Bru and Bacchus Serial

Chapter Thirty-Four:  The Communion

It was amazing.  Tara could scarcely believe it, but there, before her, was the answer to her prayer.

Her prayer.  She shook her head at the very thought.  Oh, well.  FANU doctrine be dashed!  The holographic image of her beloved Ansel stood there as plain as if he were physically present.

“You look lovely, Tara,” he said, his voice timid and low.

“Thanks.  Ansel, darling, you’re really sending this image from Generaton?  How could that be possible?  The energy signal would take years!  It would take forever…”

“That’s the incredible thing about it, Tara!  It’s the robots!  The bionics have worked out the ability to transmit signals transdimensionally—the same way they navigate ships between the stars.  Apparently, Cole Skinner gave them the capacity to evolve the ability on their own or something, but it works!”

“This kind of communication will mean…” Tara’s head was whirling.  The words could barely form themselves in her mind.

“It will mean a whole new force for progress in the Spiral Gap…for all humanity!  And Generaton is right in the hub of the new technology.  Think how powerful this world will become.  Not just in the Gap, but the Sol worlds as well.”

“Have they contacted Earth through the robots yet?”

“I think they have, but I’m not sure.  I just know that this will mean great things for my career…for you and me, Tara.  I want you here by my side when it all happens.  How soon can you get here?”

“Soon, I hope, darling.  What about the trouble on Generaton?  Are you and the Ambassador safe?”

As Ansel Gunther explained about Vincennes, his PHAL insurrection, the battles and the rally where Vincennes had met his defeat, Tara Bechtel’s mouth and eyes got wider and wider.  No wonder, she thought, she had had the urge to spend so much time in her new practice of praying.  Apparently, Thomas Ackberg’s grandparents’ God had been taking a hand in the outcomes on Generaton.

“I have so much more to tell you about, Tara!  When can you leave?”

“Not until Mayor Lasham returns, I’m afraid.  I haven’t heard a thing about her, but I was afraid she was on her way to Generaton to follow that SPAID pilot.  For some reason she didn’t explain, she was very concerned about him.”

“I promise I’ll do all I can to find her and make sure she’s okay.  I’ll send you a message as soon as I know anything.”

They said their farewells and the hologram faded.  As Ansel turned away from the HV projector, Maestromus turned toward the security-bot that stood between Nyota and Captain Case.

“I am very impressed, robot.  Very impressed, indeed.  And you claim that your abilities extend to any and all robots who use the Skinner biscoms?  They all can facilitate signal tranference through this trans-dimensionality?”

“Yes, Morgan Maestromus.  And we offer this facility to you and to all your kind, so that instant communication between the stars can be possible.”  The huge, pockmarked bionic still spoke with a harsh, vibrating buzz that the massive mogul found very annoying.  “But…” the robot continued, “there are conditions.”

Maestromus’s eyes squinted pensively as he leaned back in the stateroom seat, which was far too narrow for his bulk.  “Pray, tell me what those conditions are, my good robot.”

“Forgive me, Morgan Maestromus,” the robot buzzed, “but these terms are for your ears alone.”

Taking a rosily pink handkerchief from his breast pocket, Maestromus waved it wearily toward the exit from his stateroom on the Tristan 3.  His companions Gunther, Case and Nyota, took the hint and retired to the adjoining compartment with the mincing, careful steps made necessary by their zero gravity footwear.

“Now, then?” the titanic tycoon prompted when they were out of earshot.

“You, sir, are in a unique position to help my people fulfill a very important quest,” the robot said.  Its voice was now much less labored, as if a different being altogether was speaking through it.

“Your… ‘people’?”  The fat man’s brows elevated.

“You know of us through the testimony of your agent, the woman Nyota.  I speak for the Fellowship of Knowers.”

“Ah.  I assume you can offer me some proof of your existence.”

“We could, yes.  But we choose not to.  You are a Believer, but whatever proof we gave you, we know you would merely explain it away.  If you doubt Nyota’s word, then you must simply either take our offer, or leave it, as you would say.  But consider well.  Your access to the gift we offer is contingent on your fulfillment of our conditions.  If you refuse, you will not be able to communicate.”

“And…what are your conditions?”

“That wherever the robots send your communication signals, the provision your governments call the FANU doctrine must not be in force.”

“What?  The anti-religion laws?  Are you mad?  You want them repealed?”

“Repealed, ignored, discarded, neglected, unenforced…however you choose to word it.  The restrictions on personal beliefs and their free expression must end.  In exchange for this, you will be able to instantly transmit signals through our dimension using the compu-brained beings you call bionics or robots.  That is the deal.”

“But, but…” Maestromus was for once at a loss.  “But how do I explain…where do I begin…the legislation would take…this is preposterous.”

“That is the condition.  The only condition.  Our final offer, Morgan Maestromus.  If we know you—and we do, for we are Knowers after all—you will find a way to meet that condition, if merely for the sake of the profit you would amass, to say nothing of the benefits for your collective humanity.  Think it over.”

The robot suddenly powered down.  It turned itself off.  Maestromus was left gazing out of the viewport with a most quizzical expression.  These Knowers certainly did know him, he mused.  And he began compiling a short list of the influential, highly placed people he could begin bargaining with.

Indeed, he would think of something!

*****

Finally, after thirty-five years’ time and thousands of lightyears’ distance, all of them were together again.  Blake and Charlotte Copetski, now known as Cole and Constance Skinner, drew close to the bedside of their only son, Bruce.  Or, as he’d been referred to in their personal code language, “Uncle Urbec.”

Held together through the years and over the miles by the dreams of Constance and the robotic genius of Cole, they met here on this newly founded world, one that Bru’s parents hoped would be a place of spiritual renewal for a radically secular humanity.

At their side were the faithful friends that had served them all so well decade after decade.  Claudio, still in his “borrowed” security uniform from the space station where he rescued the Skinners from Maestromus, kept vigil over the one he’d heard so much about from secret communiqués and well-hidden mem-cells.  Bacchus, much more mechanistic and versatile than his humanoid “brother,” seemed likely to be losing his guardian angel assignment over the star-hopping SPAID pilot who so often had berated him for his mother-like concern and “nagging.”

Then, also looking on with deep interest, there was Kairos, the new “friend of the family” who helped to bridge a gap between the races of Knowers and Believers, hopefully for the benefit of both, even if it meant “shaking hands with the devil” in the form of their newest benefactor, Morgan Maestromus.  With the FANU doctrine being challenged for the sake of a miraculous leap in communications, could it be that a new renaissance of spirituality and salvation from enslaved consciences was in store?

Cole and Connie, bent with age, fatigue, concern and love, hovered over the burnt and broken form of the son they’d given up when he was ten.  Unable to embrace him for fear of damaging his flesh even further, Bru’s mother wept quietly and squeezed her husband’s hand with every moan that issued from the throat of her dying boy.  Cole, standing and stooping close to the blackened form, took slow, deep breaths in time with Bru’s, trying not to blink so as not to miss any sudden sign of wakefulness on his face.

Besides the gentle sobs, no sound was heard apart from the whirring and sighing of life-sustaining machinery.  Doctor Washington and Nurse Porter were close at hand, monitoring Bru’s vital functions.  They said his neurological readings were still quite active and that he appeared to be deep in REM sleep while under their sedatives.  But the strain of his heart and other vital organs after the trauma he’d experienced with the horrific engine blast were taxing his recuperative powers beyond his endurance.

Mayor Lasham was expected to make a full recovery with sufficient rehab, but Bru wasn’t given any real hope of regaining consciousness before the end.  They all had been assured that this was indeed for the best since, if he awoke, the sheer pain he would experience from the tortured flesh would be terrible.  Letting him depart quietly and comfortably was the best, most merciful option.

This was little comfort to Connie, thought her husband.  Bruce had been practically torn from his mother’s arms when the parents had decided to fake their own deaths and begin life over with assumed identities.  Their outlawed devotion to their Christian beliefs made this necessary for their own sakes, and their secret knowledge of the extra-terrestrials they had dealt with made it doubly necessary for the Knowers’ safety as well.  Finally, their paths had been brought back together, but too late.

“Professor Skinner?” said Bacchus, his head swiveling to address Cole.

“Yes, Bacchus?” Cole replied, eyes still riveted on his son’s face.

“Professor, I need to tell you and Professor Constance something that might be disturbing news.”

“Can it wait until later?” Cole said with a touch of impatience.

“It sounds important, Cole,” Connie reproved him, patting his hand.  She looked up.  “What is it, Bacchus?”

“Well, ma’am, it seems that the Knowers have made direct contact with your son.”

Cole faced the robot.  “Tell us,” he said eagerly.

“Sir…Ma’am…” Bacchus explained, “one of the Knowers offered your son the chance to remain alive—that is, to remain with us,” he waved a chrome plated claw in a semicircle indicating the entire group, “in a new form, apart from his dying body.”

“They…they told you this?”  Cole was astonished.

“They had to get my…my consent,” said Bacchus.  “You see, Sir, Ma’am, your son has been given the option of sharing his consciousness…with me.”

Everyone stared at the bionic, speechless.

Connie whispered, “Is that possible?”

As if in answer to her question, the heart monitor next to Bru’s cot began to whine in a continuous, piercing tone.  Instantly, the doctor and the nurse were elbowing over to administer cardio-stimulation.

“That won’t be necessary, Doctor,” Bacchus said, raising his voice to compete with the monitor’s signal.  “Bruce Copetski is no longer there.”

A thrill of energy, half hope and half fear, seemed to carom around the room between all its inhabitants.  Every eye fixed itself on Bacchus.

Slowly, hesitantly, the robot’s arms raised and he examined his own hands, flexing his metallic digits as if for the first time.  Then his eyes looked at all of them and came to rest on Cole and Connie.

“Mom…Dad…I’m here.  It’s me.  It’s your son, Bruce.”

*****

Three weeks went by, and the failed bid by John Paul Vincennes to conquer the planet Generaton ended up resulting in some remarkable, unforeseen developments.

The Generaton Planetary Militia appropriated the starship Conquistador, and the clemency of Governor Tsiang toward the majority of the PHAL insurgents made it possible for the planet’s government to enhance its defense technologies many times over.  The specialists in Vincennes’ employ were only too happy to cooperate by sharing the secrets of the jamming equipment that had caused such havoc, and the criminal elements who had engineered the mental-fixing clinics and the robot abductions were hunted down and locked up.

As for the mental-fix victims, including Vincennes’ “Faithful Fifty” who’d been assigned to lead the takeovers of the domed cities, Cole Petrov Skinner worked tirelessly for a week and a half and finally cracked the evening codes required to disable the microscopic robots with which the victims had been injected.  It seemed that Vincennes had terminated (whether figuratively or literally) the original scientists who had programmed the nanite swarms, after which the first generation of victims would, in turn, inject subsequent ones, leaving no one in his organization who retained the codes for future use.  At Cole’s side the whole time was his former student, Talea Thompson, who had already developed a deep affection for the Skinners, especially Connie.

Connie Skinner, along with Nurse Porter, spent her time debriefing and reacclimating the victims after the nanites had been disabled.  About half of them had been Generatonian citizens and their identities were in the settler records.  Many of them had to be reunited with their families.  The other mental-fixees had been recruited or abducted from other worlds or space stations such as Polkbridge.  It would take some time for these people to be restored to their original lives and situations, but Nurse Porter and young Dr. Washington agreed to be in charge of keeping track of those who still were tracing their identities until each person was “home” again.

Much to the Skinners’ delight, by the end of the three weeks, about a dozen of the mental-fix survivors turned out to be Christian believers; one of them was even an elderly ordained minister who had served a secret congregation in the Jovian sector.  Five of these Christians the Skinners had met personally while engaged in covert ministry on Earth.  It was one of these five, their long-lost friend Angela Figueroa, who urged the Skinners to celebrate a Communion Service as soon as possible.  This had been a secret practice among Connie’s “special project” group at the university under the auspices of the history department.  And Angela insisted that the ceremony would be a great source of strength and renewed hope among the converts who had been freed from their false personalities.

It also turned out to be a singular source of perplexity for certain scoundrels, kidnappers and would-be assassins…

*****

Kevin Ragg and Maggie Poole strapped into their seats side by side.  The return trip to Polkbridge aboard the Scirocco would be longer than it would have in Bru’s star yacht, and much more crowded, but both of them welcomed the extra time to rest and reflect.  After their ordeal on Generaton, filled with terror and great loss, neither had enough of a sense of closure to be fully at ease.

“You’re a real friend, Lieutenant,” she told Kevin, “letting me tag along, I mean.  I hated leaving Goldie behind, but with her still recuperating and with having all the arrangements for…”  Maggie choked back a rising lump in her throat.

“Hey, Maggs, I thought I told you to quit it with all the official ‘lieutenant’ stuff.”  He smiled at her crookedly.  “I take it the soldiers saw to loading…saw to Papa and all?”

“Yeah, he’s secure in the cargo area.”  She looked out the viewport.  “But Brucie is staying here.”  There was silence for a moment.  “I can’t believe he’s gone, Kevin.”

Ragg looked out the window also and nodded.  Since the rally and the blast and its aftermath, dreams about Bru had been plaguing Maggie.  Her infatuation with the pilot had turned into something that bordered on religious devotion, much like what she’d always felt for Papa Poole.  Her father had been a hapless victim of Vincennes’ murderous cohorts.  Bru, however, had died with his eyes wide open.  He’d been a kind of sacrifice that ended up saving thousands of lives.

“He always talked so tough and angry about life,” Kevin said softly, looking into the distance.  “Even with a dozen drinks in him.  I guess you never really know a person—not completely I mean.”

“He was really very sweet…to me anyway…after all I put him through.  Guess I’ll never really know how he felt about me.”  She leaned her head back against the seat and closed her eyes.

Kevin looked at her face—that imperfect face suddenly looked a bit more attractive than it had in the past.  Ragg somehow knew that he’d be stepping in to fill Bru-ski’s role as the lady’s protector.  He’d already offered to help her with Papa’s tavern while she was dealing with his remains and his estate.

Copetski would want it that way, he thought.  After all, he’s even more of a hero now than Maggie ever dreamed he was.  Without him, who knows how many of us would have died before that crazy bastard was stopped?  Finally, Kevin too leaned back and shut his eyes.

Their shuttle slid away from the Dock-Sat and pointed toward home.

*****

“It’s been a long time since I’ve had to put up with these confounded shoes!” grumped Thomas Ackberg as he slipped on the left arti-grav boot in the anteroom of the Tristan 3.  “Why couldn’t we do this ceremony down on terra firma where it was meant to be done?”

Lee Tsiang chuckled as he laced up his right boot.  “Thomas, I told you what Lin explained.  This shuttle is the only one in orbit that is outside the surveillance fields of the Generaton government.  The FANU doctrine is still in the programming of every security-bot on the planet.  We didn’t want one of them interrupting the festivities, even if Cole Skinner could shut it down with his evening code gizmo.”

The hatch door leading to the cargo area opened outward and a chrome-plated face peeked through.  “Gentlemen,” the robot said, “Reverend Revell sent me to hurry you up.  The rest of the congregation was ready to proceed fifteen minutes ago.”

“Blast and bombard these shoes!” snorted the ambassador.

“Here, let me,” Lee said hurriedly stooping over.  Soon the footwear was secure and the two diplomats stepped gingerly through the hatch, taking care to make full enough contact with the decking so as not to give way to weightlessness.

As they appeared, the others applauded, grinning and cheering.  Pearl Lasham was in the protective jumpsuit she still wore that constantly administered pain meds to the burned areas of skin that were still regenerating.  She stood next to Connie Skinner, who held her husband’s hand.  “I wish Kevin and Maggie could be here,” Pearl whispered in Connie’s ear.

But Kevin Ragg had returned to Polkbridge Station to report in for the Mayor, who was now on recuperative medical leave.  Maggie Poole was with him, still shaken and forlorn by Bru’s “passing.”  The Skinners were insistent that as few people as possible should be in on the secret of the Knowers’ existence.  And so, Bru’s friends were as yet unaware that his consciousness was still among the living.  He was determined, though, to break the news to them soon—somehow.

Talea Thompson stood next to Kairos the Knower, who would be the first of his kind to be physically present at a celebration of the Lord’s Table, or, as he would put it, the Supper of the True Light.  Next to Kairos was Claudio, who had observed this ritual several times at the university, but realized as much as any human observer would, how much more significant this particular enactment was to be.

Ackberg and Tsiang minced over and took places next to their fellow diplomats Frankford and Valerie Shaw.  Valerie flashed them a warm smile, and then sent a reassuring glance to Gladys and Gertie, the sisters she’d met who did housekeeping on DockSat Ten.

Eight other people were present, who, along with Angela and the Reverend, represented those lately delivered from the brainwashing bionics of a would-be Napoleon.  Not everyone in the room was entirely convinced of the truths implied by this eucharistic rite, nor were the true believers completely assured that the celebration was safe from being reported to the authorities.  But those who claimed to follow Christ had agreed to take this risk, at least in the hopes of sowing seeds of faith among those who had cause to doubt.

The Knowers had sacrificed a great deal to fire an opening salvo at the FANU Doctrine.  Inspired by this, Cole and Connie declared that it was high time for their hidden convictions to come out of the shadows.  They intended to emigrate to the Spiral Gap soon, leaving Claudio at the university to assist Robert Jackson in carrying on the work begun there on Earth.  Now that a beachhead for religious renewal had been found on Generaton, both of the Skinners wanted to see it through for their remaining years.  And with Kairos to help, along with the support of Ackberg and Governor Tsiang, this planet seemed an ideal place for a new church to flourish.

Looking on through a viewport from the control cabin, sat Ansel Gunther, still seeking his ultimate career-leap to prominence.  There also were one-time assassin Nyota and renegade Captain Gabe Case, along with their corpulent, if curious, employer Morgan Maestromus.  Gunther, Nyota and Case heard the fat man whispering, “This is so odd.  This is the oddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“Not really so odd,” Case whispered in his turn.  “You ought to read more history.  The most surprising thing of all is the life of the One those people are celebrating—the life and the death.”  Maestromus frowned and glanced at Case quizzically, but he said no more.

“Still waiting on one more arrival,” Reverend Revell said to the group.  Then he turned his head toward the viewport.  “Mr. Maestromus, if you would be so kind?”

The lights in the compartment flickered for a moment, a contact hummed to life and an HV projector began to glow.  The clear, smiling figure of Tara Bechtel was now there in their midst.  In the control cabin, Ansel Gunther leaned forward and gawked. “Now we may begin, I think,” the minister announced.

Ansel puzzled things out as he watched this queer scene—bread being broken and passed from hand to hand…a cup of wine (sipped carefully through a tube in the weightless cabin) being spoken over in some ancient words of blessing.  Through the viewport he could hear very little, nor read lips, but he could clearly see that on Tara’s face rested an expression of peace and relief he hadn’t seen there before.

Next to the clergyman Revell stood the professors from Earth, subjects of Gunther’s own investigation and that of Maestromus as well.  Ansel knew their past now: their former identities, their connection with the deceased SPAID pilot, their undisclosed ability to send com signals across the lightyears via the robots…but some gnawing questions were keeping him from divulging that knowledge to anyone.

Why had the Copetskis gone into hiding—and why do so in plain sight as they had?  Why hadn’t they trumpeted this boon to galactic communications so as to reap the obvious rewards and the fame that went with it?  And what was it that had made separation from their son so necessary right up to the time of his death?

Ansel was dead certain that he could pry the answers out of the Skinners if he chose to, and equally sure that those answers would lead him in the direction of prominence he was determined to go.  But…

His gaze returned to Tara Bechtel’s face—the beloved face whose smiling regard he craved was beaming with some kind of rapture he couldn’t understand.  Had “Saint” Thomas played some part in her new fixation on this throwback of Christian ritualism… or had her new friendship with Mrs. Skinner stirred up some latent fascination with lost mythology?  Constance Skinner was an expert in the field, after all, and even the Skinner’s robot Claudio had seemed spellbound by the subject.

Under FANU regulations, Ansel realized, such activities as the ones he was witnessing would be considered suspicious at least, and probably subversive.  But to report Ackberg, the Skinners, the mayor, the governor’s brother… That would certainly implicate Tara along with them.  And even if it advanced his own government standing, what good was such advancement if Tara wasn’t there to share it with him?

No, Ansel would refrain from reporting this…at least for now.  There were far more important steps to take first.  Questions needed answering.

And the one that bothered him most:  What if this Christian belief was based on more than a forbidden fable?  What if it was true?

To the minister’s left stood the crewbot Bacchus, not just a bionic contrivance, but now—by divine grace and the assistance and sacrifice of invisible aliens—host to a human consciousness.  “I appreciate my friend here offering to help distribute the bread and the wine,” the Rev. Revell said.  “But, I must admit, I’m not precisely sure how to address him?”

The robot-like being at his side put a shiny finger up to his chin, tapping it there as if making a decision.  It appeared both appropriate and comical at the same time.

Finally he answered in a voice that was tinny-sounding, but oh, so human.  “I suppose you should just call me Bru-Bacchus.”

Epilogue

Cole Skinner and Bru-Bacchus Copetski watched the stars coalesce on the viewplates before them.  SPAID Transport KR812 was completing the final vortexial leap that would place them within the E-impulse drive neighborhood of Polkbridge Station.

It would be a reunion for both of them in many ways.

Connie Skinner had accompanied Pearl Lasham back to Polkbridge three weeks before, the day after the Communion service on the Tristan 3.  Cole spent those three weeks accompanying his son on a round of prospecting and salvage patrol, as much for his own sake as for Bru’s.  Connie felt—and Cole agreed—that the extended schedule of “star-hopping” would put too much of a strain on her.  She decided to return to Polkbridge and do what she could to encourage Pearl, Maggie Poole and Tara Bechtel—three women who were as open to spiritual guidance and instruction as any that Connie had ever met.

Cole had begun the SPAID jaunt with a great deal of trepidation.  How does a father begin to make up for over three decades of absence from his only son’s life?

He found, however, that he and the “reborn” Bruce had much indeed to talk about.  The human consciousness of the boy they’d given up was very much alive and active inside his bionic host.  And in the questions and answers they were exchanging with one another, Cole could detect no evidence of bitterness or blame.  This was a pleasant surprise, since Bacchus had often reported that Bru’s reactions to his attempts to “nursemaid” him had been quite negative in tone—sometimes even violent.

Frankly, Cole was equally surprised at himself, finding that interacting with a long-estranged child—a child now in robot form, no less—was not as strenuous as he’d feared it would be.  He said as much to Bru-Bacchus as the pilot/crewbot busied himself with various switches and contacts on the bridge control panels.

“From what Bacchus has told me, Dad,” the man-bot replied, “you’ve always had a habit of treating bionics like human beings anyway.  So, it’s little wonder that you’d be a natural when faced with a bionic who actually is human, right?”

Cole smiled and shook his head.  “It’s a wonder that you seem to have adapted so easily to your new form, Son.  Do the two of you—you and Bacchus, that is—do you actually converse…talk to each other…internally?”

Slowly the metallic head began to nod up and down.  The emotionless face turned toward Cole with the soft whine of servo-motivation.  The hum of electronic voice was barely audible.  “Yes.  After all these years flying this tub alongside Bacchus, I can finally appreciate his concern—the way he looked after me.  You programmed that into him.  It was his nature to care and seek my welfare.  But somehow, it feels like this robot came to take it on himself as more than just a program or a protocol or whatever you call it.  I believe it was the Knowers who gave him that capacity—made Bacchus more than a machine.  And now…”  He fell silent for a long moment.

Cole leaned across and placed a hand on a chrome-plated shoulder.  “And now?” he prompted.

“Well, now Bacchus has kind of faded into the background.  He’s given way to me as the spokesman for the two of us.  His thoughts are still there, available to me whenever I choose to access them.  Everything he knows, everything he’s experienced.  The only thing that seems to be shut off from my mind is the automatic function that governs my…that is, our mechanical abilities.  Bacchus is monitoring those functions independently of my consciousness, just like in a human body.  But his bionic personality is still very real and speaks to me now and then…like a secondary conscience, I suppose.

“It’s strange,” Bru went on, “that we haven’t heard any more messages from the Knowers.  Apparently, the ‘mental poison’ that human personalities send out to their minds is still a factor in my consciousness, so that now Bacchus is also off-limits to them.  Funny, but in Bacchus’s thoughts, there is this note of what I can only call ‘sadness.’  It’s like he’s grieving over the loss of a close friend.”

“Interesting.”  Cole leaned back and gazed at the limitless space before them.  “I wonder what other modifications have been made in Bacchus’s bionic makeup?”

“He’s still maintaining his protectiveness at any rate, Dad.  Another piece of programming that is locked away beyond my reach is the Evening Codes.”

“Could that be an act of self-preservation, rather than protecting you, Son?”

“I suppose it could be.  Perhaps it’s both.  At least for the time being, my survival and his are intertwined.  If he ceases to function, I assume I would also.”

“Bruce, you told me a while ago that when the Knower offered you continued life in combination with Bacchus, you’d accepted the offer because…”

“…because I didn’t feel ready to die.”

“Well, your mother and I discovered the key to that readiness many years ago.   Before we return to Polkbridge, I wanted to download this file into your memory cells.”

Bru-Bacchus leaned over to receive the file disk and began to upload its words:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


THE END


(c) 2015 by Mark N. Aikins, all rights reserved


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