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Shadows of Future Past by Jerry Boone

Shadows of Future Past by
Article Posted: 06/26/2013
Article Views: 517
Articles Written: 3
Word Count: 1271
Article Votes: 0
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Shadows of Future Past

The following article is Part Two, Chapter One of my new book: The Way: New Testament Christianity.

You lean back and relax into a soft cushy seat as the lights begin to dim in the planetarium. Eerie space music rises from unseen speakers. You've seen planetarium shows before. You know what to expect – thousands of twinkling stars on the giant curved screen. But none appear. Instead you find yourself staring at two people talking on the big screen.

Soon you discover the entire planetarium program consists of brief conversations, snippets of dialogue, between two and occasionally three characters – different characters each time.

The first scene seems rather conventional, normal people talking about normal things: computers, space travel, the meaning of life – things of that sort. Shortly, we leave their chitchat and eavesdrop on a second couple.

Here the talk isn't quite so mundane. One man says to another, “Well, of course, a lifetime of one hundred and fifty years isn't unusual these days.”

The second speaker replies: “That's right. Body replacement parts are getting so popular now, I hear they are even experimenting in Russia with replacing whole bodies.

“The mind can live on for who knows how long. Immortality might be within our grasp someday.”

Obviously, these men are from the future.

We pan ahead to a group of travelers on holiday. Before long we find out they are living on another planet, and they are discussing how common space travel had become. The travelers speak of humans populating other solar systems. They express hopes of exploring other galaxies someday.

We move on to another dialogue. Clearly, it is even further in the future.

A mother tells her daughter of the primitive computers they used when she was a little girl, and how much they have advanced since then.

“Now,” she says, “cybernetic links can transmit signals from planet to planet in ultra seconds. Why, we can obtain a complete biographical history on a potential employee from the Orion constellation within minutes. There is even talk of consolidating all of our knowledge on art and science from our three galaxies into one giant computer complex and placing it on a single planet. Isn't that exciting?”

Her little girl giggles with delight.

Other conversations arise. In one an elderly man of over three hundred years is speaking to another of similar age. “Do you realize,” he said, “despite all of our advances in curing diseases, rejuvenating human bodies, ending hunger and poverty, and settling in who knows how many galaxies, we are still a backward species in some respects.”

“What do you mean?” inquires the other gentleman.

“We still don't have a clue as to the meaning of life. Why are we here? What is our purpose?”

“Why don't you ask the the computer?”

“The computer? Oh, you mean the Galactic Operations Director computer. Yes, I have asked it those very questions almost daily over the last fifty or sixty years.”

“So what does it say?”

“Insufficient data. Still processing.”

“Ah, well that's that then. Once the computer, what did you call it? the Galactic Operations Director? starts working on a problem, it won't quit until it comes up with the answer.”

Then we drift on to another pair of talking heads somewhere far beyond in time and space. From their conversation we find out that the Galactic Operations Director computer, which is called by its acronym G.O.D., now operates in hyperspace.

It is no longer confined to a planet, a solar system, or even a galaxy. People communicate directly with it throughout the known universe.

The same type of questions are being asked. “G.O.D., why do I exist?” “G.O.D., what is my our purpose in life?” “And G.O.D. what is the meaning of life?”

The answer is now verbal and direct to the inquirer, but the answer never varies.

“Insufficient data. Still processing.”

Even with all of its knowledge and information gathered over countless generations throughout the galaxies, the G.O.D. computer still cannot calculate satisfactory explanations for these questions.

But it never ceases its review of data, always searching for answers.

Time goes by, and we drop in on yet another couple, this time a man and woman speaking in hushed solemn tones.

“Humanity,” says the man in a confiding voice, “is in a crisis. Our stars are dying. You know they only last five to twenty billion years. And no new stars are forming.

“We have conquered everything in the universe. We have populated every galaxy. We have even, for all practical purposes, conquered death. But no one can rejuvenate a dying star, and no one can create a new one.”

“Then in the long run,” replies the woman, “we are doomed.”

“Yes, yes, I believe we are,” says the despondent man.

“You have consulted the G.O.D. computer, I suppose?”

“For the past one hundred years, scientists in every part of the universe have asked the computer about this problem. Regardless how we word it, G.O.D.'s answer is always the same: 'Insufficient data. Still processing.'”

The woman sadly shakes her head, “That is the same response it gives to the age old question about the meaning of life.”

“I know,” the man says somberly. “Some questions are even beyond the G.O.D. computer's capability.”

“But G.O.D. is still working on it?”

“Sure, G.O.D. continues to work on it. That's our only hope.”

We leave those two melancholy people and find ourselves overhearing yet another conversation. One person of uncertain age and sex is telling another: “Over half of our star systems have collapsed, and our future is bleak. Generations of our most prominent scientists have dedicated their lives attempting to create a new star.

“But they are nowhere near a solution. And after all these years, G.O.D. has not been able to solve the problem either. All it will say is: 'Insufficient data. Still processing.'”

“Surely, there is an answer,” says the other.

“If so, the G.O.D. computer will sort it out. But when? That's what I would like to know. And you realize, it has not fully answered the question about why humans exist either.”

“Be patient. We will get our answers.”

Again we fade out and fade in, this time on a solitary figure sitting atop a rather small hill in a desolate environment. We soon discover this individual is conversing with the computer.

He speaks with controlled emotion. “G.O.D., I am the last man alive on the last livable planet circling a rapidly decaying star. Tell me G.O.D., can new stars be formed?”

“Insufficient data. Still processing.”

“What purpose do I serve?”

“Insufficient data. Still processing.”

“What will become of humanity?”

“Insufficient data. Still processing.”

The last star of the universe implodes and with it goes the last living member of the human race.

Only the G.O.D. computer is left. Since it operates in hyperspace, it needs nothing to sustain it. All prior questions, save three, have been answered.

Now this vast complex bastion of knowledge turns its full resources to resolving the final three queries. Can stars be formed? What is the meaning of life? And, what is the future of humanity?

In the cold, black timeless recesses of space, this sole survivor of former civilizations works on without sleep, without rest, and without fatigue. Immense quantities of information from every corner of the former universe are stored within its memory banks.

G.O.D. reviews, dissects, compares, analyzes, reconfigures, and reviews the data again and again and again. The process goes on and on and on for an immeasurable period.

Finally the computer ceases its operation.

Then God says: “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

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