Five: Episode 46 … The Bargain

Five: Episode Forty-six is based off the following book excerpt from my science fiction, supernatural, thriller, The Contingency Generation. 

 

Episode 46

The Bargain

I watch the testing take place. The display is chilling. A man, restored by our resurrection process, chooses to annihilate the beloved family pet because of its incessant barking. The scenario plays out in virtual reality of course, but his emotionless reaction is carefully documented in his Pysch-Eval report by observing technicians.

The response to the annoying family pet is only one of a vast array of animalistic choices the man makes during the session. None of his selections provide evidence of the loving father his family remembers him to be.

If physical resurrection succeeds, but the process affects a candidate’s personality traits, then it’s my duty to call a halt to the trials until the matter can be resolved. This change of means the universal broadcast of the resurrection of Beast, scheduled to occur in two days, will not take place.

I hate to enlist Fol, but I know Birch won’t hesitate to take the lead if my request is seen as proof that I’m stalling because of the sabotage attempt. Fol’s support is vital to carry the council’s decision in my favor. If the council were a living thing and had a personality evidenced by a color, the hue would be consistently green from the flow of dollars. Out of all the companies who fund the trials, DCN would be colored deepest emerald, and Fol as the CEO, is mine to bargain with because I am his life partner.

That night, between appearances of our house staff carrying gold plated tableware containing Bosma’s culinary offerings, Fol and I dicker over the dilemma. I know he’s disappointed. Weeks of preparation for his father’s resurrection broadcast has been his sole goal.

He pushes a neat little pile of bones onto a saucer after removing them from his duck breast. “You know you’re being overly cautious. I don’t think the effects on one man should be allowed to stand in the way of benefit for the entire selection of candidates.”

I counter. “You don’t know if others WILL BENEFIT. Beast could be affected by the same alarming outcome. Doesn’t that possibility concern you?”

He raises a glass to me, sips, then places it back on the table. “I’m only concerned that you never seem to choose optimism, a wonderful tonic that many indulge in without harm.”

I avoid showing my rising emotion over his familiar goading concerning my careful ways. I focus instead on my fork and successfully stabbing the perfectly sautéed vegetables.

After several silent seconds my response comes. With best affect at indifference I declare, “I’m choosing to wait for truth to unfold. I’m neither pessimist or optimist. I’m waiting.”

“And there it is. The thing that most obviously seems to motivate you. That admirable quality of looking for truth,” Fol mocks.

Heat floods my face. He can be so offensive, and I know his attack is just beginning.

“I knew we’d get to it. Our familiar stomping ground.”  He wipes his mouth and pushes back his chair. “It’s sad you know, love, because you of all people should be more aware that truth is a variable and not a constant.”

“What do you mean?”

“Truth changes depending on the situation. This recent development is a perfect example. As a scientist who takes pride in operating with facts, you should see that the potential downside of an absent personality in one resurrected man should not outweigh the need for continued resurrection efforts to benefit the masses. The  rapid decline of human species in this last decade is our most serious threat.”

“And my simple statement of wanting to wait for facts to unfold is not heresy.” I defend.

“No, it’s not.” Fol gets up from our dinner and walks over to the side board and appears to be studying the Monet original hanging above it. His back is toward me, a typical action of expressed disgust.  No further retort gives me uneasy sense that he is gathering steam.

Ominous silence hangs over me. I attempt to keep eating and give an appearance of casual action, but my stomach is in knots. I look for alternatives. Perhaps Fol genuinely grieves the additional time that will pass before his father can be resurrected.

Taking a deep breath, I walk to him and place my hand on his shoulder and whisper, “Dearest. I’m so sorry. I know—“

He whirls around, and his eyes brim with fire. “You know nothing! And what is most profane to me is your acclaimed position of truth detector that you cling to ever so dearly.”

His rage has reached full swing.

 

Dear Reader,

This blog post is an excerpt from my supernatural thriller, Five, presented in rough draft version. The posts appear weekly as my story development progresses. The story snippets will likely be full of typos, garbage, and confusion. I’m sure to regret allowing readers a sneak peak of the chaos involved in this process of making a finished book.

Someday, if I still have an audience, my book(s) and screenplays will be polished and for sale. Until then, my story snippets are free, but payment by “subscribing” with your email would be a nice gesture. For doing this you might get a discount on my purchasable work should that day ever arrive. All you get now is a notice via email of a new story episode that I have ready to read on my “blog.” I don’t sell my email list or do anything else with it.

Why am I doing this stupid and terrible thing—letting readers see my “off the cuff” story writing?

Book industry experts say that in today’s world of book marketing, an unknown author must build their own sales platform. I’m supposed to advance my platform by collecting readers, and for now, by blogging. Since I can’t imagine blogging about what I had for breakfast or the things my cat does, then instead, I’m blogging fiction excerpts of my work(s) in progress.

Thanks for slogging along. Maybe we’ll meet on a bookshelf someday.

Ann

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