PART III

— Close your eyes. Everyone! I will be the only witness of this attack and I take full blame.

Isamu pressed the button and the ship shattered as it released a huge ball of whitish fire in the direction of the army fighter. It seemed an eternity until the missile reached the enemy target.

In Cora’s mind’s eyes the whole story rolled out again in slow motion from the beginning to the end. She remembered how Isamu contacted her for the first time at the governor’s party, how he brought her to the Axes where she met the others and learned about the upcoming world war and their plan to evade with as many people as they could gather to a planet called Agorasus with an atmosphere similar to the earth’s. The planet was covered only by bare earth and stones, but beneath there was water and hence life. So they had developed an elaborated plan on how to grow vegetation again, create marshals and lagoons and bring animals, insects and everything that was needed to recreate the earth’s ecosystem.

At the beginning she thought they were a bunch of lunatics until they brought her to their hidden laboratories and she met all the underground scientists who had been working on this elaborate escape plan since over three decades. By the time she got to see the 5 future generation passenger cargos they had build to transport the fugitives and the fighter jet to conduct the action she was convinced. The situation was beyond bad on earth. The evidence they offered her was more than shattering. The 5 ephors were planning to take on the power by force and impose a military controlled dictatorship on the whole planet. The wars instigated by this manoeuvre were going to completely destroy the humanity together with the entire planet earth.

She decided to flee with them, to betray the Cluster and all the people that had raised her, educated her and turned her into what she was: a Caireen, a sacred teacher in the Cluster, the school for highly intelligent children that were molded there to serve the entire humanity with their fertile brains. The physical and mental qualities she had acquired during her education as a highly intelligent child could not even be grasped by most of the people. Yet, the Axis group had managed to surprise her, to win her over on their side and secure her help. They had done this together with Nina, her best friend, the doctor who turned out to be an undercover spy in the Cluster.

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Escape through the wormhole

Part II

— I can already feel it, said Isamu. Should I turn the shields down?

As he was getting ready to execute the command, Cora shouted:

— Wait, army fighter behind us approaching at high speed. Don’t let the shields down! If we enter the wormhole now they will locate us. I repeat: don’t let the shields down, they’re preparing to fire!

Isamu aborted the command and instead made a manoeuvre to turn the fighter around.

— What are you doing?, asked Cora.

— I am buying us time. We have exactly 10 minutes and 14 seconds to enter the wormhole. Afterwards it will be goodbye Agorasus and new life and we’re all going to hell!

— Wait, what do you want to do?, asked Cora.

The ship rushed past the 5 immense passenger cargos and was heading towards the army fighter.

— How many assholes are on that fighter?

— It’s a small one of maximum two pilots, said Tenoch.

— And two have fallen so that the rest can live…

Isamu prepared to fire on the army fighter.

— Are you crazy? We said we will cause no blood to flow! Holly mother of earth, have you gone mad?

Cora tried to stop him but Tenoch caught the wrist of her right arm and Nina grabbed her shoulders.

— Cora, it’s them or us. If we don’t fire, 50.000 people will die. Either way, there will be blood on our hands, said Nina.

Cora’s face turned white as she saw Isamu fixate the target and prepare to launch the attack. The army fighter was so close she could almost see the two pilots. They were about to fire as well; there was no doubt of that. She suddenly felt like the blood was drained from her veins; she could not bear the thought of taking those people’s lives.

Escape through the wormhole

Part I

— Preparing to enter the wormhole. Shields down!

— Already? We’re not safe yet; let’s wait until the very last moment to turn the shields down. We might be followed!

Isamu was trying to find the exact location of the wormhole on the 3D screen placed in front of him. Cora was fixating the radar to catch any signs of enemy ship and prepare for defense in case anyone got too close.

— Let’s not loose our concentration. Remember, the goal was zero deaths, Cora reminded herself and the others.

— Agree. I located the wormhole; if everything goes fine we’ll enter in exactly 2 minutes. We can deactivate the shields the latest in exactly 90 seconds and counting down. We have to be very precise otherwise we will miss our only chance of entering, said Isamu.

— The wormhole is active only 10 minutes; if we miss our entry we might as well blow ourselves up. There is no going back. Everyone knows about us, we’re all over the news and a huge martial fleet is waiting for us down there, said Nina pointing towards the blue earth globe displayed on the screen.

There was deep silence in the cabin.

— Everyone else on track? asked Isamu.

— Confirmed, the passenger cargos are right behind us, responded Tenoch.

— Bloody hell, we almost did it! In exactly one minute we’re going to reach the wormhole!

Isamu was excited and so where the others. Although things didn’t go exactly as planned, because they didn’t manage to flee the earth undetected, the rest was on track. No further unpleasant surprises were expected, since nobody else besides the crew could possibly know about the existence of the wormhole leading to Agorasus and how to locate it. The ship was speeding through the deep black space and the earth was now only a little blue sphere in the right corner of the fighter’s screen, soon to be swallowed by the darkness.

a short encounter with light

Melk_sunset_bw

 

am I not a fleshy pinhole camera

the world projected upside down

in the dark room hidden inside my brain?

 

I see the big universe through the finite aperture of a small life

and try to narrow the circle of confusion

 

after a long exposure to daily life

I go to bed with a couple of nickel movies

captured on my vitagraph

 

my ideas are sharp but only in black and white

and my vision is a virtually constant depth of field

 


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Walter Isaacson on the women of ENIAC

Fortune

Ever since the days of Charles Babbage, who conceived of a giant mechanical calculator called the Analytical Engine in the 1830s, the engineering of computer hardware has been dominated by men. The pioneers of software, however, were often women, beginning with Babbage’s friend and muse Ada, Countess of Lovelace. Daughter of the Romantic poet Lord Byron and a mother who loved math, Ada combined both fields into what she called “poetical science.” When she saw some mechanical looms that used punched cards to direct the weaving of beautiful patterns, it reminded her of how Babbage’s engine used punched cards to make calculations, and she developed the historic insight that a calculator could be instructed to handle not just numbers but anything that could be notated in logical symbols, such as music or words or graphics or textile patterns. In other words, she envisioned the modern computer. She also drew up…

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