Bright Night Past Yesterday: Book One of Forever Tomorrow, Volume One of The Book of Tomorrowsby Alexander Ulysses Thor / Science Fiction / Historical Fiction / Mystery & Detective
Bright Night Past Yesterday
Book One: Forever Tomorrow
Volume One: The Book of Tomorrows
Alexander Ulysses Thor
Copyright 2014 Alexander Ulysses Thor
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The characters, incidents, and places either are
a product of The Author’s imagination
or used fictitiously, any resemblance
to actual persons, living or dead,
business establishments, events,
or locales is entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents
“What is a man,
If the chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed?
A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after,
Gave us not that capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused.
Now, whether it be bestial oblivion,
Or some craven scruple of thinking to precisely on th’ event-
A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward--
I do not know why yet I live to say,
“This thing’s to do,”
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means to do it
There comes a time
When it becomes necessary
To dissolve the old ways
Connecting us to the past
And begin a new way of thinking that separates
Knowledge from Belief,
Truth from Myth,
The Laws of Nature from Faith in a Divine Presence,
So mankind can rise from the ashes
To once again assume among the powers of earth
And prosper from the inalienable right
That everyone is born equal and
Deserves the Liberty of Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness
The Prophet Warrior
Preamble to the New Constitution for a
New America, established May 6th 2090
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. May 5th 2190
The man stood waiting outside a museum. He was no ordinary man. Nor was it just any museum.
The man was important. Only he didn’t know it, yet. Then again, he did not know much about himself, either. He knew his name, Michael Angel, but not a whole lot beyond that simple fact. Twenty-one-years-old, five-foot-ten, one-hundred-seventy-pounds, dressed in a reserved fashion, wearing a powder-blue pullover, fitted grey slacks, black leather shoes, and while not exactly handsome—nor ugly for that matter—he had a very congenial and relaxed manner, with a gold-tone complexion, light-brown hair, and a face sans of facial hair or even the hint of a five o’clock shadow. His dark brown eyes hid a deep, intense craving for knowledge. The thirst of which drove his very being. It fueled his ambiguous nature, motivating him to seek out his purpose in life. Why he is here, living in a world he felt he did not fit. As with his reason for being here today, waiting for someone he never met.
Michael didn’t mind waiting, especially since this was one of his favorite places. It wasn’t just any museum. To him, it represented everything worthwhile in the world—truth, beauty, knowledge—a guiding-light illuminating the dark tunnel through the past, which surprised him when she chose the meeting place.
The statue he stood next to, with a strange sense of pride, represented that guiding-light showing mankind how to rise from the ashes of yesterday’s fires. Everyone had their heroes in life, that special someone who inspired them to be a better person because of what they have accomplished. And for many, that man was the Prophet Warrior.
Nobody knew where he came from. Or his real name, for that matter. Just that he came out of the wasteland armed with only a sword and The Book of Tomorrows—one of the last books written before the fall. No one knew anything about him, except that he knew. He knew how to lead the country out of chaos and disorder by shining that guiding-light on the awesome power of the written word, found in the pages of The Book of Tomorrows and taught at the end of a sword. The life-size monument memorializing the sad occasion of his death, one hundred years ago at the start of the New America he help rebuild, stood as a symbol to the peace and civilization the epitaph declared.
In Loving Memory of
THE PROPHET WARRIOR
Who came out of the darkness,
To show us the light of a New Day
Born in 2030—Died May 5th 2090
Finder of The Book of Tomorrows &
Author of the New Constitution for a
New America, established May 6th 2090
The statue was a magnificent work of art, exquisitely sculpted out of white marble stone. Bestowing such a remarkable likeness, it embodied an actual presence of being. Set on a three-foot pedestal, engraved with the epitaph, the six-foot statue rose in form and structure to reveal the man. His timeworn Stetson covered most of his long, scraggily hair, except that which flowed out underneath in curled marble stone. A heavy beard shifted focus to the finely chiseled facial features, where his penetrating gaze was still noticeable in the stone-carved eyes. The long leather coat, which along with his legendary sword and hat people came to identify him by, covered his entire body right down to his boots. The coveted Book of Tomorrows—the title etched on its cover, minus The Author’s name—was in his right hand held tight to his chest, while his left rested on the hilt of his mighty sword with its powerful blade pointing down, standing sentinel.
Twenty schoolchildren on a fieldtrip walked past Michael. Escorted by their teacher, a sixty-year-old woman so dedicated to shaping young minds, she elected to continue teaching long after becoming eligible for occupational retirement. Her looks by no means revealed her real age and could easily pass for a woman in her early forties or younger. Still able to turn a head or two walking down the street, she could even feel a discerning gaze coming from the man standing next to the Prophet Warrior monument as the children flocked by the statue with their eyes all amazed.
“It certainly is a lovely day for a fieldtrip, Miss Laurence,” a Dutch-boy-blonde, ten-year-old boy declared with childlike innocence beaming from his dark blue eyes. He, like all his classmates, would be starting high school next year and could earn a full college education by eighteen or training for any qualified skilled trade, providing a clear-cut path for every child’s future.
“Like so many things today, we are truly indebted to the Prophet Warrior for showing us the way to a better living. Even though he left us much too soon, if not for him, we would never have had the opportunity to achieve the technology to save our planet,” Miss Laurence replied then flashed Michael a quick smile.
“You mean things like the Shiteflowers that help restore the ozone layer by reducing greenhouse gasses and rebuilding the atmosphere, so we can have beautiful days like today,” a dark haired girl with bright hazel eyes divulged a perceptional knowledge of how things worked.
“That is a very good example, Sally.”
“But they don’t smell so good,” another schoolgirl added.
All the kids giggled as Michael pinched his nose closed while shaking his head in a mock gesture of pungent odor. Before moving her little troop forward, Michael exchanged smiles with Miss Laurence as he watched her escort her charges up the walkway leading to the museum entrance. The children followed two by two, boys and girls holding hands, and while not wearing school uniforms, their clothes were reserved, simple fashions with nothing outlandish or meant to call attention to the wearer.
Looking up from the children, Michael took in the splendor of the architectural design of the New America Museum of World History, Art, and Science. Serenely nestled on top of a high-rising, barren hillside, the museum had become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the nation’s new capital—the District of Colorado. Three inter-layered, photovoltaic domes, constructed from gallium arsenide semi-conductor wafer panels, with self-generating power cells, converted the radiant solar energy into electricity. The environmentally superior technology generated and stored enough energy to operate the entire facility 24/7. It had no moving parts or harmful pollutants, and also had a high structural integrity. It was a reliable, independent power source used in the construction of businesses, residences, and all means of transportation, where applicable.
A large blue banner strewn over the museum entrance signified the centennial tribute of the once again thriving country. Printed in solarized neon lettering, it simply read:
In Celebration of
New America’s 1st Centennial
Forever United Together In Everlasting Peace
As Miss Laurence led the children into the museum, Michael reflected back on his reason for being there, wondering if someone might have made a mistake with his SBP notification. Unsure of his own place in the world, he did not know if he was capable of taking on the awesome responsibility expected of him.
The Selected Breeding Program (SBP) was an added amendment to the New Constitution, instituted on September 13th 2091. The first Guardian Administrator Cain proposed the amendment, and the Committee of Twelve Experts ratified it as supreme law of the land.
When first starting over there was an attempt made to hold some traditional ways in place. The people were already facing a rapidly changing country—with re-aligning the still viable States into Five Territories of Providence, disavowing the authority of every conflicting belief system (whether based on religious or political ideologies) to void them of all power, and to ensure it, the elimination of wealth and currency by allocating a barter system for the mutual fair exchange of goods and services. Thus, it was deemed necessary for the people to retain the free will to choose their own lifestyles as long as the nation’s citizens endeavored to act responsibly in matters of procreation and their sexuality. Providing of course, they did not jeopardize or restrict anyone else’s pursuit of happiness. But after just one year of a drastic rise in sexually related crimes (rape, spousal abuse, hate crimes against homosexuals), along with unplanned pregnancies fueling the fear of a population growing too fast, combined with a moral indignation that could lead to greater violence, the line between rights and privileges blurred to the point where hard choices and harsh measures had to be implemented.
In accordance with the SBP method of procreation, selected subjects were between ages twenty to thirty-five, and matched through a Computer Compatibility Program (CCP), designed to find couples suited to each other physically, intellectually, and most importantly, fertilely. They did not force the arrangement on potential parents. A happy family environment was an essential ingredient to ensure the mother/father dynamic considered necessary to raise children properly. Matched couples deciding to stay together would move into a new home in a suburban community center reserved for SBP families and could have a civil wedding ceremony, if they wanted, while unselected men and women lived separately in townhouses or condos. Out of a familial sense of tradition, most SBP couples used their own namesake for their infants first and last name. The new parents then raised their child from birth to age fourteen. After which, the child moved on from parental guidance and primary education to a higher learning of his or her choice. Each couple could have two children, if they wanted, which included twins. Afterwards the man would usually get a voluntary vasectomy. Once their offspring journeyed out into the world, the couple could elect to stay together or separate to seek their own path, while still maintaining a relationship with their son and/or daughter.
All other forms of sexual intercourse (whether heterosexual or homosexual) and procreation outside of the SBP system were outlawed and severely punished in the form of banishment. While there was some resistance at first, the citizens of New America had little choice in the end, only able to form a few underground splinter groups with a David and Goliath complex—except David didn’t have his slingshot this time around. Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have’. A statement never so clearly understood as in its current application.
Based on the belief this was not how it was supposed to be, Michael always had his doubts about the necessary validity of the SBP system. He never gave it too much thought, though, feeling they would never select him. So when he walked in his front door greeted to cheers of congratulations, Michael’s surprise was quite genuine.
“There he is, the man of the hour,” the friendly voice of Jacob Rose announced. He was a devilishly handsome young man of twenty-five and Michael’s closest friend,
“Looks like you’re moving up to the big leagues, fellow,” reported the hard-graveled voice of Owen Sandy, a slightly pudgy, pre-maturely balding, twenty-nine-year-old bear of a man.
“You better hope she can cook, or you will be missing my culinary charms,” claimed Warren Stacy, a twenty-seven-year-old man with dark hair and a goatee. He was wearing a chef’s hat and apron, while stirring some unseen ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Everyone shook Michael’s hand as he entered the room. “What’s the hubbub all about?”
“If you haven’t figured that out by now, why don’t you step into the parlor and see for yourself,” Jacob said while leading Michael with an arm around his shoulder into the large, spacious living room of the four-bedroom condo.
Much in the same way a fireplace used to catch the eye of someone entering a room, the 3-Dimensional, non-glasses, ultramodern CPU-HDTV wall unit was a definite eye-catcher. Although, if one did not know they were viewing a 3-D image, they might believe an actual boxing match was taking place in the living room as two fighters and a referee seemed to be dancing about in perfect clarity, with a cheering crowd in the background obscuring the giant monitor from view.
Taking in the boxing match with an arched eyebrow, a confused look crossed Michael’s face. Owen snatched up the remote off a round-glass coffee table, and as if summoned by a genie, the fighters blinked out of the room, leaving the monitor flashing a congratulatory message across its five-foot screen.
ON YOUR SBP NOTIFICATION
PLEASE SUBMIT TO A RETINAL SCAN
TO RECEIVE THE INFORMATION PACKET
ON YOUR SELECTED