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2206 : Window Onto A New World Book I in The Threshold

Chapter X – South Side Of The Sky

By

Christopher Stewart ★ Bookcast Edition – April 2012


Copyright © 2012 by Christopher Stewart

★ All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

★ Bookcast Edition - April 2012

★ This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Chapter X

South Side Of The Sky  People often ask me about success... have no doubt where my success comes from... it might not look like so, but the comforts came as consequences... my real wealth is in all I've understood while pursuing my dream, which mostly provided the context for the lessons... being financially independent is fine, of course, but the objective should be the underlying state of mind, not the material comforts that come from it, which, all things considered, are not that relevant passed a certain point... in my opinion, the idea that everything depends on money is at the core of most of the problems Ovel is facing... too much of the so-called wealth creation is merely attempts at profit creation... I believe we've reached that point where most Ovelians have realized we don't really want a society where we sell crap to each other for the sake of making a profit... be it food that hurts us, consumer goods that have short durability, illusions of peaceful retirement, mindless entertainment, or what not... not that commerce is bad in itself, but commercialism is... not that money is bad in itself, but exploitation of ignorance is (...)  – Excerpted from Jake Harvey's Victory Speech at the New Light Party Leadership Convention of 2206


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X. South Side Of The Sky

J

ake Harvey had learned the hard way that campaigning had its downsides . Indeed,

there were more than a few of those, but then, necessarily, it meant that upsides must have existed too, patiently waiting to be stumbled upon, hidden somewhere among the inconveniences. Slowly, surely, one at a time, he was discovering and cultivating appreciation towards those gems, as he had also learned, in a similarly demanding way, the importance of finding experiences to treasure if he wanted to keep his sanity intact in trying periods. And until the release that would inevitably come after the big day, no matter which side was now ahead, and regardless of which side the population would favour in the end, the soothing practice had become essential. This was one of the many assets the tall tricenarian had acquired during his rise from being one of the countless who dreamt of financial independence to joining the greatly outnumbered who actually enjoyed the privilege. But life as an overly busy developing businessman had barely afforded him the leisure for socialization and entertainment, unless the activities served some work-related objective or another. As a somewhat less overly busy front running candidate, it was part of his duty to engage with people everyday and visit the far reaches of the Federation. And although he still had difficulty with the tedious travelling, he had recognized the value of savouring each one of the new spectacles offering themselves to his pale green eyes. Whether he were witnessing the often desolate landscapes of the sadly disfigured Ovel, or the lofty spacescapes which he had been awed to watch ever since the Progressive Parties had begun their tour of the stations, he would at least attempt to receive the beauty they conveyed. He had always thought he had seen stars in his youth, growing up in a remote farming community, away from the glitter and the greyness of the megapolises, yet this was nothing compared to the vista he was presently revelling in from one of the observation decks of Harmonia Eleven. The earnest and pragmatic administrator he used to be would not have dared to go sightseeing just prior to such a crucial meeting as the one he was about to attend. The wiser person he now was knew better. And given how off-worlders were generally significantly more respectful than their fellow Ovelians, there really was no reason to deprive himself of the pleasure. –

« There you are ! » exclaimed a worried Janice Gallagher as she approached her employer, finally spotting him amidst onlookers and tourists near the middle of one of the topmost footbridges of the agora that spanned many levels of the imposing spatial city, « Anthony and I have been looking for you » she stressed, her tone betraying her aggravation, « your uDev is off ! » she ultimately remarked. « I know » calmly replied the leader of the Neolits after a second, « I needed some quiet time » he explained, turning his head to gently smile at his collaborator, « I switched the beacon on » he added with amusement as he directed his gaze back towards the immense

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window that constituted the deck's outer wall, and through which the most magnificent panorama of space softly shone in the otherwise scarcely lit public place. « Thankfully ! » responded the still irritated assistant as she raised her handheld to her mouth, « how else would we ever have found you in time ? » she suggested, too anxious to refrain from admonishing her charismatic boss, despite her sentiments for him, « call Anthony Myers » she instructed her device. « Nor would you have needed to » the confident politician retorted, « I was just about to come back down » he ensured placidly, « and you should have been able to guess I was stargazing again » he pointed out in a lighthearted manner as he grinned once more at his helper, « you know how much I enjoy observations decks » he lastly submitted. « Well, I'll know where to look first next time » the bespectacled blonde answered back in a voice that she had wanted mordant, but she just couldn't stay mad at the man, especially when they were staring at each other. « Janice ! Have you got him ? » Myers interrupted via the woman's intelligent gadget. « I'm with him » Gallagher confirmed as she rotated the communicator towards Harvey so the campaign manager could verify for himself. « We're on the southern observation deck » the candidate simply stated. « Our good boss has been sightseeing again » the pretty assistant mockingly commented, orienting the small screen back towards her and catching the relieved expression of the experienced adviser, as the chief of the New Light Party let out a chuckle. « Ah, we should have guessed ! » the dark brown eyed sexagenarian declared, nodding. « That's exactly what I told her ! » the former businessman emphasized teasingly, but his younger colleague didn't rise to the bait. « Okay... we better hurry up, the meeting is about to begin » the grey haired consultant warned, « let's meet at the hub in the plaza on level... » he hesitated as he peered for an indication of the floor he was on, « seventy... six ! Level seventy-six... I'll be up there in a moment ! » he immediately proposed, somewhat familiar with the layout all Harmonia stations had in common. « Seventy-six, got it ! » the woman repeated before terminating the call and hastening to reach the representative who had promptly departed at the words of the strategist.

Through the transparent wall, the politician could recognize a cargo ship slowly approaching. As he proceeded to the end of the long, narrow walkway, imagining the vessel probably was one of those that delivered supplies of fresh nuclear power cells from Veshtar, he quickly looked behind him and gestured to make sure the bespectacled blonde had seen it too. The maverick leader had become quite fond of observations decks. The stargazing oases were among the few large, publicly accessible open spaces onboard spatial cities. There were also plazas, stadiums, amphitheaters, gymnasiums, and even parks, zones of simulated outdoors where conditions The Threshold

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maintained mechanically were supposed to reproduce some of the natural ecosystems of the mother planet. The architects had accomplished uncanny miracles to replicate many of the ambiances of the homeland. Still, despite their efforts, the orbiting megapolises remained mostly urban. The artificial lighting, and the design of the oversized multistoried buildings generally gave the tall tricenarian the feeling of being underground. Depending on the main purpose of the level he was happening to visit, he would often think he was either in a mall, a housing complex, or an office tower. Yet, he couldn't help but notice the off-world communities were definitely less overcrowded than their counterparts on Ovel, and the notion comforted him in his recent choices. If Harvey had ultimately decided to take a stand, he had done so in response to the extremely difficult and seemingly worsening issues the civilization was facing. Overpopulation was obviously one of the most pressing questions, along with the ever-widening gap between the decreasing few who hoarded an increasingly bigger slice of the pie, and that included himself, and the ever-raising numbers of those who had to content themselves with what the others couldn't get their hands on. If overcrowded cities were one preoccupying matter, overcrowded cities on the brink of rebellion were certainly quite another. As he rode down the escalator, closely followed by his assistant, he briefly interrupted his reflections, noting that the ground floor of the starlit agora was coinciding with that of their rendezvous point. Myers had correctly reckoned. In the view of the candidate, the inequalities were a monstrous aberration in a land so fertile and abundant as theirs. Or at least, that's how it had been prior to the environmental crisis, which he thought was a consequence of the so-called wealth creation mentality. In his opinion, that was the root cause of most of the problems the Federation was confronted to. Indeed, the dominance of that mindset was one of the principal factors which had convinced him to join the New Light Party. The formation was mostly composed of people who believed, just like he did, that the solutions resided in the gradual relinquishment of the prevalent attitude, and of the economic system promoting it. And the new organization they were proposing, which was aimed first and foremost at the development of freer, more mature, and more fulfilled individuals, was in near perfect alignment with his values. The former businessman mused that, in a sense, his circumstances had been similar to those he had known when he had left his day job to establish his own company. He could have resolved to enjoy the easy life, do as he was expected, and collect the paychecks. But the easy life, or at any rate the easy life he himself had known back then, implied all sorts of muzzles, restrictions, anxieties, and oh-so-frequent frustrations about what could have been. And that which had been persistently and infuriatingly constraining at the personal level back then, he had recognized also in effect on a larger scale, all over the globe. Thus, he had finally taken the leap into the political arena, confident that, through his contribution, many more Ovelians would discover the very same transcendence he had experienced as a self-made man. As the duo reached the front entrance of the observation deck, the employer now trailing the hurrying employee, the representative remembered how the soothsayer had also been involved in his The Threshold

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change of career. He had consulted the famous prophetess on an impulse after randomly walking by her temple on that fateful morning. Even on their original meeting, and ever since then, the beautiful woman known as Mistress Aeira had accurately and consistently predicted the events to come, as he had progressively been thrust into the strange world of public administration. The wise elder he so admired and respected had foreseen the invitation he had received from the local Neolit committee, his remarkable leadership campaign, his spectacular performance at the convention, his nomination as chief of the party, his victory at the by-election, and his subsequent rise in the polls. Harvey knew he couldn't have done it without his precious guide. All along the way, she had comforted him in his direction, advised him out of nagging doubt and confusion, and provided him with crucial insights at critical junctures. She had supported him during the more difficult periods, and also cautioned him whenever he had inadvertently deviated from what had become his goal, to bring the New Light Party to power. And although the lady wasn't officially a member of his team, her positive influence was surely as relevant to his success as was that of Anthony Myers, whom he could see in the distance. While Gallagher and him boarded one of the roofless electric taxitrams that continually ran back and forth between the edges and the center of the octagon-shaped floors of the station, his reliable strategist was patiently waiting for them at the heart of the busy plaza.

– –

« There he is » commented the assistant, pointing to the short rugged man standing next to the elevators towards which the conveyance was rapidly moving. « Yup » simply confirmed the candidate, still absorbed in his reflections, grateful for the quality of the various actors life had gathered to participate in his quest, until prompted back into motion by the deceleration of the transport that gradually slowed down before halting just a few meters away from the cheerful sexagenarian. « Am I glad to see you kids ! » greeted the expert as his colleagues stepped off the swift vehicle and approached him, « hurry up ! It's time... the meeting is starting ! » he enjoined as he headed to one of the faster lifts. « No it's not » calmly replied the former businessman, « there's no rush... they'll wait » he asserted with a smile. « Careful Jake ! There's something as being overconfident ! » the grey haired counsellor warned in a lecturing manner, « the game has not been played out yet » he immediately stressed. « They can't start without me » responded the politician, « Rogers insisted to have this meeting ahead of schedule, and to be leaders-only » he told his interlocutor, « surely he won't mind if I insist to be a little late » he argued, still grinning. « Then we better let them know » the campaign manager suggested as he stopped, turned around, and glanced at the woman who understood he expected her to make the call, « we wouldn't want them to worry » he submitted considerately. « Quite the contrary » retorted the representative as he extended his arm to prevent the bespectacled blonde from raising her handheld up to her mouth, « that's exactly what we

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want him to do » he carried on with conviction, « let him stew in his own thoughts for a while » he lastly chortled with a self-satisfied expression. { Clever Jake... Rogers is impatient and anger-prone } Myers mused as he stared at the maverick man and nodded in appreciation, { he might very well end up throwing himself off his own game } he supposed with delight. – –

« So... I'm guessing we're not taking the express elevators ? » humorously remarked the younger collaborator. « Brilliant idea, Janice ! » playfully concurred the charismatic leader as the two gentlemen followed the pretty helper, all three of them chuckling as they went looking for an empty lift, finding one in a matter of an instant.

As the cabin descended, Harvey peered through the transparent back wall and marvelled at the station's hollow core. Within the large cylinder formed by the series of juxtaposed elevator shafts, a dizzying array of windowed spiralling ramps connected the floors, allowing automotive circulation between storeys. What his companions weren't aware of, and could scarcely have imagined anyhow, reflected the popular public figure, was that his seemingly inappropriate self-assurance had been worked up by the revelations of his celestial guide. A few days earlier, he had consulted the insightful spirit who had provided him with unanticipated inside information about his Liberal counterpart. { « Remember that the man is not in his rightful place » } had hinted the incorporeal presence, { « be mindful that his fundamental motivation is to earn the respect he believes he doesn't get from his family » } the former businessman recalled the voice of the supernal adviser. { « To the party's eminence grises, he is merely a puppet, and given his poor results, many of them don't even support him anymore » } the immaterial counsellor had divulged, { « he wants a leaders-only meeting because they have recommended him to step down and let you lead, and he doesn't intend to » } had furthermore disclosed the Bhagavaan. The tall tricenarian reckoned that the strategy made much sense. The Liberals could definitely profit from the visibility the star candidate was currently bringing to the progressive gathering. Their cooperation was obviously essential to the existence and the success of the Coalition, and that would afford them the weight they needed to conduct the concert from behind the curtains, while he would be the one who received practically all the flak that some of their decisions would surely entail. For them, considering the circumstances, it was as close a win-win scenario as they could hope for. If the venture ever failed in its mission, then the well established party would survive mostly unharmed as the bulk of the voters would associate the fiasco with the Neolit. And as long as the alliance remained alive and thriving, they would be able to exert at least some power, even though they would require to negotiate the consent of the two more forward thinking formations.

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Yet, on the other hand, the rookie politician pondered, should the union achieve a substantial proportion of its lofty aims, the person who would be credited for the exploit would most likely be its leader. After all, directing the antagonistic forces that acted within the diverse group, and preserving their balance, were crucial responsibilities. Thus, he surmised that, should he accomplish this small miracle, the possibility of the New Light Party one day constituting the government, on its own and without the cumbersome coalitionary crutches, would be increased manifold. And however tricky the endeavour and risky the gamble, he was certainly up to the challenge. Nonetheless, there were many a slip twixt this far-fetched cup and his thirsty lip. { « So many dream of resounding victory and universal recognition » } the words of the unseen entity echoed once more, { « but so few nurture the belief system that allows for it » } it had ominously warned. { « Rest assured, young one, you are one of the few » } the Celestial had maintained, and the bolstering memory was more than sufficient for the inexperienced representative to feel confident about his chances of performing the feat. If all worthwhile undertakings could effectively be reduced to a strenuous series of simple steps, he knew he could take each and every one of them, regardless of how critical they might appear. He had done it in the not too distant past, and triumphantly so. He could pull it off again. – –

– –

– – – – –

« I'd like to remind you of a few things before you go in » Myers told his protégé as the triumvirate exited the elevator. « Sure, go ahead » Harvey readily agreed as the three of them started to walk towards the nearby conference room, on one of those floors that resembled an Ovelian office tower, albeit a larger scaled one, « we have plenty of time » he proposed with humour. « Okay » began the grey haired expert, « first, I'm not quite sure why Rogers insisted on the meeting being leaders-only, but – » « He said that advisers are not in our shoes, so they shouldn't have their say in who leads this Coalition » the popular candidate interrupted, « and he does have a point if you ask me » he stressed as he turned to grin at the counsellor, « but don't worry, I'm pretty sure I know his real motivations » he submitted, unfaltering, « and if I'm right it will be to our advantage » he remarked enigmatically. « I don't know, Jake » hesitantly replied the sexagenarian, « I suspect he has something in the back of his mind » he commented, visibly preoccupied. « Indeed ! » concurred the former businessman, « wanna know what that is ? » he offered with amusement, « frustration ! » he immediately declared with a chuckle. « Perhaps you'd care to explain ? » Gallagher suggested after a moment, nonplussed. « Trust me on this » the politician answered, smiling at his two speechless companions as they tried to make sense of the seemingly unwarranted self-assurance of their chief. « Hmm... okay » eventually reacted the rugged campaign manager, omitting what he had wanted to mention and moving on to the next topic, « remember this week's polls » he went on, coaching the charismatic leader, « the voters are behind us now » he stated with

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fervour, « there used to be many who would have liked to vote for us, but they couldn't believe it could happen » the analyst observed, « well, now they believe, because within the Coalition, it can happen ! » he emphasized energetically, « and it's not the Liberal vote that's behind all this... the Liberal vote is collapsing » he noted, unable to completely hide his satisfaction, « it's the Neolit vote, we're winning the undecided over... their hopes have been rekindled thanks to you ! » the reliable consultant encouraged his interlocutor who savoured the praise, « Rogers is not suited for the job » Myers continued his pep talk after a breather, « he doesn't have what it takes... it's as simple as that ! » he asserted candidly, in a sneering tone, « I've seen plenty of them over the course of my career, believe me, I know when I see a puppet ! » he pointed out, almost indignant, and manifestly insouciant about being heard by passersby. A tingle of surprise shot through the spiritualist trainee as he recognized that same word his incorporeal guide had employed. Startled at first, he was slowly finding comfort in the coincidence, as the experienced strategist kept on spurring him. « The man has absolutely no feel for politics ! » the grey haired adviser carried on, « all he ever does is think, think, think ! He has no passion, no drive, no urge ! » he ranted, almost shouting, « do you have any idea of how big an edge this gives you ? » he finally hinted. But Harvey didn't acknowledge the question as his attention had been caught by the arrival of Laura-Sylvia Bauer, who had obviously insisted to be a little late too, suddenly appearing just in front of them from a side corridor, about a dozen meters away from their common destination. –

– –

« Oh, hi Laura ! » casually greeted the tall blond man as he advanced towards the lady, his collaborators stopping and staying back, « have you seen Edward ? » he quickly inquired, with false concern, « are we early ? » he added, pretending to look around for the Liberal, and then turning to wink at the attractive brunette. « Perhaps we are » responded Bauer in a fake doubtful manner, happily playing along and barely containing her laughter. « Hmm... we'll be at the hub » Myers remarked, respectfully bowing his head at the Green, { nice, Jake } he reflected, promptly glancing at his protégé as he realized the connivance between the two chiefs, before following Gallagher who was already returning to the lifts. « I won't be late ! » the former businessman retorted soon after, slightly raising his voice so his departing colleagues wouldn't miss the quip, « allow me » he gallantly offered as he hurried to beat his ally to the conference room so he could open her the door. « Thank you ! » replied the cheerful environmentalist as she walked into the diminutive, windowless, featureless chamber where the third leader had been waiting, alone, sitting on one of the six swivel-armchairs surrounding the rectangular table. « You're late » observed Rogers, visibly irritated, as he stood up to properly welcome his

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partners from the Coalition. « Well, sorry Edward, but I felt the need to consult my team at the last minute » the Neolit justified sarcastically as they shook hands, evoking the demands of the annoyed man.

Silenced by the caustic explanation, the sullen brown haired man simply nodded at Bauer as they also exchanged a handshake. – – –

– – – –

« Perhaps we should begin with a recap ? » proposed the quadragenarian in a warm tone, trying to ease the tension as the three of them sat down. « What is there to recap ? » grouched the Liberal. « For one, the positive effects of our announcements » the woman pointed out, miffed by the foul mood of her peer, « we're in the lead now, in case you haven't seen the polls » she noted mordantly. « People support our ideas, Edward » optimistically continued the rookie of the New Light Party, « don't you think that's awesome ? » he suggested, delighted that his strategy was apparently yielding the desired results as he smiled at his peeved interlocutor. « Of course I do » the chubby, green eyed politician sighed, clearly not particularly proud of his own attitude, « it's just that... » he hesitated, inhaling audibly and then pausing for a moment, « I've had a difficult morning, okay ? I'm sorry ! » he rudely apologized. « We're getting a ticket to write history, and you don't seem to care » the blond candidate carried on, acting revolted. « Of course I do ! » Rogers assured again, offended, « but – » « People are actually receiving our settlement plans with great enthusiasm » interrupted the lady, « you don't seem to realize how extraordinary this is » she added reproachfully. « Okay, okay ! I get it ! » exclaimed the obnoxious representative, gesticulating nervously, « I said I'm sorry, can we move on now ? » he insisted, breathing loudly as he rested his elbows on the table and folded his hands in front of his mouth, staring down at first, and then closing his eyes in an attempt to cool off.

The chief of the Greens glanced knowingly at the Neolit, the two of them remaining quiet as they allowed their Liberal counterpart to regain his senses.

« While we're on the subject » the pensive leader eventually went on, straightening up as he opened his eyes, « I have doubts about our scientific consultant... are you sure we can trust this guy ? » he submitted, at the same time hoping to take the spotlight away from his unpleasant behaviour. « I've had the chance to chat with him after his presentation, and we've messaged while he was flying back to Veshtar » Harvey immediately related in a friendly manner, briefly looking at the environmentalist to check if she had wanted to answer, « his interest in our

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plans seems genuine » he remarked, not sounding totally convinced, « he has guaranteed us his complete collaboration » he emphasized more resolutely, « personally, I trust him » he confidently maintained. « I'm told he advises the Conservatives too » mentioned the brown haired man, « don't you think that's strange ? » he hinted, manifestly skeptical. « What's strange ? » cut in Bauer, suddenly curious. « I don't know... I just have this funny feeling » the chubby politician commented, « he seemed especially keen regarding colonization » he reminded his associates, « something tells me there's something he's not telling us » he ultimately declared. « I must say I've had the same feeling » the attractive lady concurred following a silent deliberation, « and he seemed bothered when I objected about... the... ahem... sorry... » she struggled to recount, touching her throat, « social... factor... » she uttered in a scratchy, weak voice, displaying a fraught expression as she turned to the Neolit. « Are you okay ? » promptly inquired the blond tricenarian, worried. « Yup » the woman confirmed, coughing, « I just need some water » she requested, trying to laugh softly to dissipate any inquietudes. « Here, have some of mine » the Liberal offered, bending down to the side of his chair to grab the plastic bottle he had brought along with him, and then passing it to his distressed partner who nodded her appreciation as she drank. « I... don't disagree » slowly resumed the former businessman, relieved as he ascertained his ally was better again, « but... here's what I know » he stated, pausing as if to organize his thoughts, « Bernard Sturn has personally called me after his meeting with the Chief Scientific Adviser » he began his justification, « and he basically reiterated what he had already said right after our meeting in Triton Aeolus » the rookie representative carried on, « the Conservatives are suspicious of space exploration » he claimed with insistence, stopping for an instant to let the notion sink in, « and so, my guess is that we embody the way forward as far as the scientific community is concerned, because we're willing to go ahead » he proposed with assurance, « I think he might just be... preaching for his own parish » he tentatively joked, but his colleagues were apparently too preoccupied to find the allusion entertaining. « It makes sense » replied the leader of the Greens without much heart, incredulous, « it would explain why the Conservatives haven't announced anything yet » she added a few seconds later. « Nor are they about to » continued the charismatic candidate, « they're getting ready to send a permanent mission on Veshtar to investigate first » he revealed with a proud grin. « And how do you know that ? » Rogers wondered at once. « As senior project director, Sturn is privy to all sorts of interesting things » the chief of the New Light Party noted, visibly satisfied at how the conversation was evolving. « Such as ? » hazarded Bauer, smiling and eager to hear more.

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« Well, for one, he got us the report of the GSA » Harvey readily disclosed. « You mean the go-ahead from the observation team ? » asked the surprised Liberal. « Yup » responded the tall blond man in an amused tone, « the very same document that convinced us to announce our plan » he remarked confidently. « Hmm... and that doesn't bother you ? » quickly questioned the chubby politician, clearly upset by the situation. « Why would it bother me ? » denied the Neolit, not having the slightest clue as to what the other was implying, « are you saying he has forged the report ? » he supposed after a moment, took aback by the preposterous suggestion. « No, that's not what I meant ! » opposed the less progressive of the three representatives. « That would be one big gamble » commented the environmentalist, raising her eyebrows and tilting her head to convey her skepticism. « I'm just saying that most of what we have came through him one way or another » the brown haired tricenarian declared as he crossed his arms, still suspicious of something, and manifestly annoyed by the reaction of his associates. « You think he could have filtered the information ? » pressed the former businessman in a louder voice, seemingly indignant. « I'm not accusing him of anything » Rogers reiterated, peeved, « I'm just – » « No, no, it doesn't make any sense » strongly rejected the woman, « he has too much to lose » she immediately submitted, « we can double check what he tells us » she went on with passion, « we can get that report from the GSA, through the Access to Information Act » she asserted with authority. « And it's not as if Sturn is urging us to go where we don't want to go » the charismatic candidate observed, « he's basically just confirming our choices » he stressed, shrugging. « There ! » swiftly agreed the lady, « and he wouldn't be much of a scientist if he intently omitted to warn us of some... potential disaster or something » she carried on, patently finding the whole insinuation laughable. « And he is much of a scientist » Harvey emphasized with admiration, « his track record speaks for itself » he further mentioned. « Look » the Liberal replied, evidently irritated by the persistent argumentation, « like I said, it's just a feeling, okay ? » he exclaimed, on the verge of anger, « no need to get all worked up about it ! » he added, exhaling noisily, the other two chiefs remaining quiet as he pondered the circumstances a while longer, « listen... let's do this some other time » he finally commanded, motioning as if he were to leave his seat. « Well, Edward » began the blond representative, glancing at Bauer to gauge her opinion from her expression and noticing disapproval, « you're the one who insisted to have this meeting as soon as possible » he countered, apparently disappointed at the attitude of his colleague, « and as much as I'd like to humour you » he continued reproachfully, « I don't think we have that much time » he stated as he nodded in the negative.

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« We have announcements to make, remember ? » concurred the quadragenarian, « we've promised an outline of our colonization plan » she reminded the abrasive man, « we need Sturn for this » she lastly maintained. « Or if not him, then some other expert, but we have to move soon » the Neolit proposed with urgency, « we obviously need someone of his quality to advise us, and there aren't that many » he indicated with conviction, pausing to let the thought sink in, « so, are you okay with him or not ? » he ultimately inquired. « He has a reputation to uphold » the head of the Greens noted after a brief while, seeing the career politician was still indifferent, « what could he have to gain that's so important as to risk his status ? » she wondered, incredulous. « Okay » Rogers eventually responded in a somewhat calmer tone, feigning to acquiesce, « I'm willing to believe he's just a zealous scientist » he chortled, visibly insincere, « are you two happy now ? » he concluded in a confrontational manner. « Okay, that does it ! » the exasperated environmentalist exploded, « we can't go on like this, we're getting nowhere... one of us has to lead » she affirmed categorically, « we've tried before, but now time is running out... election day is coming up fast and people want to know who they're voting for... we must tell them who we're running for Chancellor ! » she ranted heatedly. « Isn't that why were here ? » sarcastically retorted the Liberal. « So that's what's bothering you ? » reacted the former businessman, grinning confidently as he had obtained more proof that his manoeuvres were yielding the anticipated results, « let's get right down to it then ! » he defiantly enjoined, keen to resolve the issue, « let's see... what's new since the last time we've talked about it ? » he asked wryly, hinting at the rise of his party in the recent polls. « Don't push your luck ! » warned the chubby representative, steamed by the remark. « Okay, boys ! » Bauer promptly cut in, raising her voice, « perhaps we can settle this like civilized persons ? » she suggested, silencing her younger allies, « we said we would not get out of here without having decided » she went on after a moment, more softly yet still with authority, « we better start soon, because I have a date this evening » she hazarded jokingly, manifestly hoping to ease the tension.

Harvey couldn't help but chuckle, and even more so as he noticed that the man who had been behaving rudely for most of the meeting didn't seem much entertained. –

– –

« Frankly » the disagreeable politician began, « I don't understand why we're discussing this » he announced arrogantly, « our roots trace back to the origins of the Federation » he stressed with almost caricatural solemnity, « and we have more seats than – » « Argh ! » sighed the rookie candidate « we've been over this alrea – » « Jake ! » the woman reprimanded, « please let him finish » she politely requested, « we'll

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never get out of here if the two of you keep on acting like this » she asserted earnestly. « Okay, okay » readily acknowledged the Neolit, « you're right, I'm sorry » he respectfully apologized, « please go ahead » he complied, slightly bowing to his haughty colleague. « Thank you » the brown haired tricenarian replied, recollecting his thoughts, nodding and subtly smiling in contempt at his interlocutor, « as I was saying » he resumed soon after, « the Liberals have a longstanding tradition... we've actually been in power before » he emphasized with an air of superiority, obviously referring to the short history of the relatively new formations of his partners, « some of our advisers were themselves elected representatives over forty years ago, when my father was Financial Secretary » the proud leader reminded them, « the Liberal team is significantly more experienced » he carried on, looking poised and self-assured for the first time of the caucus, « upon the dissolution of the Chamber, we had thirty-five seats » he continued following a brief breather, « your two parties together only had eighteen » Rogers explained, again reiterating his preferred argument, « and that in my view should be reason enough » he affirmed with a touch of indignation, « and as far as individuals go » he added, pausing for effect, « I have more experience than the two of you combined » the career official observed, « I've been in this milieu all my life, just like most men in my family have been at some point or another » he noted with even more conviction, « and, must I mention that my grandfather Edward has been Chancellor ? » he concluded smugly.

The diminutive room was quiet for a while, and when the environmentalist glanced at him, the chief of the New Light Party guessed he was being offered his chance to speak. –

– – –

– –

« Okay » the former businessman slowly uttered, exaggerating his expression to signify how unimpressed he was, « there are no politicians in my immediate family » he admitted right away, « but then again, as I don't expect any of them will come to my rescue in the middle of a Cabinet meeting, I – » « Ha, ha, ha » the rebarbative man rhythmically responded in a strong voice, « that's very funny » he commented, insulted, « you know very well that's not what – » « Hey, is grandfather Edward part of our Coalition ? » Harvey sarcastically interrupted, stepping up his antics, « cause, maybe he should be here right now to – » « Jake ! » exclaimed Bauer in an amused tone, « please » she entreated as she reflexively cupped her mouth with her hand to mask her grin, « don't do this » she required after an awkward instant. « Hey » the charismatic candidate went on, « I'm just saying that – » « Please ! » the lady repeated as seriously as she could, « I think you've made your point quite clearly » she ensured, attempting to conceal her appreciation, « Edward, you've had your turn... let Jake have his now, please » she commanded the affronted tricenarian who crossed his arms and sat back in his chair as he nodded to indicate he would remain silent. « Thank you » acknowledged the rookie representative, « as I was saying » he began after

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a moment, echoing the way the Liberal had resumed his pitch, « I'm quite new to public administration, and I'm far from being a career politician » he readily conceded, « but I think most people don't really care about that, and in fact, for those who do, it probably works in my favour » the Neolit confidently suggested, « especially considering the public perception of politicians these days » he remarked at once, overturning the demonstration of his opponent, « I know how to manage a team, the success of my company proves that beyond any doubt » he then reminded his associates, « and I had to go through a lot to get there » the blond leader stressed, his whole attitude hinting at the difficulties he had faced and conquered, « I'm a lot closer to most Ovelians than you are » he asserted calmly but resolutely as he stared at Rogers, « I have known what most of them know » he declared solemnly, « I have wanted what most of them want » the maverick man surmised with conviction, « and that's why I've made the jump into politics » he carried on after a short pause, « not just to replace the Conservatives » he insinuated, stating his opinion of the aims of the Liberals, « but to actually change things for the better » the passionate chief announced, « I want us to reform our Global Government so that it serves the citizen first, that's what I stand for, that's what my party stands for, and that's what the Progressives were standing for too when they originally created this Federation » he raved, manifestly delighting the head of the Greens, who were known as the radicals of the three forward thinking formations, « if our party is young, our ideals have a longstanding tradition, and I believe that, ultimately, it is these ideals that attract voters to our Coalition, because they can feel that somebody is on their side for once, and if you ask me, that's exactly what the polls are telling us – » « And I believe that, ultimately, polls don't count but seats do » sneeringly objected the brown haired tricenarian. « Edward, please » the woman intervened, gazing at her peer with disapproving eyes. « Well, like them or not » the former businessman continued, « polls give us a pretty good idea of where we're going » he argued with increased intensity, « and it's a well-known fact that polls influence voters » he submitted, leaving his adversary somewhat skeptical, « and if you'd look at the numbers, you'd see for yourself who's attracted to us and why » Harvey proposed, preparing himself to deliver another wallop, « if the Coalition is ahead, it's not because of the Liberals, it's despite of them... why do you think your so immensely experienced advisers have recommended you to join us in the first place ? You guys are going nowhere fast ! » he bluntly suggested, « but we keep going up, we're almost neck and neck with you now » he observed, patently troubling his antagonist, « say what you will but if this Coalition is thriving, it's thanks to the Green Party, and thanks to the New Light Party – » « New Light ! » the chubby representative chortled in contempt, « what kind of name is that anyway ? » he commented scornfully, « move over and let the heavyweights do the job » he mentioned sarcastically, seemingly so upset as to forget he was talking to an ally. « We may be light, but we're not dinosaurs » proudly retorted the rookie candidate, « we

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may be Neolits, but we're not neolithic ! » he promptly affirmed the catchphrases of his organization in their precise wording. « Quite some slogans you have there, my friend » Rogers derided with arrogance, « the Conservatives are cutting some of your people to pieces » he immediately riposted, « go figure ! – » « You better laugh while you can because it looks as if there's not much fun out there for you ! » responded the blond man in a corrosive tone, « people are not even considering you for the Chancellery anymore, my friend » he mordantly pointed out, « do you know why that is ? – » « Please, don't go too far, Jake » Bauer interrupted, more apprehensive than authoritative. « The explanation is very simple, Ed » the charismatic leader proceeded, « people seem to like Laura-Sylvia » he hinted in a raised voice, « and they seem to like me – » « Jake ! » the lady exclaimed, horrified at the unexpected direction the conversation was suddenly taking. « But guess what, my friend » at once carried on the Neolit « people don't like – » « Jake ! » the indignant environmentalist repeated, keeping her composure with difficulty, « don't stoop to his level » she stressed in a lecturing manner.

Harvey remained quiet for a while, cooling off, and digesting as best as he could all that had been exposed, watching his two colleagues manifestly attempting to achieve as much. Hurt by the vitriolic counter-attacks, the career politician was strongly tempted to break the progressive union on the spot. But there was too much at stake. He couldn't take such a decision on his own. And he couldn't stand the prospect of five more years under Conservative rule. So he let go of the inviting option, albeit reluctantly. The woman was mostly surprised to discover a new side to the usually self-collected maverick chief. His aggressive reactions had clearly affected his generally less tactful contender. –

« Hey, maybe you should lead » the brown haired tricenarian eventually joked, addressing the quadragenarian, « looks like you could referee the Cabinet meetings » he remarked, drawing a chuckle out of her. « I'm sorry, but it's between you two » the head of the Greens declared following a brief deliberation, glancing at her associates in succession, « I haven't changed my position » she calmly announced, « my party isn't significant enough, we don't even have branches in every state » she first justified, « and in the end, I just don't think that's what people want » Bauer shared without reservations, « Jake's party has instigated the Coalition, and people like him » she emphasized, staring the Liberal in the eyes, « he's the one with the vision, so as far as I'm concerned, he's the one who should lead » she submitted, pausing to let the notion seep in, « and as far as my party is concerned » the attractive brunette

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went on after a moment, « if I'm in charge of the Department of Environment, most will be very happy » she lastly noted with evident anticipation. « As far as the New Light Party is concerned » the former businessman continued right away, jumping at the opportunity, « we're... not adamant about me being in charge » he readily granted, having recognized how to set up another blow to his opponent, « but my advisers have no doubt that I can do the job » he asserted with conviction, « I find it very empowering to feel trusted and to know that I can count on their unconditional support » Harvey commented confidently, « surely you can relate » he added in pretended casual fashion, looking at Rogers and knowing he could not truthfully concur, « what about your party ? What do your advisers think ? » he asked the other who was staying speechless, unprepared to answer, visibly embarrassed, gazing intently at the Neolit as if suspecting he was onto him.

The lady watched the scene with a puzzled expression, not quite certain what was going on, slowly realizing that, by prolonging his silence, the career politician was unwillingly validating what his interlocutor had cleverly insinuated. The charismatic candidate had his rival right where he had wanted him, gradually sinking in the quicksands of his insecurities, struggling to concentrate and come up with a viable defence. The rookie representative had brilliantly dismissed the arguments of his adversary. He had left him little choice but to hope for a flash of inspiration to extricate himself from his unfortunate situation. He knew victory was near. One final point, and the game would have been played out. –

– –

« They think you haven't the faintest idea how to run the Federation » suddenly objected the chubby man, indignant, in one ultimate, desperate attempt at turning the tide in his favour. « And perhaps they think you do ? » the chief of the New Light Party promptly retorted in a caustic manner. « Okay, Edward, with all due respect » Bauer began in a strong voice, manifestly out of patience, « your arrogance is self-defeating » she maintained reproachfully, « you often treat us as if we're subordinates, you don't always consult us, and you act as if you're in charge » she told the discomfited Liberal, « just look at how you've behaved today » the environmentalist stressed with contempt, « is this how you plan to handle things when our parties clash ? » she sardonically suggested.

Self-assured and relieved, the former businessman remained soundless as he witnessed with some amazement the head of the Greens finish what he had started. « I don't always agree with all of Jake's ideas » the woman ranted on, « but at least I can commend him for his demeanor » she remarked with insistence, « he has been way more The Threshold

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respectful and way more conciliatory than you have been ever since the creation of this Coalition » she emphasized unwaveringly, « in fact, you should thank him because if it weren't for him, I'm not sure I'd still be around » the lady then admitted, « I have a very hard time standing you, your rudeness, and your tired materialistic views » she revealed, pausing for a moment to breathe and cool off, « my support goes to Jake » she eventually carried on, trying to settle the question, « his aims are much closer to ours » the attractive brunette noted, « and I believe that after forty years of Conservative corruption, people want new blood » she calmly affirmed, « sorry Edward but considering the economy, the gap between the rich and the... others » she continued, in the most sympathetic way she could, « I don't believe people are interested in dynasties anymore, they want somebody who shares their concerns, and in my opinion that's exactly what Jake incarnates » she concluded, driving the decisive nail in the coffin. Once more, the career official stayed silent, visibly shaken, crushed, unable to utter a single word, reflecting on the recent weeks and not finding much to sustain his rapidly crumbling dreams of a notable political future. Thwarted in his gamble, forsaken by his party, he figured that the battle was lost. Embarrassed, and too humiliated to face his allies any longer, he suddenly stood up, looking down and away from them, and walked slowly to a corner of the small room. He rested his crossed forearms against the wall and leaned his forehead against them, mulling over what he reckoned to be his failure. As he watched his opponent quietly fall apart, Harvey knew he had won. He knew Bauer and her Greens were backing him, he knew the Liberals would be instructed to appear most pleased at his nomination, and he knew even Rogers would alter his stance and play the game. The voters would certainly rally behind him, and hopefully, put the Coalition in power. It was happening as Mistress Aeira had foreseen. The prediction was becoming true. One last scene and this pivotal act would soon be a mere memory of a dramatic, yet brilliant performance. And he had already rehearsed his lines.

– – –

« Hmm... okay » the woman tentatively resumed after a while, not sure how to handle the situation, « I believe we have our leader – » « So, what do we do now ? » the chubby representative interrupted in a resigned voice, ashamed of himself, in an attempt to pick up the pieces and to regain the good graces of his associates. « Which job do you want ? » the tall blond man answered in a friendly tone. « What ? » replied the brown haired tricenarian, turning around to assess the sincerity of his interlocutor. « Laura – I mean, Miss Bauer here, wants the Department of Environment » the former businessman went on, grinning at the lady as he gestured to designate her, « would you like to be our Financial Secretary ? » he inquired, correctly guessing that the other would be satisfied with the function his father had once occupied.

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The defeated chief didn't respond verbally, but his expression made clear he was delighted by the proposition. Although part of him had imagined, and dreaded, the disappointing circumstances he was confronted to, he hadn't dared hope his rival would ever entrust him with the purse strings, having rather surmised that such a crucial role would be set aside for a Neolit expert.

– – – –

« Finance is supposed to be the forte of your party » the charismatic candidate carried on lightheartedly, « and you're definitely qualified for the job » he mentioned, referring to Rogers' experience in economics, « it's not as glamourous as your grandfather's job, but as far as responsibilities go, it's up there with Chancellor... surely your father would be proud of his son » he ultimately observed. « Yes... I believe it could work out » the Liberal approved following some consideration, warming up to the idea as he recognized he was offered a way to come out of the meeting with his dignity intact, or as close to intact as possible given his behaviour, and perhaps more importantly, that his consolation prize would exceed the expectations of those who decided of his fate within his own organization, « who do you see as Vice-Chancellor ? » he asked before accepting formally. « Hmm... I don't think we have to announce this anytime soon, do we ? » wondered the rookie politician as he glanced at the environmentalist, more to deflect the question than because of her competence in matters of protocol. « Hmm... no... we don't » hesitated the quadragenarian, « the Vice-Chancellor is typically nominated on Inauguration Day » she confirmed after a brief reflection. « Then maybe we should save some for later ? » Harvey suggested with humour. « Works for me ! » simply chortled the career official, smiling for the first time in a long while. « I'd say we have a deal » the woman declared, glad that the drama was apparently over.

The head of the New Light Party stood up and extended his arm in the direction of the brown haired man who walked back to the table to seal the accord with a handshake. – – – –

« Congratulations, Jake » the chubby representative acknowledged in a sedate voice. « Thank you » replied the former businessman, nodding politely. « Congratulations ! » Bauer bade somewhat more cheerfully as she rose from her seat to shake hands with her two associates. « Thank you ! » the leader of the Progressive Parties reiterated in a livelier tone, but his moment was ephemeral as none of the three allies were genuinely in a celebratory mood, « okay » he resumed as they all sat down, « where were we ? » he inquired right away. « Hmm... we were discussing whether we can trust our scientific adviser or not » the lady pointed out.

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– –

– –

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« Ah... yes » the star candidate recalled, « well... personally, I'm willing to go ahead with Sturn » he confidently maintained, staring at Rogers to gauge his reaction. « I'm not objecting » assured the Liberal in a relaxed manner, grinning yet shrugging to signify his reservations as his opinion hadn't budged. « We're on friendly terms Bernard and I » the Neolit promptly revealed, « I don't think he would hide something from us on purpose » he commented, stopping to ponder the issue, « not about the anomaly or colonization anyhow » he remarked pensively after the short pause, « but if he effectively does, I think we can safely say that it'll become obvious soon enough » he ventured with conviction, knowing he could rely on his supernal counsellor to assist him. « I can agree with that » readily recognized the other tricenarian. « Between you and me, I think his enthusiasm mainly comes from wanting to keep his job after our historical victory » the charismatic chief added half-jokingly, to the amusement of his colleagues. « Okay, looks like that's settled too » the attractive environmentalist noted, « so, what's next ? » she asked, visibly satisfied at the turn of events. « I'll make sure professor Sturn receives our outline » Harvey answered at once, « and... I think that's it... » he mentioned hesitantly, « how about you, Laura ? » he wondered as he tried to recollect their common agenda. « The brief of our reform proposals for the Constitutional Review Conferences is pretty much ready, along with a preliminary schedule » the Green told her cohorts. « That's everything we need for the broadcast » the career politician asserted following a quick deliberation. « So I guess that's it » happily concluded the tall blond man. « That's it ! » echoed the woman, appreciative that the stressful meeting was ending. « Good ! » uttered the chubby representative as he prepared to stand up, « I have a busy evening, so... if we're all done here I'll hurry back to my suite » he announced, his poised expression changing to one of apprehension. « Yup, we're done ! » tersely replied Bauer.

Swiftly rising from his seat at the confirmation, the master of financial economics glanced at his companions, displaying a forced smile as he headed to the door, manifestly preoccupied. – – –

« Let's kick the old geezer out ! » the former businessman playfully hazarded, seeking to take the pulse of his peer before he left. « Oh, that reminds me » Rogers unexpectedly responded, halting as he addressed his two allies, « have you heard the news about him ? » he eagerly inquired. « No » the rookie candidate reacted right away, intrigued, gazing at the lady who simply nodded her ignorance of the matter.

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« Apparently he has Alzheimers » the Liberal declared gravely. « What ? » exclaimed the brunette, staring in shock at the speechless Neolit. « It's probably just one of those rumours, but... he failed some tests, and the results were leaked » reported the career politician, « that's all I know » he immediately stated, « I had hoped you could give me more details » he then commented, but it was obvious from the surprise of his associates that he had broke the story to them, « okay, I better run » the hurrying tricenarian continued as he reached for the exit, « I'll let you know if I hear of something » he ultimately assured, departing the modest room in a haste, the two other chiefs acknowledging silently as he closed the door behind him.

The Coalition leader pondered the astonishing revelation for a while, watching the woman as she also quietly digested the information. – – – –

– –

– – – – – –

« Probably a rumour » the charismatic public figure eventually submitted, as he calmly rose from his chair and started to move towards the exit. « Uh-huh... » simply concurred the environmentalist as she also stood up, « how did you know ? » she asked just as her colleague touched the doorknob. « Know what ? » Harvey queried, stopping and turning around, clueless as to what Bauer could be referring to. « That the Liberals don't trust Edward anymore » the lady clarified, visibly impressed as she recalled the manoeuvre of the blond man, « we're you bluffing ? » she wondered as she approached him, grinning. « Bluffing ? Me ? » the maverick representative answered facetiously, « don't you know that we Neolits have friends in high places » he joked, pointing upwards in allusion to the popular belief according to which most members of his party were deeply religious. « Come on, you can tell me » the attractive quadragenarian insisted, incredulous. « I just did ! » the former businessman maintained, pretending to be upset, « it's too long of a tale » he carried on more seriously after a brief pause, « hey, I thought the Greens not having enough branches was pretty funny » he then mentioned with amusement. « Don't change the subject » the brunette warned, laughing softly, « or else I will remind you how mean you've been to Edward » she proceeded to bring up the heated dispute. « Well, he had it coming » the rookie candidate justified pensively. « Possibly » the woman conceded, « still, you know better than to fall for those baits » she advised in a warm tone. « Yes... well... » sighed the leader of the Progressive Parties, « I guess I had a momentary weakness » he proposed humorously. « You could have shaved, by the way » the lady reproached in jest. « Don't I look more threatening like this ? » the man inquired, frowning as he stroked his cheeks, drawing attention not only to his short dark beard but also to his dimples.

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« Yeah, right ! » chortled the quadragenarian. « What ? Don't you think I can look threatening ? » the younger representative riposted. « It only makes you look more adorable if you ask me » asserted the brunette. « Hey, careful now, I might return the compliment » the former businessman responded. « And why wouldn't you ? » suggested the Green. « Don't you have to get ready for a date or something ? » the head of the New Light Party retorted, looking falsely concerned. « You know I was kidding ! » Bauer promptly denied, poking the chest of her interlocutor with her forefinger, « I don't have a date » she assured with an inviting smiling. « Would you like one ? » the charismatic politician submitted. « Be patient Mister Harvey » the environmentalist replied right away, « let's not rush into this » she concluded, grabbing her ally by the hips and motioning to spin him around, the two of them chuckling as the lady gently pushed her partner out of the meeting room.

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About the Series

A

t the turn of the century, Ovel must face the consequences of its accelerated growth. One

hundred and twenty seven federated countries and eleven sovereign nations, spread across the homeland and in colonies settled onboard orbiting stations and on a nearby planet. Fourteen billion inhabitants struggling to thrive under the rule of a corrupted Global Government, in power for over forty years. Fuelled by a recent scientific finding, the once in a lifetime discovery of a discontinuity in the cosmic fabric of the neighbouring space, a coalition of politicians is willing to stand up for the people and radically change things. Now relegated to the ranks of an obscure sect, the once dominant Community and its disciples must effectively handle the requirements of the Celestials to ensure that the most favourable of all possible destinies comes to pass. Meanwhile, halfway across the world, a young monk must learn to collaborate with the Enlightened Ones in order to successfully discharge the essential task he has accepted to fulfil in behalf of his monastery. Will the crucial 2206 electoral campaign climax on the emergence of a charismatic Progressive leader, or will the decried Chancellor prevail despite the many forces scheming for his downfall ? On a background of environmental and financial crises, and religious influences intertwining with political manoeuvres to determine the fate of the overpopulated orb, The Threshold chronicles the evolution of the Ovelian civilization as it heads towards unprecedented upheaval.

★ Contact Facebook Profile : https://www.facebook.com/the.threshold.2206 Google Plus Profile : https://plus.google.com/u/0/104660427672333556879

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About the Author

C

hristopher Stewart loves to try his hand at various artistic endeavours, but if there's one discipline he's perfecting, it must be the art of blooming late.

He has studied for a long time, played football even longer, spent a significant part of his adult life developing software on a full-time basis and invested what remained in the pursuit of his ideal of creating meaningful music in the context of a rock ensemble. He has founded the prolific yet still album-less Quebec-based progressive rock outfit Poligraf in 1998 and has never been quite the same since. He has been practising Buddhism dead-seriously since the mid 90s, until he finally awakened to the fact that it teaches living happiness. His interests range from psychology, physics, and philosophy, to mysticism, divination, the arts and the creative process, and, obviously, multitasking and clichés. Pick any task, tag it with the word « impossible, » assign it to him, and he’ll be hard at work for years before the first suspicion finally pops in his mind.

★ Contact Email : christopher.stewart@gmail.com Facebook Profile : https://www.facebook.com/christopher.andrew.stewart Google Plus Profile : https://plus.google.com/114005406455037130049 Twitter Profile : https://twitter.com/poligraf

★ Also Available as eBooks On the Meaning of Sin


Credits Chapter Titles The titles are meant as a tribute to the musicians. Special thanks to the members of Yes for their musical genius, and to Jon Anderson in particular for sharing his vision with the world. Fonts Linux Libertine : http://www.linuxlibertine.org/ Vollkorn : http://friedrichalthausen.de/ Philosopher : http://jovanny.ru/ BorisBlackBoxx : http://manfred-klein.ina-mar.com/ Quirkus : http://www.peter-wiegel.de/ Ubuntu : http://font.ubuntu.com/ Liberation : from the Fedora Linux Distribution : http://fedoraproject.org/ Images ESO : ESO-Ring-shaped-Nebula-phot-34a-04 Liftarn : A silhouette of a person Phil Bronnery : Silhouette rejon : Person Outline J.delanoy : Persons pitr : Man standing silhouette L. W. Yang : Toronto Reference Library Software Open Office : http://www.openoffice.org/ FreeMind : http://freemind.sourceforge.net/ The Timeline Project : http://thetimelineproj.sourceforge.net/ Gimp : http://www.gimp.org/ Blender : http://www.blender.org/ References Most of my book design questions have found an answer on Joel Friedlander's The Book Designer : http://www.thebookdesigner.com/

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The Threshold Bookcast : Chapter 10 – South Side Of The Sky