"Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."—Ben Franklin
I knocked twice, with no response from the other side, before I let myself in. There was a light peering from another opened door towards the right side of the room. This light led me to Celeste, who stood with her back to me before a large blank screen of some sort. It looked like Celeste was trying to put something together on the screen, and a few steps closer to her validated my suspicions.
“Please, have a seat Daniel.” Never once turning to face me, focusing very intently on the small object in her hand, holding it up and rotating the star shaped piece between her fingers. I took a seat in the chair closest to me, never once taking my eyes off the mystery. “Daniel, you are looking at a custom-made puzzle.” She turned toward me with piece still in hand, showing me the size and nature of this piece. “Every piece to this puzzle is the same shape and same size. Roughly 3000 interlocking pieces and absolutely no reference to the image these pieces will eventually create. And this…,” turning again to face the massive screen, “…is a magnetic board.”
“So how do you put a puzzle like this together if you don’t know what the picture is supposed to be?” I was amazed that there were a few areas on the large screen that had pieces already forming an image of some sort, still unclear, but looking very appropriate.
“It’s the smallest of things in life that cause the biggest impact; things like viruses and ValorChip’s little trackers. This puzzle serves two purposes, Daniel. First and foremost, it’s a training exercise for myself. It helps me stay focused on the smallest of details. A skill you will have to learn.”
“And the second?”
“Come here,” She points to a small spot near the center of the metal screen where six of the pieces have formed a picture of what looks to be poppy plants, bright orange and red flowers with large petals, laying low to the ground. “These pieces create flowers, that’s what we see. Or is it?” She then rearranges the six pieces in such a manner that they no longer formed the image of flowers, but that of flames.
“So this puzzle has more than one solution? Don’t puzzles start with a picture? An image which is mechanically cut, separated, mixed up and then packaged. How is it you have a puzzle where these rules don’t apply?”
“You are absolutely correct, there was a starting point for this puzzle. A LOT of planning, calculating, manipulating and failures went into this particular project. It was intentionally designed to be manipulated into more than one final outcome.” Looking back again at the largely blank screen, she said, “This puzzle represents the agenda Daniel, and each of these pieces, the players in this agenda whether in opposition or support. This puzzle, started with an idea, a plan, one that has the potential for more than one outcome.” When she looked back at me, she froze me in her time, just for a moment, catching me in her beautiful green eyes. “The outcome, the final picture you want to see from all this, will it have flames or flowers in it?” I didn’t know how to respond.
“Everything our six senses experience on a day to day basis is a result of choices. Do I shoot to kill or maim? Do I enter this house or sit outside and wait? Do I respond to an anonymous message on a conspiracy forum or ignore it?” Pausing again to emphasize her point with her frozen stare, she stated, “Small choices we make everyday are like the corners of each of these puzzle pieces; every choice connects to another situation requiring another decision, until a larger image starts to take shape. Each choice we make directly influences the final outcome,” turning again toward the screen, “or the big picture. And every choice we make has the potential for more than one outcome.” I approached the three pieces now showing flames and turned them back into the image of flowers.
“So is this the right choice for this puzzle?” she asked me.
“I don’t know. It’s just the right choice for me.”
“There are no bad guys in this battle.” Spoken with a tone of remorse in her voice, looking at the piece still in her hand. “Flames can be as beneficial to our survival as the flowers are to our serenity. Out of flames comes room for rebirth, whereas flowers, as beautiful and calming as they are, die.”
“I thought the government was the bad guy, isn’t that what this is all about? Fighting the desires of power-hungry politicians seeking Global supremacy?”
Celeste didn’t respond right away, she knew this confusion would put doubts in the minds of many people, people she counted on helping her and this cause. “This is where most of you will be lost. Defining our enemies in black and white will be impossible. A man that kills in self defense is still a killer, and a thief that steals to feed his family is still a thief. Does that make these individuals an enemy to everyone or only their victims?” An excellent point. The only ones this agenda will be hurting are those who fight it. But those fighting it, are fighting for freedom. This truly is a battle with no enemies. “I can only tell you what I believe, Daniel. I believe that this agenda, this global unified governing force, could indeed bring about that much desired peace we all want. Hardships for many will be alleviated. Global health care, global justice, one set of standards for everyone to live by. One monetary system shared equally between nations would eliminate wars for profit,” a long pause, “All of this seen from a distance looks like a puzzle picture full of poppies.”
“I sense a ‘but’ coming.”
“We would all exist as robots, losing our individuality and initiative. Creativity and ideals would be limited and regulated. Like a computer that’s told what to think, this will be our existence under this new establishment. There would be nothing worth living for if our lives are pre-determined.”
“So who is the enemy then? If those in power are the ones supporting this agenda, and they are doing so under good intentions, then who the hell are we supposed to be fighting?”
“Ideally, we want to fight no one. Realistically, we will be fighting everyone. I only know as much as what was outlined in these documents. I can make my best guess as to how extensively they can separate and control us, but that’s all I can do, guess. The extent of this agenda is anyone’s guess. It’s people like you and me, like the other 500 plus souls in this building, who are fighting for freedom. We have men and women all over this world and within government offices that are fighting on our side. Anonymous personalities with influence as well as income who privately fund projects like this facility, while hiding beneath stacks of legal documents supporting more isolation camps.”
“This was originally an isolation camp?”
“No, Daniel, this IS one of their isolation camps! The man who owns this land has funded our gathering here even though he leases this property to the government. He let us know when this area would be vacant. He arranged and financed all the efforts to get us here. The cabin you saw actually belonged to his ancestors over seven generations ago. You are getting an inside view of what life will be like for many people like us, who refuse the implant and new regime.” Looking at me with a sadness in her eyes I hadn’t seen before, she said, “So many were fooled into believing that Militia should be the only ones allowed to own guns. So many people died in order to keep theirs without signing their life away to a politically-controlled police force. When this race war starts, Daniel, it’s the very people we are trying to help that will ultimately turn on us. Young naïve men and women who believe they will never be called to action will be forced to aim their rifles at us, forcing us to make yet another difficult choice on a moment’s notice. You, me and the other survivors here will be required to kill people who are otherwise completely innocent, trapped in the consequences of their own personal choices.”
“So let me get this straight. To recruit us, you used the very methods we are now told to fight against, methods that invaded our privacy and manipulated our circumstances. And I’m supposed to believe you’re the good guys?”
“Are we the flowers or the flame?” Pointing again to the puzzle pieces I touched. “I am no more a good guy than you, Daniel. You killed a man. Can you justify why you killed him? You were about to lose something valuable to you and felt this object was worth risking your life for, was worth killing for.” I looked down at my middle finger now home to that ring to which she’s referring, rotating it around my finger, now deep in thought. “And that was just for a ring.
“I will tell you that our team is made up of the finest in pre-implant, military and Special Forces. And yes, we spied, we followed you, we broke into your homes, we stole from you and we misled you. All these tactics were necessary not only to screen potential recruits, but to show you how easy it is to lose ALL your freedoms and privacy without your ever knowing it. This is what this agenda is about, Daniel.”
I finally understood what she meant. The analogy of the puzzle and the examples of my personal actions, were all small reflections of what was to be her big picture. What I hadn’t decided yet is if this was MY big picture. She was right about one thing, it boiled down to choices, not sides. It boiled down to finding a cause you believe in dying for. Still, with all this information, I was doubtful, feeling like a victim of exaggerated evidence to support their own agenda. “So what if, after all your efforts to get us here, all the information shared, you realize someone was ‘chipped’?” In my mind, the “good-guys” would most likely blindfold these people and take them back home. “After all, if the spreading of information is OUR agenda, what these people learned could still be passed along.”
“Do you know how ‘Sleepers’ are done nowadays?”
“No. I missed that day in Government class,” still trying to be lighthearted. Celeste, on the other hand, maintained her stiff lips and stern gaze.
“They stopped investing in volunteers, because many would become so fashioned to their lives that when they were finally ‘activated’ or called to duty, they resisted. Prisoners, vagabonds and homeless children were then used. They would be taken for a procedure called Psychosurgery. A chip is surgically implanted into the section of the brain that controls behavior, allowing for a powerful influence of suggestion. The scale in which this has taken place is staggering. Many have suffered this technique, many who will be the triggers to the Race War.”
“You still didn’t answer my question.” I was now unsure if I really wanted an answer.
“We do a similar procedure, only without the chipping.” Realizing the defining separation between black and white has grown more blurred and grey. “Daniel, I cannot stress this to you enough, do NOT, under any circumstance, allow yourself to be chipped.”
“So how does this chip actually work?”
“In the last 34 months, millions of our tax dollars were invested into secretly installing scanners into the doorways of all public buildings. Scanners that let those watching know who you are and everything about you. Right now, the only thing on this tiny chip is the individual’s identification number, whether it’s our Social Security number, driver’s license number, or one given at hospitals upon first time visits, mostly to control illegal immigration. When you walk through a scanner, your number pops up on a screen and at the click of a button, the monitor can access a network system that houses every minute detail of your existence. It’s amazing how invasive a chip no bigger than a pin head implanted into your bloodstream, can truly be.”
“And where is this network system? Who manages all this information?”
Celeste offers me the brightest smile, “This is why I chose you to be my partner.” Her smile told me much more than I wanted to know at that time. I was uncomfortable with the ideas now flowing through my mind, ideas that included sabotage. “That so called Life Insurance policy you heard about on that recording included the exact location of three network facilities.” Celeste reached into the bottom of a box holding all her puzzle pieces then tossed another small document on the table in front of me. Included in these documents were the specific locations of all three network facilities. The Citizen Network or CM (Common man) Station 1, the largest of the three stations, will track and record naturally born citizens up to a certain financial worth. If someone wins the lottery, acquires an excellent paying job, or is born and/or married into wealth, they are followed through the Financial Network or RM (Rich Man) Station 2, to which it’s referred. This network tracks very specific businesses and transactions that cater to high spenders. Most realtors are registered here as well as brokers, banks and privately owned airline services, as well as private clubs and exclusive hotels and casinos. The final station, also the smallest, caters to foreign occupation and visitations, also appropriately named V (Visitors) Station 3.
“None of the facilities are fully operational as of yet. The majority of chip tracking still falls under the direct cooperation of registered businesses, leaving most of the smaller businesses to monitor and record all their transactions on a personal network. What’s interesting is RMstation2 offers the most protection. Individuals like high ranking government officials, wealthy businessmen, actors and entertainers, anyone with public and political influences, are tracked and protected at this station, which allows for certain liberties not given to the rest of us. Liberties such as privacy and piracy. It’s the only network that can be manipulated for a price. A nice little bonus for those with influence that want to remain covert in their actions, yet still be chipped.”
“It’s hard for me to imagine so many people allowing this to happen, so many that you could only recruit 420 of us?” My head was beginning to spin around all this information.
“Most people in this country are viewed as ‘undesirables’. This is defined by our lack of cooperation and resistance to pharmaceutical control, so to ‘them’ we are the undesirables. Also defined as undesirable are sexual deviants, overeaters, drinkers, drug users, as well as compulsive personalities. These types of individuals all have a weakness that would eventually make them easy targets. Our success depends on our ability to remain anonymous to all eyes watching. There is no room for such addictions and weaknesses; no room for such habits that draw attention to us. Because of this, our recruiters included only individuals who resisted selfish gratifications. This had, in the course of years of observation, eliminated a large majority of potential recruits to our mission.”
“So what is my mission?” I started rubbing my temples, feeling so overloaded with information that the headache I was experiencing could no longer be ignored. Celeste walked behind me and firmly pressed her fingers into my temples before slowly massaging in a circular rhythm. I was instantly relieved every time she hit the nerve that was troubling me.
“Your mission right now is to learn, observe and listen. I have much to teach you before sharing any more information.” I gently grabbed Celeste’s hand in mine, holding it for a moment without resistance before kissing it.
“I’m a lucky man to be partnered with you. Your friend Andrew says you’re the best.” She pulled her hand from mine and simply agreed before walking out the room. She stopped at the main doorway, turned and gave me my first order for the day.
“Roam around this place, see what you discover, then report back to me here in two hours.” And with that said she was gone, lost to me in a maze of underground cells and chambers.