Time on My Hands Chapter 75 - 675-903 CE: Epilogue

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Time on My Hands
Chapter 75: 675-903 CE: Epilogue

As usual, Fiach traveled to her small cabin above Barmaz for some alone time in August 675 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of receiving The Curse. As night fell she laid back on the high mountain pasture to look up into the cloudless night, where there are so many stars that a person’s shadow could be seen by the starlight. Thousands of sparkling stars filled the heavens. After midnight the Perseid meteors began streaking across the skies, up to 60 an hour at the height of the impressive meteor shower. Idly she wondered if someday humanity could leave the confines of earth. That brought to mind how she could control those who left earth. Would they revert to fighting and warfare? Shaking her head she set her many worries and concerns free, Fiach watched the galactic light show with wonderment and awe at God's display of magnificence.

"May God's blessings be with you, disciple Fiach," a soft yet firm voice greeted.

"Ianuaria, it's good to meet you once more," Fiach responded recognizing the voice and not turning from the dazzling skies to see her mentor. "It's been 390 years since we last met."

"That's just a pittance to a goddess," Ianuaria replied with a chuckle.

"True, but from a human perspective it's a LONG time," Fiach sighed.

"Yes, and despite your concerns and self doubts you are doing well," Ianuaria smiled. "You're using The Curse as it was forged to do. You brought world-wide peace and your continued presence provides continuity and keeps the Clan Corvo on the path God ordained. You not only help others, you foresee future troubles, taking action to save knowledge for humanity."

"I was first and foremost an Ianuarian. I have no choice but to try to help," Fiach confessed. "I still wish Operation Harmony hadn't taken so many lives."

"That you feel grief and take no pleasure in taking lives is what makes you ideal to be the Curse bearer," Ianuaria smiled. "That plus the fact you were a skilled Ianuarian were the reasons I recommended you for receiving ‘The Curse'."

"I'm still trying to decide if you like me or hate me," Fiach chuckled. "It has been a double edged sword."

"The Curse was intended to help humanity," Ianuaria replied. "We knew The Curse holder would have to be strong which is why Marcellus Longinus was initially chosen. Unfortunately, The Curse overwhelmed him and until his death he never used The Curse as it was intended. The fact he voluntarily passed on the Curse is what saved his soul. We wrongly assumed he'd be able to figure out how to use The Curse but he obviously failed. Part of the problem was that as an adult and a legionnaire he was too regimented and inflexible to adjust to the demands of The Curse nor did he comprehend the simple complexity of faith. But he realized you could handle it and God agreed. Your honest compassion for him facilitated the transmission of The Curse. Believe it or not, your present dilemma is do to your inexperience."

"Inexperience? I've carried the Curse for 500 years!" Fiach petulantly huffed.

"Yes, but to those of us who serve God, 500 years is a mere blink of an eye," Ianuaria explained. "You know God is real through your experiences. But God is so much more than humanity and human knowledge. The human mind is incapable of understanding all that God is. Even we angels, his humble and loyal servants can not fully comprehend God. God's love is so all encompassing to feel merely a tiny bit is enough that we, like you, can bask in God's love."

"Humanity has an advantage over we angels who serve God," Ianuaria stated. "Mankind has free will. Each human can accept and believe or deny and not believe. Free will also allows humans to believe in any other faith. Those who don't believe, or can't believe, or who have never heard of Jesus or even the one true God, are judged on their lives. Those who lived evil, reap evil. Those who lived good, reap good. Those in between will be judged by their remorse. No human has the strength of character to continually be good. Despite your best intentions you are unable to be good all the time. God, who experienced human life through Jesus accepts even the best human at times does evil, that doing so is part and parcel of being human. Those who slip and fall away will be welcomed upon their return to the fold. Those who died before Jesus were judged the same way."

"If the Scriptures are true," Fiach pondered "All humanity should accept Jesus as our savior and worship the one true God. Yet I find truths in the other faiths that are different and see no way they can be reconciled with Christianity."

Ianuaria laughed. "That is because all truths are by their very nature true!"

"Now you're confusing me," Fiach sighed.

"God is all things to everything," Ianuaria answered. "If we say God is the number 10, what is the question? 5+5? 4+6? 3+2+4+1? 8+9-7? 20÷2? 3x2+4? Or it could be an infinite number of other possibilities, some quite complicated. Yet they are all true! None are wrong! Yet each is different. Each follows a different path, a different way of reasoning, to get to the same result, yet those paths are not always simple, clear and compatible. God is so vast that there are innumerable ways to worship. God realized the Jews were making more and more laws and regulations concerning their faith in God. God saw those man made rules and laws were keeping the Jews from connecting with God. He tried to simplify things by sending Jesus to break the rules and show an easier, simpler way to God. Many people who heard Jesus assumed he was showing them THE way to God. However Jesus was merely showing an easier and simpler way to God while not negating the other ways. The truth is that Jesus wanted to reform Judaism, not start a new faith. You know all people are different. That wide diversity of humanity requires more than one path to God, Each person needs to find their OWN route to God, they need to find their own truths. Unfortunately, many are incapable of doing so on their own. They must depend on others to show them the path and lead them to God, "

"Fiach, you are doing a fantastic job of not allowing faith to become religious," Ianuaria explained. "The Scriptures of every faith were INTENDED to be the divinely inspired words of God. However those Godly words were heard, understood and recorded by humans and all humans are flawed. Human understanding is predicated on and influenced by that person's life experiences and knowledge. That means the true words of God recorded in the scriptures of every faith have inaccuracies. In addition, none of the various Scriptures were written down immediately. They went through a period of verbal transmission before being recorded which further muddied the Divine words. Human memory distorts over time as do stories verbally passed on. Those caveats in no way lessen the morality or lessons of the many Scriptures. But they do present a powerful case for a personal relationship with God rather that an institutional mediated relationship. The key is faith, which is mankind reaching upward to God in worship and supplication. Religion is humanity trying to pull God down to mankind then caging and limiting God with manmade rules and requirements in a misguided effort to make their lives better at the expense of non believers. They ignore the truth that by God's very nature, God can never be contained or controlled. God will never fit inside a box. The responsibility of a follower of any faith is to love God with all their mind, soul and body. By extension, if they love God they love all creation and therefore love one another as they would love themselves, sharing and guiding others in the faith of God, whatever it may be. Jesus spoke against the Pharisees and Sadducees for enforcing manmade rules on how to worship and limiting approaches to God. You stopped the Christian Church from doing that. Your endeavor to make all faiths a unified living faith that changes with the world is an impossible task for any human. Because God gave humanity free will, even God in all His power and glory, has not been able to find a one fits all solution. Humanity also has a habit of making minor differences into insurmountable mountains. They lose the true message in the myriad often nit-picking rules they invent. Even worse is forcing or coercing people to worship God. Doing so is wrong. God gave humanity free will which means no human has the right to interfere with free will, especially by trying to force a system of beliefs in God that are not compatible with their sense of self."

“But that’s exactly what I set out to do with Operation Harmony,” Fiach sighed nearly overwhelmed with guilt.

“Yes, but you quickly realized doing so was not right and backed off enforcing any single faith. In fact, you’ve developed a respect for all faiths and have the priests trained to respect other faiths,” Ianuaria smiled. “You’ve validated the truths of the many faiths and require mutual respect between faiths and forbid any faith to declare itself the one true faith.”

“I’m far from all knowing and am not afraid to say so,” Fiach nodded. “I’ve learned to insist that all faiths are living and ever changing, just as the government and education are living, constantly adapting entities.”

“God is delighted with your actions,” Ianuaria smiled. "The so called old gods, those of the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Norse, German, Mayan and innumerable others, myself included, have always been ultra-loyal retainers of the one God. The abilities God granted us made us appear as mini-gods to humans. Because they could at times see us and our limited powers we were simpler and easier for humanity to accept. Humanity was not emotionally or intellectually ready for the concept of one all powerful God. We have since willingly subsumed our mini godhood back into the reality of the one true God," Ianuaria informed Fiach. "That does not mean we will disappear. We still willingly assist and serve God."

“One stumbling block for me is Satan,” Fiach stated. “Isn’t Satan a fallen angel? And how can angel, an ultra loyal retainer, betray God?”

“Now you ask a very difficult question,” Ianuaria sighed. “Just because we are God’s angels doesn’t mean we can’t be jealous... of God’s power, of each other, but mostly of humanity. Your innocense is refreshing, your free will envy inducing, even your short life spans are enviable. Satan and those who joined him were tired of being at God’s beck and call, they wanted free will, they wanted greater power. Over time their grumbling and discontent grew. God knew they were growing restless but also knew they could not break free nor overpower him so he rebuked them. They quieted down but were angered by their scolding. Then Satan discovered a way to cause God’s pets, humanity, to fall away. Then he set out to tear mankind from God.”

“An angel can not lie,” Ianuaria continued. “But we don’t have to tell the whole truth. Satan realized he could corrupt mankind with half truths, telling them what they wanted to hear while omitting what the didn’t want to hear. The Satan influenced humans encouraged the growth of religion not realizing doing so was done at the expense of faith. That lead to the religious leaders to make more rules limiting access to God. They told the followers of God they could not talk to God, that they were too corrupted to face God and live. They said the only way they could get right with God was to go through them, that they were the intermediators between the ALMIGHTY GOD and humanity. That, because of their righteousness, they were the only ones who could face God and live. They were erecting walls to keep God away from the masses. Satan and those like him encouraged humanity to corrupt faith with religion. When God discovered their duplicity he stripped them of their powers and cast them into the fires of purgatory. They discovered ways to escape, but all escapes were temporary as their immortality was chained to hell. They would be sucked back to hell. But they could reach earth and continue to corrupt humanity. They could tell their half truths while never lying. That’s what makes them so dangerous.”

FIach frowned. “So why can’t God just zap them out of existence?”

“It’s not that easy”, Ianuaria sighed. “Satan and his ilk are fallen angels... but they’re still angels. The manner in which we were created ties us irrevocably together. The only way God can destroy the fallen angels is to destroy every angel. That is a price God does not want to pay.”

‘So humanity is stuck with the temptations foisted upon us by Satan and his ilk,” Fiach nodded. “That means a major part of The Curse is to keep Satan from corrupting humanity. Now that you’ve brought it up, I can see that the vast majority of my Curse imbued actions have been with humans under Satan’s influence! Satan corrupted the Pharisees and Sadducees as well as the Popes and others in positions of religious leaderships who crossed the line from faith to religion. He made political leaders greedy and power hungry which led to warfare. Heck, Satan almost corrupted me into thinking I could make Corvo Christianity a one fits all faith! I almost fell victim to Satan! Fortunately I realized my error and accepted there was more than one way to worship God. I ruined those Satan infused corruptions and my continual traveling has prevented Satan from regaining any serious footholds in humanity. That knowledge is quite humbling.”

"Your humility is gratifying,” Ianuaria smiled. “Fiach, you lead the Clan Corvo to keep TRUE faith alive, like a strong tree that bends in the wind but does not break. Barmaz is the lighthouse guiding souls to true salvation. You have been my disciple since your first independent thoughts. You are a healer. I am a healer who is a disciple of Jesus. Jesus is a healer so that makes you a true disciple of Jesus. That is why you were driven to learn all you could about Jesus. With him at your side, you've become a better healer. While many died during Operation Harmony, the number who died were far fewer than if you had left humanity continue on as they lived in the past. Operation Harmony literally saved millions of lives and the resultant peace and progress continues to save people every day."

"Considering all the faiths and beliefs we have recorded, I have formulated some weird theories about God," Fiach confessed. "In every one God always appears somewhat anthropomorphic. But since we are human that is natural, it is what we understand. What if our entire concept of God is flawed?"

“Of course your concept of God is flawed,” Ianuaria smiled. “Humanity is flawed, but that is what makes you so endearing. Despite their flaws, humans are driven to find perfection. You can find beauty in everything that exists. You can find love in hate. Humanity is the creation that makes God smile.”

"Okay," Fiach nodded as she pondered what Ianuaria said. "That means it's time to think outside the box of humanity. Nearly every faith idealizes humanity as a reflection of God, that we were made in God's image. But is that because we are so conceited that we assume everything has to relate to us? Can we even assume God incorporates both male and female attributes? Can we even assume that God is some type of supreme entity?"

"Keep going," Ianuaria chuckled.

"All the faiths believe God created the world and all that is in it," Fiach reasoned. "It makes sense that God created everything we can see and feel. But if God is all encompassing and humanity is flawed living in frail bodies, are there things we can't see or feel? That leads to wondering where God comes from? If God created everything, who or what created God???? I think I'm getting a headache!"

"And well you should," Ianuaria commiserated. "We steadfast servants of God certainly can not answer those questions."

Fiach frowned as she massaged her aching temples. "Then how can I or anyone else answer those questions?"

"Only humans ask that question. Neither myself or any of God's other servants has suggested you can find the answers to the question of God," Ianuaria replied. "That is why we term the myriad beliefs of God as FAITH. By God's very nature, it's an unanswerable question."

Fiach shook her head in frustration. "Okay, then why am I struggling to reconcile the various faiths?"

"You seek a unifying answer about God to help humanity," Ianuaria answered. "Think on this, you enjoy sitting on this mountain watching the heavens and pondering God. You revel in love and the natural beauty and symmetry of the world. But there are humans who get no joy from those things. Some people love wine and hate mead, others love mead and hate wine, some love or hate both."

"That's what humanity is all about," Fiach sighed. "What appeals to some is hated by others. Huh! Maybe that is the answer. Humanity is too diverse for a one fits all solution for having a single faith in God! Since the time Jesus walked the earth some could not accept his divinity and those of us who do, can offer no concrete irrefutable evidence. It is simply a matter of faith! Those who believe in reincarnation, like the Hindu and Buddhists, can not accept Jesus is divine just as many Christians can't accept reincarnation or that living a life of piety and humility can end the cycle of death and rebirth. The disparate faiths exist so every humans can find a faith in God that fits them! God is so vast and all encompassing all things are possible! It is impossible for humanity to box in God!"

"That's why God loves you!” Ianuaria enthused. “When God created myself, my siblings, my cousins and our ilk, we were designed for a purpose and our nature allows no deviation, we have no free will," Ianuaria explained. "We are dependant upon God for all we happily do. God has prescribed our existence and fate and we can not deviate from his goals without severe consequences. Best of all, with the exception of Satan and his ilk, we are happy and content with our existence."

"But humanity has free will," Fiach nodded. "We can think for ourselves. We are aware of and in awe of God. Yet we can thumb our nose at God. Humanity has developed science and collected knowledge so we can manipulate and hopefully improve our existence."

"Humanity pleases God," Ianuaria added. "Yes, some do terrible things and boldly defy God. But the majority try to help each other and make human life better. God knew exactly what every bit of creation would do until humanity developed self awareness, free will and intelligence. Now God marvels at human agility and inspiration."

"So the best the Corvo University School of Religion can do is to foster the different and often variant faiths since, in their own way, each is derived from the same supreme God," Fiach reasoned. “That means we need to rename the Corvo University of Religion. As soon as I leave here, I’ll change the name to the Corvo University School of Faith. We humans simply have to accept that God is vast enough to cover them all. At least I've been on the right path fostering understanding, respect and tolerance between the faiths. No unified faith will fit all people, we need them all to begin to understand God's love!"

"Exactly! The day of your birth I felt compelled to be present," Ianuaria declared. "I had no idea why. You certainly surprised your foster mother Erminlinda. After your brothers were born, you were almost an afterthought. It was due to Erminlinda's skills as an Ianuarian that you survived. She knew your birth mother was clearly too far gone to be able to assist in your birth. I watched through Erminlinda's eyes as she settled between your mother's legs to begin to massage her deflated tummy in an effort to manipulate you from the womb. It took fifteen minutes until your tiny body began to emerge. Your mother delivered at 7 months. Your brothers were small, only two thirds the size of normal full term babies. You were only half the normal size. When your tiny body finally emerged your arms and legs feebly flailed but you never took a breath and began turning blue. At first your foster mother was ready to accept you would not survive."

"Then she noted your emerald green eyes were open and intently watching her," Ianuaria continued. "I could feel she made an instant connection with you. Gently she placed her open mouth over your tiny nose and mouth and tenderly puffed a breath to inflate your lungs. Raising her head she cautiously pressed your tiny chest to expel the air. I watched in awe as Erminlinda fought to save you. Slowly your blue tinge morphed toward a healthy color. The entire time you stared into her eyes. After ten minutes you hiccupped then began a faint but undeniable cry."

"Needless to say the women assisting as well as myself were awed by your will to live," Ianuaria added. "But we also knew that premature babies as small as your brothers had a rough path to survival. No one had ever heard of, much less seen a baby as small as you survive for more than a few days. The entire clan was surprised your young mother had carried triplets, a true rarity. The village elders were not happy. It was the village's responsibility to assist fatherless children and widowed mothers. But two babies, undersized and premature at that, would put a strain on their resources. It was almost begrudgingly that they shouldered the burden. However committing to raise you, the fragile third baby, a great deal smaller than the other two, caused them to grumble and complain."

"Upon hearing their mutters, Erminlinda knew that a day or so after she left the village you would ‘mysteriously’ cease breathing," Ianuaria stated. "Such was common practice for infants deemed unfit and unable to eventually contribute to the clan's well being. Since Erminlinda was the well respected clan Ianuarian, she went to the village elders telling them that while you were small and weak, your spirit was strong, stronger than any she'd ever seen. I had to agree with her. I had never seen such a powerful spirit in such a frail undersized newborn. Then she told them that since she breathed life into your near stillborn arrival, she would accept raising you as her own."

"Naturally this surprised the elders and myself," Ianuaria added. "Obviously, just as I sensed you had great potential, Erminlinda sensed that you were special. Over the years I watched in amazement as you grew. Your inquisitiveness and need to help others grew stronger each day. You learned to be a skilled Ianuarian simply by watching your foster mother and asking penetrating questions. You seemed to intuitively know what needed to be done. You were able to sense which plants and herbs would be beneficial and even how they could be used. Your skills grew to exceed your foster mother. Your empathy was unparalleled. In all the eons of my being the god of healing I never saw a more natural human healer."

"At the same time you observed all creation," Ianuaria stated. "You observed the fauna as well as the flora. Well before your age peers began to hunt, you were doing so. By the time of the slave raid you were the most accomplished hunter in your clan. Somehow you intuitively combined your knowledge of healing as well as your minute observations of how animals moved to maximized your physical abilities and self control so that despite your obvious small size you could run for hours, climb trees like a squirrel, scramble up rocks like a goat, strike with the speed of a snake and the accuracy of a falcon."

"Then God summoned me," Ianuaria sighed. "I'd been in God's presence before but I'd never been summoned to God's presence. Even though I am an angel, I was intimidated. God asked if I was aware of The Curse of Jesus and it's human carrier. I was vaguely aware of The Curse but had no idea what it was or who had The Curse. God explained the purpose of The Curse then asked if I thought you might be a suitable bearer for The Curse. I thought of your life and realized you would be the perfect human to match The Curse so I replied that in my opinion you would be the best human to carry The Curse. Of course I had no idea what was involved with transferring The Curse and I never suspected you would be the one to use The Curse of Jesus to change the course of humanity."

"I already knew you were unique and special," Ianuaria concluded. "My heart broke as I watched the slavers crucify Erminlinda. I was devastated to watch you bravely ease her death despite how it tore you apart. Then you did the impossible, you saved your people and voluntarily took on The Curse. The Curse enhanced all your natural abilities. It was only then I realized you were indeed the one God had ordained to use The Curse for the good of humanity and all creation."

"I still wonder if I'm really up to responsibilities of The Curse," Fiach sighed.

"Let me reassure you," Ianuaria declared. "God is delighted with what you've accomplished and trusts you to persevere. You were not born into Christianity, but were raised with the knowledge of the Gods of your Germans and Celtic forefathers. Christianity intrigued you and you sought out all you could to learn of Jesus and the triune God. You created and continue to create a synthesis of beliefs that gives you unique insights."

Fiach thought for a few moments. “But wouldn’t it have been better to let Jesus live and lead by example?”

“No, Jesus had to die,” Ianuaria explained. “His purpose was to show humanity God’s true love by sending his son to humanity. God realized the Satan corrupted priests control over the rituals involved in making blood sacrifices to God was tearing believers away from faith in God to ritual religion which destroys true faith. The human Jesus had to die as a ONE time sacrifice for humanity’s ongoing sins despite his also being God. That ended the need for traditional blood sacrifices destroying the power of the corrupted priests. Also, by Jesus living a human life, God knew first hand of the trials and tribulations of being human. Jesus showed us humanity can overcome temptations and sins. Jesus had access to God’s full powers but only utilized healing by faith to prove faith was real. If Jesus had used other heavenly powers, humanity would have worshiped him ignoring his message of love. The Christian Church you subsumed was rapidly becoming a dogma laden Cult to Jesus. The priests were insisting the common people could only reach God through their mediation.”

“The Curse of Jesus was meant to create what you have become, a human who can be wounded and even killed but return to life to serve as a living example of God’s power,” Ianuaria said. “But you have no other Divine powers nor do you claim to have Divine powers so there is no reason for people to worship you. God also determined the Curse holder had to be able to kill in combat without utilizing Divine power. Your ability to heal others, while outstanding, is limited to human abilities. You have no Divine healing abilities. While you are extraordinary, you are clearly human. As a living Methuselah, you show people God does give eternal life.”

Fiach frowned for a moment. “So, does that mean since Methuselah died at 969 years old, I’ll do the same?”

“To my understanding that’s not God’s plan,” Ianuaria smiled. “Are you tired of your long life?”

“At times, yes,” Fiach acknowledged. “It hurts to watch those I love age and die. Am I really so great a cog in God’s plans?”

“Yes, you are important,” Ianuaria assured Fiach. “To be honest, God trusts you. You experienced much through your long life. Those experiences make you the person you are. The person who brought mankind together and brought peace and prosperity. You encourage new ideas and inventions as well as love for your fellow man and represent the ideal for humanity’s dominion over the earth. You recall the chaos of humanity, the warfare and diseases. Except for you there is no one livivng who experienced those things. You are needed as a living repository of the past and the guiding light of the future.”

“Well, then I guess I’ll continue to live,” Fiach smiled weakly. “Just promise me, if I ever stop being a help for God’s plans, that I will die.”

“That I can promise,” Ianuaria smiled. “But neither myself or God forsee that as ever happening. Your wisdom is too great for that to happen.”

Ianuaria and Fiach sat side by side watching the heavenly fireworks simply taking solace in their silent companionship. As the first streaks of dawn hide the stars, Fiach felt Ianuaria slip away.

After a week of solitude, a much refreshed Fiach leapt back into the hectic life of the Matriarch of the Clan Corvo. Round and round the world she traveled letting people see her and providing guidance and visiting schools. The ever changing rota of administrators were keeping the Clan Corvo functioning smoothly. The governing and faith systems were not cast in stone having been designed to maintain flexibility to meet the ever changing needs of an ever changing world. The issues of the various faiths settled down to mutual respect, tolerance and assistance. The Corvo University School of Faith made sure priests of all faiths had a solid overview of each faith and stressed that no faith was better than another. Even more important, all priests were taught to live their lives with humility. Anyone who failed to do so was ejected from the program or yanked from their position if in the field. While they were allowed to think their chosen personal faith was the best, the mere idea of one faith for all of humanity being supreme to others was considered arrogant conceit and not tolerated. The bottom line was that God was big enough for all faiths.

While things were going well, the success of world peace created issues. Fiach had a lot to contemplate and utilized the philosophers and sociologists at Corvo University assist her deliberations. By 675 the population of the world had reached 3,525,000,000. While the technical advancements and plant and animal breeding were adequately supplying the nutrition needed, Fiach realized the need to institute population controls was rapidly approaching. If population growth was left unchecked, in the next 100 years the population would grow to over 14,000,000,000! It would be difficult if not impossible to maintain their standard of living and feed everyone.

One thing Fiach had to guard against was the accumulation of wealth and power by individuals and groups. Political and economic power fostered greed and corruption. No matter what their life circumstances, everyone was considered equal. No one was allowed to become elite dictating the way others should behave or how they should live their lives. Those who pushed to become elite and groups who wanted to gather more power and control over others were rooted out, split up and relocated to new areas where they would be powerless and alone.

Starting in 540, the end of Operation Harmony, year by year the range of Fiach's empathetic abilities had grown about 3 miles a year. By 675 she could ‘feel' anyone driven by greed or thirsting for power within a range of 405 miles. Most were frustrated and harmless but some presented dangers to society. Fiach made sure they were promptly dealt with. The frustrated and harmless were counseled while those who presented dangers were relocated and if necessary isolated. A few were sentenced to slavery.

During the next century new inventions continued at breakneck paces. The petrochemical age blossomed, matured and partially faded. Electricity revolutionized the world. But even more mind boggling was the digital age of electronics and the emergence of computers and the internet. Propellor and jet airplanes became a part of normal life. Rockets were regularly heading into outer space to launch satellites for communication, earth observation, and astronomy. They were preparing to launch a space station as the first step to manned space exploration. Wind turbines produced power as did solar panel arrays. Submersible generators were being developed to harness the power of tides. Nuclear power from the fission of radioactive materials was developed but was kept limited due to the radiation risk. Nuclear bombs were developed and rocket delivery systems built as a precaution against possible alien encounters. Lasers were developed along with multiple uses. Radio and television provided virtually instantaneous communication around the world. Personal computers and the internet grew to epic proportions. Music and art flourished.

In North Africa, the Qattara depression consists of 7570 square miles with an average depth below sea level of 200 feet starting 34 miles south of the Mediterranean in western Egypt. A large canal was constructed between the depression and the Mediterranean. The water flow into the depression was used to generate huge amounts of electricity. The slowly accumulating water in the arid desert depression would easily evaporate putting more moisture into the air which in turn increased the rainfall in the middle east. The size of the canal and depression coupled with the rate of evaporation meant it would be centuries before it filled, if it ever did.

In addition, the Dead sea was drying up due to tapping the Jordan River for irrigation. The Arabah valley is 103 miles in length, from the Gulf of Aqaba to the southern shore of the Dead Sea.
Topographically, the region is divided into three sections. From the Gulf of Aqaba northward, the land gradually rises over a distance of 48 miles reaching a height of 750 feet above sea level, which represents the watershed divide between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. From this crest, the land slopes gently northward over the next 46 miles to a point 9 miles south of the Dead Sea. In the last section, the Arabah drops steeply to the Dead Sea, which is 1,368 feet below sea level. Starting at the end of the Gulf of Aqaba a sea level canal/tunnel was constructed heading through and under the mountains towards the dead sea. When the altitude of the land grew too high to cut the channel, a 10 meter diameter tunnel was bored through the mountains into the Jordan Rift Valley. Vertical 3 meter tunnels were bored every half mile to provide air circulation and a means of emergency access and egress for the tunnel. At the exit above the dead sea a staircase-like series of hydroelectric plants were built. The flow of water from Aqaba would be controlled to first reach then maintain the level of the Dead Sea at 1368 feet below sea level. In addition, the generated electricity was used to desalinize some of the salt water from Aqaba to use for irrigating crops.

The following century saw nuclear power plants undergo a revolution with the development of fusion reactors. The radioactive dangers of fission reactors was eliminated and all were dismantled. Fusion reactors were built along the sea coasts. The electricity was used to operate large desalinization plants providing water for cities and to irrigate crops. Deserts near the seas around the world bloomed becoming green.

Work weeks for most people were reduced to 3 - 8 hour workdays and anyone who had worked 30 years was eligible for full retirement. Leisure activities abounded. But as was standard practice in the Clan Corvo, everyone capable of work did so. Unless they had earned retirement by working 30 years or were physically incapacitated, no one was allowed to freeload on the effort of others. Those capable but unwilling to work were shipped off to isolated areas where they worked or starved.

In 903, Fiach spent the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Clan Corvo and her 742 birthday in the cabin above the farmstead of Barmaz. Her emphatic ability range had increased to 1089 miles. The Clan Corvo had total political control of humanity. The world wide government and the multiple faiths were keeping the Clan Corvo living in harmony with God, nature and each other. The key was maintaining flexibility since the government, schools and faith were living entities. This is not to say that humanity didn't have problems. Murder and theft still occurred as did bullying. But the schools, faiths, and government instilled a high degree of morality and stressed people were responsible for their actions. It was expected that someone who did wrong would confess and accept punishment. Anyone who covered the misdeeds of another or hid the perpetrator was considered as guilty as the perpetrator and punished accordingly. Participation in any sort of code of silence was a public anathema. Everyone had rights, but they also had responsibilities. Failure to take responsibility for one’s actions meant the forfeiture of some or even all of their rights.

Dozens of manned space stations orbited around earth with 4 orbiting Mars. There were 5 bases on the moon and one on Mars. Fiach had expanded her travel itinerary to visit the moon and Mars. Exploratory probes had surveyed all the planets and their moons as well as most of the asteroids and comets. Some asteroids were being mined. On earth most internal combustion engines had been replaced by electric motors. Nuclear Fusion Power plants had replaced all nuclear fission power plants. Together with solar, wind, tide and hydroelectric dams, they produced 99% of the world’s energy needs. {In our reality massive atmospheric pollution began with the commercialization of coal during the transition from agriculture to industry beginning around 1760 and lasting 260 years to the present. Because of the rapid technical and scientific developments, the dangerous air pollution of our reality was drastically reduced.}

Exploration efforts were not limited to outer space. Underwater domes enabled people to live and work below the waves. Kelp, seaweed and fish farming significantly added to the world’s food supply. Even underwater mining was flourishing.

A fledgling but promising new technology was being explored. This involved matter transmission or teleporting over distances. The scanning of an object, disassembling it into it’s fundamental nuclear components, then transmitting those components to another location where they were reassembled. So far they had succeeded in transmitting small quantities of nonorganic material from earth to the moon. They were making progress on organic plant matter, but as of yet had not been able to transport living matter and have it arrive still alive. But the people working on it were hopeful they could overcome the issue to eventually transport people and even replicate matter from a stored component map.

Medical science advanced finding cures for most diseases. Genetic engineering eliminated many other conditions. Replacement clone organs could be grown for those in need of a transplant eliminating rejection. Even replacement limbs could be grown. Fiach briefly thought about cloning a child but quickly shut those thoughts down. If she did it, many others would want to do so. In addition, she feared watching her child age and die while she continued unchanged.

With ongoing mostly voluntary population relocations, the various races intermarried and interbred. Everyone was a nephew or niece of Fiach. Voluntary population control had taken place as the schools, faiths, and government supported zero population growth. The population hovered around 10,000,000,000.

Fiach was finally able to slow down. Video media connected humanity bringing Fiach into every home, business and public space. She appeared on dozens of shows as a commentator and pundit. Whenever issues arose, Fiach would publicly address them. Via teleconferences she simultaneously taught massive seminars in dozens of University classrooms around the world and even off world. Every other week she held Q&A seminars. The government and faiths were still flexible and living as Fiach demanded. Fiach finally accepted the title of Clan Corvo Matriarch, head of the government and all faiths. However her lifestyle remained humble and simple. She still traveled the world but at a slower pace thanks to jet aircraft so she could enjoy the modern yet simple lifestyle she had brought to humanity. However she could not retire. For The Curse to continue being effective in maintaining world peace she had to physically visit the members of the Clan Corvo. Her love for humanity had to be physically displayed and felt by humanity.

This is not the end of Time on My Hands, but it is the end of the documentation on this alternative universe.

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Comments

Ianuaria is right, plain and simple.

Beoca's picture

Anyone who has studied RL history cannot deny that Operation Harmony did indeed save millions of lives (relative to the status quo). From the Crusades, to the Black Plague, to the Mongolian Horde's rampage, so many millions were killed who would survive in this world. Yes, they do die eventually, but this does mean that they have more children. The impact continues to show itself for generations (a fascinating study of this IRL exists in looking at the impact of WWII on Russia's population - it is still being felt in a relative lack of babies being born today, three generations later).

As to the commentary regarding faith and religion, this isn't new. I have appreciated the philosophical dives into it in different stories, and I appreciate it here as well. The added clarity from all the events that they reference makes it even better.

I don't necessarily like the "code of silence being anathema" bit - I'm not the most open of people, and it does scare me somewhat - but I understand the realities that make it fair.

Thanks

Thank you for this great, well researched,story.

Thank you...

back at the beginning when I started reading this epic tale, I often wondered where it would end and if it would address our modern times. You have done a magnificent job, with the endless hours of research, you near limitless imagination, and your gentle style of writing. You kept it interesting, informative (I have learned much that I never knew), and a welcomed habit. I thank you over and over again for this learning experience and a glimpse of what might have been. God bless you. ^_^ T.

I am a Proud mostly Native American woman. I am bi-polar. I am married, and mother to three boys. I hope we can be friends.

I have really enjoyed this story.

Wendy Jean's picture

I get the feeling you enjoyed writing it (speaking to Jennifer Sue). I am a very social person who makes friends easily, I consider myself a Christian, but I am not a good Christian by many peoples measure. I prefer to reflect this by showing respect and compassion for all those I meet. I like to joke no stroke that no mere stroke could shut me up, This one almost did (brain hemorrhages kill 83% of those who have it. Being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life is a real downer, but I am always seeking new friends. I will do this until I die and I move on to the next Grand Adventure. So Jennifer, will you be my friend?

Amazing Story...

Well worth the time and effort, to write it (I hope) and to read it. I was certainly glad to see Fiach develop her character in the later going.

Eric