One: The Second Part of Time, Chapter 2, February 2027
Immediately upon landing at Inuvik, Maya asked the crew if Spencer could remain on the plane while she stepped off the plane to make a call. The pilot responded, “Sure, no problem. We will be here a while.”
Maya entered the airport building and walked to the service desk.
“Hi. Do you have a phone I could use?”
The young man behind the counter said, “Sure, here you go.” And handed a phone to Maya. Maya called the number provided by Core, the local school, and asked for Ed Fulton. It took a few minutes for Max to get from his class to the phone.
Maya replied, “Hello. My name is Maya, an associate of the Core. I’m here in Inuvik with Spencer. Spencer needs some focused attention. I will go into details after you pick us up. We are at the Airport.”
There was silence while Max, shocked by what he just heard, processed the call. He and Beth had just arrived a month ago and were just starting to get over the trip to Inuvik, and everything that led up to that point. He knew he needed to respond.
“I’ll leave right away and be there in ten, maybe fifteen minutes.”
Maya responded, “Thank you.”
Max immediately called Beth and shared the conversation he just had. Beth responded to be careful, anything was possible, and that she would meet them at home.
Max informed the principal that he had a personal emergency that he had to attend to for the rest of the day. The principal told Max not to worry, that he could finish the class day, and then Max headed to the airport.
After Maya finished talking to Max, she returned the phone to the attendant with a “Thank you,” and then proceeded to the plane to help get Spencer to the inside of the building.
Spencer was awake and aware of everything happening. They entered the airport and sat at a couple of chairs.
Maya said, “Max is on his way to pick us up, should be here in five minutes or so.”
Spencer replied, “It will be nice to see Max and Beth. I can’t thank you enough for saving us.” Spencer was still processing the implications of everything he learned from talking with Maya on the flight.
Max walked into the airport and the first person he saw was Spencer. He smiled, looked at the person sitting next to Spencer then froze, shocked.
Spencer and Maya saw Max as he entered. Spencer smiled, started to rise when he noticed Max’s expression change to almost fear as he looked at Maya. Spencer quickly sat back down, unsure of what would happen next.
Max approached Maya and asked sternly, “Who are you?”
Spencer was surprised by this greeting.
Maya smiled and replied, “I was asked by the Core to help.”
Max said, “You knew who I was when we first saw each other at the party, then at the coffee shop.” Max’s eyes began to squint as he stared into Maya’s eyes, and said, “We have a lot to discuss,” as the fact that Core sent both her and Spencer to Inuvik meant that there was more to this than they had time to discuss at that moment.
Without losing eye contact with Maya, Max said, “Spencer, the three of us have to leave. Are you okay?”
Spencer replied, “Yes, I’m fine. I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out,” with a smile on his face, as though he was watching an entertainment show.
Max’s emotions were almost out of control as he turned and said, “The truck is this way. Do either of you have any baggage?”
“No,” replied Maya.
Max started walking to the door as he thought about Beth’s reaction to Maya, knowing that he was uncomfortable with Maya. The three got to the car, where Max opened the doors for Maya and Spencer. Once all three were in the car, Max drove to the apartment in silence.
As he drove, Max remembered that first night he saw Maya, that night of the party, and his unknown emotions returned. He didn’t know what would happen, only that he knew he loved Beth, and had this strange feeling about Maya, and there was no roadmap, no model to help him traverse this problem. They arrived at the apartment, and Max parked the truck. He got out and opened the doors for Spencer and Maya. Max felt like he was heading into a firing squad, with no choice, no alternative course of action.
“The apartment is this way. Beth should be waiting for us,” said Max.
They followed Max to the front door, which Max opened to a warm lit interior. Beth saw Spencer and rushed to give him a long huge hug, and a kiss on the cheek. It was then, looking up, over Spencer’s shoulder, that Beth realized there was someone else with them.
“Spencer, who is your friend?” asked Beth.
“How rude of me,” said Spencer. “Beth, please meet Maya. Maya, please meet the famous Beth.” Beth looked over at Spencer and smiled.
Max said, “We all need to sit down and get up to speed with what happened, and why Core sent you both here.”
Beth said, “There’s plenty of time. Let’s get our guests settled.”
Maya, glancing from Max to Beth to Spencer, said, “Let me explain my presence and how and why I was able to get Spencer here. First, as I’m sure you are already aware, I’m working with Core. In fact, and this may come as a shock, I’m not human, like you. I am mostly biological, but that has come about over recent time. Core had my DNA designed and modified to last a very long time. Many years ago Core had a small set of robots built and sent to a potentially early state earth. I was in that set, and am the only survivor. At this point in history it was time to let Core know I existed. Core was monitoring Core2 and knew what its agenda was. Knowing Max had a false set of behaviors as a cover would put him and his friends in immediate danger. Core and I executed a plan to save you, Max and Beth. Spencer’s involvement and accident meant that we needed to get him here as well, to keep the three of you safe.”
Max knew much of this but was unaware of Maya’s role, and that she was an artifact of the Core. Max was aware that the Core created a set of robots. He just couldn’t believe this woman for whom he had strong feelings, which he didn’t understand, was one of them.
Beth sat listening and a smile started crossing her face as the story unfolded. Beth realized the Core’s personality had to some degree resulted from copying Max, Spencer and Beth, like a child does in its development. Maya was a copy of that, the Core’s development. Beth looked upon Maya as a sort of grandchild of hers, Max, and Spencer. A sense of emption toward Maya was beginning to develop.
Spencer was only sure that he was alive and safe with friends until he could sort all this out.
Beth stood up and walked over and gave Maya a hug, then turned to Max, seeing the muscles in his eyelids and straight lips, and said, “Max, can you and I go for a short walk?”
Upon hearing this from Beth, Max pulled his thoughts to the question, knowing Beth had a point to make, responded, “Yes,” after which he started to smile.
Beth said, “Maya, Spencer, we need just a moment to collect our thoughts. We will be back in just a few minutes.”
And with that Beth and Max grabbed their jackets and went outside and started walking around the building.
Beth started by saying, “Max, Maya’s base code was taken from Core, which resulted from copying our behaviors. We followed the child model. Maya, if not already, will look upon us as a kind of weak parent.”
Beth’s explanation helped Max create a framework within which to place these feelings he had no idea why or where they were from.
Max, overjoyed with this new information which helped settle what had up to this point been confusion, looked a Beth, smiled, wanted to give her a kiss. She just helped stabilize his reality. “Beth…” and he grabbed her hand, looking at her eyes, taking a step to close the gap between them, “you are incredible. Thank you.”
Beth was mesmerized for that moment, staring into Max’s eyes, the bond that had resulted from their codependency surviving the last month.
And then Max, knowing he had strong feelings for Beth but not wanting to ruin what he felt was the right direction they were heading said, “We need to get back in,” and turned and started to walk back to the apartment.
Max grabbed Beth’s hand as they walked back, and Beth felt indescribably happy with the warmth Max was showing.
Max and Beth entered the apartment to find Spencer and Maya talking comfortably, each on opposing sides of the sofa. Between the hospital and the flight the two had time enough to have conversations that enabled Spencer to become comfortable with Maya. Maya had shared that she was sent by Core to protect the three of them. She asked a lot of questions about how Spencer felt about events in his life, and his experience at MIT. Maya was searching to uncover the type of person Spencer was, what were his motives? Her summary might have read “focused on improving outcomes by supporting focused situations and discussions where all participating parties win.” Her take away was that there was not a belligerent thought in Spencer. While some would think managing thoughts with incentives was manipulation, Maya knew Spencer’s goals were to result in better outcomes for all.
Spencer felt safe and comfortable with Maya and Maya had determined Spencer was a good person with good intentions.
Beth and Max took off their gloves and jackets and sat down. Max was visibly considerably more relaxed. Beth smiled at Maya and Spencer, and said, “We need to have the discussion about accommodations.”
“Agreed,” said Maya.
Max said, “Beth, can we make room here, in this apartment, for the four of us? I think that would be the least noticeable. We could simply say, for now, Maya and Spencer are a couple of friends just visiting.”
Beth responded, “That makes perfect sense.”
Maya said, “Spencer has been in a coma until two days ago. I would like to keep him in a room where I can monitor his improvement. Is it possible to provide one room for Spencer?”
There was quietness for an uncomfortable moment, the Beth said, “There are only two rooms here. Let me talk with Max about this.”
Maya said, “I’m comfortable on the floor.”
Beth said, “We are not having that. If anything, you can stay on the sofa until we can figure out better accommodations.”
Back in the US, with Maya on her way with Spencer to Inuvik, Core started to analyze the data from the ship. At the same time, the Core realized it needed to start the communication process with Core2 before any additional unfortunate events took place.
Max had started to map the cosmos as soon as his telescope arrived in January. Maya suggests he look at a specific constellation. He had noticed an anomaly in an expected location of a specific set stars at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. He remembered the power going off across Cambridge as well as the United States, and the entire North American continent that year at MIT. It was later understood and reported that a coronal mass ejection had created an electrical event in the atmosphere, resulting in a global power outage for a short time. Max started to think about the frequency of these CMEs (coronal mass ejection) across the recent past, and wondered if there was a fixed period between them, and if so, what that meant. He started to write down the period of rotation of the earth around the sun, and then overlaid the frequency of the CMEs. It turned out that the earth was in almost the exact same position in its period around the sun each time one of these CMEs hit the atmosphere.
Back in 2017 AI research started taking off globally. China started to become a significant if not dominant AI investor and other nations took note. Canada realized a number of multinational AI research and development centers and activities. The Canadian government funded university research to underpin the human resource expertise demand needed for a robust AI industry. The government itself initiated internal AI research projects. One such project, a security project, was to listen for indecipherable electronic chatter and apply AI to attempt to decipher the electronic stream. By 2025 the machine learning neural nets had become very sophisticated in recognizing and subsequently deciphering patterns of streams across the internet which meant that part of the technology which made the Mesh popular, the protocol rotator (which provided a sense of anonymity for the Mesh wearer), was slowly being broken, hackable to some degree, even if only a top secret government project. The top secret Canadian research group let their little project loose on data from internet streams associated with the Mesh. Processing all that data was a lengthy and ongoing effort, yet one that the government valued in order to have insight into communications from potentially dangerous entities. In 2026 a stream of data from the same entity, the same origin, something unrecognizable and to and with various research institutions across the world implied some type of pattern worth focusing on. The partially decrypted steams contained stings of text ranging from DNA and biological-mechanical research to super small super advanced power supplies and robotics. They also picked up streams of communication between this entity and a location in Iran, which seemed very out of place, increasing the degree of curiosity.
By the end of 2026 the CSE, from stitching together these partially decrypted streams, had determined something in the US had developed a humanoid robot and was in ongoing communications with it. Additionally, Inuvik was decrypted twice within these streams.
Seven directors in the CSE met on the first Monday of every month to review the activities on the radar, the list of things they were receiving intelligence on, and prioritize them, assigning the appropriate resources to the priorities. H was a member of this group of seven. It was dark gray and snowy outside the Ottawa complex.
“Let’s start.” James, the defacto leader of this group simply by virtue of his tenure and wealth of experience, which was made evident across discussions where he would say, “have you considered…” with an almost 100% accuracy on his targeted statement.
The conference room looked like every other conference room with a projection screen at the opposite end of the double door entry, a whiteboard on the wall to the right as you faced the projection wall and a cork board wall on the left. The center table seated 20, long, with 20 regular desk chairs on rollers, nothing special.
On the projection wall was a spreadsheet looking list of titles, names, and status description, with different groups of rows in different colors, the top two rows in orange, the next ten in green, and all the rest in blue.
James continued, “two new items since last month in orange at the top of the list, and the the list as prioritized last month with their lead and updated status. Let’s place these two new items first, then reprioritze the top ten and adjust resourcing as a result.”
H spoke up first, “a new gang in Toronto, number one in orange does not belong in our national top ten. The Toronto police can handle that, although I agree we should track it.”
Halons Gavrikov’s father’s father was a Russian fisherman, and her father’s mother was an Eskimo, while her mother’s mother was of African heritage and her mother’s father was of a French Native American heritage.
“H” was the nickname she adopted growing up, and was how she introduced herself. She was recruited early in her college career, a student soccer athlete, by Canada’s elite Communication Security Establishment, the CSE. She is a highly trained covert operative. Her official title is as a temporary administrator based out of Ottawa for local jurisdictions, a kind of government consultant when and where local jurisdictions needed.
H had latched onto the Inuvik item and wanted to find out if there really was humanoid robots. While AI had come a long way, a humaniod robot that could pass itself off as human was still not something that seemed within the realm of possibility. H’s agenda was to get the Inuvik line item as high as possible in the top ten and own it.
James responded, “That’s perfectly logical. Any arguments against?”
There was no response.
James continued, “Okay then, please make item one item twenty five. Next.”
Again H spoke out, “The next item in orange, possible leaking of information from this organization should be highest on our priority list. We simply cannot have a hole in this organization. Our very purpose is to provide trust worthy intelligence. How can you create trust with the image of doubt resulting from being possibly infiltrated. We have to close this down ASAP.”
Claps around the room.
James said, “Well said. Does anyone have an objection to me taking this?”
And everyone pounded on the table, that groups indication of agreement.
Knowing the next item in the agenda was reprioritization of the top ten, H immediately started, “Super advanced technology in Inuvik must be the tip of an iceberg that we had better get to the bottom of before whatever is going on there happens. This has large potential national implications. I’d like to move this into the four or even three slot and take ownership of delivering the intelligence.”
Again the room echoed with the sound of fists hitting the table as an affirmative vote.
H left the directors meeting feeling Like she owned the event. She had managed to steer the audience directly to her desired outcome.
It was time to close out the day at her regular hangout bar.
Sachin and Mohit had just started their contract gig as computer analysts, running systems that this communications organization relied on. Their first day was over.
After checking on the status of the last service in his list of services, Sachin tapped on his mesh and said, “Mohit, it’s time. Let’s head out for a drink, and maybe meet someone.”
Mohit responded, “Sure Sachin.”
And within two minutes Mohit had walked around the partition and was standing, waiting for Sachin to log off his computer.
The two headed for the same bar H had just entered.
In 2018 Hassan had been Spencer’s surfing instructor. Hassan was a senior at West Point military academy and had visited home one weekend, received a call to teach and thought why not.
Hassan graduated a year later in 2019, with honors, recognized as a tactical genius. He wrote his senior paper on the timing, popular support, and overwhelming odds. In 2020 he was sent to Syria as an advisor, his Humvee hits a roadside bomb and sent back to the US for rehab.
2021 Hassan was at mosque and asked the cleric the question, why can’t we be brothers, whereupon the cleric sent Hassan to Mecca to study.
By 2023 Hassan was writing position papers that referenced Far East philosophy, “the fire that burns fast will burn out sooner than the river that creates the Grand Canyon.” Hassan’s patience for those willing to fight and lose was noticed. The respect of Hassan’s writings grew over time.
By 2024 he had built a philosophical position, which was to build community and that to prepare is better than to fight and lose. He decided to focus on the European theater to execute this philosophy.
Clerics were listening to this potential prophet because his message was one of strength and success. Supporters of fight today started to be muffled. By 2026 there was a strange quietness across the Muslim world.
2025 & 2026 Hassan spent slowly building the story of strength through community. Mid 2026 he requested a mosque in Prague, which was granted.
For the remainder of 2026 Hassan built a network of mosques at each European capital, the core of his philosophy was strength and preparation. Hassan advocates preparedness over action, that the situation to use overwhelming odds will present itself. In the meantime, he argued, be good community participants, show your neighbor love, be the example the world would want to emulate, help others.
Across 2027 Hassan paralleled the community effort by building a silent army. In Each European capital he builds a core “division” and has them undergo continuous stealth urban surgical strike capabilities. Hassan knew that when the opportunity presents itself, these divisions will have to strike quick and effectively.
Hassan’s message to the mosques, build community, in whatever circumstances, build community. He wanted the mosque to be the recognized provider of stability across its communities, and that machine had to work on its own.
This was Hassan’s one two punch. When the opportunity presented itself, take out all the European leadership, and the become the community leader by providing food, emergency support, and an acceptable level of defense, or community policing- and not heavy handed as the community was the strength of this plan.
Lastly, Hassan knew the importance of intelligence. In 2025 he started building an intelligence organization. He recruited kids in college majoring in computer science by offering scholarship. He personally visited these kids. There were over a hundred of them in colleges in India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other middle eastern and Far East universities. Once on the scholarship he befriended each of them and recruited them into his “Information Agency” which was a top secret orgaanization. Their intelligence and gathering model was quite simple, just exist and work where assigned, make friends at local venues with their assigned target domain, and simply listen and record, and record things like anxiety level and relaxation level.
The targets were those who worked in other governments secret agencies.
In 2025 Hassan provided scholarships to two fellows in India, Sachin and Mohit, computer science majors. In 2026 they graduated and were asked to work for Hassan’s intelligence agency. Sachin and Mohit were ecstatic over the job offer, right out of college. They accepted and were sent to Canada for training and at the same time they were also given jobs. as technical consultants working on software projects for the Canadian intelligence entity, Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).
Their training consisted of how to determine who to befriend and how to determine where their target hung out in order to be there to befriend as opportunities either presented themselves or were created.
Sachin stood about five feet six inches, slight of build, quiet tone as he spoke, with a quick wit that was subtle and disarming at the same time. He had you liking him before you knew it.
Mohit looked like he could have played football, roughly five foot eleven inches tall, a barrel chest.
They did everything together. They carpooled to work, worked on the same projects, lunched and spent after hours at the bar with friends.
Who is Hank M. Greene?
“I am what I said I am, a storyteller. But, you may be asking, from whence did I come and to where do I go? ‘Ten’ (get the book on Amazon) holds the key to where I go, and it’s to be determined from whence I came.”