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The Secret Life of God

The truth. 

                They say the truth will set you free.  They’re wrong.  The truth is the biggest prison of all.  The truth tells you things you don’t want to hear.  It shows you things you don’t want to see.  It makes you privy to things you don’t want to know.  Worst of all, it forces you to make decisions that you ordinarily wouldn’t.  The truth is the greatest weapon man has ever known.  It is a killer of men and a destroyer of worlds.  God hates the truth. 

What is the Trinity Equation? 

                Until three weeks ago, that was the biggest mystery in Michael Reeve’s life.  What is the Trinity Equation?  It had taken him three years and more money than he had, but now he had the answer.  Or did he?  The Equation was simpler than it had seemed at first, and prompted Michael to question whether he could, or should, have found it years earlier.  Doubtful.  The Church-State had tried its damnedest to stop him from getting this far. 

                The Church-State.  Ha!  What a laugh.  One of the biggest and most brutal political moves of all times.  No one saw it coming, yet it was always there.  For as long as there had been religion and politics, the two worked hand in hand.  Seldom did one move without the other, and on those few occasions when it did, repercussions were always strong.  But, amidst all, the church was always vying for more power.  And in 2112 they made their bid, and won.  It was seen as only natural.  The church had united all people under its Unified religion, making the world livable, for the most part.  The only thing left was the corrupt, decaying black heart of the two headed political system.  Who wouldn’t vote for that?  And so it was.  A utopia brought together by the grace of God.  Sure life still has its hardships, and not everything’s perfect.  Or else why would you need heaven?

The Equation: Y ÷ 3 over 12, times X² =. 

                Michael had no idea what X was, but that wasn’t important to him at the time.  As he stared down at the liquid oxynite crystal display on his mini-com, another question came to mind.  What’s it for?  The Trinity Equation was the Church-State’s biggest secret, or so he believed.  But in truth, it was part of a bigger whole.  Another secret.  One that hadn’t been leaked to the press.  Michael grimaced as he thought back to that day three years ago.  The day he began his search for the truth. 

2217 AD

                It was first reported on the evening news.  The Global Church-State had finally cracked the Trinity Equation.  A project that they had been working on for over several decades.  No one knew why, only that since the official political switch it was their first and primary agenda.  It was dubbed the Trinity Equation by those in the know, and was heralded in whispers as the next best thing to the second coming.  But, in 2217 the day after the news was leak, many acted as if they had never heard of such a preposterous notion and that the mere mention bordered on sacrilege.  But he was getting ahead of himself.  That day, as he sat watching the news, the first and only time it was reported.  Jonas Rivera announced that sources within the High Council of the Church-State stated that after 73 years, they had final solved the riddled dubbed the Trinity Equation.  The actual equation itself would come later during the Cardinal’s press conference.  A conference that was never held.  This was the same information published in several of the national newspapers. 

                And then came the cover-ups.  Someone within the Church-State had made a grievous error.  The public had pretty much forgotten about the fabled Trinity Equation, and after it was discovered, the Cardinal had decided that it was best if it stayed that way.  The news reports made it difficult, but not impossible.  All traces of it’s mention had to be erased.  The first signs that something was wrong were immediate.  The major news anchors all suddenly retired and were never heard from again.  Living their lives in seclusion.  Never answering calls and refusing to take part in interviews.  No official reason was given behind their decisions.  Then, there were the newspapers.  Entire print runs were destroyed and reprinted.  The biggest shocker came from the sudden death of Herman “The Living Historian” Decker.  Herman was 123 years old and had been collecting newspapers since he was 16.  Each national paper from around the globe.  15 papers, twice a day, every day.  For the past 50 years the major publishers of each paper had given him a free lifetime subscription.  They even had the first print of each copy hand delivered to him.  Hawk Ackerlund reported it on the news that afternoon.  Decker had passed away in his sleep.  The morning delivery boy called Emergency Response Team when Decker refused to answer the door.  A faulty electrical wire in his home defense grid, set off by the ERT upon entering the house, started the fire.  An unstoppable blaze that burned the house and its contents to the ground.  The ERT were lucky to escape with their lives.  The final sign was during the daily Unified gathering in which the Cardinal, in not so many words, stated that, “After many years, and countless man hours, man’s greatness unto himself is not to be.  What was believed to be our greatness is nothing more than yet another of Satan’s many tricks and lies.  To abolish him, we must first abolish his works.  Put them behind us, and never speak of them again.” 

But for one man. 

                Unfortunately, the news report stuck in his head.  Unfortunate for whom though, he could never discern.  It had been a long and hard three years.  Three years that cost him everything he had; job, home, girlfriend, and anything that truly resembled an actually life.  All for the pursuit of a spectral whisper that everyone seemed content to let die.  For someone who had questioned the Church-State his entire life, this was just another thing that didn’t add up.  Never having known religious or political independence always bothered him.  No one had ever told Michael what to be believe, but neither had they offered any other choices. 

                Michael had always felt alone.  The only one that questioned what was, and wondered why and how it came to be.  The others that he knew just fell in line.  Their inbred belief fed directly into one another.  The entire world was united and happy for the first time since creation, and it bothered him.  Michael wondered why he was the only person who felt this way.  Why weren’t there others?  A group of people who, no matter how hard they tried, just couldn’t buy into what was around them.  Why was he the outcast?  Then he realized, why not him.  Would he prefer it any other way?  Would he want to be like the others, one step shy of automatons?  No.  His answer was proud and defiant.  He bore no grudge or ill feelings towards those who walked the path, but he was glad to not be one of them.  All of which led to where he was right now.  Staring at his mini-com and, again, wondering how he had gotten there. 

There but for the grace… 

                Michael stared hard at the mini-com screen.  The Trinity Equation burned on the screen.  The X² flashed in its liquid crystal display.  Taunting him.  Haunting him.  It was right there.  It was all in front of him, yet when he looked down he saw nothing. 

                “Jocelyn…”  Michael said, finally breaking the silence. 

                “Yes, Michael.” Answered the mini-com.  It’s voice was sweet like confectioner sugar.  Delicately tweaked to match that of his now long lost girlfriend.  The search for the truth was a cold and uncomfortable thing, that left the lonely feeling even more alone.  The truth itself, was a harsh reality that left even the most prepared shaken and abused.  Like all those before him, who had sought the truth in one form or another, Michael pursued it, but hoped he would never find it. 

                “Recite the Equation for me, again.” 

                “One divided by three, over twelve, multiplied by X².” 

                “Jocelyn, what is X?” 

                “Unknown.  There is insufficient data available to answer your query.” 

                “Explain.” 

                “X is the unknown variable.  In order to find its numeric match, information needs to be extrapolated from the problem.  Example: 3+X=5.  By extracting the known variable from the given sum, you get 2.  Therefore, X=2.  There is no known answer to extrapolate from the equation.  Insufficient data.” 

                “What your saying is, you have a formula, but no problem.” 

                “Correct.” 

                “So…  What we need is a problem.” 

                “Correct.” 

                “Jocelyn, could the Equation have been solved without a set problem?” 

                “Negative.  The formula is an answer.  There must be a question before there is an answer.” 

                “Thank you, Jocelyn.  Store data and activate sleep mode.” 

                “Acknowledged.” 

                Michael un-strapped the mini-com from his wrist, set it on the table, and laid back on the dirty motel bed.  He pulled out his bank card and checked his account.  It was barely enough for three more days in the bug infested dive.  He put his hands behind his head and looked up at the peeling motel ceiling.  What now?  The question kept running through his head.  He didn’t dare go back to his contacts.  They had been instrumental in getting him this far, but he didn’t dare bring his trouble to them.  By trouble he meant the Church-State Cenobites.  They were the Cardinal’s hand picked guards.  Gestapo was more like it.  Michael repeated his mantra in his head: “The more things change the more they stay the same.” 

                The Cenobites were expertly trained in arts that the world was told didn’t exist any more.  The very fact that he knew about them meant that Michael was in more trouble than he thought.  He had seen them, or thought he had; hiding in the shadows and hanging around corners watching him.  Watching and waiting.  But for what?  He had already ready gotten farther than he ever imagined; though not far enough.  What were they waiting for?  By all accounts he should be dead by now.  Michael’s mind drifted back three months earlier to his first encounter with them. 

Running like a devil. 

                Joseph had dropped the package right where he said he would.  Unlike Samuel, Michael had never met him.  In fact, Samuel hadn’t either.  He was a contact through a contact.  Beyond paranoid, it was rumored that he had had a run-in with someone, or one’s, and was lucky to be alive.  In retrospect, Michael assumed it was the Cenobites.  Joseph’s paranoia didn’t phase Michael at all.  He had found many of his “associates” were like that.  Another thing that separated them from himself.  Unlike Michael, his associates were just curious, and not questioning.  Just one more thing that proved he was more alone than ever before. 

                Michael sat down on the park bench, and nonchalantly reached under the seat for the drop.  He had done this several times before with other contacts.  He searched carefully, trying to avoid the dried gum or whatever else people tend to stick underneath.  Nothing.  He wasn’t surprised, nor upset.  It hadn’t been the first time one of them had gotten too frightened and backed out at the last minute.  As he pulled his hand out, he found it; carefully flushed against the edge of the bench. 

                Michael freed the disk and began to examine it.  That was when he noticed him.  The odd man standing under a tree not more than 50 yards away.  He wore all white, tailored slacks that fit neatly into well polished boots, a long sleeve-high collared coat, and white gloves.  His head was clean shaven, which only made the small black shades and silver cross earring stand out.  Michael’s hands began to shake, and his blood ran cold.  The man just stared at him. 

                Michael stood violently, his first thought was to escape through the park tunnel.  It had several junctions and throughways, it would be damn near impossible to catch him in there.  He snapped his head to the left, feet pivoting in the same direction, preparing for flight.  That’s when he saw the other one.  He stood by the mouth of the tunnel, blocking his exit.  The snap of a twig behind him confirmed Michael’s nervous suspicion that there was yet another behind him.  And with that, he ran.  He didn’t know where he was going, but he knew he had to get out of the park.  Out of the park and away from them.  Far, far away. 

                He ran.  Michael ran for what seemed like hours.  His hearted pounded violently in his chest, threatening to burst.  It didn’t matter.  As long as he got away from them.  He jumped onto the back of a Magna-Tran that was just taking off and hid in its utility closet.  That was where he collapsed, and woke up hours later and miles away.  It didn’t dawn on him till much later that they hadn’t pursued him.  He ran, but they didn’t follow.     

Starting at the beginning. 

                Why not?  It was another question that Michael now had.  He remembered a quote he had heard somewhere before.  “The more you learn, the less you know.”  It was true.  He felt as if he was starting over at the beginning.  The beginning.  It wasn’t such a bad idea.  Why not start at the beginning.  He must have missed something.  Something among the notes he had collected. 

                Michael grabbed his mini-com off the table and turned it on.  He reviewed his notes, going slower than before; double checking every reference.  When he was done, he started over again, examining them in different ways.  He had Jocelyn feed him the information as he had collected it; cross-referenced by the individual items.  Then again, as they had been original collected and gathered by the Church-State and the political system before it.  Again by date.  Once more in random order.  And the process continued and continued until Michael had had enough.  It wasn’t there.  He had hoped that the answer was just hiding in plain sight, and not beyond his grasp. 

                Starting at the beginning didn’t help him anymore than assembling it in chronological order.  Or did it?  The spark hit him and his eyes blinked wildly.  Maybe there was something there after all.  Michael took several deep breaths and tried to relax.  He didn’t want to get his hopes up at such a long shot.  He keyed the mini-com to voice activation and steadied his voice. 

                “Jocelyn.”

                “Yes, Michael.”  Replied his honey voiced companion. 

                “The Church-State inherited the Trinity puzzle after taking over the position.  Bring up a timeline on the Trinity Equation, based on the information we have.”

                “Search parameters?”

                “As far back as possible.”

                “One moment.”  Michael impatiently waited.  The ten second pause seemed like an eternity.  “Task completed.” 

                “When did this all start?” 

                “The search for the Equation began in 2073, fifteen years after Global Political Unification.” 

                “Explain in detail.” 

                “Under GPU, all world knowledge was assimilated as one.  It was during the combining of said knowledge that archivists discovered a secret being held by Soviet officials.  Several pieces of an unknown metal ore, and a book written in a mathematical code.”

                “Where did the Soviets find it?”

                “The Tunguska Forest in Siberia.” 

                “What’s so special about Tunguska?” 

                “On June 30th, 1908 an unknown object crashed in the Tunguska Forest.  The resulting blast was similar to that of a nuclear bomb.  Leaves and branches were sheared off trees in the epicenter of the blast, while those on the outer edges where blown completely over.  Light from the blast could been seen as far as 400 miles away, even in certain regions of London.  The people of the surrounding town of Tunguska all died of a mysterious illness soon afterwards.  Scientist originally believed a meteorite had caused the blast, but their findings were never conclusive.” 

                “Jocelyn, what are the other theories surrounding the blast?” 

                “Some believed that the explosion was caused by a nuclear powered alien vessel crashing to Earth.  Hence, the similarities to a nuclear blast, before such technology was available.  They theorize that the resulting radiation is what killed off the townspeople.” 

                “And, this unknown metal and foreign book were found there?” 

                “Correct.”

                “Could it be?  Is the Church-State hiding the existence of extra terrestrial life?” 

Oz is over the rainbow. 

                It was all starting to come together.  Michael held the pieces in his hands and questioned them like he had everything else in his life.  He was uncertain about God, how could he believe in aliens?  But, what if it was true?  He had come too far to start doubting his facts.  If other world life forms was the truth, then why the cover up?  Why hide their existence?  Even if they were hostile, it didn’t warrant this.  The blast.  The Tunguska explosion. 

                Michael scanned through the data Jocelyn had provided.  It was there.  The UFO believers theorized the blast to be radioactive.  Nuclear capacity long before our civilization discovered it.  That had to be the key.  Something they brought with them.  Something the world wasn’t ready for.  After three centuries, something the world would never be ready for. 

                What was it?  All they found was a scrap of metal and a book.  The metal in and of itself wasn’t important.  It was alien, in more ways than one, and couldn’t be reproduced.  All that was left was the book.  A book that the Trinity Equation made legible.  A message.  A message that the world shouldn’t know.  An alien message so powerful that it would make the church kill. 

                Michael was closer than he had ever been.  He could taste the answer on his tongue.  It was electric, and made the hair on his body stand on end.  It made him nervous and fidgety.  The book told them something when they translated it.  It told them the truth.  Now Michael had to find a way for it to tell him. 

Next time won’t you sing with me. 

                “Jocelyn.  I need you to run a probability check.  Using the information we have, how likely is it that the Tunguska blast was an alien spaceship?”  

                “Checking.  Seventy eight percent probability.” 

                “If the Equation is used to decipher the book, than it has to be applied to something.  A kind of alien Rosetta Stone.  A guide that would translate the numerical answers into letters.” 

                “Jocelyn, how do I…”

                Bang!  Bang!  Bang! 

                The knock was sudden and jarring.  It scared the reality back into Michael.  He wasn’t expecting company and no one knew he was there.  He slowly began gathering his things and moved towards the window. 

                “Michael Reeves.” Came a voice from the door. 

                Michael started moving faster.  He had checked in under the name David Abraham, an alias he had been using from the start. 

                Michael slid his feet into his shoes and backed against the far wall near the window.  He pushed the curtain aside and peeked out into the night.  He couldn’t see them but he knew they were there.  Cenobites. 

                “Michael Reeves.  We would like to have a word with you.” 

                Michael unlocked the window and pushed it open. 

                “Jocelyn, shield all primary functions and data, and enable neural shock offensive.” 

                Michael was reluctant to use the neural shock.  It was focus electrical charge powered by the mini-plutonium battery inside the mini-com.  There was a chance that the electricity generated by the shock could short out or disrupt the mini-com’s programming, or even wipe the memory crystal.  The possibility of Jocelyn losing all of the information Michael had spent the past three years gathering, twisted his stomach in knots.  It was a lose-lose situation. 

                Michael turned his attention back to the window.  He was three stories up.  Jumping out of a third floor window was risky.  A broken leg, or more, wouldn’t help him.  Hanging out of the window, and letting go was different.  It was almost like jumping out of a second story window, and he was certain that he could survive that. 

                Michael climbed out the window, hung from the edge, then let go.  It seemed like an eternity before his feet touched the ground.  He landed hard.  The sudden stop against the bottom of his feet jarred his ankles.  He fell backwards on his butt; exhaling sharply as the wind was knocked from his body.  Michael scrambled to his feet, gasping for air as he did.  He had to get away quickly.  He was sure that there were Cenobites on the street as well. 

Nowhere.  Because there’s no one like you. 

                Michael was in a horrible state of panic.  He sped off down the street, swerving back and forth.  He was afraid of the light; being seen, spotted by the Cenobites.  At the same time, he was equally afraid of the shadows; they could be hiding there waiting for him.  No. 

                Michael stopped in the middle of the street and turned around.  He wasn’t going to run like last time.  Running till he was out of breath and strength, only to find out that they weren’t following him.  As stupid as it sounded, he had to know.  He couldn’t let this continual fear grow and grow until it paralyzed him.  Still, Michael wasn’t ready to make a stand.  Not yet.  Not now.  Not when he was so close. 

                He decided to run after all. 

                Michael’s feet began to carry him backwards, as he continued to stare down the long dark street.  He was certain he saw movement in the distance.  The Cenobites white suits reflected what little light there was on the street.  They were coming after him.  The first time was a warning; a scare tactic to make him stop.  This time was different.  This time they would stop his search physically. 

                Michael swiveled sharply, spinning on the balls of his feet.  His head was still partially turned in the opposite direction as he moved forward.  His body slammed into the obstacle on his third step, sending him sprawling backwards on the ground.  He didn’t know what he had bumped into until he snapped his head around. 

                “There is no call for running, Mr. Reeves.”  The Cenobite looked down at Michael.  His face was calm and emotionless.  He seemed less like a man and more like a religious automaton.

                “There is no place for you to go.  We are everywhere.”  The others soon closed in, converging on Michael.  “The Cardinal wants to have a word with you.” 

The God ate my homework. 

                Michael sat on the floor of the inhumanly bright room and waited.  The walls were stark white with an odd light source behind the panels.  The floor was lightly padded and far too comfortable to his bare feet.  Michael didn’t want to be comfortable.  He tried hard to keep his edge and cautious fear.  The ceiling was well over his height and had been tiled with a reflective ceramic.  The tiling had a specific pattern that was overly discernible.  At times it looked like an angel, and at others the hand of God. 

                Michael shuffled his feet roughly against the floor.  The church attendants had stripped him of his clothes and taken Jocelyn away.  The new outfit they gave him to wear was uncomfortable.  A pure ivory robe over a loose fitting bodysuit.  The material felt like a mixture of burlap and wool, and made his body itch from head to toe.  Michael tugged at the neck where the robe fastened tight around his throat.  He was so preoccupied with the itchy attire that he didn’t notice the door when it opened. 

                “Mr. Reeves…”  The voice was eerily calm and seemingly sweet.  Michael turned to see the cherub faced man.  He was exactly what most expected from clergy.  A smiling face sitting atop a diminutive body, coupled with rounded belly and stocky appendages. 

                “I’m happy that you chose to meet with us, Mr. Reeves.” 

                “You say that as if I had a choice.” 

                “You always have a choice, Mr. Reeves.  Our Lord and savior saw to that.  The freedom to choose what you want.  Good or evil.  That’s what brings us here today, Mr. Reeves.  A decision you made.  A decision to seek out that which our Cardinal deemed to be evil.  A sacrilege to our God.” 

                “Your talking about the Trinity Equation.” 

                “Please.  It is against our religious law to speak its name.  To seek the truth of its message is to break an even greater trust.” 

                But that’s what we’re talking about here, isn’t it?  The truth.  The truth behind the–  message.  I know what you’ve done.  The same laws that you hide behind are the ones that you broke to hide the truth.” 

                “All for the good of our Lord.  Our duty is to follow and not question the decisions made for the greater good of us all.” 

                “Follow blindly?  I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that God.” 

                “Your not familiar with any God, are you?  That is what your quest was about, yes?  To find the spiritualism that has evade you your whole life?  The friends and lovers that you couldn’t identify with, because they possessed an inner peace and sense of belonging that escaped you.  This is why I had our missionaries find you, and bring you here.  So that I may attempt to bring you some of that peace.  That is what you want, isn’t it Mr. Reeves?  To belong.  Your search for the message is just your way of trying to fit in among the misfits.” 

                “You’re trying to distract me.  To take my mind off my true purpose.” 

                “Am I?  Or is being faced with the truth to much for you to bear?” 

                “I–  No!  Your hiding the truth.  What I’m here for is to find out the truth!  The truth behind the Trinity Equation and why the Church-State has done every it can to cover it up and sweep it away!  I put the pieces together.  I know about Tunguska.  The alien ship that crashed, and the real message it brought with it.  That’s why I’ve been brought here.  Now, why don’t you tell me what I want to know.” 

                “I’m sorry, Mr. Reeves.  I just wanted to offer you one last chance at salvation.  But, just so I’m absolutely certain, let me ask you this.  This truth that you want so desperately, is it worth dying over?  Would you give up your life, like you have everything else, to learn the secret behind the Trinity Equation?” 

                “Yes.”  The words leapt from Michael’s mouth without the hint of hesitation. 

                “Then you’ve chosen your fate.  Keep in mind, that it is your freedom of choice that has led you here this day.”  

                The portly little man opened the door to the radiant room and stepped outside.  He returned moments later carrying Michael’s mini-com.  He laid the wrist attachment on the floor and turned to leave. 

                “The message has been uploaded into your mini-com.  It still must be decoded.  You’ve journeyed this far on your own, to merely hand it all over to you would be unjust.”  The door closed softly, and Michael was alone. 

                Michael sat down on the satiny floor and picked up his mini-com.  He held it in his hands and stared at its blank screen.  After three years, he finally had it.  Seconds seemed like minutes, before his lips began to move. 

                “Jocelyn.  Status report.” 

                “Good morning, Michael.  One moment please.  Twelve quads of mathematical code have been upload to my wet drive.” 

                “Transcribe the code using the Trinity Equation.  Replace the unknown variable with the number 26.  Once completed, transliterate the message, using our alphabet.  Begin.” 

                “Acknowledged.” 

                Michael’s palms begin to sweat.  He laid Jocelyn neatly on the floor and wiped his hands on the coarse material that he wore.  He suddenly realized that he’d stopped itching and cracked a nervous smile.  This was it.  Michael watched the task meter slowly tick away as Jocelyn labored over the calculations.  His lips became dry and his throat parched.  And before he knew it, it was over. 

                “Task completed.” 

                Michael dried his eyes and gazed down at the screen.  Suddenly, he knew.  He knew why the Church-State had gone to such length to keep it a secret.  Why they had killed, and would soon do so again to hide the truth from the world.  It was bigger than he had been led to believe.  He swallowed hard.  The truth stared him in the face and Michael turned away.  He had only seen the first two words, but they were enough.  Some of the letters still bore an alien resemblance, their English counterpart was easy enough to match.  It was too much for him to bear.  Those two words. 

                Holy Bible. 

                An alien race that shared our religious history, complete with their own Jesus Christ.

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