31. The End of the Beginning

"T-Minus Two Minutes and counting..."

The thundering voice echoed across the giant hanger. The same automated voice that filled the panic-filled streets. The same unemotional voice that blared out of every TV and radio over the entire planet.

The Reporter shuddered as she looked across the hanger past each cubicle, and the second tier above, and everywhere she saw the intent glares and stares and fevered desperation in the eyes and bodies and minds of those few that had remained dedicated to their goals, even now, when hope had almost run out.

She took a deep breath and leaned back in the chair in cubicle J431876. There were no Scientists left to interview. The Project Team had begun to break up three days ago. Three minutes ago the last Team member had left. She couldn't blame them really. She found it hard to believe that once upon a time she had put her hopes in this project, too.

Sighing, she closed her mind on the sobs and the frantic footsteps all around her and tried to find the hope once again.

"T-Minus Forty-Nine seconds..." The sound barely reached her. She closed her notebook, picked up her cup of coffee and looked down at the subject of Project J431876.

She felt comfort and hope wash over her again as she stared at his face. She had looked down at that face for over a year, every day, watching as the eyelids fluttered or his cheek muscles twitched to the sensations of the electronic impulses that flowed into his body unceasingly. Perhaps, even now, she still believed that Project J431876 could still save them.

She had been reluctant at first, it's true...She heard her voice echoing from the past in the far reaches of her mind. "Of all the cockamaney ideas...Why do I have to get this one, Chief!"

"Somebody's gotta cover it. Your other leads have all fallen through, have they not!"

"Well, yeah. But this has got to be the silliest of all the Projects."

The Chief chuckled as she left the office in a storm. People still chuckled a year ago...

Hanger 6-Trenton was just like all the other hangers everywhere else. She peeked into each Cubicle as Security led her to Project J431876. You could still see hope in people's eyes as they looked at you then. "Hang in there, Sister. This Project will save us!" each glance assured her.

She smiled back patronizing encouragement. That's what was expected of you then. Of course she had her hopes on the Military Projects. The Projects designed to blast that lousy meteor out of space before it crashed. That's what everyone was betting on. That's where most of the money was being spent. That's what most were praying for. But, just to be sure, one had to pursue every other Project too, just in case.

The Military Projects might have worked, too. But that damned meteor was just too big, and there were too many "experts" clashing over every minute detail. The last of the Military Projects had petered out over fifteen minutes ago, leaving most people without much hope at all, except for the Minor Projects.

But now with just a minute left, only the last of the Minor Projects remained. It was all the hope there was. And she was the only one with any hope at all. She stared down at Project J431876 and smiled. "You can still save us, Dreamer," she whispered, truly believing.

She sighed and leaning forward took the electrodes from his temples. The data transfer had ceased over three hours ago. The Computer Main never did go back on line. Well, perhaps enough data had been transferred to save them.

"Dream, dream," she whispered as she brushed a lock of hair from his forehead and gently touched his temples. "The Doers have given up, now it's up to you to Dream us a new world through the power of love that you have inside. It's all in your mind now, every detail about our world and about every living thing in it. Save us by dreaming a different universe where love is the guiding force of all life. Where Love is the strength and the power. I know that the strength of your love and dreams can imagine us there. I know that your dreams can allow us to live in that Subjective reality. And in the last moment we have left in this life, we will live forever there...in the love of your dreams.... Dream, Dreamer..."

A tear rolled down her cheek. When she opened her eyes he was staring at her. He had looked at her many times that year. The doctors had assured her that it was a simple reflex action, that his brain was incapable of registering anything that was occurring outside of its activities of assimilating and integrating the neural messages that were steadily bombarding it. This time she was certain that he saw her. She watched a smile come to his lips.

The brightness outside was overwhelming as it penetrated the hanger's insulated protection. The world was abuzz with a deafening roar, but she stared into his eyes through the blinding confusion and she threw herself down on him and held him tightly.

Everything began to fade, and as it did, all became clear. I was this dreamer in some distant future, and in my hands rested its fate. "Maya," I whispered as the love in my heart grew, and I pulled her inside my dreams.

"Dream, dreamer..." she whispered and the power of the love that grew in me gave me the strength to dream that the meteor did not strike planet Earth.

A roaring rush filled my existence as Love surged unconditionally. I blazed through the deepest darkness, clasping Maya's hands of light in my own.

"Dream, dreamer..." Maya whispered and I dreamed deeper and deeper in Love, and I plunged further into the darkness.

The Wizard's face was smiling somewhere and I felt myself streaking through the unknown towards that destination. I burst inside the memory of a trembling Captain Rogetto that lingered in my awareness.

"Dream, dreamer..." Maya's whisper echoed, and I dreamed and surrendered myself to Love, and the Beast was no longer crashing down the walls, nor had he ever existed at all. Rogetto was victorious.

And still I dreamed deeper until I had righted all the weaknesses that were in me in every existence I had ever breathed or dreamed, with the strength of Love that I had become.

I felt as if I should be weak after all of this, but I was strong, as strong as I had ever been. As strong as I had always been. I stood in some place of light knowing who I was and what I had completed.

Streaks of rainbow hues flicker and shine as if these, the members of a Council of Light are nodding their heads in approval. I shine with their brightness in their Circle of Peace and they disappear for they and I are One. And I bask in this peacefulness for all of eternity knowing with all my heart that I have found the Story for which I have endlessly searched. I have no more thoughts; I have no more awareness at all for I am One and One is All and All is Love and I know for certain that I have fulfilled my purpose.

Then I awaken once again, and far away I hear Maya whispering still another peacetopian dream yet to dream. With a smile of amused resignation, I turn and follow her Voice.



©: 1992-2015 Robert Alan Silverstein

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