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08 January 2022


The prologue to Resistance, third story in my series now referred to under the working title, Echoes of a Future Truth. The collection includes Abrasion, Isolation, and Resistance, which takes place at the chronological beginning of the cycle, but is the last part of the trilogy.




    When explorers of this latter age arrived at the western edge of the North American continent, followed quickly by conquistadors, missionaries, and miners of precious metals, they came as vanguard of the manifest destiny that would be embraced by a new nation eager for justification … to circle the planet, claim it all for their cause, and leave nothing undiscovered. What these explorers could not see at the time (besides those peoples that already lived there) was that the frontier would never be conquered, could only be extended, and that the grandchildren of emigrants would never be allowed to rest.

    Here, in the coming years, were ships conceived to breach the boundaries between planets, and occult mechanisms made to probe the space in between the smallest things, smashing atoms into strange and charming lesser parts. And when, desperate for new trails to break, the conquistadors made to circle back around the planet by virtual means, new paths were opened up until all that remained were noisy tracks crisscrossing the wilderness of silence. Finally, when death came speeding along the Via Romana and its interstate inheritors, these new ways provided no escape. The spirit of the new frontier would have to wait – for the destroyer to pass through the cities, and for the remnant to pass between the waters – before it could resume its search through the wide open spaces of the coming age for something like an answer or an end.

    The great migration that peaked with the discovery of gold in California never really concluded, even after the gold ran out. Searchers kept coming to pierce each new frontier in turn. … Space. Fame. Silicon. Capital. And as each of these was rendered meaningless, and only one frontier remained, the migration slowed but didn’t end; the last surviving scientists and technologists made their way west to work the problem of death.

    On this day, if anyone had been keeping count, a final migrant completed her own journey west. A middle-aged Irish psychologist, youngest child of a Catholic schoolteacher and a gaeilgeoir Somali; this daughter of the old world arrived by way of studies at Cambridge and a recent professorship at Berkeley. She came to take her place at the California company that was both the greatest failure of its era and also its greatest hope. Neither she nor any other was aware that she would be the last to arrive. Nobody was keeping count.

    She did understand that she would be taking part in the final act of the Great Story: she knew the role that she’d been cast in, and she knew where to stand on the stage. But what she did not know – what she could not know – was the true nature of the play. … Whatever destiny had been made manifest in ages past was no longer accessible to plain sight. The veil had been dropped once more to shroud the doom of humankind.