"Listen. You know that big guy that tried to take the Atlantean text? He's an alien from a world that wants to see humanity wiped off the galaxy. If you don't tell us where Encyclopedia is, he is in grave jeopardy. Lal-atha will kill him and take those texts. Heck, he may already be dead. Every hour you stall is like throwing him to the wolves."
"You're lying! I hate you! I freaking HATE you! You set me up and now you're lying to scare me into revealing where he is. You think I was born yesterday? Try again."
"I wish I was lying. I've updated the computers here with a partial list of planets that are actively hostile to Earth and humanity. Feel free to look through it. Feel free to ask Yal-hune whether or not the data is falsified."
"So who cares? Even if its true, that has nothing to do with the release of the lost Atlantean history."
"It has EVERYTHING to do with the Atlantean history. Those books could overnight bypass about five centuries or more of technological development in about a decade. EMF craft could be made and developed and before a decade was out humans would have access to the solar system - and in another decade - the galaxy. Then when humanity travels it picks up ever greater technology. Technological paths can be exponential. Nikola Tesla's alternating current motor was one such exponential path that led us out of the dark ages and into the humble technocracy we have today. Well those Atlantean texts make Tesla's AC motor appear small fry. The exponential result of those texts and their contents being reviewed would start an exponential chain of enormous proportions."
"So? That's GOOD! I want to see this world progress! Why is that a bad thing?"
"Imagine if you will a cliff. A man stands 30 feet from the edge. He wants to expand his roaming range and starts walking in circles around his original point. First 5 feet. Then 10 feet and then 25. Someone tops him and says 'hey, you can't go further because there is no ground there to support you - you will fall to your death!' and the man ignores it. That's the point we're at. If we become technologically advanced in space flight or any serious technology the ground underneath us vanishes. Why do you think the manned space program was dumped?"
"I don't know - why?"
"Because these hostile aliens threatened to blow the Earth out of existence if man traveled anywhere beyond our moon. That's why."
"What about Yal-hune and her brother? What about the Confederation? They will protect us."
"You of all people should know if somebody wants to destroy something badly enough, they can always succeed. Protecting the Earth is never going to be absolute. If Earth gets too far ahead, have no doubts, one of these other worlds will succeed in destroying Earth or humanity."
"I refuse to believe that! That would mean....my God...Earth forever stuck in a stagnant position."
"Yep. Why do you think they overshadowed the likes of Philo Farnsworth and shared with him the cathode ray tube? Television was a HUGE pacifier. The only progress they permit is pacification technologies - tv, films, music, video games, et cetera."
I see Isis is about to crack. The horror of the reality of Earth is now starting to sink in. She realizes that she's living on a controlled world. A world where someone has every human's number and where babies are condemned at birth to a life of endless toil and pacification. A world where each generation now grows up to be even less intelligent than the previous one. She realizes the ramifications and sees the world in an entirely new light. The imaginary cocoon she envisioned the Earth was in, is gone. She sees, if anything, that our world is snared in a galactic web and is far from isolated.
"Encyclopedia is up in Sedona. A motel - the Sedona Sage."
"Thanks Isis. I promise I will do everything I can to push ahead the technological level and more importantly - wake up the masses to the reality of the situation and push them to develop. Get to a non-secure computer terminal - go online and look up 'SDAI-Tech1' - I think you will see that I have been very busy. I couldn't tell you until now. Meanwhile, I'm going to retrieve Encyclopedia and those texts."
"Don't hurt him."
"You know I wont let him get hurt."
I realize that they have some sort of relationship beyond that of their agenda.
"Can you teleport me to the Sedona Sage?"
"Why? It simply will save time and hassle."
"Encyclopedia is not there."
"What? Where is he?"
"He's in San Diego. Once Isis didn't return, he grabbed the remaining texts and took off by car for UCSD."
"Can you teleport me to San Diego?"
"I can do better. I'll teleport us both to UCSD."
"Yes, you were familiar with this time-stream already over 20 years ago."
I find myself in a car. Yal-hune is beside me and we are in the parking lot at UCSD. I haven't been here in years.
"A car too? Did you conjure this up or did it get relocated?"
"This was relocated. It is from the SDAI motor pool."
"Hmm. I never knew we had any Japanese imports."
"They arrived after you left. Your policy was quickly reversed."
"Well...whatever. Let's retrieve Encyclopedia."
"He's already talked to someone about the books."
"Yes. But it doesn't matter. She threw him out of her office and called him a lunatic."
"Poor guy. Its his university years all over again. Are the texts with him?"
"Yes, he's trying to set up another appointment but can't get her to reply to his calls."
"That's what's wrong with the universities around the world. They're filled with idiots. Encyclopedia has learned a valuable lesson - namely, no one wants to be told the truth. No one wants to listen to someone else with an idea. They struggle so hard to blend in, conform and obey the system. Their souls are tiny."
"Is that you talking or you as influenced by an overshadower?"
"Sorry. It's just being here reminds me of the morons I myself have had to deal with over the years. Now I understand they were all targeted as soon as they came within ten feet of me. If their natural impulses already weren't the best or brightest, they were totally down the tubes when I was around."
"And so you should feel compassion for them."
'Yeah, I guess."
"Is it so hard to see it objectively?"
"Yes. Actually, it is."
"Here. Let me help you."
Yal-hune places her hand on my forehead and all of a sudden I see things the way she sees them. All the people I have dealt with and how they were targeted and their lives made much tougher just because I was around them. The little indignities they suffered and the larger twisted paths that emerged as a result, of which I never saw or realized.
"Thanks Yal-hune. Those ramifications were completely invisible to me."
For the first time I can let go of grudges and biases I have held for a long time. It feels refreshing. I didn't realize just how much that baggage was like wearing manacles.
"Yes. We always are invisible to others problems as we focus primarily on our own."
We get out of the car and walk towards the dormitory.