The only pattern that was not repeated was the honorary promotion of the key players in high places, who in the past were 'knighted' for their loyal service to the fondi's empire in its cause against humanity. This pattern had become too much of an embarrassment for all the parties concerned, to be repeated again.
Luckily, Nicolai's greatest fears had been groundless. He feared that there might have been a manual backup arranged, should the satellite system fail. So far, there was no sign of any backup system. Still, one could never be certain that a sleeper backup might not have been planted into hidden places in many cities that would someday activate itself. But as time passed, this fear lost ground and faded away. Steve, however, never changed his mind about me having correctly identified in my dream, the real backup plan. Indeed, he found plenty of evidence that it was already being implemented.
Regardless of what the outcome will be when the final words are spoken, Tony and I, and our entire family, felt good about the victory that we had been involved in, and the role we had played in it. To us, this was a great victory. It had made a difference. We had made a difference. Also, we were relieved to know that only three cities had been hit by the depopulation machine, not all six as we had feared, which was far less than what any of us had anticipated, nor had everyone died in the effected cities. A few people had recovered after weeks of being terribly ill, although Nicolai and Anton were not among them.
After the death of Nicolai and Antonovna, Sylvia suggested that Antonovna should have come to us, to Ross' station, had she been able to escape the holocaust to our rock by the sea, where she and her beloved Nicolai are loved and respected like nowhere else in the world. Everyone said they would have been glad to have her with us. Still, in spite of all that I knew, I could not accept that she was dead. She was still alive in my thoughts, as was Nicolai.
At this point I decided to carry out Anton's final suggestion, as it were. I suppose it was partly to honor Anton, and partly because it made a great deal of sense that I should invite Heather to join me for a two week tour across Mexico. "You must do it," Anton had told me in Novosibirsk, "for your own and for their liberation."
When I finally told Sylvia and Ross about it, both asked why I had waited so long. Of course, they also knew the answer.
"Would you have invited me without Anton suggesting it?" Heather asked. "If the answer is no, I don't want to come."
"I would have done this ten years ago if I had had the courage," I answered. "I have always loved you deeply from the first day we met, but I didn't dare to acknowledge this love further. Of course I tried again not so long ago, hoping against all odds, but that didn't work out either. I was actually afraid afterwards of hurting you again. The 'infrastructures' had not been built that would have made such a move possible."
I finally had to laugh. "I couldn't allow myself to move beyond that silly idea that your life belongs to Ross," I said and kissed her. "Most likely you couldn't marry him, for a similar kind of fear. At least this is how Anton had felt about Nicolai for all these years. It was not until after the Caracas conference that Nicolai recognized the validity of the principle of keeping the door open, because then, the bond will never become a trap like the bond of the Soviet Union had become for many of the Soviet republics."
So it was, that after two days of thinking it over, and by her own initiative, Heather came to me and accepted the offer. As it turned out, we never seemed to have time for this sort of thing anymore. Our joint vacation became delayed, again and again. Nor did this seem to matter. Ever since the Caracas Conference, Heather and I had continued on from where we had left off those many years earlier at the SandCastle. An unhurried kind of love had unfolded from that. Eventually, as by some miracle, our trip to Mexico became a reality.
Our private excursion into this down to earth world was totally different than the busy official missions had been, that we had carried out together after we had returned from Caracas. There was a greater depth now to our unity that reflected a lot of additional overturning, an overturning of the trivial, and of the things that had been blocking the flow of our love, such things as were once thought to be prudent for the sake of honor. The time span we had available for our vacation somehow didn't seem to be important. Two weeks appeared too short in one respect, while a single day appeared so richly rewarding that one hardly required more time to add to the happiness that seemed so totally complete. As it turned out, we only had four days. A new problem had been brewing in Washington. These four days, though, had brightened our world.
Steve had returned to China by then. Nevertheless, we had made a covenant before he left that we would meet twice a year in Cozumel for a continuing celebration of the victory we had won, and also to address further problems should any arise.
Fred had no objections to Steve's plan, in fact he encouraged it. Fred was the only person that I knew who regarded this great tagedy that had occured, within the framework of a victory. I had called him many times after the tragedy to apologize for having let him down in respect to the Mary Baker Eddy project that he had sponsored. For 35 years, this lone spiritual pioneer, America's greatest, appears to have stopped the empire's wars against humanity until she died in 1910. Fred had send us all for a one month emergency mission to Queensland in Australia to reestablish this early American pioneers scientific platform for the PUL, which she had discovered and put on the table and had translated into such a profound love that a single look of love in voicesless communication had healed a partially crippled woman in the space of a few moments. Evidently she has had this kind of an effect on the whole of humanity to the point that no major wars did errupt in her time.
Fred had brought us all together in Queensland to rediscover her principles through her pedagogical work, and to get us to reapply them to prevent a vastly bigger war by the Fondi Empire against humanity, than any war that has ever been fought in history. I aplogized to Fred that we had failed. We had obviously failed, because those eight million people that had been murdered, should not have been murdered had our assigned work succeeded.
Except Fred didn't see it that way. He said that we succeeded beyond his expectation. He called it a miracle, what had happened. He insisted that the fondi had targeted four to five billion people in a big global war for Mutually Assured Destruction, which they had kept on their agenda as a last resort to defend their existence. Fred called it a miracle that this big war had been prevented and had now become imposible to pull of. Fred called the death of the eight million that fell viction to the fondi a tragedy incurred by society's own stubborness in supporting the fondi. He said that the big war, which had been prevented, and the tragedy that had occured, as two unrelated items. He called the war that didn't errupt, a victory, which now opened the gate to the final steps to shut down the fondi in their entirety.
Of course he agreed that the tragedy that had happened should have been prevented likewise, but he suggested that this realively small failure in global terms shouldn't tranish the momentous victory that had been achieved. He suggested that the size of the tragedy that happened reflects humanity fault in allowing such huge games to be played with its very existence that the minutest failure leads to enormous tragedies in which millions of people are liable to perish.
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