Legion of Light
Chapter 11: Night Moves

Copyright© 2010 by Sea-Life

The biggest problem I faced with any plan to introduce the Taluatan Fusion Reactor to Earth was my desire to leave the bright ideas to others, and let them publish their research and announce their discoveries.

I had learned how to set little bundles of my own consciousness in the minds of people I was keeping tabs on, either to monitor their safety or alert me to a specific action or activity on their part. In truth I had little triggers like that set in every person I had ever revealed my gift to. Revealing my secret to someone who that person did not believe already knew it would trigger it, and I would be alerted. I was using this technique to solve my reactor problem.

In order to do this I first had to determine who in the world was conducting research in the appropriate areas. Once I had a list of likely candidates, I had to design a bundle of my own consciousness that I could leave behind in theirs that when triggered by the anticipated thoughts or actions would provide the appropriate mental connection.

I was calling them inspiration bombs, and they were pretty much at the very edge of my understanding of the human mind. I'd been involved in multiple deep conversations with both my Teacher in the Garden and Eru. In the end it was Eru's many years as a practicing Soul Diver on Taluat that paved the way for me. Much of his treatment of patients involved setting behavioral triggers that needed to release into the patients thoughts in ways similar to what my inspiration bombs were going to need to do.

It took almost the entire first trimester of Ginny's pregnancy before I was ready to turn them loose.

Yes, Ginny and I were fully invested in the modern childbirth process. We attended classes, we joined groups, we had regular checkups, and 'daddy' was there every step of the way. It was essential for us both, her as a licensed doctor, and me as the undercover wielder of 'alien' mental gifts, to maintain as much normalcy as possible in our public lives.

My first candidate for an inspiration bomb was Ramesh Sundri, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work involving the physics of higher dimensions was on a path that could lead him to a method of manipulating energy and high state matter at lowered temperatures.

My second candidate was Chen Hsu, of the Chinese institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing, China.

My third was Heinrich Brunieva at the Institut für Theoretische Physik at Geissen.

I set eighteen other secondary and tertiary inspiration bombs, all designed to be triggered by relevant announcements cascading from one of the three 'prime' candidates. If I hadn't had the good fortune to catch all but three of my candidates attending a series of guest lectures at CERN in Switzerland two weeks earlier, I might have had some problems gaining access to a couple of them, particularly the Chinese physicist, who seldom was allowed out of the country.

Six of my secondaries I got during an incredibly fun evening in Boston sitting in the corner of a place called 'The Cold Comfort, ' drinking Guinness and talking high energy physics with a group of eight MIT post-grads in between their efforts to dance with and talk to any one of a large contingent of Boston University coeds at the other end of the bar. All eight of them lobbied me hard for positions with Obsidian Research, and two of them I was actually thinking might make good candidates.

"A plan designed with the ultimate goal of providing the absolute minimum financial return." Was Grandpa A.J.'s joking description of what I'd done. Of course their would be no financial return for us on the research these men and women would conduct, but once all the pieces were in place, their discoveries would give me the framework needed to produce a prototype of the reactor. His avowed skepticism of my plan would have carried some weight, if it weren't for the massive amounts of money we were already making on the fuel cell technology.

Obsidian Industries signed long-term licensing agreements with with Duracel and Energizer Holdings, Inc., for the production of batteries for the consumer market. We inked a deal with Mag Instrument, Inc. the makers of the MagLite flashlights. Within two years they planned on selling nothing but Obsidian fuel cell powered MagLites. The entire smoke detector and emergency lighting industries were in an uproar as well, as they scrambled to be the first to offer units that were good for the life of the owner.

The deals with Sony and Panasonic for the rights to manufacture fuel cells for the digital camera, video and laptop markets was going to be worth billions over the next 50 years alone.

The momentum was starting to swing in our direction on the use of our fuel cells in the automotive industry as well. California's recently announced tightening of their already strict emission standards were going to be very difficult and costly to meet for any company trying to do so with standard internal combustion engines. Substituting our fuel cells was an easy fix, as long as the recharging infrastructure was in place. It certainly helped that our fuel cell technology was not chemical in nature and did not depend on the storage or transfer of any reactive or explosive materials. They did not create electricity on the spot by using a chemical reaction with hydrogen as most current fuel cells did. We called them fuel cells, but really they were what we called solid state synthetic crystalline electrical sinks.

Grandpa A.J. had been working on a deal with the State to convert their entire fleet of passenger and utility vehicles to the new fuel cell technology, in exchange for the State's assistance with the permitting process and pre-approval of over 500 locations for recharging stations. Our local State legislators were falling all over themselves in Sacramento championing our cause, and who could blame them. We were already employing 250 workers in our Stockton plant, and as recharging stations and retrofit shops began opening it promised more jobs, which meant tax revenues, all on top of an industry that was reducing vehicle emissions and noise pollution.

Some of the new materials technology associated with the fuel cells were quickly adapted by Proto-Tech and other companies for use in creating a new generation of high torque, light weight electric motors. The new motors combined with the fuel cells had already completely revolutionized the snowmobile and jet-ski markets.

While I still wasn't convinced that the current batch of elected officials in Washington really took the threat of global warming seriously, they did decide to pay it some lip service right away by legislating gas-powered yard machinery right out of existence, as well as a federal ban on anything but zero emission vehicles in all national parks and preserves.

Municipal bus services and long haul shippers all across the country had begun converting to our fuel cells, and the pace picked up recently, as federal legislation was proposed which promised tax breaks and other incentives for switching to the new fuel cells.

The only way Obsidian Industries could have been making money faster would have been if we were printing it ourselves.

In the corporate world, at least in our corporate world, the 'fiscal year' begins on the first day of October. I got Dad, Grandpa A.J. and I together with the Legion at the house on Meadow for a celebration breakfast. After a very nice meal of biscuits and Gravy, I got everyone's attention.

"Legionnaires, today marks the start of a new fiscal year, and even though we think of ourselves as 'The Legion' you are all employees of Obsidian Research and Obsidian Industries. As such, it is time to finally discuss money."

"About damned time!" Chet hollered. I waited for the laughter to die down.

Everyone is aware that the 'package' I have mentioned in the past was an annual salary and profit sharing, as well as full medical coverage. Obviously recent developments have had an impact on what the medical coverage might mean."

"Yeah, immortality!" Mike joked.

"I have been advised that even the Seekers and the Choctowineh did not achieve immortality." I announced with a laugh. I paused before adding "A new definition of longevity may need to be arrived at, however."

That got me some serious stares and a few whooshes.

"Fiscally, I am here to tell you that each of you has had a little more than $150,000 dollars deposited into your bank accounts. This represents your yearly salary after income taxes were deducted."

That got me a rousing cheer, and a round of high fives swept the table. Not one of them had ever even thought to ask what they were earning.

"That leaves only your quarterly profit sharing checks." I jumped the bundle of checks into my hand as I said it. "These amounts could have been deposited into your accounts as well, but we thought it would be more fun to hand them out like this. No fair turning yours over until I say go!" I added with a laugh.

I placed a check, face down in front of each of them and walked back to stand beside Dad and Grandpa.

"Go ahead!" I said.

When they each looked at their check, they saw it was for $4,750,000.

"Congratulations! Dad said. "You've earned it!"

After the hubbub died down from that little revelation I took the floor again.

"We all know that we're not here for the money. If the money eases your mind, or can make things easier for your family on Earth, then great. Thats what it should be doing. Grandpa A.J. has offered you all access to our financial advisors if you are concerned about handling your finances." Grandpa nodded his confirmation of this.

"I want to ask you to come up with a plan for handling your money, find someone to handle that plan for you and then put it aside so that we can get back to being the Legion." That prompted a room full of sheepish grins.

"We've been in a holding pattern here lately. Our discoveries in the Eastern Hemisphere of Meadow have both captivated us and left us wondering about our process and purpose. Three months ago I suggested we think about what we could do to fix things on Meadow, and we still have not reached a decision. We have a million ways to get things done, but no clear direction. No clear sense of what we should be doing."

I paused then and swept my gaze around the room.

"It's Monday back on Earth." I said. "Take today for yourselves, get your checks deposited, pay off your student loans, maybe make that official 'I'm a millionaire' purchase you've always thought you'd make someday. Spend a little time with your families. We will meet in the conference room at Obsidian Research tomorrow morning at 10am."

Later, with just Dad, Grandpa, Con and Eru left, I asked them.

"Do you think they're going to accept what we'll be telling them tomorrow?"

"Of course. Its what they need, even if they're not aware of it." Eru said.

I waited to enter the conference room the next morning until after everyone was already there and seated.

"Good Morning!" I said. "Anyone make any big purchases yesterday?"

That got me a good laugh.

"Lets get started shall we?" I asked. I sent a quick thought into the next room. The door behind me opened up and Dad, Grandpa A.J., Formerio Sabarte, Oscar Alvarado and Eldo Lev walked out.

"Eru?" When I said this Eru rose from his seat and walked to the front of the room to stand next to the new arrivals.

"These gentlemen, along with myself, are now in charge of setting our goals and making long range plans. Think of them as your Board of Directors. Eru will no longer be performing field duties, except where his special skills might be needed." I stepped aside with a gesture of introduction.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. The Directors."

The new group received a standing ovation. Eru had been absolutely correct. I could see the relief in their faces. Lev stepped forward.

"As our first action, the board has made a decision regarding our assistance to the people of Meadow." Lev announced.

"We are going to establish a Library near the city of Ureda. We will find, recruit and train local Uredans to staff the library. If and when it is considered appropriate, those locals will be made aware of the full truth." Dad added. "It is our hope that this library will serve the people of Meadow as the Garden on Obsidian serves you."

"We were guilty, in our attempts to find a solution, of thinking only in terms of results we ourselves would see." I added. "What we need here is to consider the long view."

"Legionnaires are not guards, babysitters or teachers." Grandpa A.J. Continued. "Legionnaires are explorers and discoverers. There will be a system in place to take advantage of your skills and training."

"The point team for this system is Dave, Ginny and Constantine." Oscar said. "They will be the team making blind jumps to new facets. They will make an initial evaluation which will determine whether a particular facet gets on the list of those worth follow up visits."

"The next tier in the system are the exploratory teams." Formerio added. "There will be two four person teams for now. Team One will be Cyrus, Mike, Pete and Sarah. Team two will be Chet, Arden, Alicia and Fred. These groupings are not set in stone, so please allow time for possible adjustments to happen on their own. The exploratory teams will be doing the foot work on new facets passed on by the point team. They will make the initial assessment on whether we can use our planetary survey system, or whether we need to be more circumspect due to a local technological society as on Taluat."

"Felicia is not included on a team at the moment because she will be busy studying with me." Eru said.

"I'm the first official student of the 'Eru Jehn School of Soul Diving and Mental Gymnastics'" Felicia said proudly.

"But not the last." Master Lev added. "Felicia will have two classmates from Taluat that Eru has agreed to take on as well. Twelve year old twins named Riah and Zaia Seco."

"Both these girls already show signs of being very gifted. Keeping them free from the judgment of the High Board of Governors was what brought their parents to the Rhel, and seeing their daughters flourishing among us was what made them truly Rhellians."

"Questions?" I asked.

"Does this mean we've performed construction overkill again with the Montecristo station?" Mike asked. His questioned produced a good laugh from everyone.

"Actually, the Montecristo station will continue to be needed as a staging area for all our activities in western Europe and African areas, it also has quite a bit of appeal as a nice sun and sand resort for us and our supporters. I suspect between the McKesson and Rhellian groups we've got 400 people aware of and clamoring for the opportunity to visit that location.

In bed that night, Ginny interrupted me as I had been planting a string of light kisses along the nape of her neck.

"Will this work Davey?" She was asking the same question I'm sure all the Legionnaires were asking tonight. Ginny just had the luxury of asking me directly.

"Yes Blossom, it will work, and better than what we've been doing. No more drowning in unending details."

I felt her sigh, a long, slow release, as she relaxed herself around the thought of it.

"Okay." She said, snuggling back into me. "As you were beggar boy!"

My lips found their place again on her neck, and I resumed placing kisses along tonight's path of discovery.

In the wee hours of the night, I woke with a tingle that ran a chill up and down my spine.

Somewhere in China a light bulb had just gone of for one of my physicists, and I'd felt my inspiration bomb release itself.

The mechanism that my gift uses to make one facet seem more 'noticeable' than another is a mystery I"m not sure I'll ever solve, but its one I keep coming back to. If there really are an infinite number of facets out there, then perhaps they come to me randomly, or fate again is playing a part. Having felt the guiding hand of fate in my life before, I was certainly not ready to rule it out.

Today's noticeable new facet I was going to label 'Autumn'. We arrived in a forest awash in the falling red and gold foliage of Autumn. A quick scan of the area nearby revealed only wilderness.

"Its beautiful here!" Ginny said. We enjoyed the view for a few minutes and then began taking readings.

"We have a standard readings across the board. No anomalies in background radiation levels and no sign of activity in the electromagnetic spectrum" Con said.

I sent my senses out further, towards San Francisco Bay to the west. My senses were telling me something didn't seem right there, but I felt no human presence anywhere.

"Hang on." I said, and jumped us to the top of a small hill in the middle of what would have been downtown San Francisco back on Earth.

We could all see it from here. We were looking at the overgrown and ancient ruins of a city. We walked around for a little while, scraping away the overgrowth to examine some of the rubble.

"If this was caused by war, it wasn't nuclear." Con said, "Or else it was an incredibly long time ago. There is absolutely no change in background radiation levels."

"Time for a Long Ear?" I asked. I got a nod from Con, and jumped one of the little blue/black balls from their bin in the Hall on Obsidian and handed it to him.

Con fiddled with it briefly and turned it loose. Its little anti-gravity drive shot it straight up. It reached the mesosphere 30 minutes later and hovered there, 60 kilometers above our heads. All three of us activated our suit's comm functions and tapped into the Ear's feed. The Ear's were limited, carrying only electromagnetic and gravitic sensors, but for spotting signs of technological civilizations they were pretty handy.

Our displays were clean. Nothing was putting out anything in the electromagnetic spectrum from anywhere on this side of the planet. The Ear was finding no Gravitic signatures either. My senses kept telling me there was something different here, but I couldn't place it.

"Lets go check out the focus." I said.

With a quick nod from my teammates, I jumped us there.

Unlike the lush green grotto we were familiar with in Meadow, Taluat and Earth, the focus here was a scrub covered draw, surrounded by low rocky hills. At the point of the focus itself we saw a single huge, maple tree, decked out in the same splendid fall colors we had seen previously. The ground beneath the maple's wide spread boughs was littered with a soft rustling nest of fallen leaves and lovely winged maple seeds.

"Hang on while I check something." I said.

I lifted myself into the air and sent myself east and south, looking for signs of what would have been Chocowinity Bay back on Earth. When I didn't see water right away I lifted myself a couple hundred feet higher, until I did see a glimmer of water in the distance. A quick swoop that direction confirmed that the ocean was indeed there, but that Chocowinity Bay, and apparently all of Pamlico Sound were dry ground. I quickly 'flew' back to Ginny and Con.

 
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