One: The Second Part of Time, draft of Chapter 6, June 2027
“What the hell are you doing? You authorized the military? Really? You better have a great reason, tangible evidence and something to show for exceeding your charter.”
H replied, “This was an appropriate use of resources and escalation. I’m prepared to present to the committee,” thinking this would buy her some time.
“Pull back now, damn it! You are not authorized for this activity. Present and gain the charter you are looking for. Right now you are over extended and risking your position.”
H realized she needed to regroup. The current effort would not guarantee any data to substantiate the current force implementation.
H replied, “Pulling back will risk our current position. We have evidence in Ottawa being questioned, and those with knowledge about what exactly is going on up here are on their heels. We are winning this with evidence imminent.”
The voice over the speakers replied, “Spencer, the person you had sent here was requested by the United States government before he ever arrived. He was rerouted to the US consulate, and is now somewhere in the United States.”
Quietness permeated the office with H sitting, stunned, realizing she currently had nothing. “What is happening?” she thought.
H replied, “The operation will be put on hold. I will be in Ottawa tomorrow to present to the committee.”
H then made a call to her military contact to call off, for now, the military component of this effort.
Alex had just walked into the “bunker,” just finished saying Hank was in a coma, and that the United States just declared martial law. Maya realized it was time to bring Alex into the “inner circle.”
Maya whispered to Max, “We need to talk, now! Follow me.”
Max and Maya turned and walked down the hall. “We need to bring Alex into the fold.” Said Maya almost whispering.
“I agree,” said Max.
Maya stopped walking, turned to Max and said, “Check with Beth and Spencer, then get everyone together at the security monitoring desk, including Alex. I’ll meet you there.”
Max turned and walked back to Beth who was talking with Alex, and said, “Alex, I need a word with Sally for a moment. Maya has requested we meet her at the security desk. Sally and I will meet you there in a moment.”
Alex looked a bit quizzical, and said, “Sure. I’ll see you both there in a moment.”
Alex turned and headed for the security desk just eight feet away.
“Maya say’s it’s time to bring Alex into the fold, to let him know who we are.”
Beth responded, “I agree, we should have done that weeks ago.”
“We need to let Spencer know. I’ll go do that. Why don’t you hang out with Alex. Maya will be there any minute now.”
Max approached Spencer, waiting at the stairwell to the subterranean facility, saying, “Spence, Maya says it’s time to add Alex to the group.”
Spencer said, “Let’s do it.”
Spencer and Alex turned around and walked up to Beth and Alex talking about Alex’s grandmother with Maya listening.
“Alex, we, uh, we need to bring you into the fold, so to speak,” said Maya.
Alex looked at Maya, then Beth, then Max, and then Spencer.
“Alex, we are on the run from the United States, more precisely its artificial intelligence system. We are not whom we have presented ourselves to be. I’ll explain. Sally and Ed are really Beth and Max. Together with Spencer they created the first computer based awareness at MIT, a few years ago, then went on to commercialized it. The system became super intelligent far exceeding human capabilities. We call it “Core.” The US government learned about it and hired Spencer to create one for them. That government version we refer to as Core 2 designated Max and Beth as risks to its creator, Spencer, so sent government agents after them, to eradicate the risk. The original Core tracked this activity and created a plan to save Beth and Max. The historical storm last year took two lives, the teacher and social worker on their way here. Core was able to create a plan for Beth and Max to take their place. Spencer was accidentally shot in the escape trying to stop the unfolding events. There is one other thing. Core, the super intelligence, created six humanoid robots. I am the remaining surviving robot. One last piece, as if what I’ve shared isn’t enough. Earlier this year we discovered the cause of the global power outages. There is a growing black hole just far enough out there that its gravity waves are affecting our sun. We have calculated a super massive coronal mass expulsion, a CME, will result from one of these waves and hit the earth at the end of this coming December. The mine project is a facility to host the electronics for Core, to keep it running, and me alive, after the CME hits and takes out power across the world, perhaps for as long as many years. We can’t estimate how big this CME will be. There is more to this saga, but for now this is a good start.”
Alex stood moving his head from left to right, wondering how anything he just heard could be true.
Spencer was listening while watching the monitors containing the live feeds from the outside cameras.
“Hey, the helmet’s are moving away, retreating.”
Alex said, “What?”
Maya continued, “Oh, that’s part of the of the ‘more that’s out there.’ Somehow the Canadian government is onto us. H is a Canadian agent. She is behind the military being here, the arrest order for Spencer, and who knows what else. I think she is fishing for evidence, trying to create a situation where something falls out that explains our presence here. They must have some sort of limited evidence, but not enough to support any definitive action.”
Spencer interrupted, “Perhaps, but our little green men are in retreat for some reason.”
Maya began talking again, “Who knows what’s going on out there or why. Alex, you have your radio if someone needs you. For tonight I suggest we all stay here where we have a perimeter warning video surveillance system and a subterranean facility to fall back to if needed. We can determine the situation in the morning.”
Alex’s eyebrows dropped in, he was still trying to understand the story about the Ed and Sally that he thought he knew becoming Max and Beth, two super AI’s, Maya as a robot, H as a secret government agent, the military, all on the heels of Jack’s funeral, the shooting, Hank in a coma, and the US in a state of martial law. The world for Alex had just changed so much in just a brief moment.
“I can’t stay here. There’s too much to process.” said Alex, then continued, “I’ll check in with you tomorrow.”
Then Alex proceeded to his police vehicle, backed out, turned and left.
Beth, Max, Spencer, and Maya stood in silence.
A very loud emergency beeper was emanating from the control panel at the nurse station.
“Room 365, stat, vitals in the red.” said one of the nurses behind the desk. Two nurses ran to the room, at the same time a doctor appeared running down the hall to room 365.
“Stabilize the patient.” The doctor grabbed the chart. The nurses added electrolytes and sugar water to the IV. The vitals started to stabilize. The room took a collective sigh. Just then the alarms started again. Someone yelled, “Patient’s brain scan flatlining.”
The doctor said, “Coma, we need to add magnesium sulfate and picrotoxin, now!”
Ten minutes passed. Three nurses, one doctor, and one patient without any brain activity existed within a deafening soundless room.
“We’re done here for now.” said the doctor.
The nurses left with the doctor following. The doctor walked to his office, picked up his phone, dialed, and said, “Alex, this guy, Hank M. Greene, is in a coma. Best I can tell must have been something with his blood work. He’s fine across the board. We will have more data tomorrow.”
The next morning the floor nurse stuck her head into room 365 as she was checking each room, and stopped, frozen for a second, wondering what she was looking at. She turned to look at the chart on the wall next to the door, then looked back at the empty bed, and said, “Hank? Are you here?”
She realized the patient was gone. She turned and ran back to the nursing station and said, “Patient in room 365, Hank M. Greene, is gone, as in there is no body!”
After making the call H got in her vehicle and headed for the airport to fly to Ottawa. She would be there in eighteen hours, just in time for the next afternoons Director’s meeting, to present to the committee. A few hours later military transports were leaving Inuvik at the same time a convoy of military vehicles were leaving along the road heading south, out of Inuvik.
H arrived in Ottawa the next morning after flying all night and working on the presentation to the directors, the committee, scheduled for that afternoon. Once she landed in Ottawa H had the vehicle take her directly to the office.
At three that afternoon H walked into the conference room looking tired, her jet black short hair disheveled, her short skirt and white silk blouse wrinkled, the skin around her eyes red, and her complexion turning pale.
“Let’s get this started…”
By the end of the meeting, after listening to H’s presentation, the committee, while intrigued, didn’t see any evidence to support the use of force. There was only strange deciphered communications hinting at robotics and Inuvik and that it was quite strange that the US government knew of Spencer’s arrest at almost the same time it happened, and who was this Spencer fellow that would make the US demand his release to them. These were all very strange events, yet nothing indicative of a national threat, at least not yet, which is why they said, “We agree. Something strange, possibly threatening to national security is happening in Inuvik. We also understand the potential to escalate this. The recommendation of the committee is to focus on the acquisition of data through intensive surveillance. Track every delivery, scan every communication, and report back here monthly. Perhaps we can collect enough tangible evidence to take action. Obtaining a humanoid robot would be incredible! Oh, and please get a complete background profile on each of these subjects. We are most interested to understand why the US wanted Spencer so badly.”
From Max’s journal,
It’s been a wild few days. Jack’s funeral followed by, or interrupted by the military, then Hank shot, in the hospital, and now missing. Maya and Spencer returned! We had to bring Alex into the group, which will take time for him to get use to, and H and Hank disappeared as well.
Alex did stop by today. I was worried a bit after last night, letting him in on our story. He did his research on us. He updated us that both H and Hank had disappeared. The strangeness of our presence here in Inuvik continues. He also said the military pulled out last night, suddenly. I believe he is putting two and two together, and that he believes our strange story makes some sort of sense.
So, what else happened today? I woke up to find coffee and Maya ready to chat, picking up right where she left off, wanting to know where I was with our thought exercise, the makeup of space.
Once the day got started Beth and I spent much of the day bringing Spencer and Maya up to speed with the buildout. The hole being dug for the subterranean facility to house Core and Maya once the CME hits in December is complete, forms for the bottom floor are in place, 1.2 miles square, is ready for the concrete pour, which will take weeks. We decided that the four of us would spend the rest of the week reviewing and locking down Core’s hosting environment hardware design. We only have a little under seven months to get everything ordered, delivered, and built before we are out of time. Beth and I were fortunate to have been able to keep the dig going with Spencer and Maya’s absence last month. The interruption by H turned out to be a blessing. When we reviewed our subterranean facility build out schedule today we realized that for the next month and a half we have twenty four hours of sunlight, and since Beth and I hired other crews to work on different projects to hide the real work from H, we now have enough crews to go 24 7 on this main buildout. We should be able to make up any lost ground and then some, perhaps even getting a little ahead of schedule.
In the back of my mind I wonder what happened with Hank, where did he go? I’m going to have to see what Maya thinks.
Alex stopped by today and informed us that Inuvik is to determine its Mayor. The word came from Ottawa that their “Administrator” had a sudden personal issue and would not be replaced. We think Alex is considered top runner since he has been managing the jurisdiction since H left. I didn’t see much of either Spencer or Maya today as they were “heads down” working on their plans for the subterranean facility buildout, introducing theirselves to the different crews, and getting up to speed with the current state of the project.
Beth spent the day visiting her community contacts, the biggest part of her job.
At today’s morning meeting Spencer told us the past few days he provisioned contracts with ten labs from Europe, Canada, US, and Brazil for the custom designed computer boards to hold the qubit chips. We have been working on the design of these boards since the day after they returned. The quantities of these boards is staggering, 4 billion boards, each supplier sending 400 million, 66,666,666 per month from each of the ten suppliers. That is 660 million of these boards arriving every month starting next month until December. The idea is to move these directly to the floor on arrival. That means the floor has to be completed, and the racks started so that the boards can be loaded to the floor and then start to be installed. The coordination of completing the buildout of each floor, receiving and installing racks, cables, generators, batteries, then these boards times four floors. The amount of resources required to make all this work exceeds our current capacity, yet Maya say’s not to worry, they are working on addressing the capacity issue. We have a plan and a schedule. If anyone can pull this off, Spencer is the one, with Maya’s help.
The Inuvik jurisdiction Councillors met today to define a set of Mayoral candidates. Alex informed us that he is on that list. Over the next few days there will be a formal review of the candidates, then the Councillors will meet to vote on who the next Mayor will be.
We had a small celebration this afternoon. Alex was appointed Mayor. He stopped by to inform us.
Today Beth was told her contract is reinstated for another year. I was informed my teaching contract was extended for next year as well! How quickly things are falling back into place.
Spencer and Maya are the early morning team. I find those two talking about the buildout efforts and the day’s goals when I make my way into the kitchen in the mornings.
This is the warm season with 24 hour daylight. We have three teams each working 8 hours.
This morning Spencer informed us the plumbing and fire suppression systems were going in. The bottom floor is ready for racks and cables. For the last week we have received three containers of rack equipment per day. We have twenty containers stacked on site ready to be unloaded and at least three per day planned for the rest of the year, scaling up to eight per day. As the floors get finished we will be able to unload directly to the floor. It will be nice to start actually installing racks.
The bottom floor is ready for the rack, cable, and generator equipment.
It was the last Friday in June, a warm sunny day. H sat in her office with a smile, reviewing the data she had collected from Inuvik, divided into three groups, communication intercepts, material deliveries (tracking trucking and their source and contents), subject profiles. It was a most interesting collection of data. There were three shipping containers arriving daily to this mine construction site. The construction site itself was a deep dig “hole” with concrete formwork being setup, and concrete pours 24x7. Communication intercepts were absent of any chatter to support such an extreme amount of construction activity indicating designed stealth. She had a profile for each of the main principals:
Ed Fulton: US citizen, Alaskan school teacher, social activist, graduated from the University of Alaska in 2023, …
Sally Johnston: US citizen, Alaskan social worker, social activist, graduated from the University of Alaska in 2024, …
Spencer Johnson: US citizen, MIT Masters program in Artificial Intelligence 2024 with honors, employed by the Zoo, XQ://, the United States Government.
If Spencer wasn’t the telling profile, the Maya profile stood out like a sore thumb. There should be something, somewhere. There was nothing!
She was looking forward to the pint with the two computer geeks, even though she knew she wouldn’t be able to take her thoughts off of this data and next weeks presentation to the committee.
It was a warm late June Paris evening. Hassan sat at his desk with four intelligence reports from Ottawa, from Sachin and Mohit. The first report from the end of the first week in June described a physically disturbed H, looking tired and worried. The second report, mid-June, described H as withdrawn, “…drank her pint, didn’t say a word, then just got up and left.” The third report said H mentioned strange things happening in Inuvik, angry about “…being restrained from getting to the bottom of things.” The fourth report, just received hours ago, said H was unusually quiet this Friday. Hassan found these intelligence reports interesting in they described a Canadian Intelligence operative deeply disturbed about something happening in the northern most part of Canada, while at the same time the United States system of social control was being challenged from within causing the declaration of martial law. Hassan wondered, “Were these two things related in any way? What is happening over there. Events are building toward something. I think it’s time to grow our resources to maximum capacity, fill our recruiting efforts, get ready… the opportunity looks like it’s forming, we need to be ready.”
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 first version of the book on Amazon) holds the key to where I go, and it’s to be determined from whence I came.”