenever someone patronizingly called her ‘young lady’ she wanted to reach for the shotgun.
“What does it mean? I’ll tell you General. Think back about something else. The report we got on the Geena Falkirk incident showed the Clan went to extraordinary lengths to get her back with her unborn child. And I have experienced them…” she hesitated to use a word, then continued…Talking about emerging minds.” KT glanced at the listeners and hoped they wouldn’t take her up on the word, talk. Her experience had been through telepathic connections but she didn’t want to get into that. She could just image what Desai would make of mind thoughts!
The President looked thoughtfully at Keralina and said sympathetically, “I think you should tell them what your conclusions is.” KT took a deep breath and squarely faced the gathering.
“These Truth Cloud creatures are vulnerable in one known situation. They put their guard down when they are around an emerging mind.”
“Why?” Premier Rochelle’s voice sounded above the low murmur.
“I believe its because their energy waves could damage these emerging minds.”
The mutterings tripped and jumped around the room. President Grimley’s face showed he sensed their acceptance but not their understanding. He stood up and said plainly, “Emerging minds are only detected in children…we need your children to fight the Centroid.”
There are three types of silences. Silence in absence of anything to say; silence of incomprehension and thirdly, silence of an understanding the hearers don’t want to accept. This hush was of the struggling to reject variety.
“When you say you want our children Mr. President, could you be more specific?” Governor Sanchez of California asked.
There was no answer he could give. In his heart he feared this was the end of humankind.