VOLUME ONE :

Wherein Thou Art a Stranger

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Prologue

     The moon had not yet risen and the night was starry. A party of foot-travelers paused beside the trail to gaze through a spectacular opening in the trees. A young couple walking arm in arm behind them also stopped to look.

     The stars alone would have been spectacle enough. But with the naked eye they could see it: passing one quarter of a million miles from the Earth, the comet Harbinger.

     Other walkers strolled by in the darkness, northbound along the side of the mountain, some carrying candles or lanterns, talking quietly and murmuring greetings as they passed. But these seven stood a long time, gazing.

     "So it's beginning at last," Sylvan said, a small pale woman wrapped in a faded quilt, whose long braids shone silver.

     "What began over a century ago, you mean," said the other elder, a tall and broad and very black man whose long dreadlocks hung indistingushable against his long white robe, "has finally almost finished beginning."

     "Well the real beginning was the sixties, wasn't it? Your generation?" said the teenager, Squirrel. His skin was golden in the starlight beneath his overalls, his ponytail as black as the spaces between the stars.

     "Fifty years ago. Goddess, it seems like last summer sometimes!" Sylvan said.

     "God," said Rhea, a crewcut woman with Asian features, almost as tall as the dreadlocked giant but thin as a young yellow birch. "It's about time it ended. All the suffering and stupidity it's taken to reach this point!"

     The fifth in the party had not yet spoken, and now the silence seemed to fall into a respectful waiting, as if nothing remained to do here but complete the circle of conversation and move on. Margarita was wide and sturdy as a boulder and as patient, a dark brown woman with a quiet smile and a strong shoulder. She carried her bag of tinctures and crystals there now, along with a small flask of water.

     She lifted the water-pouch into the starlight and declared, "To the Harbinger, and to the change!"

     "To the Harbinger, and to the change!" they all chimed together in their various voices, lifting their water-pouches and sipping together. Sylvan picked up her food basket, Squirrel picked up his bedroll, Rhea shouldered the strap of her padded table, and the dreadlocked one led the way with his ceremonial staff and the low-hanging lantern.

     North. To the gathering-place.

 

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Book I:

Code Blue

 

WELCOME TO THE YEAR 0004, PPE!*

(*Post-Petroleum Era)

Throughout history, unscrupulous leaders have schemed and slaughtered their way to power— conquered enemies, doublecrossed friends, plundered vast territories and still lusted for more. They wanted it all, and let nothing stand in their way.

But that was history. In the clean, modern, democratic United States of America, we thought we were safe. When we saw mad dictators and murderous juntas on the news, it was always news from far away.

If anyone had told us that in less than a decade our beloved nation could slip into the totalitarian control of a handful of wealthy, powerful conspirators, we would have laughed.

Laughter was so much easier then.

GREETINGS FROM THE UNITED SOVEREIGN STATES OF AMERICA!

Who betrayed us? Let’s just say our faith in technology turned out to be misplaced. But ironically, it’s technology— a loophole in the spacetime continuum, caused by a malfunctioning synchronicity field— that is enabling this emergency transmission to the past.

It’s too dangerous to leave the loophole open for long. If we’re caught, we can expect the labor camps or worse. But in approximately two months, if one of us is still at large, we will reconstruct this hyperlink portal to the year 2005 and “upload,” as you used to say, the next portion of our story.

Why a story? Our studies of turn-of-the-century psychology suggest that due to the toxic information glut of your day, the only hope of reaching you is to offer a distraction from all the things you should be busy doing.

Our story is free to read, download, or print (though a donation portal has been set up for those who wish to support our efforts). All we ask is that you pass this warning on to others.

WE HATE TO INTERRUPT. . .

BUT IF NOTHING INTERRUPTS, THE FUTURE YOU ARE ABOUT TO GLIMPSE COULD BE YOURS!

_______________________________

LAST TESTAMENT

A Melodrama of the
Post-Petroleum Era

in serial installments

by Stephen Wing

About LAST TESTAMENT

Table of Contents

Introduction(s)

VOLUME ONE:
Wherein Thou Art a Stranger

Prologue

BOOK I: Code Blue

Scenes from the Story to Come

CLICK HERE TO REPORT ANY BROKEN LINKS!

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