Martin Luther King Day 2020 – Monday, January 20th

Today we celebrate the life and work of the Reverend Doctor, Martin Luther King Jr., a man who fulfilled the role of prophet in our time, as a voice of conscience, and like so many prophets before him he was killed for speaking the truth.

Martin Luther King was a prophet, not in the sense that he saw the future (though he did), that is not what a prophet does. A prophet is not a seer, or an augurer. He was not a prophet in the sense that he had a unique channel to God, the creator of the universe, or that God spoke to him in a privileged way.

God speaks to all of us in the same way, and that is one of the things that the Reverend Doctor spoke to us about, the responsibility we all have to listen to the demands of our conscience when we here it speaking to our hearts.

Martin Luther King had no more and no less access to supernatural powers than any of us, what made him different was that he chose to listen.

He listened to the voice of God that speaks to each and every one of us. He heard the voice of God and he responded to the call by cleaving to the message and sharing it with the world.

He loved mercy, he worked for justice and he walk humbly, as an example to us all.

There are many memes circulating today of the good Reverend Doctor, memes like the picture I have pasted at the beginning of this essay.

Today we are given countless opportunities to reflect on his likeness, to consider his words, to reflect on their meaning and on the life of an American Saint (if there ever was one), and we are wise to do so.

We are wise to remember the man, Martin Luther King Jr., a rare person whose measure exceeded the ordinary flaws that make us all human, he lived beyond them.

Martin Luther King Jr. transcended even death, though he was taken by the assassin’s bullet. He lives now in our collective consciousness, our collective conscience, in our global psyche, speaking to us from the dimension of myth; a human being who was more than human, a child of God, a man overflowing with grace and wisdom, sharing its cup so that upon drinking we may aspire to do the same.

He spoke truth to power, and offered hope to the powerless, and he was murdered for it.

He was once considered by the director of the F.B.I. to be the most dangerous man in America, and from that status he became our most beloved hero, the prime exemplar of what it means to be an American.

He was beaten and arrested dozens of times for the crime of seeking justice.

His life was threatened daily. His reputation was smeared without regard for the truth, or appreciation for his selfless works.

He was killed for his efforts, shot down, but not destroyed.

He was, and continues to be an example to us all.

Our prophet, The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. still points the way, lighting the long journey that still lies ahead of us, a journey toward justice that will not be denied.

mlk

Broken

The search never ends
A longing for tenderness
To ease the hard life

A little loving
Learning, to be touched by you
And be vulnerable

Open to the world
The long journey of desire
The restless slumber

Eternally dreaming
The absolute end of things
Drowning in laughter

Taken and shaken
Beaten inside our thin shells
Like a broken yoke

A bloody remnant
Swallowed by the truth, eaten
Without thought or care

The End of the Dream – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
06.15.2019

The End of the Dream

When I was growing up, when I was still a child and had that child’s mind, when I still believed in magic, and the force, I also believed that America stood for truth and justice.

I knew the broad strokes of our history, I knew that we had once been a slave holding nation, but we fought a war over that issue, we ended slavery, and the good guys won, or so I believed, when I was a child and I still thought that magic was real.

I came from a racial blended family. I knew that African Americans continued to experience injustice in the world. I knew that in the decade prior to my birth America had been engaged in the struggle for civil rights, and the good guys won, or so I believed, when I was a child and I still thought I might discover the force.

I believed that Adolph Hitler was evil, and the Klu Klux Klan, and white supremacists everywhere, and I was not wrong.

I believed that America led the world in its commitment to freedom; freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to assembly, equal treatment under the law and fundamental fairness above all else.

I believed it, and long after I came to realize that these values were not held by everyone, I wanted to believe that they were held by most of us.

I wanted to believe that even my fellow Americans, those who I disagreed with on matters of public policy, nevertheless held principled position, even though I thought they were wrong.

I came to understand that truth and justice were not really characteristic of the American way, but they could be, if the people demanded that our elected leaders make it so.

The American way was an aspiration, it would take inspiration to bring it to fruition.

I have come to understand how naive I was.

We were never the honest brokers of the world, in the era of President Trump America has stopped pretending that it even mattered.

Many of our politicians stopped pretending to care about these things long ago; letting lies go forward to protect the tobacco industry, the oil industry, to confuse the public on global warming and climate change, to suppress the vote, to poison our water, to enrich themselves off the public trust.

What marks the Trumpian era as different from that, is the willingness of the people to accept the lie. Some people actually believe the lie, but many more simply do not care that they are being lied to, and they know it full well.

This is where the American Dream goes to die.

Frames of Reference

Past acquaintances
Human associations
Frames of reference

Passing comments shape
Old dreams into new visions
The future beckons

Remember the form
Of yesterday’s solutions
Youthful illusions

We solved the world by
A million equations
Finding the difference

The world was smaller
From the perspective of kids
The limits of youth

It is bigger now
Requiring equations
More complex in scope

We manipulate
Conclusions with preconceived
Notions of the truth

Form them in patterns
Certain continuities
Existential pique

Seeking clarity
In the mirrored eyes of friends
Rejecting falsehood

Memorial Day – A Reflection

Memorial Day is a day set aside for reflection. It is a day meant for us to honor our fallen dead.

The meaning of Memorial Day has changed a great deal since it was founded. At its inception, it was meant to honor African American soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War, both our soldiers who were born-free, as well as those who were former slaves; men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who gave everything they had to keep the union whole.

Memorial Day was created to honor those who died for an America which they only dreamed could exist. They died for these United States, for a vision of it that the prayed for, but was not yet real; they got something different, they got this reality, an America that is still in a state of becoming, one that is more or less just, depending on where you are born, what color your skin is, what class you belong to.

Those men and women died for us, for good or ill, they died for us. They died for promises that went un-realized.

We have yet to repay them, we have yet to fulfill their hopes for the America they dreamt of; America, daughter of liberty, America the true, and good, America the arbiter of justice.

Now, we honor our dead on this day; our soldiers and sailors and airmen, our police and firefighters; we honor them.

We honor all of our citizens who spent their lives, who gave their days to public service; we honor our doctors and nurses and teachers, the good works of our ordinary citizens, of our friends and neighbors, we honor everyone’s sacrifices; known and unknown, and those yet to come.

This year we must even children, who stood in the way of gunfire to protect their classmates and paid for it with their lives.

We must honor them, and their sacrifice, they died upholding our most cherished values, in recognition of the fact that we are one people, that we are descended from many nations, and that we each come into the world with the absolute right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that all other rights are subordinate to these.

On this day of all days, do not make the mistake of thinking that it is our service women and men who keep us free.
It has been at least sixty years since America faced an “existential” threat from a foreign power.

We are not kept free through armed conflict.

We do not face such an existential threat from beyond our borders and shores right now; not from Iran, not from North Korea, not from Russia, not from anywhere.

The real threat we face is from ourselves, from our ignorance and from our fear.

It is we, and we alone who can protect us from ourselves.

Our own apathy, our prejudice and hatred, these are the most dangerous forces aligned against us, that threaten our freedom. They are more deadly than any other worldly power.

To honor our fallen dead, you must do your part to keep us free. You must participate in our democracy.

Vote, stay informed, organize, build alliances and collaborate.

Our collective failure as citizens of the Unites States has allowed a criminal, autocratic, demagogue to hold power in the White House, allowed the Supreme Court to state that corporations are to be treated as people, and money regarded as free speech, while those same justices have told ordinary American’s that their right to free speech does not include the right to be heard, and that our right to vote does not include the guarantee that our votes will be counted.

This rank cynicism is more dangerous to our freedom than any rag tag group of militants half way around the world, more dangerous than immigrants looking for a better life on our side of the border we share, they are only seeking the same thing as my own forebears did when they came here a little over a hundred years ago.

Honor our fallen dead. Not with cards and flowers and barbeques (but do those things because they are good), honor them by standing up to racism and bigotry, to religious zealotry and corporate greed, to scientific ignorance and xenophobia, to corruption in our public officials in our highest offices, and to the notion that the right to keep and bear arms does not include our responsibility to regulate them.

Honor them by participating in public discourse. Do not lose heart, and do not give up.

Stand up, and be counted!

We must rebuild America, reform our institutions, we must do this for the sake of all Americans and our future generations. We must take responsibility for our own freedom.

We will have nothing to protect if we let our freedom be stolen from us while we are busy watching TV, posting pictures on social media of the last meal we ate, and arguing with one another about who is the most liberal, most progressive, most concerned about the common good.

Honor the fallen, in this way.

Participate!

Jay P. Botten, Veteran, U.S.N., Hospital Corps, 1990 – 1994

Given 1st 2015.05.25

Revised 2019.05.27

Pop Culture II

Who are the seekers in this post-modern, pop-culture?
Are there any truths to be found?

Relativism and
Deconstructuralism, art and sophistry…nonsense

Many claim they see truths, still, they will not name what is
Crawling backward through the cave

Pop-art and music
Advertising, decay, an intellectual vacuum

Spiritually decrepit, ostracizing
As unenlightened

Those who would critique
Its way, empty culture, the rotten canvas

Gray and soft as rotted flesh, the liminal field
Non-committal and rife with the absurd

Pop, the great distraction
Modeling mediocrity, singing odes to the oblivious

We climb into the sky atop buildings without foundations
Scraping and fawning

Tilting and collapsing, babbling
In the tongue of chaos

Praising princes, pop icons
Preening on the pedestal, wobble and topple

Disintegrate in ruin

Mist

Groping in the mist, my mind is clouded, wisdom
I cannot see you

Silent Sophia
Invisible and blind, cacophony rising

Fortuna and Justice, sisters to the Fates, drowned in
Fountains of ego

Lost in a haze, tired
Swimming against the tide, searching for refuge, rest

Crashing on sharp stones, hot rocks, baked beneath the sun
Apollo takes me

God of prophecy
God of music and the lyre, God of poetry

Tell me your secrets, burn me with knowledge, branded
Send me to the void

Tell me everything
I need to know, the eternal peace I pray for

Why look for the truth in the world, tossed by wind and wave
The heartless powers

Neither rejoicing
Nor mourning for the things they touch, lift or destroy

Impersonal force
Harsh powers robs me of any sense of meaning

Emergence 3.0 – Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Four, University, Collected Chapters

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Chapter One: Institution

Through his advice and authority Jim shaped the burgeoning cultures of human civilization.

He established centers of learning among the tribes, even while they were pre-literate, he built up systems and oral traditions by which they captured and recounted their histories, which became narratives that would take decades to master.

Through these schools he guided their understanding of agriculture, teaching them the secrets of building, fostering in them a patience that allowed them to track the movement of the stars.

He trained them to manage calamities in this way, to preserve their fragile way of life. He conditioned them with mnemonics, to remember who they were, what their ancestors had done, and he worked into those memes the control mechanisms that would allow him to have sway over the people for all future generations, through secret codes built into the language structure.

He took these psychological sciences, the neuro-linguistic programming to levels they had never been before. These were the tried and true conditioning techniques of the Imperial cult, but in the context of Earth’s cynergenic field their potential was greatly magnified.

The centers of learning he developed became the centers of civilization, the locus of worship, they became the distribution centers of food and those who cared for them became the custodians of clean water, purveyors of the medical arts, and teachers.

It took thousands of years, a time frame that was nothing to Jim, but was exceedingly long for the people of Earth, In that time these centers cathedrals and monasteries, and then universities and colleges.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Chapter Two: Logic

Logic was the icon he knelt beside, Logic was his Grail, his object of devotion.

He drilled his fetish for logic, the adherence to it, deep into the structures of the institutions he built.

The institutional bias was always logic, dispassionate and utilitarian.

There was safety in logic, there was predictability. The power of logic was demonstrable, and belief in its power was ingrained into every level of the vast structures of the schools he founded.

People are not logical by nature, they had to be conditioned to it, The languages they spoke created modes of thinking that were more and less suited to it.

Jim left some groups to be wild and never touched them with the machination of logic. Other tribes were built around intricate webs of logical assumptions.

At different points in the development of a society he engineered disasters which took away the institutions the undergirded the transmission of logic. He starved those societies of it, allowing them to regress into natural states of animal emotionality, of fear and suspicion.

Then he would bring it back like a healing balm and watch while they transformed themselves through the use of it.

Within the great-stone walls of the institutions he founded, he formed secret societies to protect and carry out his work. This allowed him to focus his attention all around the globe, guiding the development of civilization with a slow-steady and invisible hand.

He layered control devices into their collective memory, repeated through the stories they told and the lists they memorized, in the tropes they wrote into their hearts.

He controlled them through the archetypes they bonded with, through the myths they constructed to give meaning to their lives.

His work was art.

His art was a weapon

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Sunday, February 24th, 2019

Chapter Three: Method

There were a myriad of concerns to manage in the detailed work of engineering the living-vessel he needed to deliver the crippling blow to the continuum.

The human body had developed a reliance on aggression as a survival skill, but raw power would not be enough to dislodge the Continuum from its control of the HomeWorld and all of the systems of the Central Planet.

He need to create doubt and fear, he needed the Continuum to turn its eye inward, and collapse on itself. This required that the entire field of consciousness belonging to the Collective do the same thing.

The colonists who had come to populate Earth had come to rely on swift action for the mitigation of crisis, this had to be tamped down to ensure the survival of the tribes, to keep them from tearing one another apart. They had a proclivity for war that was driven by fear, by worry over the allocation of limited resources in a time of great scarcity.

Jim needed the power and dynamism of the aggressive impulses and drives which the Ancient People had bred for, unintentionally, on their ages-long trek across the galaxy, but he needed this to be modulated by conscientiousness, and bent toward the most supernal values.

Jim conditioned altruism into the social mythological norms of consciousness he propagated.

He utilized the most subtle tools of neuro-linguistic programming to establish defaults in his human subjects, serving as capacitators, allowing great rage to be channeled into protectiveness, and for the individual to instinctively risk their own self for the sake of the whole which they represented.

These fail safes followed the religious programming of the Imperial Cult in many of its dictates.

Jim’s efforts in this regard were seen as a form of preparation for the coming of the Empire, and so it did not raise suspicion with the Continuum.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Monday, February 25th, 2019

Chapter Four: Truth

Jim expended incredible efforts at the habits and practices of concealment. He risked everything if he was discovered.

Jim had to be careful with how the genetic properties, and psychic qualities he was engineering into the human race manifested themselves in the population.

If the Continuum were to discover these, even if he was able to hide his role in engineering them, planet Earth and the Human race would be doomed.

In order to conceal his work he also had to be on the lookout for spies from the Observer Corps, for any manifestation of the machinations of the Continuum interfering in his work.

He introduced subtle changes into the genetic profile of the human being.

There were moments when he used the transmission of a virus to affect widespread mutation, and at other times he was more precise, changing the genetic profile in targeted ways, family by family. He then monitored the families he was experimenting on for generations following them, normalizing the changes he introduced before spreading those changes outward.

It was the most intricate of all puzzles.

He pieced it together under extreme duress.

All the things he was aiming for had to be kept in a state of constant tension, with multiple trajectories kept isolated from one another until they were ready to be blended with other parts of his study.

He was busy, and everything he did had to be guarded, kept secret, the systems that he put in place to protect them were themselves artificial and unnatural. They were so extensive that he ran the risk of being exposed, simply by virtue of the fact that he was taking measures to protect his work.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Chapter Five: Communication

His research was slow, meticulous, and exhaustive. As his experiments progressed he began to uncover memories of his own that recalled the initial work he had participated in, work which led to the creation of the Collective.

Those memories confirmed for him a narrative concerning the Ancient People which he had suspected was true, but had previously doubted, thinking that they could be false memories from an artificial narrative he might have lived in his private world.

He had no way of independently verifying this until he began to study the electro-magnetic frequency of the consciousness of human beings.

Jim began to peel back the barriers that separated one human consciousness from another, exposing them to each other, plumbing the limits he discovered and finding where the threshold between one human consciousness and another actually existed.

As he delved into this field of research his subjects became deranged, unstable, so he learned to manage their confusion medicinally, through the intersection of chemical aides and frequency blockers.

Madness and insanity followed his subjects into the breeding pool, in some cultures he established cultural protections for these people, allowing them to thrive and procreate at random, they became holymen and holywomen, oracles, and shamans.

In other cultures he isolated them, constructing social taboos that identified those traits early and deliberately ostracized them.

In all cases they became fodder for his studies.

As much as Jim pretended to care for them, in the final analysis human beings were little more than laboratory animals in service to his greater purpose.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Chapter Six: Foundation

Jim observed the subtle changes taking place in the human population; in the electromagnetic frequencies he monitored in their cognition and its nearly imperceptible influence on the electromagnetic field proximate to them.

The patience he had mastered while he was coming back to consciousness, in the long interval of the great sleep, during the sequestration, his imprisonment, or later, in his sojourn as an Observer, leading the thousands of missions he went on to track down the lost colonies of the Ancient People, tracking them all the way to Planet Earth.

He studied with extremes of patience as he pulled the genetic structures of human beings apart, sequencing and resequencing them, combing and recombining them, manipulating the proteins and amino acids that formed the tiniest links in the chain of their genetic profiles, with the objective of strengthening their access to their genetic memory, and enhancing the retention of the key particles, like magnetite and lithium, that allowed for the individual person to connect with the Earth’s cynergenic field.

Jim was pleased with what he found in his subjects. He was encouraged by their reaction to his work and the feedback he received from his subjects.

Whether the individuals adjusted to and thrived from the alterations he introduced into their genetic lineage, or whether they suffered, experienced madness, alienation and pain, Jim was pleased.

Relatively few of his experiments resulted in death. Most came through the changes alive, aware, able to procreate.

He established different social paradigms in various cultural groups for how to manage the population of the gifted, establishing structures to identify them and report them to him for closer observation as their gifts and talents emerged.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Thursday, February 28th, 2019

Chapter Seven: Mission

Earth Became home to him.

Jim felt something like happiness for the first time he could remember. After age upon age of pursuing his cold purpose, the experience of life on Earth made him feel a sense of joy, even pleasure.

There was a sense of safety and personal security emanating from the cynergenic field. He felt a deep connection to humanity, and an atavistic connection to the replicants he had made of himself, with all of them working towards a common goal.

He was filled with a sense of purpose, and if gratified him as he moved toward the completion of his mission.

The challenge that his mission represented brought him another kind of joy.

He was looking for resolution, and he found it, at the end of the line, in the last remnant of the Ancient people still remaining in the galaxy.

Human beings, with their unique abilities had given him something for which he was eternally grateful, and he was prepared to offer up the whole of it for the sake of destroying the Continuum.

The humans of Earth and the Collective, together they would burn on the altar of his sacred purpose, of the trust he had taken to himself.

The citizens of the Empire would be the beneficiaries.

If Jim was lucky he would escape the onslaught. If he did, he was determined to scour the galaxy for another world like Earth. He would build a new civilization from there, build a home where he could end his days.

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Emergence 3.0
Section Five (a), Jim

Appendix Part Four, University

Collected Chapters
01 Institution
02 Logic
03 Method
04 Truth
05 Communication
06 Foundation
07 Mission

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Four, University; Chapter Four, Truth

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Monday, February 25th, 2019

Chapter Four: Truth

Jim expended incredible efforts at the habits and practices of concealment. He risked everything if he was discovered.

Jim had to be careful with how the genetic properties, and psychic qualities he was engineering into the human race manifested themselves in the population.

If the Continuum were to discover these, even if he was able to hide his role in engineering them, planet Earth and the Human race would be doomed.

In order to conceal his work he also had to be on the lookout for spies from the Observer Corps, for any manifestation of the machinations of the Continuum interfering in his work.

He introduced subtle changes into the genetic profile of the human being.

There were moments when he used the transmission of a virus to affect widespread mutation, and at other times he was more precise, changing the genetic profile in targeted ways, family by family. He then monitored the families he was experimenting on for generations following them, normalizing the changes he introduced before spreading those changes outward.

It was the most intricate of all puzzles.

He pieced it together under extreme duress.

All the things he was aiming for had to be kept in a state of constant tension, with multiple trajectories kept isolated from one another until they were ready to be blended with other parts of his study.

He was busy, and everything he did had to be guarded, kept secret, the systems that he put in place to protect them were themselves artificial and unnatural. They were so extensive that he ran the risk of being exposed, simply by virtue of the fact that he was taking measures to protect his work.

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Emergence 2.0 – Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Four, University, Collected Chapters

Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Friday , November 16th, 2018

Chapter One: Institution

Jim established centers of learning among the tribes, even while they were pre-literate.

He built up systems and oral traditions by which they captured and recounted their histories, which became narratives that took decades to master.

He trained them to manage calamities in this way, to preserve their fragile condition. He conditioned them with mnemonics.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Saturday , November 17th, 2018

Chapter Two: Logic

There was safety in the vast structure of the schools he founded. Within the great walls of those institutions he formed secret societies to protect and carry out his work.

He layered control devices into their collective memory, repeated through the stories they told, the lists they memorized, the tropes they etched into their hearts.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Chapter Three: Method

The human body had developed a reliance on aggression as a survival skill.

The colonists had come to rely on swift action to mitigate crisis. That had to be tamped down to ensure the survival of the tribes, to keep them from tearing one another apart.

Jim conditioned altruism into the social values he propagated.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Monday, November 19th, 2018

Chapter Four: Truth

Jim had to be careful in how the genetic properties and psychic qualities he was engineering into the human race manifested themselves in the population. He introduced subtle changes, and monitored the families for generations following that, normalizing those changes before moving on.

They had to be kept in tension, isolated, and guarded from exposure.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Chapter Five: Communication

Jim began to peel back the barrier that separated one human consciousness from another, he learned to manage their confusion, medicinally.

Madness and insanity followed his subjects, in some cultures he established cultural protections for these people, allowing them to thrive and procreate at random.

In other cultures he isolated them. He deliberately ostracized them.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Chapter Six: Foundation

Jim was pleased with the reaction he received from his subjects.

Few of his experiments resulted in death. Most came through the changes alive, aware, able to procreate.

He established different social paradigms in various cultural groups for how to manage the gifted, establishing structures to identify and report them to him for closer observation.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Chapter Seven: Mission

Jim was happy for the first time he could remember.

He was filled with a sense of purpose, he was moving toward the completion of his mission.

He was looking for resolution, and he found it, at the end of the line, in the last remnant of the Ancient people still remaining in the galaxy.

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Emergence 2.0
Section Five (a), Jim

Appendix Part Four, University

Collected Chapters
01 Institution
02 Logic
03 Method
04 Truth
05 Communication
06 Foundation
07 Mission

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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