I must admit that Valentines Day is a mystery to me. It's always been a minor holiday to me - something only celebrated with those closest to me, but it seems that it's gotten bigger over the years. Or perhaps I didn't realize what a big deal it is to some. Last year, there was major chatter on the ice storm that had us shut down for three days around Valentines Day "disrupting so many plans." Seems that was a big problem for a lot of people. and yet others seemed to barely register it. Whichever the case, it had me wondering if I'd made a boo boo by not doing more, because it's always been low key to me. Rick assured me that I hadn't, and that it's perfectly acceptable to do it my own way. Well enough, but still it confuses me. Oh well. To some, Valentines Day is obvious a major holiday. To others, not so much.
However you celebrate it, I hope you have a good one. At least the winter weather held off this year. They're talking winter weather, but it's not until Monday night through Wednesday. We got groceries today to beat the rush on the grocery stores. They aren't forecasting accumulation yet, but just the mention of it will be enough to start a rush to the stores tomorrow and Monday. I was banking on other people being busy with Valentines Day to make my trip today, and it paid off. Plus, it's done now. Hooray!
In closing, I'd like to share another sample chapter of Schism with you. I've written about a third of the novel, and it's coming along well. Winter weather or not, I hope to keep it rolling next week. Until then, enjoy this sample and have a wonderful weekend.
“Do you really expect this Council to believe there is not only an alien presence on Earth, but another species preparing to attack us?” President Nigel Turay asked in his elegant African accent. He waved his hand at the screens floating around Galen in the center of the room, where the World Council sat in tiered circles around his presentation module.
“The proof is right here,” Galen said, waving his arm around the screens. “You can’t deny that we’ve never seen anything like this throughout all of human history. We have energy readings and transmissions that we are one hundred percent certain did not originate on planet Earth.”
“Furthermore, the remenants of the probe that delivered the virus that caused the nanotech failure was composed of a metal that isn’t on the periodic table of elements,” Brandon added, walking to Galen’s side. “We can’t even bring it to Earth! It’s in storage on the Southern Hemisphere Space Station going through further tests.”
“I’m inclined to agree with President Turay,” Olivia Bancroft of the Eurpoean Alliance said. “I agree that the information you’ve presented is fascinating, but what’s to say this isn’t an elaborate hoax generated by the Eastern factions to keep the West out of the war?”
“We all know the West has been secretly contributing to the war for five years,” Galen said. “That much was revealed and proven nearly seven weeks ago at the Congressional Hearing in Washington D.C. where the alien presence was revealed and confirmed.”
“And if the aliens knew it, I’m willing to bet that the Eastern Factions were aware of it as well,” Brandon said. “It wouldn’t make a difference.”
“Perhaps the purpose of this was to draw the Western participation out, then,” Presndent Turay said, “and to scare them from further or more overt involvement.”
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” President Gilcrest from the United States said, his face flaring red as he gripped the work station in front of him. “Come on, people. Open your eyes! It was our own combined satellite systems that we got this data from. There were no politics at play in the gathering of this data. Science is the one area where there is no war!”
“So you say,” Vice-President Chang said from the Oriental Alliance desk, “but we all know that the Soviets are the world’s best digital manipulators. What’s to say they didn’t create this ruse to scare us into a cease-fire? They did just join the war, after all.”
“There is nothing on Earth that could generate this,” Galen said. “That’s what we’ve just proven to you! There are no systems. There are no elements. There is no DNA or biology or geology or physiology or psychology that can explain this. We’ve had our first contact with alien life in Washington D.C., and there are more coming, perhaps with less noble intentions.”
“There’s much to be desired of the intentions of these first aliens you claim are already here, if what you say is true,” Vice-President Chang objected. “Healing, and then killing, and then taking over peoples’ minds? That’s worse subterfuge than we’ve seen from any enemy in the Eastern Factions, and yet you call them savior and friend, after they killed how many thousands of your own people?”
“And then you aid this war, and call us the villains?” Ikhtar Moussidium said from the Eastern Coalition desk. “We begged you to aid in keeping this from becoming a war, and yet now we talk about befriending aliens? I find this insulting!”
“That’s assuming the aliens are even real, and that your factions didn’t invent it to bring us here now to talk about a cease fire!” Olivia said.
The chamber erupted in chatter as people jumped from their desks, engaged in private debated throughout the room. Galen rubbed his head, looking at Brandon.
“I can’t believe it. We brought them everything they need, and still they don’t believe us.”
Brandon shook his head. “Kalea is right. Human beings are very good at deceiving themselves into believing what they want to believe.”
“Yes they are,” a voice said behind them. They turned to see Aaron Martin, the Austrailan head of the Pacific Oceanic Alliance, standing with them in the center of the room. The room silenced as they realized that Aaron’s voice has resonated above all the others in the room. He laughed.
“It’s right here. They gave you everything, and still you don’t believe. Well, let’s see you refuse the inevitable. Behold, the proof you seek,” he touched Galen’s computer, wiping out all of the windows and replacing it with one large window that rose in the center of the room. A soft grey light rose to reveal a bald, grey head peering at them with black eyes.
“Greetings, people of Earth. We do not come in subterfuge, as the other aliens did who overtook your own people. We come openly to say that we know who you are, that we know where you are, and that we know how we can combine our forces to evolve into a greater people. We can help you purge the current alien threat you are undergoing. We can help you end your pointless war. We can give you the technology you need to evolve. We can make you one of us, and in integrating your biology with our technology, we can help both of our races evolve to the next level of existence.”
“But time is of the essence. You are harboring a malevenont race that has caused great harm to both of us, and that will not be tolerated. You have seen how we are able to manipulate your systems and machines, even from light years away. We will help you purge this threat and take the next step into the inevitable evolution of man. But we will not tolerate moving forward into that future until our mutual threat is destroyed. “
“We are coming. We are, in fact, already there. Your world will be our own and will be purified for a mutually beneficial existence. Prepare for our coming, and make your decision on the alien threat, for once and for all.”
The screen went blank to a silent room.
Aaron stared around the room, his eyes glowing red. “You heard the master’s words. They are out there, and they are coming.” He touched Galen’s computer, sending sparks from it as the lights dimmed. “Make your decision. But don’t use these worthless machines to do it. Make it on your own.”