The Perpetual


Saltonstall set the radio volume on high and placed it on his bed. He looked back at the reconfigured screen. He had meticulously followed Lieutenant Penny's instructions. He did not want to show them that he had hacked into the system, at least not yet. For now he would play along, as it would be the easiest thing to do. He watched the Greenhouse through the screen. Penny was gathering up everybody, even that female doctor - Emma Handley if he remembered her name correctly - who looked more like a vegetable at the moment than a human being. However, he noted that she only moved when picked up by Thibaudet and Jansen and physically carried to the group with the others. She was not unconscious, only completely out of it. Everett felt sick to his stomach watching that. He hated seeing a person's mind completely vanish like apparently hers had. It was something that he did not want to even think about. Was it the wolf inside her, conquering her so completely that it had nothing left to fight? Or perhaps this was her way of fighting the wolf, hiding from it so that it could not do what was necessary. He wondered if that would work. Of course, he had never really had any experience with fighting back the wolf. He had been told by Anselm and others that the wolf could seem to some people to be a monster, but in all reality it was only trying to help. It did what it did because it knew nothing else. The wolf, in a bizarre sense loved the person it was with; it felt it was giving them a great gift. Perhaps it was, but somehow seeing what it was doing to others made him sick and on some levels made him wish he'd never volunteered for this.

Flipping the resolution up a bit, he saw Penny speaking to the others. She had the radio at her hip, and he could only barely hear her. He picked up his own radio, and quickly called back, "Um, Penny, I can barely hear you."

He saw her pick up the radio and call back, "I'm sorry, let me raise the volume sensitivity." Saltonstall had to toss the radio down and quickly lower the volume setting on it. Having her speak right into it like that had been louder than he'd expected. His ears rang for a few moments as he rubbed them, his eyes blinking. He wondered if Bowman or Arkady heard that. He hoped that they were all right, he really hated having to do that to them, but he didn't have any choice. At least nobody had been trapped in the research facilities. He could not bear to think what the gas would have done to them if they had stayed too long or breathed too much of it in. It was not so concentrated as to cause any serious chemical reactions, possibly just a tingling sensation on the skin; at worst it would leave a person with burns, but it would not permanently damage them from the outside. Breathing too much in would be deadly though, and that was all the incentive that they needed. He flipped the screen back over to the canister, and stared at the tub of liquid. Although the gas made it a bit difficult to see, he could tell that the vat was a quarter empty now, the rods thoroughly degraded. It would continue spewing out the chlorine gas for several more hours.

Penny's voice was now at a much more reasonable level now. He flipped the screen back to the Greenhouse to watch people's faces. Everett leaned back in his chair and listened in, wondering just what it was that Penny intended to do.

"The werewolves are just the beginning?" Throckmorton reiterated, shocked by what that could imply. He leaned forward slowly in his seat, his arms resting on the table, his eyes going back and forth from the serenely calm Swiley, to the still slightly fuming Blumenfield to the introspective Simmons. Each seemed to be in their own world. Blumenfield was only concerned with the politics of the situation. Simmons was worried about her own hide, literally speaking as well, and what would happen to her crew members after all this was over. Swiley had some hidden agenda that Edward hoped he was about to reveal to him in full. Then again, what did Edward want? Where did he stand in this room, what were his intentions and his desires. He wanted to know the truth. Of course, he hadn't been able to say the truth much before in his time here, especially not about the werewolves. He hadn't even told the others about the media circus that was going on down here. As far as they knew, he was keeping a tight lip on all of this. Well that was basically shot down the drain. Everybody knew about what was going on now. Everybody knew there were werewolves, and that it was on the Pytheas. Were there people out there now thinking about whether they can come clean and admit what happens to them on nights of the full moon? Swiley said that such people existed. Would some organize to stop the werewolves, afraid that they would be trying to kill them all? He certainly hoped not, but he suspected it regardless.

Swiley nodded slowly, blowing another smoke ring, this one much less organized than the others, it twisted and turned on itself till it was just a jumbled mass of air. Swiley stared at it a bit disappointed and then nodded slowly again. "They are just the beginning of something even greater."

"And just what would that be?" Throckmorton prodded.

Swiley quickly glanced at Simmons once before continuing, "Did you ever read my book, Colonel Throckmorton?"

"Yes, just once, a while back though."

"Good, then you might be at least somewhat familiar with my goals. You may not realize it, but my book was intended to prepare people for what is still yet to come."

"What does that mean?"

"It means, my dear Edward, that unless I had written that book and people had read it, then this world would be unprepared for what is still yet to come."

"Do you think you could be a bit more vague? I think I actually understood part of what you said?" Throckmorton remarked sarcastically. "Come on, Fulton, that was basically the same thing you said before."

Swiley's face reddened. "Yes, I guess it was. Forgive me, sometimes I tend to do that."

"Not a problem, just please try to explain what is going on, and what you are talking about so that we can understand it. You might be surprised at what won't shock us anymore. I think I can handle it." Throckmorton then heard his radio beeping and he picked it up, "Excuse me for a moment." He turned it on and said quietly into the transmitter, "Colonel Throckmorton here, what is it?"

The voice that came back was Brucker's. "Colonel, the Hyperion is about to launch, I figured I should just let you know."

"Thank you, Major." He then put the radio back at his side and looked expectantly at Swiley.

"What was that about?" Fulton asked, his eyes genuinely curious.

"Oh, the Hyperion is about to launch, Major Brucker was just letting me know about it."

"A shuttle launch?" Fulton was suddenly quite giddy. "I so love to watch our shuttles launch into orbit, do you think we could see it from here?"

Throckmorton shrugged, he had seen the shuttle launch so many times that he was almost immune to the sense of euphoria that swept over most at seeing that huge structure lift off into space. "Certainly, we can watch on that wall screen over there." He pointed to the far end of the room behind Blumenfield.

"Do you think you could turn it on, I love watching our shuttles lift-off."

"Sure." Throckmorton got up from his seat, walked over to the far screen, and turned it on. He would have used a remote access, but he didn't have it with him, it was at his desk. He picked it up, and quickly set the channel to the launch pad, and they could see the hangar doors opening up and raising the ship into position. It would be less than a minute now. Throckmorton took his seat again and noticed that Swiley's face was completely wrapped up by the shuttle launch in progress. He wondered about the man for a moment, just what was his purpose. He was the head of the Hasmoneans, yet he was stunned like a child by the simple launching of a shuttle. Perhaps he was more than he seemed. Perhaps his intentions were not so malicious as it first had seemed. Perhaps what was going on here and up on the Pytheas was not as terrible as he had first presumed. Perhaps there was some benefit waiting for them at the end of this road. Still, he did not know for sure, and he would hold off his judgement until he knew what sort of era it was that Swiley was talking about.

If he could remember much of anything form the man's book he was sure that he would have been able to figure it out. However, it had been many years since he had read the book, he could barely remember the title. 'Circuits of the Universe' or something like that. He looked back and forth, staring finally over at Simmons. She was sitting with her hands in her lap again, watching as the shuttle prepared itself. Like the Pytheas it was designed, as had most of the shuttles, over the past 50 years. It was larger than they were, and it had an internal fueling system that was much more efficient than any other before it did. Chemical fuel yes, but it was more cost effective and it was not designed to go anywhere outside the system. A fusion engine was being developed for just that purpose, but the logistics of such a mission were so complex and demanding that any such mission was certainly years into the future. Could Swiley's new era change that somehow? He hoped it would, he'd like to see humanity reach another star before he died of old age.

The engines ignited and the blue -green flames licked at the tarmac, pushing downward. The supports of course fell away and the ship slowly began its ascent into the sky. Swiley let out a squeal of joy, his pipe held firmly in his fist. He kept shouting out, "Go! Go! Go!" as it moved steadily and inexorably into the air. Throckmorton almost felt compelled to laugh at the director of the Hasmoneans's antics. He noted that Blumenfield did not share his mirth, in fact she seemed only more infuriated by it.

"Dr. Swiley, don't you think we have more important things to be doing than watching a simple shuttle launch?" her voice was stern, reproving. Throckmorton wished she would just go away for once. He wished that his former boss had not been fired over the Marco Polo incident. That had been a man he could work with. Secretary Blumenfield was too political and way too serious for anybody to get along with her.

"Secretary please be quiet. I am trying to watch the launch." Swiley snapped at her, his voice seeming quite petulant but not in the least bit dangerous. What a man of contradictions was he! He was the head of a very powerful and potentially dangerous agency, yet he did not appear or act powerful in almost anyway. He was like a big kid right now as he watched the shuttle lifting into the sky. It had long since cleared that platform, and the blue-green fire coming from its engines only intensified, the smoke billowing after it in long plumes. The pilots were exceptional of course, and to Throckmorton's trained eye, he could tell that the launch was proceeding without any mishaps. That was good, the last thing they need right now was another crisis by having the shuttle explode or go out of the proper flight zone. There was a small blackened off booth in MOCR that he had been in once during his entire time as Colonel in the Space Force. It was always manned during launch, and it had the codes to self-destruct the shuttles. Whoever was in there knew exactly what their job was, and they knew better than to hesitate during the execution of that job. There were very specific lanes in which the shuttle needed to fly to make their orbit successfully. Calculated properly, they were absolutely precise. If they left those lanes they could not make the orbit and would crash. The crash of the plane would kill so many more people than the simple explosion would, and that was his job. With the push of a single button he would switch the flow of the fuel while the engines were ignited. This would reverse the direction of the flames, and it would ignite the remaining fuel inside the tank of the shuttle, causing a massive explosion that would kill everyone on board instantly and destroy the entire ship, scattering its remains for miles. It was a loathsome job, and those who sat in the black room had very thorough psychological evaluations. However, it was a necessary task, one that would save more lives than if the shuttle had crashed.

Once again, Throckmorton was thankful that this launch appeared to be moving so smoothly. He would hate to have to explain to the public why the ship had detonated in mid launch. Of course, they should be able to understand what ship crashing into small Midwest town meant, but one could never tell. People seemed to be very stupid at times, only believing what they wanted to believe. Perhaps that was what Swiley was talking about. He wanted people to want to believe that such things as werewolves might be real. Perhaps that had been the intent of his book, to make people want them to be true, so that when at least one of them, in this case the werewolf, was found to be true, then everything else that they looked forward to be must also be true and real. Very insidious, and he was not sure how it worked out, but whatever was happening, he could not deny that it was going to change the world. Nothing could stop that now.

"Isn't it beautiful?" Swiley asked, pointing at the way the flames turned different colors the farther they got up in the atmosphere. "I mean, we've been sending things into space for a hundred years now, but it never ceases to amaze me that we can do it. Does it ever cease to amaze you, Edward?

"Not really. I've seen it so much in the last ten years that I'm sort of used to it. It is still pretty remarkable."

"Yes, it is. I'll never forget the first time I saw the shuttle launch. It was the Testament, a few years before her accident. She was just sitting there on the ground so serenely, and then the thunder roared to life and the engines burst forth with flame. I can see it now as it climbed into the sky much the way this one does. Seeing the live footage from space was wonderful, I will never forget it either. A boyhood fantasy you see. I wanted to be in Space Force for many years, before I got diverted into other fields. I would still like to go up just once."

"Why don't you send a petition in? I'm sure your stature would get the petition processed quickly."

"Perhaps someday, but I have too much work to do." Swiley replied distantly. They all watched as the shuttle passed from the last of the atmosphere, into the blackness of space. The ship then began its trip to the moon. They could see it in the forward view screen of the bridge. The back of Harper's head was at the bottom, and the black stripe of hair stood out clearly. "I guess that is enough of that. I really don't need to see anymore for now."

Throckmorton turned the screen off with the remote and they all turned back around to facing each other. Swiley had a contented expression firmly in place on his face. He puffed on the pipe for a few moments, his eyes dreamy, floating almost. Blumenfield seemed mildly annoyed at how long this was taking. It was obvious she wanted to kick Edward out of there as soon as she could. Throckmorton would rather she left the room. She had said everything important for her to say, there was no need for her in here anymore. He wished that she would leave, but knew that she was going to stay right there until she had his neck in a noose.

"Now, where were we?" Swiley muttered to himself as he smiled absently.

"You were going to tell us all about this new era that you are envisioning." Throckmorton reminded him, his voice heavy with impatience. He had enjoyed the short interlude, but he really wanted to know what was going on, and did not want anymore delays. He wondered if Swiley was trying to take this long on purpose or whether he was just naturally scatter-brained. He had read that a lot of geniuses were that way, and so far, Swiley did not seem to be an exception.

"Ah yes, the new era." Swiley spoke with his pipe still in his mouth, giving it a muffled sound. "I guess that the best way to begin would be to describe the Universe we live in. It is a big place, and there are many things going on in it right along side of us that we cannot see, or touch. I mean, can you see the wind? Of course not. You can feel it though can't you? What if you suffered a terrible accident and all your nerve endings had been corrupted or destroyed? Then you really can't feel anything with your skin. You just cannot feel a light breeze anymore. A heavy gale, well those would knock you over. But still, that light breeze, you can no longer sense it. Yet it is still there is it not?"

"Well you should be able to deduce that a wind is blowing," Throckmorton pointed out thoughtfully. "I mean, we can see the effects of wind even if we cannot see the wind itself."

"Good point. Yet I am wondering just how many things we have seen happen in the Universe that we have no explanation for." Swiley tapped his chin with the pipe for a moment. He then stuck it back between his teeth, "Have you ever had dreams before, Colonel?"

"Of course. Everybody dreams."

"Do you know why you dream the things you do?"

"Well, no not really."

"Does anybody know why?"

"Well, there have been a few theories here and there, but I don't really know. That is not my field."

"Of course not. There has never been a conclusive reason behind dreams. I think it is safe to say that nobody knows why they happen, or at least can prove them scientifically. Why do you suppose that is?"

Throckmorton shrugged, "I don't really know. As I said it is not my field."

"Hazard a guess then."

Throckmorton looked about contemplatively, not really sure what to say. He noted Simmons stolid gaze, the sense of loneliness she must be feeling. He wished he could do something for her; maybe Swiley was right, perhaps all she needed was to meet werewolves that enjoyed what they were and acted it responsibly. He hoped that was all it would take, he did not want to see her in anymore misery than she already was. However, he still had to answer Swiley's question, and this had nothing to do with it. It was strange how easily the mind could get distracted from a topic it didn't want to think about.

"Well, I guess it would have something to do with the nature of dreams. I mean, only the dreamer can see them, and there is no way to play them back. I guess it's just because we don't have enough evidence."

Swiley nodded his head, "Very good point. Not quite what I was looking for, but good nonetheless." He moved the pipe to the other side of his mouth and continued. "It is for a good bit because we just don't have enough evidence and the other reason is because we don't even know what we are looking for and why. We are trying to come up with explanations for things we don't understand in the first place. People scoff at the idea of people seeing things in dreams that come true later. You've probably heard stories about that have you not? Now, one thing I always wondered is why can't dreams be like the wind. They are the effects that we can see of things happening that we cannot otherwise sense. What I mean is, a dream is only visible byproducts of some force that we cannot detect. That is all it is. How this works, I do not think I can get into the explanation, but I think you should see the point of it."

"A dream is just a byproduct?"

"Yes, of a passing force that we cannot see or feel otherwise."

"Are you sure about that?"

"That is the explanation that I feel makes the most sense."

"So what is this unseen force?"

"I'm afraid that is another distraction that will take away from my point. Needless to say that it is not physically real."

"So it is immaterial?"


"What is the point of all of this?" Secretary Blumenfield interrupted. She had her arms crossed in front of her, the creases in her face strong. She had not smiled ever since Swiley had started talking, only growing more impatient by the minute.

"I am trying to explain this slowly that you might understand. Even you Secretary need to learn a few things about this new world." Swiley replied quite caustically. He seemed to be losing patience with the Secretary as well. Throckmorton suddenly started to like this man a whole lot more. If he was against her, than he couldn't be all bad.

"Fine, but get to the point."

"I will, all in good time."

"You don't have that much time left," Blumenfield snapped.

"Are you trying to give me orders?" Swiley seemed genuinely amused by her waspishness.

"I'm a member of the President's Cabinet!" Blumenfield pointed out stiffly.

"So I noticed, but that still does not mean that you can order me about. Besides, who did you think was going to be taking the fall for this?"

Blumenfield looked suddenly very angry, "That was always going to be Throckmorton, you told me so when all this began."

"Forgive me dear, but I lied to you," Swiley said laughing a bit at the irony of the situation. Throckmorton was suddenly stunned. This had been planned out form the very beginning? The destruction of his career it seemed was orchestrated by his own boss quite willfully. He hadn't thought she hated him that much. Perhaps it wasn't hate, just expedience for the political enhancement of her career. It was known she had ambitions, but he never would have suspected that she would conspire in something like this, something that would get lives killed. Then again, she was a politician through and through, what would she care about the lives of others in the first place?

"You what?"

"I lied to you." Swiley repeated as he pulled his briefcase up onto the table again. He opened it up and pulled out a few papers and tossed them across the table to her. "That is a transcript of our conversation, of course I am listed as an unidentified voice, but you are clearly known. The tapes have been examined and strained so that they would know that you organized an effort to ensure that my plan would work flawlessly. It also goes on to state that you agreed to not tell Colonel Throckmorton about any of this. Thus, you have committed not only an act to conspire against a government operation, but you also have failed to warn those under your care of the danger that awaited them. Thus you are also an accomplice in any deaths that have occurred. From my contacts, I know that there are three dead people now on board the Pytheas. Now, Secretary Blumenfield, do you really want to press this issue any further?"

"How dare you threaten me!"

"Easily, I have the evidence to prove it. Go ahead, read it, see for yourself just how many laws you have broken. You are an accessory to murder Blumenfield. I suggest that if you don't want these charges to come out, that you stay quiet about it and don't bother me anymore. If you wish you may leave that way I may talk this over with Throckmorton and Simmons in peace. They are interested in knowing the truth. We have manipulated them since the beginning; we owe them that at least. I am not going to hide anything from them and I will explain it however I feel it needs to be explained. Now you can either complain further, and I will see to it that you go to court and are arrested for murder and conspiracy against government officers, or you can just forget all about it, and be a good little Secretary and your career shall stay undamaged. Now which do you prefer?"

"You can't do that, you will go down too!"

"I am very willing to bite the bullet for this new era. Do you think I am glad that three people are dead? Hardly, I am horrified. However, it was a risk I knew had to be taken. Still, you can't prove that I was there, and I don't think that anybody else here is going to support you, not the way that you have been treating them. I may misjudge them, but I am only here trying to help these people now. Now, are you going to be quiet and let me continue?"

Secretary Blumenfield was red in the face, her whole body shivering with the rage beneath her skin. She finally stood from her seat and walked to the door, "I think I'll take a little walk. Take your time explaining it to them. I don't really see why you even care." She then slammed the door shut behind her, and was gone. There was an audible sense of relief after she was gone.

Throckmorton could hardly resist himself. He stood from his seat, and gave Swiley a quick bow of gratitude and a small applause. "Thank you very much, Dr Swiley. You don't know for how long I've been wanting to do that to her."

Swiley shrugged, "It really wasn't all that impressive." He reached over and picked up the sheets of paper that Blumenfield had not even glanced at. "She never really cared about what we were doing anyway. She just saw it as a risk she had to take because she knew that I was going to do it anyway. She wanted to be in on it to make sure that you took the fall instead of her."

"I noticed that." Throckmorton nodded. "So, do I get to keep my job?"

"If you want it. I could even get you Blumenfield's job if you wanted that. I feel I owe you something at least for having used you all this time. Believe me, I would not have done it if I didn't feel it was necessary."

"I understand." Throckmorton nodded. He really hated the thought of being used, but he was more interested in finding out what Fulton was trying to do than arguing over the ethics of what he had done. Perhaps later they could hash that out, but right now he wanted to know what this new era was going to be like. "Now, you were saying about dreams being caused by things immaterial?"

"Ah yes, dreams. That was really just an example to get you to realize that not all explanations for things that happen in this world are caused by things that science would describe as physical object. It doesn't mean that they are any less real, it just means that science cannot be of much help in studying them. Oh there are a few times when the principles overlap, but for the most part it is a completely different field. Actually, for the most part it is all a different field. Werewolves and dreams have nothing in common, except for the fact that they both stump science when it comes to an explanation. That was really the point of my book, if you were a careful reader. Science rediscovering myth. That was what I was aiming at. I wanted to show people that whether these myths were scientifically achievable, they were beyond our minds ability to comprehend them, even if we dedicated a lifetime of study to them."

"But you said computers could handle it."

"I said computers might be able to handle it. If we had continued untouched on our present course, in another hundred years humanity would be using science that it never could have comprehended, not even a genius could grasp it, since it is simply so complex that all explanations are useless. When science reaches that point, I called it myth because what was the point? I mean, if we cannot understand it using science, than why bother? If it just happens, we know there is an explanation, but we could never understand it, then why is it still called scientific?"

"Why wouldn't it be? I mean, it still follows all the principles correct?"

"Perhaps, but if we cannot understand how it works, then we are wasting our time in reaching it by that method. There is more than one road to the same destination. We just have to find the quickest or the shortest path."

"I'm sorry, you just lost me."

Swiley smiled, puffing on his pipe again, the scent of the tobacco aching Edward's nostrils. "Okay, say you want to get to Washington DC from Baltimore. You would just take I-95 south and in a few minutes, there you are. You would not take the route that goes through Anchorage, Alaska and Los Angeles, California would you? Of course not, it would take way too long and is certainly more effort than it is worth. The same thing with the topics I mentioned in my book. Werewolves, sure there must be a way to shapeshift people from a scientific standpoint, but the actual mechanics behind it are so complex and demanding that it makes it very impractical, and in fact incomprehensible to the human mind. In the same way, there is an easier path to our destination. The werewolf represents one other road to shapeshifting. It is also an easier road than science."

"So, what you are trying to do is find those easier roads?"

"Exactly! That is what I have been trying to say to people for so long now, that I can't even remember when I started. The shorter road has so many advantages that I am amazed people haven't realized it sooner. I mean, we do it all the time in life anyway. Look at all the new technology that comes out these days. Very little of it is fundamentally new, most of it is just new approaches to the same old problem, approaches that are easier and more cost effective. Up till now we've been able to do so much of it with science. Well I am going to revolutionize the world by showing that there are even easier ways than science."

Throckmorton licked his lips for a moment, "Magic?" The word came from his mouth so easily that he was afraid that it would hang in the air for centuries. It was such a dangerous and frightening concept that he was startled that he had been able to even vocalize it. Just what sort of era was he introducing? Would they be using swords and riding horses again because magic had caused the downfall of technology? Would there be wars between those who wanted magic and those who did not? Would they start teaching classes in school on the rudimentaries of magic? If kids weren't confused now then they certainly would be after Swiley was done with this world. How long would it take before stuff like that was even welcomed or accepted as part of the natural order of existence? He really did not know, and for some reason, he was no longer sure if he wanted to find out.

"Magic is such an overused word, but strangely I think it is appropriate. Magic works basically as what we are talking about. While it may not be what you are thinking completely, I guess one could describe most everything that is not science as magic. It is similar in many ways then to science. After all there are divisions of science: chemistry, biology, physics, and many more. Magic also can be divided up into many parts. One of them is the shapeshifting capabilities of Simmons and her fellow werewolves." Swiley smiled at her as he said it. "They are just enough for us to get started slowly revealing the magic to the rest of the world. This will take some time. I first want to make sure that the werewolves are accepted into society as best as they possibly can be."

"Don't you think this is a little crazy? I mean magic is not something people are going to believe exists."

"I know that." Swiley nodded tapping one finger on his briefcase thoughtfully. "We just have to show them that it is just as real as anything else that they can see and touch."

"How are you going to do that?"

"Well, as I said, it will have to be by demonstration. The reason we selected werewolf's was because they were the easiest things for people to accept, and the hardest to reject."

"Why is that?"

"Well, people identify with werewolves because they are practically a cultural icon. They are in all the horror stories and such. They even have in the last sixty years received some positive attention. Plus, the timely application by the Shapeshifters to go on board that ship only highlighted the public's interest in those things supernatural. Plus, how are you going to say they aren't real now? You have to be the worst kind of skeptic to not believe in them now. Either that or you haven't been paying attention to the news. Regardless, I knew that it would be the easiest thing for people to accept."

Throckmorton leaned back in his chair, licking his lips again, "Did you orchestrate getting the Shapeshifters on board the Pytheas as well?"

Swiley shook his head, "We planted a few suggestions around, and we made sure that they were allowed to ride, but they sent the application in of their own free will."

"So, " Edward began, rubbing his temples with one hand, "what are your plans?"

Swiley smiled, "I am going to be leading us into a new era. It will be a wonderful new world in which people will have both science and the various forms of 'magic' available to them. There will be so many new fields of study, so many areas of the world fresh and ripe for the mind. So many new vistas to explore, and so many new ways to explore them. There will be ways to heal people from wounds that would have been thought to be fatal. New methods will be developed to sending packages and letters and transporting people. It will be remarkable. You know those plans for a colony on Mars that always get scrapped because they are unfeasible? Well we will see them come to fruition now. I cannot begin to describe all the good things that will happen in the next ten years, and in the next hundred.

"I am called a futurist, because people think I can predict future trends. They are wrong. I can barely predict what I'll be eating for lunch when I get up in the morning. What I can do is change the future and reshape it according to my hopes and desires. This knowledge that people used to know, but has since been forgotten will be back with us, do not for a moment doubt that. I wish that I could say precisely what will happen. I cannot do that. There will be a lot of pain in the transition. Many people will not want to enter this new era, because it is unfamiliar and somehow unsteady. Magic has connotations with evil sorcerers trying to take over the world and such like that. I disagree, there is so much plain good that can be accomplished with magic that I feel obligated to bring it back to the world.

"Of course I am not bringing it back, much less discovering it. That is why my book was subtitled 'Science Rediscovering Myth'. It is about rediscovery of worlds that we had forgotten in our pursuit of only what we could see and touch. This is about viewing the Universe as a much bigger place and understanding that we are not as smart as we think we are."

Throckmorton chuckled, "Then truly, werewolves are not just the beginning are they?"

Swiley shook his head, puffing on his pipe a few more times. "No they are not."

End Part 1 of Part XXIII

Continued in Part 2 of Part XXIII

Charles Matthias