KALLITALA - The unknown paradise

Gianfranco Menghini

An industrious people from Ancient Greece, due to a terrifying explosion of Volcano Etna over three thousand years ago, crossed the Pillars of Hercules.

An industrious people from Ancient Greece, due to a terrifying explosion of Volcano Etna over three thousand years ago, crossed the Pillars of Hercules and with tremendous difficulties that absorbed to his extreme forces, at last, discovered a large island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Featuring an extraordinary willpower and a firmness of purpose, they gave themselves clear and harsh laws. No waste of time in religions, mythologies or superstitious behavior. They entirely dedicated to improving their situation. Thanks also to the fertility of the island-continent of land and its vast mineral and fish resources added to its extension and beauty, baptized with the name of Kallitala. When Christopher Columbus ventures into the huge ocean to reach the legendary Cathay, these people who do nothing in common with humans, has come to a level of technology as to considered inconceivable even today. They hid the island under an electromagnetic bell that makes it invisible to everybody and to all the most sophisticated optical engineering gadgets, including spy satellites, with a border that exceeds forty miles around its cost and more than ten kilometers in high. No ship or aircraft can punch, even by mistake, his living space because, without that external noticing, the bow of their vehicles is diverted to follow the parallels and meridians drawn by the men. All these and other things which notwithstanding now you can imagine how, to give just one example, a powerful and immense machine whose core composed of a chemical material similar to that of the human brain, but redundant of neurons crossed by billions of fine  gold filaments  to a nana-amperage electricity,  the operation of which is more than hundred million of the most  unfortunately, the people of the Hellenes (so call themselves residents of KALLITALA) share with mankind: the air we breathe, and since they are very sensitive to every slightest decrease in air composed despite the island situated on the fault line that bisects the Atlantic seabed, polluted air also comes there.

For which the original inhabitants of Kallitala, invent a panel that captures the neutrinos from the sun, which transformed into an energy producer such as to use for always, that imparts to an electric motor to any of the power needed to propel vehicles of all kinds, including planes. That, in the hope of inducing the mankind to refrain from using engines working with petroleum fuels, offering it free to all.

Unfortunately, the operation of the distribution panels to solar neutrinos with the UN mediation fails. The men have been too presumptuous and arrogant, and the great powers wanted to appropriate the right to distribute the enormous quantity of panels only to friendly nations and to an extent so inadequate to be considered undisputed masters of the world. Not only that but the Americans, albeit unintentionally, they fail the mission of Aeneas of the Anchisis, which, not to reveal the secrets of Kallitala, sacrifices his life. However, a plot twist reveals the mystery, since it happens unmixable opportunity of which Hellene's advantage to this high-end and then ...


KALLITALA

THE UNKNOWN PARADISE

 

1 - THE ISLAND OF MISTERY


He slackened a bit the mainsail not because the wind would blow with intensity. Indeed, the aura coming from the West was also light, but to get himself a little shade. He left the cap in the cabin and did not desire to move the rudder to go to it, although the Sun would hammer over his head. He touched the hair that was long and thick, felt them burning, and then, after being quenched himself with the water from the bottle half full of water became hot as urine, he poured the rest at the head. So that, at least to get back the lock of hair that was falling in drops on the face, he had to leave the steering wheel a little rope that held the mainsail, for a handful of seconds. Quite long enough, however, that and the mainsail, abandoned to itself, came backwards going to bang on his head, knocking him unconscious. 

With the wilting of his body in the cockpit, the line tied to the right arm went in tension still enough to hold the boom, so when the wind strengthened, it swelled sail and jib, the boat tilted a few degrees to port and ran at sea straight as a ramrod until disappeared behind the horizon the little islands of Florida Keys and, as last, the tower buildings of Key West. 

Soul travelling companions, a school of dolphins belonging to a different order of marine mammals known as the man. They did not play as they are to use, jumping between a wave and the other formed by the wake of the boat, because the speed was not sufficient to generate a wave high enough to be able to put their cusped heads. However, they seemed to escort him, four of them on each side, two pairs at the bow and as many at the stern. All which think that under their protection, nothing more than positive would happen to the vessel, given that it went smooth as if would have an electric motor, also seeming to the skipper, instead of the blow to his head of the slow return of the boom, not so violent, would be inoculated an anaesthetic since passed a lapse of time from the slight accident and he remained lifeless. 

And the boat, instead, a cutter vintage of fifty feet fully equipped with the latest avionics for the long course, but with the boom too small healed by today's standards, especially for a skipper. Furthermore, tall, in the meantime had to have covered countless miles and when the lone sailor was recovering his senses, although not yet able to steer the boat nor to realize what was happening, it increased the pace in a sea that was done smoothly, to mark the electronic speedometer speeds of over thirty knots. All that without causing both the big smudge of the bow nor the accentuated vibrations to the hull than those who usually should be raised by a stiff wind, but not too high. 

When the sailor resumed the senses entirely, saw before him the profile of two promontories, which outlined against the sea to form a large darse toward which the boat was fast heading without that him, although he would try to turn the rudder, could prevent it and while he was worried about possible damage at the helm, the eight strange dolphins emerged with their heads from the sea by issuing their typical sounds that the man understood as his fellow men would speak: 'Let us guide. You do not encounter any danger.' 

The young man, as only a person in full possession of his physical forces, could put into the sea alone to steer a sailing boat of that size albeit if he had done it to drive along with the Keys and circumnavigate the Marquesas, at less than fifteen miles from Key West and the coming back, decided to let be guided because he had any possibility to contrast that supreme will that was attracting him to the ground. 

He had arrived from New York three days before to take a period of rest and reflection and an experimented sailor who had done countless practices in the Nantucket Sound, that little tour in a sea just choppy by a light breeze, more than a test of skill, he had considered it as an ordinary tourist trip. 

He did not realize, however, as he could not rule the cutter, which was heading now, pushed by an unknown force and with those strange eight peculiars as beautiful dolphins at hips, toward the centre of the broad inlet that as gradually that he penetrated there, showed a wide arched beach edged of the typical yellow gold of the reef sand. He noticed that the sun's rays were no longer flushing red as a few hours before, the sea was like a plank, and the sails almost flabby. Nevertheless, the boat sped to seven knots as he saw the log. More interested in enjoining the beautiful landscape that was to spring up in front of his eyes than to guess which engine would push him, he had not realized that the dolphins were not yet on the hips of the boat. They had gone to play in the waves of the wakes of other vessels or engulfed in the dark sea. Never should he imagine that, instead. The cetaceans were placed under the keel and, like the pilot, fish with the sharks. They were attacked there and pushed the boat directing it, thanks to their sense of direction, toward the landing. Which materialized as itself a few minutes later as a well-equipped dock to which, with a manoeuvre worthy of the best skipper, the boat came alongside and a young man by the apparent age from twenty years. He jumped on board and without saying a word, took the ropes of the bow and the stern and moored it. 

The man, enchanted by the magnificent landscape and by all maritime operations, performed skillfully, though he was dreaming. The day, which was turning to his end, was beautiful, with a Sun that shined still high on the distant peaks of the purple mountains that stood out in a pink-blue sky. In the last hours, it had not made the suffocating heat of when he landed at the airport of Key West and all seemed heavenly, with a balsamic air that had the flavour of the intense scents of spring where the lone sounds were those of the light water lapping and the others, garrulous more than strident, issued from the throats of many sea fowls, which swirled around. 

When he emerged from the cabin where he had gone to take the duster, considering that, with the setting sun, the air was beginning to be cool, he did not find yet the young man who had tied the ropes to the boat with two perfect bowline knots. He looked around himself quite dazed and, not foreseeing any human presence, he ventured himself on the pier reaching up to his base that ended on hard ground after passing through an underlying long bridge at eye level, the beautiful golden pink sand beach. The flat terrain covered by the typical vegetation growing in the sea stretched itself as far as the eye to the distant hills behind their rounded cusps where we could foresee the saw-toothed frame of the mountains. 

He returned fast to the boat to take the binoculars. He had foreseen some clear spots on the slopes of the nearer hills, and when he focused the lens, he discovered to his satisfaction that it dealt with buildings or homes, in short, habitations. This ascertainment lightened his mind because the magic where he had lived so far had kept him in apprehension, though he tries to believe everything was in the rule and those strange dolphins... and even that handsome young man who had tied the ropes... but, finally, all that oddities which should later be revealed themselves to be the customs at the place, in consideration those houses he had just glimpsed, in the distance, gave him back the sense of reality. The next day, if none comes alongside the pier, he should go there, however, first, before, he must consult the maps onboard and eat something as well. He had not noticed if there was some food from the refrigerator. When he had rented the boat, he had pledged himself to return before the sunset that, at those latitudes, is in the late afternoon. It was possible. Therefore, there was nothing at than a few bottles of water or, at most, the usual soft drinks. Not even remotely he should dream of finding the beer that he felt so much need. The bottled water drunk during the coastal navigation, he did buy at the last moment, in the bar next door to the offices of the rental company. 

He returned to the cabin, but even before to think about food. He took care to consult the maps of Florida. The only place where he was could not be the sole archipelago of the Bahamas, for sure! Not knowing how long the boat sailed without a government, even the island of Cuba. 

'No!' He had to say. 'Cuba is too far, and then, its inhabitants at the sight of an American boat, should not come to welcome me, maybe even to arrest me!' In his mind a quick idea. 

"The satellite navigator system. What a fool I am not to have even consulted!" exclaimed loudly, slapping the base of the palm of his right hand on his forehead. 

He climbed the four steps that led to the deck, and he sat in front of the navigation tools. The monitor of the satellite, however, was off. He was about to press the pawl ignition when he realized that it was already in a position of 'On.' He gave a gentle tap on the base, but the screen remained dark. It there not lack the current because he had left at the lights from the cabin and, at least, the boat, in addition, equipped with an extensive battery backup, also had a small independent power generator who fed by an additional tank of diesel and both deposits, as he had checked by the man of the maintenance in the morning before leaving for Key West, were full. He changed the program and pressed on 'Menu', and immediately the screen brightened illustrating access to various programs, but not to that of the 'ship's position'. He thought that would come by some interference of the satellite, and he gave himself no thought. As soon as possible this slight problem, if it were, should be solved. In the case of an emergency, there was still the radio. The frequency band of the rental company was on twelve points nine. Surely it was not the appropriate time to ask for assistance. The next day, he decided, comforting himself? And then, within that time, without any doubt, the satellite interference would be resolved. 

To the disappointed curiosity, he gave precedence to the appetite and this time opened the refrigerator. He made a gesture of joy to see it full of everything to feed an entire crew of six, so many, could hold the boat with three cabins, one of which was spacious and comfortable with its bathroom, close to the elegant dining-sitting-room. He looked well in the Pantry and saw that there was a certain amount of canned goods, including loaf and sweet and savoury biscuits. 

He had no familiarity with the oven and stove, so he put on the table a plate with two thick slices of ham and another of smoked salmon, a portion of bread that he put on toast while drinking a beer discovered on the bottom shelf of the fridge. 

Then, eating and putting everything in order before going and lying down, he went outside, going to sit on the little bench beside the steering wheel. The darkness around was impenetrable and the sky. However, a diamond is averse to spark lings. Never in his life, he seen so many stars in that sky. Some appeared to him as a ring with a solitaire diamond big as a chickpea, identical to the one that he had given to Liza. That memory gave him a pang and to make it fade away, he went back down into the cabin to take binoculars and a flashlight. Then, in returning to his examination post, he turned off the lights and began to observe towards the hills where in the afternoon, he had noticed the bright spots of the buildings. However, it was a futile effort of the eyes. Around him, it was thick darkness, and no glow leaked from those masses of land, of which the countless diamond stars drew faint outlines. 

The vision of the sky excited him, neither awed at the idea of being in a strange country and uninhabited nor. Who knows from were ticked off that kind young man who had helped him to moor the boat nor the lonely navigator had had any inkling of the presence of the dolphins. 

'Dolphin tugs,' he said to himself. 'How strange!' And as he was distracting himself admiring the stars with the binoculars that did see them not indeed bigger, if anything, denser, the sky suddenly darkened and began to fall a thick drizzle, forcing him to turn on the flashlight and go to himself to shelter in the cabin, which he is double-locked. ``We never know,' he had to think, 'that unexpectedly as has already happened, someone could be introduced into the boat.' 

He laid down on the bed and, for more precautions, not disposing of another weapon. He put his hand on the flare gun that inserted a cartridge. The rain was so slight that there was not enough noise falling on the deckhouse, so much that he did run the glass from the window to put out his hand. He found contact with the drizzle. It was light and lukewarm. He stayed to listen to the very slender noises that came from outside and, with his senses sharpened more by the novelty of the world that rounding him by that by the tension of knowing himself lost who knows where, he could not sleep, so just after only two hours of rest, he got out of bed and after having turned on precisely a little reading light, he took the flashlight and went outside. It had stopped raining, and the sky was full of stars but looking at himself better around. He saw glimmering some small lights on the hills and a faint light that was spreading in the gloomy sky surrounding the hill less high, projecting from the sea along. At first, he thought they were stars on sunset or the feeble light of the moonrise but then, looking better with the binoculars. He got the certainty that the lights were coming from homes he had seen during the afternoon and that one could only be that of an inhabited centre. 

'An oddity, indeed,' he said himself at first every dark, and now, it seems that the two hours of rain have revived this unknown land! But will it be an island or not?' 

Less convinced now that it would be either the Bahamas or Cuba, he became intrigued with the satellite, but the monitor, to the persistent attempts to get location-ship, remained dark. The geodetic satellite was severely damaged. However, reasoning in fresh mind, he ought to agree to manage the equipment on the boat, no longer functioning as in the morning but, given that of satellites who gave the position of everything on Earth, there was more than one, he is not worried. He should see them the next day. He had to promise himself with a yawn. The weariness fell to his whole body and the sleep so much invoked reached him soon after he laid on the bed. 

And when shining dawn gilded by its rays the surrounding lands going to mirror itself in the wide-open sea barely rippled by a gentle aura, a slice of the sea did a reflecting mirror and flung again the glare of the Sun just risen to the little window left open in the cabin were laid the blond Henry, who rested after eight hours of sleep, awaking himself. As usual, the bold navigator stood up and addressed once back his thought to the night before, he was kept by slight anxiety, so he went up to the stern and from the cockpit began to scan around. The Sun shone in a cloudless sky, and the lands all around were mantled in a thick sequence of green tones. The visual was fine. The light rain during the night erased all traces of atmospheric dust making him see more clearly both the hills and the mountains in the background. However, one thing or better, some things that he had not noticed on his arrival, caught his attention. Failing. At the same time, to distinguish with the naked eye, he had to get down in the lounge to take the binoculars. When he resumed his place to the rudder, he had a fear. A person was walking along the pier, in the direction of his boat. Not distinguishing which well because the image was against the Sun, he believed would deal with the young man who had helped him to moor the ship, but then, as the figure was approaching, he had the certitude that would deal for a woman, and at last, he saw her. A woman... a girl, quite young and... so beautiful, of beauty for him incredible in a place so highly imaginative. 

She looked at him straight in the eye and expressed with a half-smile the pleasure of welcoming a stranger. She had the hair of a jet-black that framed her a beautiful face where two large eyes shaded by long lashes, expressed a great sweetness. She was approaching with a walk solemnly and slowly so that the edges of her light dress swayed harmoniously to the rhythm of the stride. She wore a nimble corset that moulded the breasts, to the joint of which was visible to the vast gap that left the neck and ended on her shoulders. 

All the skin uncovered the golden colour of honey. 

When they faced each other, none of them spoke a word until after having scanned themselves carefully in the eyes. It seemed to the girl that in those of Henry, there would be any trace of distrust so that she was the first to speak. 

"Welcome. I am the sister of the young man whom yesterday moored your boat. I came to invite you into our home. " 

"Where?" Henry asked, ignoring the good manners to give way to the desire to know in which place he would be. 

"There," did the girl, pointing with a graceful movement of the arm the distant hills. 

"And we ought to go there, walking?" 

"My name is Phaedra," she said, giving consequent starts to know each other. "What about you?" 

"Ah. Excuse me. I am Henry. However, how is that you speak my language?" he asked again as usual, incorrigible curious. 

"Do you come, then?" the girl said, not answering his question. 

"Yes, of course. Just a moment that I take my items. Meanwhile, you could sit on the boat." 

"I'd rather go for a walk on the beach," replied the girl. "I'll be waiting for you at the base of the pier." 

Henry took its items but put them in a bulk in the kit bag. He had been taken by the fear that if he did not keep an eye on the girl, as well as her brother the day before, she would discover. Why did not take his eyes from the little windows, and almost did not notice what was slipping into the sailor luggage. Then, when he saw her walking on the beach with lightness as if her feet would not leave footprints, he came out in the aft cockpit and even had not locked the cabin door in order not to lose her sight, but he just learned it. He threw the kit bag on the pier and performed an elegant vaulting landing there as an athlete. In that way, sparing to drag the ropes to bring the boat to the dock, not to lose sight, even for a moment, the lovely little figure of Phaedra. 

'What a name! It smells of antique. Classic, I should say. In any case, I do not mind ‘and reflecting on the ease with which he performed the jump and of the unusual lightness of the baggage,' I feel as light as a feather. That's this country.' 

Kitbag on the shoulder after the manner of sailors, without doing himself any more questions, he hurried to reach the girl who, although up to that moment. She would show her back while walking along the shoreline, she headed back and, with her usual gait caressing the sand and looking pensive, put her feet. She reached the attack of the pier at the same moment in which there was coming to Henry, too. She addressed him with a bright smile and, with an arm, an aerial nod to invite him to follow her. While advancing throughout the bushes grown on dunes, they arrived where the vegetation became denser. Behind a barrier of a tight group of trees, there was a car or better, something different from the conception that Henry had done himself to a car. As that vehicle was a cross between a spacecraft and a conventional two-seater sports car, but with a large trunk where, at a gentle nod of his guest, Henry would quickly put it in the sailor's bag. 

He did not even notice that Phaedra had the motor running when the astromobile, so in his mind, he had already christened that car, began to move, first at a slow pace the little road through the wood then, when it entered a broad path, at the time deserted, it increased the power reaching an unusually high speed, such as. He was not able to distinguish, despite closely, what would be that kind of glow which he had seen from the boat. 

The girl, grave and taken by driving the car, added no other words to that meagre, she had given to inviting him to follow her and Henry played along, if what they were playful, urged by his lively curiosity to come to know when finally, they should arrive at the home of Phaedra, in which country he would land and what people would live there. When the strange vehicle arrived at the foot of one of the many hills doing a barrier to the big town that Henry had guessed would exist from the lights emitted in the night sky, it left the main road and began to rise, but not along a secondary path, since it seemed him, it would be, but merely levitating on a cushion of air, however, without raising dust at all and advancing fast, but always without uttering the engine roar. 

The building in front of which they stood was undoubtedly a dwelling, but its forms differed from the traditional houses. Its lines were pure and essential, and it had no doors and windows. The roof then had a strange shape. Plate with the edges as a gutter. There was a myriad of things that he had come to know and the girl, however, had not uttered a word once they got in the car. She motioned for him to follow her into the building without even opening the space where he placed the Kitbag. As she approached the wall, suddenly materialized as itself door and windows, at a light touch, the sliding door opened itself into a vestibule with pale walls illuminated by diffusion lights of which we could see the origin. A massive glass door glided silently in the wall and followed Phaedra. Henry entered a large hall furnished with ultra-shiny items on which there were no ornamental objects, as it was used to see in the house of his girlfriend Liza, who had transformed every horizontal surface of each in a small altar full of pictures in wooden or metal frames. It was also one of many reasons for which he had temporarily left New York for reflection. Moreover, in agreement with his office manager, he took advantage to take his vacation supplementing them with the remainder of the ten days during the year before. 

A young guy, the same who had helped him to moor the boat the day before, got up from the sofa and went to greet him. Henry did not notice his presence at the house. He was laid watching the TV big screen, and the sofa bed turned to the opposite side of the entrance. As he just shook his hand, the screen disappeared behind the wall, and when Henry turned toward his sister, he realized with astonishment that she was gone. 

"She's gone to warn our parents," said the young man, still holding his hand and addressing him with an amused look. "I'm Paris." 

"And I am Henry. Henry Campbell, to be exact. However, how" he stammered for a moment but then a little more decisive: "Where are we?" 

"Ah! Here Phaedra with my parents. Come, Henry, let us meet them." 

Although annoyed to ascertain how the inhabitants of this territory would do everything not to give him the slightest explanation, he followed Paris through the vast hall, arriving to find himself at the foot of an elegant elliptical staircase of which he had not guessed the presence, in the middle of, which were coming down, with undeniable grace, Phaedra either her parents. The first to pay homage to him was the father who, pleased, stood shaking his hand vigorously. 

Henry, as a good American engineer, had not studied too deeply the ancient Greek and Roman history, but by individual readings in the library of the Princeton University where he obtained a degree in engineering, he had learned something from Greek mythology and those names stood making clear that was not at all in the Bahamas neither in Cuba, but in places such as strange as to make him believe he was dreaming. 

While presenting her parents, Phaedra interspersed with words understandable, even a strange, incomprehensible language. The mother, whose name Hecuba reminded him of having already read it in the books, was a beautiful woman who just finished the flowering of whom Phaedra seemed the certified copy, held him out of her hand shook slightly, so he found it delicate to touch to have the exaggerated suspicion, he was causing her pain, and when it was the turn of the father, which Phaedra whispered him the name Alcinous, to Henry, felt like to laugh at that because at that time he remembered of that appellative, he had learned from his unique readings of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and a book of Greek history, that everything seemed him a comedy fabricated expressly. 

He marvelled at being told by himself: "But what is all this? I appear to find myself in the middle of a play. All these names of ancient Greece," gazing into the eyes of Alcinous, he too aged and resembling like a drop of water to his son Paris, who smiled at him benevolently. "Excuse me... but who are you?" Henry added shyly. 

"We are the family of Achaeans ..." replied, still smiling, the father, "and we kept the names of our far-away ancestors."   

"It's a tradition among our people" echoed Phaedra, who, with an elegant gesture, asked everyone to follow her going and to sit in the great hall. 

Henry did not feel himself asking more. Paris put a hand on his shoulder and led him fairy to the same sofa where just before he was comfortable lying. His parents and Phaedra had already seated on the chairs, the father in a curious attitude of waiting to hear the story of that welcome guest expected while the mother and Phaedra were confabulating softly in their strange language. 

“We are pleased to host you in our modest home. To what honour we are happy with your visit?" I asked Alcinous, with undisguised curiosity. 

"But really..." Henry replied undecided, looking now Paris at present Phaedra as to mean that they two knew that more than him, "I should not know, Mr Achaeans." 

     

"It is used in these lands to call us familiar by name, Henry. I would like to remind you that my name is Alcinous. So, do you want to kindly tell me why you got to our island?" I repeated the property owner blandly. 

"Ah, then, it's an island!" I exclaimed to the American. 

"Almost a continent, though!" Paris said positively. 

"Great how? And where is it located compared to America?" Henry again asked earnestly and not coming to him the answer by Paris, who watched silently as his father asked permission to speak, he added: "Perhaps Cuba?" 

"None of that," replied Alcinous. "Ours is a small unknown continent, or rather, mysterious about all the other inhabitants of the Earth." 

"It's impossible,” escaped saying to Henry, who, apologizing, added: "That is, I meant to want, without disrespecting you, Alcinous, there no longer exists any corner of the world unknown to us. You know with our numerous satellites running in space. " 

"Yeah, your satellites..." did back Alcinous gurgling a hint of laughter, imitated by his wife and Phaedra, while Paris could not restrain a cackling laugh, "they see anything, everything even a little leaf fell in the tangle of Amazon rainforest. However, not us neither our lands, our sea and despite nor our sky," and with a slight sour of our environment will never be seen except by those who will be invited by our Archon. And, for this reason, I ask you: who gave you the faculty to enter our world?" Then, given that with the last words, he was intimidating the guest, "dear boy, do you know something, for instance?" 

"I fainted under the steering wheel of my boat for a shot of the boom on the head, and I do not know how long I stayed unconscious. Then I saw eight different dolphins, which piloted the boat up to the large beach. Where was a pier, and your son Paris had docked it?" 

"So, you've been invited by the Archon. Only he can give an order to the sea hogs to enter a stranger in our waters. " 

"But I do not know any Archon, nor has anyone informed me of anything..." Henry replied plaintively. "It does not seem like me away, this, to invite the people, and then I must come back to Key West to return the boat and from there pursue to New York..." 

"I do not know anything accurately, and I imagine, not even my children," said Alcinous, and turning his gaze first to Paris and soon after in the direction of Phaedra, he made sure that notwithstanding they did not have any idea. "Stay here with us. You'll see that they will soon come nearby from Poseidon, our Capital, to pick you up." 

On the face of Henry was reading apparent dismay, so Alcinous believed it suitable to interrupt the conversation. "I'll leave you in the care of Phaedra, who will settle over the guest room and illustrate to our country how to make her, in a way that you can implement this news gradually because everything will seem very strange." And so, saying, taken to hand his wife Hecuba, the two forwarded themselves to the staircase at the end of the hall. 

"I must go," did his tour in Paris, addressing an agreement glance to his sister and beating the hand upon the shoulder of Henry like a friendly farewell. 

"Come on, do you not dismay, Henry," Phaedra with a velvety voice. "You'll see. How beautiful is this island. During your stay here, I will make you visit it, and I'll explain a few things about our origins." 

"From where you came here, in short, your ancestors..." 

"One thing at a time. First, come to get the items you left in the boat." 

"I have nothing left in the vessel, Phaedra. All I had I put it in the Kitbag which is still in your ... the ... what's his name, maybe astromobile?" 

Phaedra bursts out in a soft laugh. "No, astromobile, no,” she replied garrulously, "we call it a car as you." 

"But if it does not have the wheels ... and then it flies!" 

"It has wheels, even if you were not able to see and then to fly ... Well, Henry. These technical things will be Paris to explain to you at the appropriate time because he is a specialist in this field. He's an engineer and works in a large factory in Poseidon." 

"Is that the city in which I saw the night flashes appear from behind that long hill?"     

"Exactly, and it's far more than a hundred fifty kilometres." 

"So far away! However, how is it possible to see the lights from that distance, and then, this island must be great!" 

"As said, you, my father, it's a small continent." 

"But how can it be possible that we, as you call us?" 

"Men." 

"Why, you're what?" I replied to Henry with a sarcastic little smile. 

"Hellenes." 

"Hellenes! What do you mean? " 

"That our far away ancestors came from the Magna Graecia, and even before from the Peloponnesus ..." By reading the amazement on the face of Henry, Phaedra went on: "The Magna Graecia was in Italy. Just to the south where the weather was sweet as ours, but as Alcinous said, do give me the time to explain things a little at a time to make you understand." 

"All right," agreed Henry is a bit intimidated. "I will not ask more questions." 

"Now we two go in the car to take your Kitbag." 

Now when Phaedra operated the remote control which did release the cover of the boot, Henry tried, bending himself, to find out. Where would the wheels be but, not being able to do it on the ground in order not to annoy the girl, to his disappointment, he could not see them, even if the vehicle leaned on something. Phaedra pretended not to notice herself, and when Henry put the bag on his shoulder, she led him the way to the house where they climbed the grand staircase, they came upstairs. The wonder of wonders, with the great windows, opened we could see the entire surrounding of the countryside and although Henry considered them extremely far because to come home from the boat, they had taken a bit of time on the car - which for him was still an astromobile, given that in a certain way it flew - also the beach, the pier, and the docked boat. He thought that of oddities in this country of Hellenes, there were too many in addition to seeing a considerable distance as if he had put down the binoculars and another thing, of which only now he realized after coming upstairs. Not being in the condition to quantify the weight of the Kitbag, since it was the second time that had put it on his shoulder because had brought it in the marina in Key West, an attendant of the rental company, he felt lighter. That explains the loveliness of Phaedra when she was walking on the beach while he filled the baggage of his things quickly. He felt as if he had lost at least ten kilos, who, tall of one meter and eighty-four when fit, weighed eighty-five. He said himself that if he did not show too much curiosity, perhaps Phaedra and after her brother and who knows, in the sequel also their parents, they should clarify all those mysteries, the first of which was their false inference that he would arrive to come on purpose to this continent by an Archon, maybe, he had to say himself, an absolute monarch or a tyrant. Among the two, he hoped in the initial. A monarch can illuminate, but a tyrant, well, there had been no cases in history where the tyrants could prove that they lacked some wheel in their brain ... 

Ah, that is right. Phaedra was waving him from the jamb of the last door to the hall to follow her upstairs, think that Henry did at once, and he found himself in 'his' room, spacious and bright given that if he did not see it from outside, the strange house had to have a lot of windows, and large, too. If from outside the building could look like the work of an imaginative architect, as far as the furniture, all the items were quite conventional, but strictly modern, shiny until to mirror themselves and without any trinket or frames on the horizontal external planes, while in those internal... he opened the door to the wardrobe, and he saw that there were many hanging clothes. Then, pulled himself a drawer that was overflowing with perfectly ironed shirts and, not making too curious Phaedra, who was watching him without hiding a little smile of complicity. He put the Kitbag on the big carpet and sat down on a double bed. Of the right firmness, as he liked, not, furthermore, flexible, so forming a pit where he should lay the body, thus ensuring a whole rest. 

"It's to your taste, as I see," said Phaedra, who has put herself in front of the window. 

"Even more than the cabin of the boat," said Henry, in order not to give her too much satisfaction. Although intrigued, he was annoyed to find himself in that situation of which, unconsciously, he believed himself responsible. But then approaching her was enough to feel the faint scent which emanated from the first flowers during the spring, intoxicated of that in such a way that he wanted to embrace her. He dominated himself, looking away from the girl's chest to the view below, and if before the sight struck him from the downstairs lounge, now seeing the same landscape from a higher position, he stayed enraptured. It was extraordinary that for the difference of a single-story, his vision could wander so widely. We saw things that he did not yet notice. Meanwhile, the big road that he covered for a few minutes, leaves itself in a very distant horizon, busied by scarce astromobiles but were dissolved to the sight, silhouetted themselves against the white sky the towering needles of the mountains, purple in the distance. 

Phaedra, who followed the glance of Henry, when she saw him stopping on the profile of the mountains, said: "That one is the mountainous range of Olympus, with Mount Ida in the centre." 

"Olympus, Ida, Archon, Hellenes," intoned Henry sarcastically, "should you not tell me that we are in ancient Greece, do you?" 

"Almost," replied the girl. 

"What does it mean?" 

"That is not ancient Greece because, as you know, very well. We live in the modern era, and we are in the Atlantic Ocean, but something that, at least, concerns some references. Our fathers wanted it to have a certain resemblance." 

"Okay. Let us admit it because I'm not familiar with the history of ancient Greece but following your reasoning updated to current times, in addition to the names of men and things, I hope there are no other appearances. " 

"Right, the fact there are none. Neither with the government throughout the country." "It 'a democracy?" I asked Henry as a real American. 

"I do not think so, but my father will be more accurate with you." 

"In this case, then could you explain to me, at least, why these lands are unknown to us, men?" 

"That one will be Paris to explain to you. I'll I can only say that this small continent is called Kallitala." 

"Kalli ... tala. Strange. A name, I guess, significant. Good thing that they have not called, what I know, Peloponnese or Attica," Henry replied, smiling for the first time, despite considering himself in grave danger. "What does it mean?" 

"Atala is the name of a young girl who followed the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece, by our ancestors she rightly considered the symbol of the discovery, and Kallista, informal language, means beauty. Here the women are very independent, and," she had a moment of hesitation, "beautiful as the island. And it was precise to Kallitala that my ancestors, owing to the explosion of the volcano, more than two thousand five hundred years ago, ventured to sea to find themselves. Heaven only knows how perhaps stopping for a few months on the African coast to have survived so much, in these very distant lands in the middle of the boundless ocean." 

”But if there they have never been," came spontaneously to say to Henry, who immediately repented correcting himself, "then, of course, now I understood. We are in the Canaries. That's why that top big mountain. " 

"And you with your boat should have crossed the Atlantic in less than a day trip..." replied Phaedra ironically. "Come on, do be reasonable and listen to what I have to tell you. My simple explanations are nice, helping you better understand the other ones of Paris, and at last, those which that will give you, my father." 

Henry stayed confused, and he did not feel able to formulate further questions. Just the awareness of being himself in a strange world, inexistent for the men because, as his hosts had wished well to remark, the inhabitants of Kallitala were not human, even they would be similar, but they considered themselves Hellenes that then, in the end, meant belonging to people or race, but not to a kind of human being: mammals evolved, but always men. 'Oh no!' he said to himself, 'how we can conceive not to be human?' It was also possible, if in this territory, beautiful and unknown to all, happened some things beyond any human imagination, to consider oneself Hellenes instead of men, must well have its justification. And, finally, they were all handsome, the Hellenes. I must agree. Phaedra, indeed, with her beauty and her grace was weakening him the defences that he did not think much more intensely as before to the situation of his affection left in New York, on the contrary, he almost did not care even longer his significant employment in a laboratory physic-industrial wherewith his tea was conducting experimental research, which should they arrive extremely far. However, compared to what he saw on this island, there is something to be discouraged. 

‘But then, these Hellenes, at last, eat them?' Since he had left the boat, an entire day elapsed, and no one had yet put himself on the table, except for drinking water, which was everywhere, even in the sleeping room. He had drunk some thirst-quenching beverage as no other had ever tasted in his life, it was of purity and a lightness unusual, and each time it erased to his mind the instinct to be hungry. 'Funny thing,' he reflected, 'I cannot think they will feed themselves only with water. I hope...' 

They supplied themselves with only water. The Hellenes ate like humans. Nevertheless, only once a day and before the sun went down which, in areas that were yet for Henry in the Caribbean or the Atlantic Center, set quite early. 

The laid table was on the ground floor, in a lounge next to the large hall where he had met himself with the whole family. This time, however, had added two ancillas, so to him came spontaneously to define them, given that the local customs and traditions were of ancient Greece, 

Paris came to meet him compassionately and, rather than shaking him the hand as used throughout the world of men, placed it on his shoulder. 

"Then Henry, did Phaedra clarify you some mystery?" he asked, smiling at him and not arriving at him an immediate reply, added, frowning: "Please, do not ask any questions during the dinner to anyone but do eat in silence and just listen. After, you and I will take a walk in the garden.” 

Still, under the influence of Phaedra to whom he had not more addressed a word, Henry limited himself to nod, trying to imitate every move made by Paris, who had approached himself to the window. Alcinous with his wife Hecuba came in, preceded by Phaedra and another Ancilla, and once seated themselves all around a rectangular table richly laid with tablecloth and napkins of the finest fabric and with ceramic tableware translucent and very shiny metal as is the palladium. The second ancillary brought to the table a steaming soup-tureen, which wafted a very appetizing smell. 

"Today, mushroom soup," said Alcinous, seated at the head table with to his right Phaedra and on the other side Henry. Hecuba is in front of the husband and the other Ancilla at his side. The remaining free space was used for the service. 

'So,' said Henry himself, 'any form of government could have these people of Hellenes. They behave like true Democrats, granting to sit at their table even a house cleaner. Alternatively, she has other tasks,' 

However, he had not yet accomplished these reflections, which the second house cleaner, once serving everyone, put down his bowl of soup in the middle of the table and sat down to start eating when Alcinous put to his lips the first spoonful. And in doing so, on the other hand, he did a papal gesture inviting the diners to imitate him and to Henry: "I hope you like it. It is made exclusively of boletus mushrooms that we cultivate in our forests, identical to those which. Imagine. You will have already eaten. 

"Do you want some more?" I asked the Ancilla, who had served at the table, and to her, too, instead of responding with words, Henry did only a nod that, although negative, was smiling. 

Intervened, as usual, the head of the family, because it seemed that no one would talk, during the meal, as they were all taken to taste the soup. "You do right, my friend Henry. After that, there are other courses that I think you will like." 

And what that Henry ate that evening, made him forget all worries about his future in that strange country but, for the moment, very pleasant. It was served with a fish with tender white meat, genuinely like sea bass, fragrant by the wood herb of which in the island continent the inhabitants would have the cult. After the fish, the meat. Delicious and tender as the tenderloin that he had eaten so many times when he was in Dallas, Texas. The fresh vegetables of a garniture of the fish were crisp as they were recently picked, and the potatoes cooked along with the baked fish, melted in the mouth. Like the beverage, there was not anything else served but water whose taste strangely suited to each dish as the connoisseurs do with the wines. Already he felt the sensation of being replete when the ancillary, whose name was Deianira, brought the dessert in a huge tray full of every kind of fruit tropical as of more northern latitudes, such as pears, oranges, apples, grapes along with mangoes, papayas, and bananas, remaining shaken more of the finding that he has taken the ability to see extremely far and of feeling himself unreasonably light. 

It was Paris when all the people left the table to move to the large hall who made an agreed sign to his relatives, took him aside, and told him, putting his hand on his shoulder, to go down in the garden lit by a strangely gigantic moon. At least twice than Henry had always known, so much so that he thought it would be another planet. Everything now was like a dream. 

And with the most natural indifference, Paris unveiled to him the mystery, saying: "It is the Moon, do not be frightened. We see it as more significant than the effect of the dome that covers the island." 

"Dome?" did Henry widen his eyes. "Should you tell me that one over our heads is not the sky?" 

"Of course, it is, otherwise. How should we survive? It is quite complicated for you to understand how we could create it. Do know that it leans, to explain to you in the simplest manner possible, of a magnetic field that hides us from the outside as well as assure us, for now, air entirely pure like that..." 

"That your ancient ancestors breathed almost three thousand years ago. It's so?" 

"More or less. Bravo, Henry, you have deducted right. " 

"It is not my doing. Your sister had to put me on the right track. However, do explain to me one more thing: and the rain, eh? And the wind?" 

"During the equinoctial night, owing to that the day lasts as long as the night throughout the year, the moisture due to the daytime evaporation concentrates under the dome and, at a given time after midnight, it falls to the ground as rain..." 

"Very pure water as that of three thousand years ago," said Henry with an ironic note. 

"Perfectly." 

"And the wind?" 

"There is no wind by us. Only land and sea breezes, but which have an intensity so mild that caress you the skin. By us, the day-and-night temperature remains constant from olden times, yet. On twenty-eight degrees, the day, and four or five less at night, unless the two legal hours of rain." 

"Ah, here it's! I noticed that yesterday. Two hours of rain-dense, however, so light, owing to the wind's absence." 

"It serves to irrigate the fields and feed the river and lake basins. One day, I will take you to visit our major river, which runs through the whole territory, dropping its source from Mount Ida." 

"That's part of the mountain range of Olympus, as Phaedra said to me." 

"That's right." 

"It's not that..." Henry said, " on those mountains are living," his voice took a tone gurgling as teasing, Jupiter and all other gods?" 

"I am pleased to ascertain that it enjoys you. Well, it's the best way to discover this world completely unknown to you where the values are quite different from those in use in yours." 

"Where I will come back as soon as possible..." Paris gave no attention to these words. 

"We do not know we have gods to worship, we, and as later you will realize, this is one of the secrets that have made us people who managed to survive and create this situation. However, anything in real-time. So, the first. We started with the Moon. The reason why we see it bigger, exactly three and a half times what is usually observed in the Western world, is given by the effect of the dome above us which. You'll see when the sky will be moonless, it will show us the stars and planets in such a way as to distinguish them as if they were ten times closer." 

"And the Sun, then?" did Henry gloating. 

"During the day, the dome plays another essential task, which is to bounce to the outside atmosphere the more dangerous cosmic rays, absorbing only neutrinos and light. For this reason, we enjoy a constant temperature, typical of the late spring with the agricultural production of all respects. Three crops a year. " 

"Why, then, do we not see it as larger as the Moon?" 

"During the day, our protection reversed, precisely, to repel the ionizing radiation and better hide us from the outside view. Everything becomes regular." 

"It makes us see..." 

"I should say to distinguish well the landscape far away," said Paris, who added: "So that you could confuse, it must say that the things will be explained a little at a time. Now you know enough about our sky's protection. Do reflect on new knowledge and tomorrow night we will continue. I think it should be appropriate to return home for a chat with my parents." 

"One last thing, Paris." 

"Yes, tell me, Henry," Paris urged him while they were on their way to the driveway leading to the house. 

"Why was I chosen to come to this island?" 

"I do not know. I can only tell you that we instructed, my family and me, to try to get you set. After that." 

" What will happen next?" 

"I do not know, but trust, nothing wrong." 


2 - A WORLD OF FAIRY TALES


Henry could not get to sleep. How Phaedra indicated him. He used the tiny remote control so that the large window to his room would flow silently into the wall. The vision was fantastic. The full Moon just set behind the sharp black peaks of the distant mountains did shine the sky of white-bluish stars, bursting with light. It was true.

What had said a few hours before Paris, stars and planets appeared to him as big as pearls. Looking at that not current show, he felt choked by latent anguish that now more than ever seemed to want to break in his heart. He did not know whether to rejoice in that magnificence or to expect an agonizing death by the end of the world. Weighted as well with absolute silence. A country without insects, birds, or pets. He did not see or hear during the day. He distracted himself thinking how they could cultivate that abundant fruit that had been served at dinner, without the presence of pollinators nor from where would come from that delicious meat that he had tasted. Excluding for the fish, given that the calm, open sea that surrounded the island had to be rich, but oxen, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, and other farm animals, where they bred? And, that had seemed to his countryside, it was not at all, so everything kept in perfect order, and all the flashes glimpsed through a thick green while they crossed them quickly with the astromobile, were nothing more than solar panels. To what use they would serve, then, since the house where he was a guest was autonomous regarding energy and water availability, as the roof the terrace was nothing but a large panel that accumulated energy from the Sun, during the night rain, over to irrigate the lands, could fill the deposits for the domestic uses. He drank several glasses of that water. It was of a lightness unimaginable neither existed in his world – now he had to call it in that manner to distinguish it from this fairytale – any mineral water, even the most expensive, which could compare with that one.

These reflections excited him, giving arguments to his fancy to imagine things that may be in this new world did not exist at all and who knows where it would be at some point a boost if it began to rain. So, suddenly, event when the sky is dotted with stars. Everything plunged into the deepest darkness. We saw only the threads of rain illuminated by the light emanating from the room. Rain like that one he had watched from the boat the night before. Calm and silent, it seemed that it would keep the appropriate time to be well absorbed by the ground and would not want to wake the sleepers, stroking with very slight thuds, the roofs, and the treetops.

     Not considering it more interesting to stay in the window, Henry closed it and went to bed. With the same remote control, he extinguished the light, too, pushing a little red button as Phaedra had indicated to him and, without that he would realize himself, the thoughts stopped to whirl in his mind, and immediately he fell asleep.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

A figure materialized in front of his bed, suffused with its light, neither seemed to Henry, waking himself with sweetness, to be a vision that would cause fear, but from the first moment, he considered it, instead, as familiar.

"Good morning, Henry," said Phaedra with a velvety voice. "Did you sleep well?"

He looked at her and could not look elsewhere since only she was emitting light into the room. He remained silent to enjoy that beautiful figure covered just by transparent clear blue veils, which did glimpse its statuesque forms and the intimacy of her well-proportioned and firm breasts. Henry could not look elsewhere because everything in the room was plunged into deeper darkness and if visible, there was only the girl. He remained silent as her image, perfectly still, even when Phaedra approached the bed and, with natural indifference, sat down beside him. A situation was quite ridiculous for Henry considering that with the soft light of her body, the girl seemed, in large, to be the figure of Tinkerbell's of the fairy tale of Peter Pan. She realized that and approached him until colliding with hers, to his legs, she unthreaded him from under the pillow, the little remote control that sent the impulse to open the window. The gesture, however, was misinterpreted by the young man who, intoxicated by the scent of the body of Phaedra whose face was grazing that of him, kissed her chastely on the cheek. Never had he felt a sense of that torment to that contact; the arms are making him soft precisely now when he was about to embrace her, while she, with an elegant move, retracted herself to go through the window. Would she be a human in the land of men, he should say: 'Look what a beautiful day and as the Sun makes the colours so gaudy', but she was a Hellene and for her should be pleonastic to say it, because, in her country, the Sun present every day twelve hours out of twelve and the night was calm and always with the same calm, for two hours after midnight, not at fixed hours but before dawn, fell from the sky, temporarily obscured by clouds as if they would be a flock commanded by a heavenly shepherd, water made of drops in the Western, the world would be rain, but in this, one was a damp caress with a fall without noise due to the lower gravity, so it was like a liquid mantle sprinkling the skin of the Earth-like when we massage ourselves with water after exposure to too much under the Sun's rays.

However, although he would not pronounce that distinct phrase, Henry joined her and began to slide against her at the window sill and him, sure, admired that beautiful shiny landscape, already seen, it's true, but every time rich in further details as that of distinguishing well, this time, the bright mirrors scattered over the countryside and see, at last! – they had to have hidden them the day before - the animals and the farmers who cared for the crops. He also saw a group of children playing on the beach and a person who set out himself on the pier, was going to get close to his boat.

"What is he going to do, who, on my ship?" he asked Phaedra, who since he had approached her, was looking at his face where naively printed an expression of wonder.

"He does not go on your boat, Henry, but he approaches to look at it better," replied with a seraphic expression. "Here no one allows himself similar indiscretions."

It was time to profit from the situation to learn more about these mysterious people. "Why is it forbidden by the law?"

"There's no need for the law, not to do such a thing. We do not, and that's that."

"What do you mean?"

"That each of us does so. It is part of our usual behaviour."

"Should you say that on this island, nobody steals?"

 “Steals?"

"Yes, stealing, that is who appropriates the things that do not belong to him."

"Ridiculous!" exclaimed laughing, Phaedra. "We do not conceive that those individual actions could happen to us."

"Not even... I know I have the curiosity to touch a new thing as my boat or just introduce myself there for a visit?"

"Sure not, and then, your boat for us is not at all a novelty. Nothing of your world is unknown to us, and it is for this reason that my people live. However, as I already told you, the technique will be explained to you by Paris whenever he'll find it at home."

“Work you, too, then…”

“All of our work. Our social organization is like yours, with the difference that here the working post is guaranteed to all people by its capacity, merits, and titles of each.”

Like those crimson cherries, fat and compact and very tasty that we never stop eating, so in Henry mounted a strong desire to continue to ask questions to Phaedra, such as numerous were the subjects of comparison of whom he wanted to discover any similarity, but to him was enough that the girl would go away herself from the window and she would whisper to him: "Do dress you. We are waiting for breakfast," that the American would surrender himself, limp and unsatisfied; he would respond to the slight wave with the hand of Phaedra, who was slipping out of the room, with a weary nod with the head.

Strange as Hecuba, who was the head of household into the house would speak so little. Perhaps she should be the only one to 'betray herself' saying things that should open the mind, Henry. However, the bride of Alcinous, he sure the lone one to utter simple words when the family gathered around the table, she never spoke except with her eyes, which she had expressive and blue as the early-morning sky, with which she ceremoniously greeted the guest, most warmly the children and with kindness the two ancillaries, to approve or not their work. Surely there had to be another in the kitchen to prepare the delicious foods although at breakfast, given that in that house, we ate only once a day, of an actual meal, we could not talk, at least agreeing to the habits of the Americans, but merely to sip one or more cups of coffee with or without milk, sweetened with a coloured citrine sugar and filamentous to touch.

Put there as well a bit more, Henry," said Alcinous, seeing him uncertain while he was directing his hand towards the sugar bowl. "The sweetening is always the same, but the energy will be enhanced, and since you are not used to remaining too fast until sunset, it will help your body to stay in force throughout the day." "It's not only sugar, then..." Henry replied shyly.

Alcinous did not utter other words, but he behaved like his wife, sending him benevolent gazes of approval.

Only later, when everyone stood up, Paris invited him to follow him into the garden for a walk. He used to do it before going to the big city where he performed his job as an engineer in a large industry.

"Phaedra did tell me that you should know something about our level of technology. There are so many things to explain to you that we're asked to Alcinous, my father, to host you for a month."

"A month! However, I must return to New York where I have a series of commitments that ..."

"Do forget that you must stay here," Paris broke him, for the first time with a certain frown, which not accepts. "However, do reassure you. As soon as you know more, and you could move as you like here, you'll ascertain that everything will be easier when you converse with the Archon."

"By the Archon? Who is this mythical character who seems not to have a name nor a distinct shape? Not at all an ogre!"

"No, of course, surely not!" I replied to Paris, smiling. "The Archon is a Hellene like me, but he is charged with the highest executive institution of our government, which ends one year after his appointment," and, after a moment's thought, he added: "One year of ours, it means."

"What is a year of your own? Not at all."

"That's the thing that Phaedra had asked me to explain to you. One year is worth four of your worlds, which we call Western because we do not consider as many civilized peoples of the Earth, who are still far behind the ages."

"Should you not want, I hope, to tell me that also a month..."

"Exactly. Multiply your time for four," and to the dismay that became apparent on the congested face of Henry, he added:" Do not distress you, my dear, friend. You will realize. How pleasant is living on the island of Kallitala."


ΩΩΩ

 

It was like eating something we like very much when we are not hungry. It was the state of mind of Henry, who worried not to return home to resume his life a little rambling. He felt himself a prisoner until the point, given that he did not even dare to think it, although his subconscious would fear him, to sacrifice on the mysterious island. He did not know enough about these people of Hellenes, and even though they were peaceful, nevertheless, had attracted him in its action's Ray and that must have a justifiable reason, otherwise, who knows how many other men of the Western world should entangle in their spider's web. For that reason, he could not fully appreciate the beautiful countryside. Where was accompanying him, just walking, Phaedra, neither moved by the cute birds than to their path, did not run at all, and some, even, did caress her little head by the graceful fingers of his escort? He neither appreciated its forms that he could foresee through the veils because the good-looking Hellene wore a tunic that seemed to shine through everything. The Sun was warm but not burning as we could expect at those latitudes. An eternal spring Sun and its rays, accompanied by a soothing aura, instilled a sense of being in a paradise, and at last, he felt light as when was a boy and never tired of walking. The countryside of the Achelais had to be colossal, considering that his watch had already counted down hitherto two hours since, with Phaedra, they had left home, and still, they had not yet arrived at its borders. The few farmers whom they met in a long way, even though they take from their tasks, showed themselves kind and helpful and offered them to drink that water which to Henry seemed magical so was light and palatable.

The trees are laden with fruit of all kinds, without any defect and of unusually of significant size, as well as the grapes by the golden beans and big as walnuts. Phaedra explained to him the grapes consumed at the table, but not used to make wine because it was not that of a suitable type and because on the island of Kallitala did not produce the alcohol which does not like to anybody, the sole beverage since extraordinary water, which kept the body intact, its flavour adapting to any food.

"Ah!" I exclaimed Henry. "I wanted to ask you, and I hope you do not send me back to Paris for this explanation. I noticed that, although, of different ages, you Hellenes have a florid appearance denoting perfect health."

"Yes, it's true. This is due to our feeding, to the air we breathe, and to the sky enclosed in the dome that protects us from the evils, avoiding temperature changes of the different seasons, from high winds, by the saltiness. So."

"You live four times any human being," Henry interrupted her, whose neutral voice revealed a domestic terror.

"Who told you that?"

"I intuited it from the information that your brother gave me. Here a month is worth four of ours and so a year. Consequently, it is easy to deduce that also your age should be counted agreeing to the times around the world I come from, multiplied by four. Judging by your person, you should not have more than eighteen years, so."

"As your times, it should be seventy-two," Phaedra replied, kidding. "But I am old, from eighteen, and I assure you, of a certain age. At this age, here we do not arrive as you have indicated. The Hellene more elderly who exists in Kallitala does not exceed sixty years, and I assure you, even at that advanced age he shows signs of severe physical decline, and when he dies, that happens without suffering and, as a short breath, his soul goes away."

"Where?" Henry asked, more interested to know if they had a religion more than knowing where the soul was going to be recovered, the soul if in another body or the heaven next to the Creator.

"How, where? The mind goes away. It vanishes, becoming the air that will be breathed by every living thing in these lands."

"But how! Does it not go to reach his Creator?" And looking at the sky, he said in a note of humility:" Up in the Heavens?"

"Fool. Silly as all the men. You have not yet understood in millennia of your semi- civilization, that the best religion is not having at all? And then, what a kind of faith!" I added Phaedra with a slight polemical. "You were not satisfied enough with only one. You have invented tens, hundreds, and you are scratching each other, too, because your most important religions are also killer!"

"But, just once, when there was the Inquisition..."

"A joke in comparison to what is happening in your world. Young Muslims, who by the name of a god immolate themselves to kill the highest possible number of their fellows. What kind of religion is that? Do you think that a God, if he exists, should accept all that or not he instantly should annihilate who programs these massacres? Why do you believe that we isolated ourselves, and we had an escape from being considered part of the race of men? We are Hellenes, but we could be even fish monkeys, horses, dogs, or any other being living, but never men. Hundreds of generations lived without conflicts have turned us into beings well happy for the breath of life, which we lead for the pleasure of living it, neither we delude ourselves than to its end, there should be something like your inventions, dictated more by fear than by scientific convictions."

Henry did not know much about theology, being a standard engineer employed by a major scientific laboratory. However, even if he was an expert theologian, in the face of the arguments of the young woman, he should have nothing to oppose. He had to agree with Phaedra that what was happening in the Middle East did not have anything that should deserve a rewarding afterlife. His experiments comforted him. Without the breath of the life, which is the soul of every living individual, this becomes a thing inert that enzymes and weathering should dissolve over time, although less quickly than other bodies, since for an irrational belief, more folk than scientific, the human body is protected by a coffin also sheltered, in many cases, inside a chapel.

The argument little befitted itself. However, to the magnificence of the countryside around and every expression of life, Henry thought not to continue to stimulate Phaedra, although he intended to ask her other things that would satisfy his curiosity. The lowing like a cow, magnified from where the animal was, came to his rescue. They were approaching to a tough and, in fact, in front of them loomed a construction by the strange cylindrical shape, in the appearance of metal, because it had the colour of the aluminium and looked like the nacelle of a plane, but with the size more than ten times greater.

Everything in there was in order and, consistently for a stable, almost antiseptic. Nevertheless, there was only a cow lying on hay, cared for, by two people, one of them came to meet them and addressed to Phaedra some obscure words.

"Orpheus, speak just in English so that our guest can understand you," asked Phaedra, making an elegant gesture with her hand to Henry, who was a few steps behind her.

"I was saying, my dear Phaedra, that the cow is to give birth to a heifer. And that both are in excellent health. We have inoculated her with the Stetopan not to suffer her, and if you heard she moos. It is because she is only afraid. She's young and is in her first parturition."

"The Stetopan?" I did timidly Henry at Phaedra. "It's medicine?"

"No, it's just an invention that we use from immemorial time to erase the pain."

"A narcotic, then."

"Although I understand what you are talking about, here these drugs do not exist. The Stetopan relieves the pain, and that is enough. Taking it is like drinking a glass of water. Of ours, of course!"

"And anyone, so..."

"No, my dear Henry. Only in the case of need. The right measure of pain benefits us to be entitled to an equally correct for pleasure" replied Phaedra, with caressing words, not free from particular intention.

Henry took it immediately. "Ah, here is an interesting thing. I thought that the topic would be taboo. You did mean about sex."

"That, too, but we derive pleasure above all by other things, and I assure you that my people do not fear those prohibited by you, which you call 'taboo', but there are some rules so fundamental, that it is natural for us to observe them. However, if prods you the topic of sex, I'm ready to answer your question."

"I should say..." stammered Henry, afraid of hurting the sensibilities of an eighteen-year-old girl, "you make love... that is ... I would like to know if..."

"If we form couples?" I replied nonchalantly to Phaedra, warbling a brief laugh. "Of course, we do. Our way of life is like the Western, excluding certain moral and material aberrations of which you, unfortunately, cannot do without."

Henry did not notice the last words. He wanted to lay siege on Phaedra on a topic that was closer to his heart. "Free love? You, for example, are not married. Do you make love with someone?"

Always to not get upset, Phaedra replied: "Only with the one who will be my husband."

"Do you go into the city to find your boyfriend?"

"I have not. Even so, I should not have any difficulty finding him. Although you did not see them, in this area, there are many inhabitants, among whom are sundry young men from eighteen to thirty-five years old. There should not be the encumbrance of the choice."

"And you do not think of getting married, or is there another kind of woman destined to procreation?"

"This is a very dumb question. I already told you that we led a life like yours. Only that, given the life expectancy in our country, eighteen years were few to get married."

"True, it should be like living up to two hundred and forty years..."

"That's right. I have plenty of time, don't you think?"

Henry considered himself stupid. Those words closed his mouth. But what did they want from him? It was not there, already happy people who lived four times further than the humans, drunk invigorating water, ate delicious food breathed the air of the beginnings of the animal world enjoyed twelve hours of bland Sun every day, while will rain for only two hours during the night, then, neither cold nor too warm, no storms or high wind, on an island, that from the little he had seen was of pure beauty, surrounded by more by a crystal clear and calm sea than a lake where he should have bet on it, the fishes multiplied themselves as in the parable of the Gospel to be easily captured and eaten. And, therefore, what could be of interest to them as research engineers, even in the field of physical energy?

"Let us go to see the cows and oxen grazing. Do you want to?" I proposed to Phaedra and to nod off a thoughtfully Henry, she added:" Let's hurry, there will be at least another quarter of an hour's walk."

In the hurry, up behind the young girl, Henry thought how strange the habits within the family of Achaeans would be. To walk plenty of time just to visit their endless countryside when they possessed that comfortable astromobile with which in no time they could see everything.

It seemed that Phaedra had read in his mind. "In the family, we dispose of two cars. That one with which I conducted you in my home belongs to my father who today uses it to go to my mother to Poseidon. The other one belongs to Paris, who, as you know, works in that same city " Then, scanning into the eyes another companion. She asked him: "Are you tired? Do you get too tired to be compelled to walk? Did you realize, I hope, that because of a different magnetization, our weight is lighter than in the world you come from?"

"How much?"

"I think a good forty per cent, but Paris will be more accurate to you when he comes home this evening. It's his task to gradually reveal you're certain technical things."

"But why, Phaedra?"   

"I have not been authorized to reveal to you. In time, appropriate will tell you that Alcinous."

The disappointment of Henry vanished when they arrived in a beautiful valley smooth as a carpet and green as an emerald, dotted with many white spots moving. The herd of cattle from the property of the Achaeans. The effect was surprising, because of these landscapes, the Western world had forgotten themselves of having had them, perhaps, only in ancient Greece. A peaceful river flowed in the middle of the valley and its banks, gradually that they were approaching where the cattle grazed, covered with thousands of little flowers with the most variegated colours. There was missing Nausicaa and her ancillary that here would play to complete the vision of enchantment that had formed within his mind when he had studied the Odyssey.

"Look down there Menelaus and Agamemnon, who was coming to meet us," said Phaedra. "They are the two guardians of the cows."

"But how, Phaedra. Giving such meaningful names to two cowherds! Is it not disrespectful?"

"For a simple combination, they are brothers. We use the names of Greek mythology for tradition since it is from there that comes to our ancestors, who first colonized and then created the appropriate environment on this island. Nevertheless, it is the only link, I should say affections and folklore, which for a slight weakness binds us to the traditions. I must specify it to you. However, everyone in our country has a special task, chosen freely. They are not cowherds as you call them, but two professionals who perform their primary function with knowledge of the facts. Are they who, together with some others, manufacture the cheese and all products derived from the milk."

"I guess that they also slaughter the beasts."

"What you're saying, Henry is great nonsense, which I forgive you, considering that you do not know us yet," said Phaedra, a little angry. "We do not kill the animals, who are the companions of our living and participate like all the Hellenes to make prosperous and livable the island of Kallitala."

"Sorry, Phaedra, I did not know," replied the American humbly. But then, thinking again about what he had eaten the night before, he could not avoid a question. "But the meat we've eaten from the table... then, where did it come from?"

"It was not some meat, but a vegetable food that, after a particular treatment, takes the form and the flavour to the meat. The Hellenes are partially vegetarians for millennia, because although not having a religion and arrived on this island after countless difficulties along with the animals, they settled, in the constitution of the new state, the parity of the rights over life both for themselves and for all human animals. Unfortunately, we do not have the numberless varieties of the Western world because the island was inhabited only by birds, insects, and fish. Such as meat, in the sense you mean, we eat at most that one of the fishes. Paris will explain to you the reason for that. Of human animals, we have enough, some to help us to survive and others to delight us in existence."

"I saw neither horses nor donkeys," Henry said, who, at this point, did not surprise himself so quickly.

"There are none," replied the young woman sighing. "My ancestors, in the perilous journey across the ocean, preferred to continue their small ships only the animals that should produce food to survive. So, cows, a bull, hens, geese, and roosters and then sheep, a couple of dogs, and other cats and goats. This latter, with the passing through the centuries, have split themselves into different races, so now we have the ibex, off-line, chamois, deer, and fallow deer that inhabit the forests, the mountains, and the wildlands. And, of course, the chickens with the roosters, but the discoverers of these lands did not neglect to bring along two pairs of dogs and cats."

"What a pity," Henry interjected, "with all those animals. They should solve the problem of food, waiting for the first harvest."

"They found it in abundance in the wild plants, especially of tropical fruits that we still grow. They were glad for that situation because they grew fond of the animals that had brought, which had suffered for days and days, like them, the hunger and the thirst, without a groan as if they were conscious of getting land into a paradise."

"And from what I have seen so far, it is truly a paradise!" declared Henry.

"It is not how you intend it and all the men. It has been a promised land, yes. However, it is only thanks to the determination of the early settlers, their work and insight, and the help of the animals, that we arrived at the current results. Already by centuries when you men were scratching yourselves in pitched battles or treacherous ambushes. Our ancestors had reached such a degree of technology to ensure everyone a pleasant and lasting life on the island of Kallitala."

"With which you could surely conquer the entire world. From what I've already tried travelling on the small astromobile ..."

"We do not want to conquer anything or anyone. Our technology, of which Paris will explain to you, must not go beyond the limits for the use for the Hellenes," replied a bit resentful, too.

And Henry thought it useful not to ask more questions or inappropriate statements. He said himself, indeed, that he must keep the mouth shut and listen to all that they should say to him. If, as reported by the two brothers, he must remain a month on the island, and then four of human civilization, it was sure for him to learn several things that do not exist in the Western world, and in the time, he could be able to return home, he should put into effective use all this new knowledge.


3 - DISCOVERIES AND INVENTIONS, EARTHLY PASSION


'But have feelings for these Hellenes?' So, had to think about Henry, when, after returning home with Phaedra, who had seemed him so sulky not dare to ask her a few more questions, in coming to the table with the whole family, she, welcoming him into the dining room, went to meet him and joyous, kissed him on the cheek. Right there, in front of the parents, the brother Paris and one of the two ancillaries. A contact with Henry stirred the blood. What magical these beings that were enough to graze at their hand to transmit sensations so emotionally satisfying, while with the kiss on the cheek, expression of friendship in the Western world, seemed to make him feel almost in love. 

With the mind joyfully, accompanied by an excellent appetite, and then, he consumed the evening meal that consisted of two main courses of exquisite taste. A dentex soup with vegetables, where the pieces of fish had cut in morsels that melted in the mouth, leaving there a delicate and luxurious feeling, so he was a little ashamed himself when he realized that he was the first to finish. Neither he could prevent Ceres, the Ancilla attached to that service, she would fill the bowl again. Henry, embarrassed, looked at his fellow guests. None of them had taken the typical expression of benevolent irony, but everyone was busy with seriousness to finish eating what remained on the plate. 

Next, a thick slice of meat like beef filet while it was of that plant compound that had mentioned Phaedra, accompanied by some little potatoes properly browned. A delicious dish, after which, Henry felt sated enough to renounce to serve himself of the fruit, which aroused the humanitarian intervention of Phaedra, who urged him to eat it for proper nutritional balance because its enzymes guaranteed perfect digestion. 

Of the meringue pie, attractive to the sight and the smell, he could do without as far as he should be glad to eat a slice. However, the plate of fish soup filled his stomach. He set himself, to the next meal, to be more careful and not to stuff himself with the first course. He had to get the habit of behaving at the table as those who housed him, now resigned to pass plenty of time to his guests. That one should have resulted in the loss of his job in New York if not, indeed, considered shipwrecked in the ocean. He had thought of a night escape with his boat which he knew not monitored, but for the moment, urged by the curiosity to learn remarkably interesting things which if he learned well, he should have such technical knowledge, which once came back in the United States, to put them into practice becoming a world-renowned scientist who should revolutionize the way of life of the Western world. Rich as well as much money not to know what to do but, above all, free from the presence of Liza, who caused him so much anguish in recent times. For this reason, he fled from her, going through the hole up in the furthest point of Florida. 

As usual, Paris invited him to do the walk in the beautiful garden. The darkness suddenly dropped, but an efficient as perfect lighting returned to the Sun the bright colours of the thick hedges perfectly equalized and of flowers that seemed never to shut their corollas. 

"Phaedra told me that you went for a walk through the countryside. Have you met Agamemnon and Menelaus?" It asked Paris Henry to be entirely absorbed in watching the sky full of big stars. 

"Beautiful countryside," muttered Henry, with the air of a person little interested in those memories. "But you, tonight, what world should you discover for me?" 

"Did you realize? I hope that is the basis for our survival. The food, especially, so we value the products of our fertile land." 

'Well, if it's for that matter, even by us, there is the same attention," 

"By the information, we receive copiously, day by day, it does not seem right. Genetic modifications made too late, pollution of the air and the groundwater, senseless destruction of entire forests, extinction of whole races of animals, a frightening increase in the population. And, consequently, of the diseases, nothing pest control, ants of which we number in the thousands of billions, mice who exceed four times the already considerable number of human beings, most of which are still suffering from hunger and then the wars. There should be a list as long as the perimeter of our small continent." 

Little touched by that list of tragic events, Henry seized the opportunity in asking him: "By the way, how much measures the perimeter of Kallitala?" 

"You'll know it at the appropriate time. It is not particularly important to you, now." "And what should be more important to me now?" he asked with acrimony. 

"Do not be nervous, my dear friend. I have the task. Indeed, we all have the task of elucidating how we live in our country." 

"All of you, who?" 

"Phaedra and me. Later, my father, Alcinous will explain to you the reason and, finally, you will accompany to Poseidon where you will receive him by the Archon." 

"What for?" 

"Restrain your curiosity, American friend, or at least take it well for what will be clarified to you before." 

"Okay, I'm listening. What should be the subject of this evening?" 

"Tonight," intoned with a fluting voice Paris, not before without having laid a loving hand on the shoulder of Henry, "I want to explain to you our system of drainage, sewage, and clear. You know what I mean, right?" 

"Sure. However, it seems like a subject that concerns me a little." 

"It's, indeed, the main thing for us to live for our country that preserves pure and crystalline waters. It's from the sea that comes almost half of our food sustenance." "I did not see fishing boats around," observed Henry. 

"There are none here. Even so, everything is enjoyable," replied Paris. "So. In each house, as you saw in this one of my parents, there are some comfortable bathrooms where we often wash. Furthermore, we accomplish our bodily needs. Our dejections go in the discharges, and if we imitate a good part of the western world, we should poll the ground and, overall, that sewage should penetrate to the groundwater that, then, should arrive by sea. Without mentioning that it should feed a spontaneous microbial fauna that should not exclude the birth of beings like mice. I'm talking to you, of course, about extended times. However, it was long. In the end, they should not be compared to the duration of our lives. Not to mention your endemic diseases that do not exist. " 

"And then?" 

"Each discharge is conveyed by individual pipes that branched throughout the territory, at about six hundred meters thick, towards the Mount Taygetos from where the river Phlegeton. Just on its slopes there is an enormous bathtub-laboratory that receives the sewage already treated in a helical well with enzymes and natural products that we cultivate, pumped upward so that those liquids, once to the open air, must remain in the tub still twenty-four hours to oxygenate properly. After being added with vitamins, they are shifted downstream together with the water coming down from the mountains and crossing the entire island at four hundred kilometres, going to flow back into the sea to enrich the cultures of algae, beginning with those the cycle of life. Fish which eats fish. For this reason, we eat his delicious meat, while for the land animals, not existing in our territory that same cycles of predation, since all the few species of animals living with us are docile herbivores, we consider them as companions in the adventure of our life, consequently, we do not slaughter them neither hunt to kill them and then feed ourselves on their meat." 

"But, as the Hellenes..." Henry did take a sudden interest, "they, too, live like you?" 

"The relation is the same as in the Western world," replied Paris. "Every animal follows its cycle genetically. However, if his life has been established for so many years, here is more expanded than four of yours." 

"But why in this island, which is part of the Earth, is the time dilated four times?"  

"Time flows like in your world. Where our ancestors have started to count the time in this way to adapt themselves to the increased longevity of all beings - on land and not at sea, except our sea hogs - but the days, as you noticed, are the same." 

"The sea hog... that's something I wanted to ask you since I accompanied my boat on the beach. Are they dolphins? " 

"Not, they are cetaceans that are part of the family of Heavens, but much more developed than those who live in the Western world. They develop themselves to the length of more than four meters and have fins at the tail like the dolphins, such as to impress them at high speed. These sea hogs were trained almost centuries to become the guardians of all the sea that surrounds the island to the theoretical limits that we have set ourselves, not exceeding forty miles from the coast. Miles equal to yours, for charity, approximately seventy kilometres which are the boundaries of the magnetic dome of visual protection and material penetration, to a height of over ten thousand meters." 

"What happens then, if this sky were flown by a jetliner?" 

"No plane can cross our sky, just because the directions of the magnetic longitude and latitude are differentiated by the radiations emitted by the dome. Alternatively, you humans, our position does not exist on any map." 

"Not even for the satellites?" 

"For them, we are like a speck of dust on an ocean. It's impossible to see us, even if they disposed of the most sophisticated scanner laser." 

"A real prodigy, fruit, I guess, of very modern technology, truly advanced indeed! I'd be curious to know. " 

"If you're Human people will discover us after almost centuries. We should not exist anymore. See what that devilled of Cortés with the Aztecs. Your civilizations and religions, my dear Henry, have made you unhappy and your efforts to explore the cosmos are proof of your boundless ambition that, if addressed, instead, to the welfare of all the peoples, they should approach our results. Then, perhaps, we should discover ourselves, and we should consider men and not Hellenes. Throughout the whole Middle Ages, despite the strong push before by the Greek civilization and of that Roman after, instead of continuing to evolve you in all fields of human knowledge to develop the technology considerably, you're lying in religion, to try to find out what was just a figment of the imagination, without assuring you the minimum to your best survival, utilizing the resources that nature offered you in the building of massive churches and as many horrible castles, preferring to live in slavery under the tyranny of your fellows, thinking stupidly to a nonexistent otherworldly redemption after the death. Well, I'll tell you what's after that: nothing, not even that speck of dust that we should be for the lasers of your satellites." 

"Never heard that one hears the books. On the contrary, anything reads them." 

"Okay. Here, who cannot distract his view, given that he must control what happens around, listens to the voices that tell the books. If it is an essay or a book or school education or for learning a new trade, this is read by a lone voice, both females than males, whereas." "Instead, a novel..." 

"For those are used different voices depending on how many characters intervene in history and, of course, the ego narrator, if there is one." 

"These books, in short, as discs than in print edition, are recited or written in your incomprehensible language?" 

"For you, Americans, all languages that are not your barbaric idiom, recited by most of the population with lisping and nasal words almost would be a drawl, are incomprehensible. Our language is noble because it comes from the Greek and the idiom of Trinacria, but I assure you. It has undergone such an evolution over time, which is now a complete language and does not need to be bastardized by foreign words, especially yours. However, being your idiom the most widespread in the Western world and wanting us to follow everything that happens to you, our entire population since the early years of the boarding school learns it and there is no Hellene, male or female, who does not talk and does not write it to perfection." 

"Boarding School?" 

"Those which you define schools, but that by us..." Phaedra interrupted his discourse and looked around, "the sea hogs left us to float around the headland. Look how beautiful the landscape is all around and look, look, how many varieties of fishes that are grazing on the seabed." 

Henry should want Phaedra to continue the conversation inherent in the learning period of small Hellenes, but he decided that if he insisted, the girl would be annoyed. At that moment, he wanted except that Phaedra would not be disposable. This boat trip dictated the necessity to stay both near together and away from intrusive eyes. He looked where she was pointing and indeed that vision was utterly enchanted. The seabed, which seemed at hand, lasted from the keel of the boat at least thirty meters, but the water was so clear that it appeared to be at about ten times less. 

He stayed on for a while enchanted to look at the life beneath him, nor did he realize that the time was sliding, as the slow stream displaced the boat on new underwater landscapes where the unusual quantity and quality of aquatic living beings were moving from one place to another. Now close to an enormous bunch of gorgonians to nibble with indifference, making it seem that they are doing it more for a hobby than for necessity, presently playing to chase themselves through small caves, which had a rear exit and the trackers, skilled and darting, seemed arrows shot behind them, especially when they are writhing in speed, showing their silver bellies. Then he realized that what he had mistaken for a little cave was nothing more than a gaping mouth of a huge grouper, slyly arranged herself output of the rocky passage so, chased and tracker went to both to fall from her mouth that the massive fish, who are awaiting the arrival of two other unwise, closed in a moment to swallow the firsts. And yet, when the boat was approaching an underwater reef covered with thick grass like a compact carpet, he attended to a battle to the last tentacle. An octopus snared by sprawling moray that with her sharp teeth like small razors cut off pungent, just a few centimetres from the mantle, a tentacle and was squirming to get free of the suckers who still could not get a grip on its slippery livery, to bring it to her den and savouring it comfortably. 

When remembering that Phaedra was waiting for him, Henry got up from the supine position in which he found himself, he noticed that the girl was turning the rudder and the boat quickly took a speed. The sea hogs had returned and were pushing the boat to the beach from where they had started. 

He thought that the manoeuvre of Phaedra was due to spite proven by the fact that he had preferred to observe the seascapes rather than her company, taking advantage of an opportunity, which perhaps should be no longer present to him, at least in the short term. 

Trying to straighten out the situation in his favour, he said to her: "Excuse the involuntary distraction, but the marine landscape was so beautiful and for me, I assure you, so unusual, that I have neglected you. I beg you, Phaedra, do we remain on the boat for a while. The sun is high. It's sufficient that you put off the sea hogs."  

"I'm not bothered at all. We are here on purpose so that you realize even of the aquatic territory of Kallitala, from which we derive the food for our survival and..." she had to curb the questionable reaction of Henry, asking him to pose with him her palm, "that of fish, shellfish, and crustacean is the only meat we eat for the simple reason that the marine habitat was not brought at the side by my ancestors but found in the situation in which you see it today. They could not prevent the natural selection of the fish which eats fish, so even the Hellenes fed it." 

"And I must tell you, that is delicious food," said Henry, directing her an inviting smile. "So, we stay?" 

"Yes, but now the sea hogs lead us toward the cultures of mussels and shellfish that are over that promontory," replies she, pointing with a sweet gesture that is opposite to which one they had approached. 

"Interesting," said Henry, with an air denoting a slight disappointment and recovering himself suddenly, "...I like to eat it very much." 

"Do you tell that seriously? We have not eaten, yet, at home. My mother had the fear that you would not enjoy that." 

"Why do you eat that raw?" 

“Oh, no! You will realize how much attention we impose on the prophylaxis of food and everything that meets the skin. Everything we eat, with the exclusion of the vegetables that are submitted to a special treatment, is carefully cooked. We are not like the men of Japan, us!" 

"We from Maine, you know I'm a native of Portland. We eat them raw and the oysters, then! By the way, you also have some cultures of oysters, do you?" 

"Those grow wild across the sea, especially on the north coast, and are eaten by the sea hogs. They are their favourite delicacy, although their diet provides only the bluefish, such as mackerel, anchovies, and sardines of which the sea abounds particularly over, where the water reaches a considerable depth." 

"Do you not feed off that?" 

"We prefer the white meat fish, all crustaceans, and every kind of shellfish. It is not that we do not like it, but we made a deal with the sea hogs, intelligent animals that are by centuries of our service. We let the bluefish exclusively to them and the predators." 

"To the sharks?" 

"Also, the sea hogs keep them away from the coast, quite to the limit of the dome. Although the shark is a formidable predator, nothing he can do against a sea hog who could kill five at a time, so the activity of the predators in the sea is limited to cleaning the carcasses of dead fish from any cause. Even owed to old age." 

"Also, for the fish worth the lifetime of you Hellenes and your animals?" 

"No, for them the time passes as in your seas," replied Phaedra, who, seeing the first boats of those involved in the care of crops, the shellfish greeted those who were on the initial boat who were approaching. "Now look, Henry. We arrived at the limit of the large basins of mussels. The sea hogs will hold the boat because there are shallow water and this hull, which has a rather deep keel should strand itself, therefore, we, for a quick visit, must transship on one of the jolly boats engaged in service." 

One of the boats which were in the centre of the vast basin approached itself by oars. The occupants, two Hellenes of an apparent age after thirty years - but who knows if they had, however, one hundred and twenty – greeted Phaedra with some warmth. 

"Antaeus and Zeno..." Phaedra said to them, as soon as she accommodated on the bow with Henry by side, "he's the American, whom you know." 

Each, in turn, the two sailors went to lay his hand at the shoulder of Henry. The same gesture that made him Paris and, sometimes, Alcinous. So, that way of doing, as he, at last, came to understand, because no one had yet explained to him, replaced the handshake in use among the western men. 

The seabed in that great culture did not exceed three meters, much less, then, of the keel of the sailboat, albeit his vision does not stray from the bottom to the sea that he would have so far observed. With the difference that here it was rather flat and dense with vegetation resembling a vegetable garden planted with small lettuce. The mussels suspended in some extended frames were collected in long spirals from which emerged billions of little bubbles, which went to be open from the sea surface, giving the effect of the sparkling wine poured into a glass. While they proceeded towards the sandy shoreline, other Hellenes were working to collect the claims that lived in the sand. One of them, incredibly young, assigned to that job, showed up himself under the name of Archidamos and handed him three large clams which, at the contact with his hand, withdrew their black siphons that closed in the shell. And finally, combs, razor clams, and all varieties of a seashell, larger than those that Henry knew and, particularly, a species of date mussel, the collection of which had since a long time has been prohibited in his world because they are growing on the coastal rocks: those which generally were called sea dates, the Marine fruit most exquisite that exists. 

” Our master's fish farmers, after years of experiments, could grow and multiply the sea dates, rather than on the rocks that should be crushed to collect them, inside the sand composed exclusively of sediments typical of rocks of gneiss. They are particularly appreciated by us, too, and their production is just one-tenth that of mussels and clams." 

Again, sailing on the high seas, Phaedra had the courtesy to ward off the sea hogs, thus giving an unconscious impulse to her mate to court her. Henry felt the same feeling as the first time he had kissed her, and he was almost stunned by it but when regained control, he began to caress her. The beauty Hellene, who just to please him, had accepted his affectionate doing, notices that Henry longed well for another; she managed to slip away with a kind ability. The American waved their arms through the air for some moment before realizing that she had separated from him and was about to clap her hands to call the big marine mammals. 

Embarrassed, Henry said nothing and let the sea hogs would push the boat to the sandy yellow and pink beach and to prove to Phaedra that, although disappointed, he was not angry with her, agreed so that the manoeuvre mooring would do in the best way, jumping on the dock with the two ropes in hand, as soon as the boat approached it about at about a meter. He moored rather than locked it with the bowline knots, with two ropes, made twisted to withdraw them from the board without doing many stunts if he needed the necessity. The rejection of Phaedra and the oddities he had learned and who knows how many more, which should clarify to him b Paris after dinner, they had put that idea in his head. 

 

ΩΩΩ

 

Although he would not think more of the large-scale survey, however, had sensed that at dinner should serve the seashells. Such a variety that Henry, already forgiven of the disappointments, ate so many to surprise his fellow guests, justifying himself that they were like the cherries, given the abundance inside the tray put in front of his plate, which he ate one behind the other. In the family of Archelaus, if were respected the silence at the table, except few words by the father, it was much appreciated those who did honour to the food. And Henry, almost exhausted after the long excursion and disappointed that his offers would reject by the beautiful Phaedra, had poured out his bad mood on the food and then of that high quality and expertise with which prepared! The mussels served in their shell, had been cooked in the sailor's way with garlic, olive oil, and a few drops of lemon to give them more flavour, which was delicious. The clams in 'sauté' are served on slices of toasted bread and just rubbed with garlic. However, the king of those great princes and dukes of the table was the sea date. Delicious morsels cooked with a weightless sauce of little tomatoes picked in the day and an exceptionally light dusting of hot pepper to the right point that exalted the already agreeable flavour. 

With a heavy heart, over the dinner and seeing that Phaedra, contrary to her behaviour since he arrived at the island, she kept discreetly aside. Henry was about to do the inevitable, canonical walk through the garden close to Paris, who had to explain to him how in Kallitala the Hellenes would use the propellers or things about this kind, which would do to push the vehicles - which he calls them positively in another mood than astromobiles - and albeit the matter, being himself an engineer, would interest him actively, his mind exacerbated because, rejected by Phaedra and not the enchantment of the place nor the hope of kissing her, he was taken by the worry of coming back wherefrom which he had come. And, from there, to reach by aeroplane New York to resume the routine of his daily life, although he would result still on vacation. The company had chartered to him the boat, had declared him undoubtedly shipwrecked after the inevitable, as fruitless searches of the Coast Guard. That was not as much, and he should justify himself by the fact that he lost in the Atlantic. Of Kallitala, he should not speak. Perhaps, with the explanations of Paris, he should learn the device to operate the propellers invented by the Hellenes, which produced driving force and did not pollute the air, developing energy noiselessly. The phenomenon that one that not evaluated in the right measure of the nefarious impact on the human psyche. All his fellows are having interested in the air pollution that the users of the vehicles wanted not to solve, too accustomed to going around motorized more for fun than for necessity. The manufacturers even not, given that they placed all their dreams to see the arrow in the graph of sales of cars built in their factories rising rapidly, meaning more wealth and social importance for they are already luxurious comforts and vanity. However, those who are interested less the return to the air to be breathed without fear of chronic bronchitis if not the last straw, for some, of the onset of irreversible ills such as cancer or emphysema lung albeit aided by tobacco smoke, were the politicians. Who, it is true that they never failed to preside or just participate in important meetings in every corner of the world, coming for that handsomely paid, housed, transported, and gorged with expensive food - genuine, that one! – but they returned home with grandiose promises and, with any satisfactory results. It was like the hunt for the whales and cetaceans, in general, including the playful dolphins. All people execrated that, but no one did anything about concrete - except to express how beautiful empty words of solidarity, which does not deny to anyone, not even to the animals - but the faunal depletion continued his senseless race. 

"So, a friend Henry, how was the marine excursion?" Paris asked in a garrulous way, that evening with an especially joyful mood, beating the now-canonical pat upon the back. "With the company of Phaedra, then! Do tell me, is not that you are fallen in love with her, eh?" 

"Gee, Paris, how you run on this island. Is it okay to be so forward in technology, but the feelings that could you are Hellenes or men, are always the same, even if you have moved into an unknown world?" 

"Good observation, Henry," said Paris with a voice rendered neutral by a sense of guilt, but which quickly recovered his usual tone, when he said: "I hope you understood that I was joking." 

"I was just kidding, me too" replied Henry ready, but without smiling. "I cannot say it's love. However, I must admit that I like, in effect, your sister, but it seems, though, that I'm not his type." 

"Well, that puts me in a hindrance. I should not want that for a joke that I have allowed myself wanting just to imitate your ways of expression; there arises a controversy. So, we go beyond the subject of this evening, which should be the system of energy production already in action against our country for hundreds of years. Do you agree?" 

"Yes, of course, Paris. I beg your pardon for my silly resentment." 

"You're welcome. I must tell you, though, that it is not true that Phaedra does not like you. I should say anything else if there were some complications with your human people." 

"What should you mean?" Henry asked, more curious to hear that explanation rather than the tedious rigmarole concerning the production of energy of Kallitala. 

"They are situations that managed better the women. Phaedra will explain that further to you. I have the task of elucidating your everything that is part of that technology still unknown to you humans." 

"That will never be!" I replied to Henry, a little touched by the pedantry of his host. 

      "Do not vex you, Henry. Did you not baptize our cars as automobiles?" 

"And then?" 

"Maybe because you have those you, too?" 

"We have already used them on the Moon, us!" he said proudly, unable. However, to hide an absolute subjection. 

And he provoked the innocent laughter of Paris. "It's all another thing, my friend," he replied. "Although I must admit that you have done some excellent stuff. If only, would you do start before." 

"When should be this 'before'?" 

"At least soon after the Roman Empire," warbled Paris. "But now, don't stay in us on susceptibility. It is getting late and tomorrow morning I have a harder task than usual in my factory. We must hurry." 

Henry made a gesture that surprised himself: he beat two little taps on the left shoulder of Paris such an exhortation that he would begin with the explanations. 

"We have two realities regarding energy. The first, which we could consider homely and the second, of course, more powerful, which is industrial," began to say Paris. "Of the initial, I believe that you have already realized yourself. It learns to the solar energy that each house, especially in the countryside, accumulates for its needs with solar panels that have a power thousand times greater than yours and unlimited duration. With twelve hours of Sun a day, every day, you can imagine how much electricity consumption they could cover. The surplus of each house conveyed to large power accumulation, through a capillary distribution system, located within the vicinity of Mount Taygetos. Those little panels that you saw scattered throughout the countryside, are for energy consumption that requires us the agriculture to feed the electrical machines used for the collection and recycling of the products channelling, they too, the surplus toward the same great power thermal processing." 

"Which feed, I imagine, the great city of Poseidon." Henry interrupted him. 

"Not at all." 

"Of other cities?" 

"I repeat, Henry, not at all. Each town has its production that always exceeds by thirty per cent the consumptions." 

"Which is sent into the centre to the collection of Mount Taygetos." 

"That's right. Nevertheless, now, do listen and hear me. Do not draw some conclusions that might confuse you at the time. Listen to what I should say. " 

"Sorry." 

" Apologized. Therefore, in broad terms, now you know how the consumption of each family of Kallitala, is insured by the solar panels in the country as in the towns or along the coasts. Likewise, as you should notice, for the water. In those two hours of rain at night, although it seems like a drizzle, it is coming down enough water to provide up for any domestic consumption and, of course, to fertilize the soil and to feed the aquifers, rivers, streams, and irrigation canals where there is the necessity for the cultivation of rice or other product of the earth. However, do we come to the power-generation industry that, in addition to running the factories and industries, acts as a propeller to what you call 'astromobiles', while it should be correct to call by that name our aviolobes, which you still have not seen because they operate between towns and cities and fly only along the coasts." It's with those devices that you fly to keep you updated to my world?"  

"You're just guessing. Illogical and hasty conclusion. We do not ever go out of our territory. Of our introspective technology outreach, I will speak to you in a course of time and sure before the expiration of the month. Now I tell you something that maybe will astonish you since your human people have already fantasized about doing well as a bizarre experiment. The atomic energy." 

"Ridiculous experiment, you say?" Henry exclaimed triumphantly. "But if, in my country, the United States, they have already exploited that to produce electricity, for the engines and..." 

"Bombs, American," replied Paris. "Which, after all, are all dangerous explosive device's clockwork and if an accident happens, not only many of your die but pollute the environment worse than what you are doing with the smoky engine exhaust. Forget it. Luckily, our cap electromagnetic can block, already at a hundred miles beyond its borders, every single nuclear radiation." 

"So, even the polluted air..." 

"That's another topic. The thorniest for us. However, we will talk at the end of these conversations, which we could define a course. Indeed, not massive, do you agree?" 

"Why, then, does not reduce the time during my stay on your island and impart these lessons along the entire day?" Henry asked, unable to conceal a note of hope. 

"For the mere fact, which should confuse the ideas. The best system is that, also to know our achievements. You will acclimate yourself. Do believe me, Henry, it's not easy, and we are doing everything possible to ensure you succeed it." 

"That should be to justify my stay longer than expected?" I said Henry, with a voice, made neutral by a presentiment that had flashed through his mind. 'Jeez!' he was saying himself, 'that this android of men, could keep the intention seizing how much time...' 

"It could also be. Frankly, my friend Henry, I could not tell you. Even before your arrival, my father Alcinous received provisions to host you. Phaedra and I at first did not know anything. Only on the second day, we were instructed to make as mentors of you." 

"But if your father, when he saw me, did not even know where I came from." 

"It was a way not to scare you. He has received you as a guest, which is sacred to us." 

"For then sacrifice him on the altar." 

"Exaggerated! We do not kill anyone, we! Neither we do any sacrifices to a religion that does not exist, but only a way through the life whole intended to live at her best. So much so that we have developed genetic technology, chemistry, and physics, which permit it to us. And it is precisely for this part of science that must concern my lesson of tonight. So, let us start with what you call astromobiles. By what propeller are they moved and why their engine is so quiet and powerful so that, off the main roads. They graze at any ground without raising some dust?" 

"Yeah, I'd be curious." 

"At last, here we are. Do listen to me attentively: cold nuclear fusion. This one that you men are trying to get, but you cannot be able to manage. The reason is simple. It lacks two essential elements so that this type of fusion would occur. One of these elements we have obtained chemically and the other is a mineral that does not exist in nature but was created by the Hellenes already five hundred years of yours. The first is called Istros and the other Menganeo. They once united to the Cesium 66 and the Deuterium 15, decompose themselves generating an energy that is ten times greater than that which you have achieved by the fusion of the atom, without emitting whatsoever radiation nor produce dangerous waste, as in the cold fusion the material employed, whose quantity is negligible, is entirely consumed. Every propeller or power generator, then, works on this principle with some astronomical yields and exceptionally low consumption. You must use fuel to utilize your engines, which allows you limited autonomy. Once burned, you must fill up again the reservoir, on average for each car every six to seven hundred kilometres, with terrible consequences to the health of all living beings because of the pollution produced by the discharge of that you call 'fine dust.' We insert in our cars a kind of bar of soap, which contains all the elements for the cold scission that takes place inside the engine, which none of the humans could ever conceive until after hundreds of years of studies and tests. This kind of bar of atomic energy is enough to cover one hundred thousand kilometres, so those who use little the car. They upon make the full reservoir every three years. Of ours, of course!" 

"Even the factories?" 

"Sure. Any and everything that needs energy." 

"And then why such an abundance of solar panels?" 

"That's a smart remark. The cold scission of the atom as well as we invented generates a lot of control. However, strange to believe, if we produced with which also electric, this type of nuclear power should suffer a backlash very dangerously. All vehicles are equipped with individual solar panels for the functions of the instrumentation and lighting, albeit, at night, the traffic is scant. Each habitation, as you saw in this one where we are, has these panels which transform the neutrinos sent to us by the Sun, into electricity more than enough for all services, while everyone you see scattered a bit everywhere, transmit it to enormous power stations, of which I will tell you on a further occasion." 

"But Paris, do explain to me a bit better how you managed to get the cold nuclear scission." 

      "I should not say how exactly. I should refer to the corresponding manuals, but what do you care about?" 

"Just curious," Henry replied cautiously. "You know, being an engineer, me, too..." 

"I must exhort you, once again, not to ask for too many explanations. Do restrain your curiosity about the many other things that you just need to know and not to learn. When you are well informed of how we live here in Kallitala, you will be admitted to the presence of the Grand Jury chaired by the Archon. And, an important thing, dear friends Henry. If you facilitate us in our tasks, to Phaedra and me, the waiting time to go to Poseidon will shorten considerably. Do not be too impatient."  

 

ΩΩΩ

 

He had to see the engine of their car, as soon as possible. But how to do it, if the two vehicles were almost always busy so that he and Phaedra had to walk? Henry vowed to himself to convince Phaedra to go towards the high mountain chain to realize the extent of the island. He should ask her the next morning when she should come to wake him up.

He went to bed full of hope, setting aside the stupid idea to flee by boat. Without an engine and only with the help of weak wind, he should not go far away. And then, the sea hogs should have brought him back to the starting point. Although Paris and his sister should apologize, he should make a pathetic figure when he would present before Hecuba and Alcinous. No. If he must run away, he must do it with a vehicle that would work well. The astromobile, for example. Considered that Phaedra would explain to him how to manage it. If that is, the speed of the vehicle could win the force of attraction that the borders of the dome exercised to prevent the entry that the exit. But then, that fantastic car, should it run the water ever? If it exceeded the roughness of the ground, in a certain way flying razed, it could do that on a liquid surface. Yes, no? Alternatively, he could not think of anything else because pressed the remote control too close to the window, he fell immediately asleep.

No, any light woke him up. He did it himself, after eight hours of continuous dear friends the iridescent figure of Phaedra but looking at his boat chronometer with its luminous dial. He saw that the time had passed since it was already nine o'clock. He jabbered under the pillow and seized the remote control. He was careful not to press other keys that he knew to be the third from the right. He grazed with the index of the first two buttons and pressed firmly on the three. The window opened doing the surge in the vows to waves of light and the cheerful chirping of the birds, sparrows and finches and the sweet nightingales, who had raised the garden of the Achelais to their permanent abode.

Once adopted the view to the light intensity, Henry got up and went through the window, from which he learned to see, with some discretion if Phaedra were in the garden. He just foresaw the beautiful hair, black as the wing of the swallow, to move from a hedge to another. He wondered what she was doing there and only after just a minute did, he see her go into the open site and send him a greeting. How these people could know to be observed by others, uh! He did not explain himself. How many things he did not yet know. The promise of Paris to shorten the dwell time as the guest of the Achelais seemed to him infinite if he had to be made aware of everything. However, his pessimism cancelled itself to the idea that Phaedra should take him around with the car. He saw, in fact, the same car on which she led him to her house, parked outside the entrance.

"Do your parents have to go to Poseidon?" he asked softly, as soon as the girl was within earshot.

"They have not. They were there yesterday morning. My father must go there tomorrow to assist the Council. "

Following his instinct, came to him the desire to ask her if that Council was by chance the Grand Jury whose Paris had noticed him, but he stopped himself in time. "Do we go to visit the distant mountains this morning?" he asked, doing within himself exorcising evil spirits that Phaedra would not answer him otherwise.

"Sure. It was in the program," replied the girl, but then doubtful, she added:" How do you know it? I did not say to you. Maybe Paris?"

"No. I just guessed. I'll get dressed, and I'll be right down."

"First you must have breakfast. We do not leave the house of Achelais without having taken some energy."

She was referring to the prodigious filamentous sugar that melted itself in the coffee.


ΩΩΩ

 

All the controls were on the steering wheel and in its steering column, at hand, without that, the movement to the arm would presuppose the displacement of the upper body forward. There was no pedal as in the average car. The display on the platform was formed by a small television set of about eight inches, which gave to the driver not only all the information on the speed, the lights of all the parts from the engine and in the trim of the vehicle, but also its position on the ground with a red LED that moved on a map which like the car was running, advancing more and more in the direction of the route.

Phaedra, who, with feigned indifference had noticed how Henry was watching carefully all these things when she saw him watching the landscape fleeing fast at the sides, said to him: "On the car works a device, roughly like our protective dome, which rejects any foreign matter would deem to be in its path."

"Should you signify the other cars that we meet?"

"Sure. Albeit with both the speed and the breadth of the road, it would be tough also without this protection that an automobile could come against us, or we would clash with ourselves. All we proceed at the same speed, which is remarkable, as you see on the display. Right now, we are running at nearly three hundred kilometres per hour. Consequently, queues are not formed, neither is the necessity to overtake another car."

"But as often happens in my world, you leave with another car in front of a few meters, what do you do. You remain glued to it?"

"It's impossible," replied the girl with a hint of laughter. "If that car is not far at least three kilometres, the mine, like any other car, cannot get on that road. It does so only when security is ensured. It means at most for major roads."

Needless to look closer at the sides. The high speed did not allow me to see more than a thin strip and the big ribbon of the road that looked like an arrow. The road levelled in the sense that there were no sudden turns or arduous slopes. We realized we were making a huge curve, only by quoting the display and so a climb with the indication of the level of altitude. When, after a journey of just one hour, they arrived at the foot of an exciting mountain range, the car reduced speed and left the main road to begin to climb the slopes, floating to know more than a meter from the ground.

"Mount Ida is high five thousand eight hundred meters and the Olympus, as you can see from its crest, over there, culminates at six thousand fifties. We called it so because that red dolomite rocks, from a distance, look like the crown of a king."

"But there is no trace of snow. At that height, the mountains should be whitewashed."

"The temperature inside the dome never drops below twenty degrees, and the air has the same consistency as that one we breathe at sea level. Less the iodine, of course."

Ahead of them loomed a dense barrier of mist that seemed to stretch itself for several kilometres. Henry wondered how the car should overcome it. He was disappointed when Phaedra with a light touch swerved to go to squeeze into a narrow passage that split the fir forest.

"Ah!" I said, amazed, Henry. "A firebreak. Even in our forests, we used to separate the trees to give way to the teams of firefighters to extinguish the fire. Furthermore, here, as I see."

"It's not what you mean. It's precisely a passage of the cars because, with that one, we can climb gradients of up to thirty per cent and, just found a clearing, to stop ourselves. Here, look at that beautiful flowery meadow. Let us go there."

 It seemed that the vehicle would be remote for the simple manoeuvre of ‘landing' that Phaedra performed. Alternatively, perhaps, she was particularly skilful.

"Is it difficult to drive this astr... car?" Henry asked before leaving the cockpit.

"Not at all. It is sufficient to press the right buttons and follow the main road. Then, when we come out, follow the instructions on the map."

"And I," said Henry, almost stuttering. "Could I?"

"Of course!" !"

"It's true? And, if I ask you, should you teach me to drive it? Now? That is when we'll return?"

Phaedra, who was opening the door to leave, turned abruptly and considered the eyes of his companion with curiosity mixed with a certain make questing, for then, raised her shoulders, to respond to him with indifference: "I will instruct you about the controls, before leaving. It's pretty straightforward."

"Ah, only the controls."

"I'll make you even drive it. Nevertheless, just up to the main road. Later,"

"Thank you, Phaedra," Henry said. "You're very kind."

The mountains above them seemed an impregnable fortress. The small plateau where Phaedra had parked the car was at an altitude of five thousand meters, the maximum beyond which they could go, except that both were not accomplished, climbers. However, as had to explain to him to the girl, the Hellene, a very practical people, does not like that dangerous sport who did not earn anything of concrete but, above all, because they had the opportunity to fly over the highest peaks with the aviolobes, aerial vehicles that connected the different cities, eight in all, among them. There were no airports in Kallitala since all the aircraft could get off and climb vertically on any open space they could hold. The airport system was among the simplest. Once got to the destination, the passenger withdrew his luggage from a conveyor belt that came out from the belly of the aviolobe, and if he had not his car or not someone would not come expressly to take him, he used a public car. In the towns, only cars circulated. Everyone, young, elderly, and old, possessed a car that they drove to perfection, never colliding with other vehicles on movement, thanks to the geostationary protection that repulsed any obstacle. The noisy and polluting vehicles of mass transportation in the western world, such as buses, trams, or trains, in general, in Kallitala, did not exist, even though its population, that according to the last half-year, census resulted stable, as it was for many years, would count on six million three hundred thirty-three thousand individuals correctly divided in half between the two sexes, would shift constantly from place to place.

Phaedra should gladly explain to him about the problem of birth control in a number rather than in gender, but Henry was strangely restless. Since the girl had promised him to drive the car up to the highway, nothing interested him more, not even the magnificent panorama that we enjoyed from that altitude. Although the mountain barrier would impede the view of the remaining third on the island, what that they had in opposite front gave an idea of the magnitude of Kallitala, with good reason defined island-continent and, given that the view had the power of a telescope, for the first time Henry saw the city of Poseidon. Beautiful in its whitening in the middle of green and laid in an inlet where the sea sparkled. Neither did he realize that in the poor wharves on the side in the city, there would be some boats. The fixed idea of him was to hurry up and observe what he must do and, later, enter the car to drive it with his hands.

'But it's extremely easy!' he said to himself a few minutes after taking hold of the steering wheel. The car was obedient to the commands and responded immediately to both slightest touch of any button. He also tried to force the pace by pressing a bit over the odds the small wheel acceleration received. However, a look of disapproval by Phaedra so, to give himself a bearing, he said: "It seems to fly. Nevertheless, is it possible we can increase the altitude?"

“It is not a plane. The high-lift system acts up to a meter, the maximum a meter and half from the surface," answered Phaedra.

He found as magic the word 'surface', as his thought was fixed on that one of the seas ever since the girl had allowed him to pilot the strange vehicle. "Does it work in this way also in the sea?"

"Not at all. It was designed and evaluated only for the crossing of rivers, canals, and streams, but after just one kilometre it is no longer able to sustain itself if the surface on which it runs is liquid. The motor stops itself automatically, and the car stays to float. It remains active only with the solar panel that supplies the electronic equipment for detecting the position and the use of the automatic distress call."

"There is no danger of sinking, then."

"Not, but just be sure to make an evil figure and pay the intervention. Unless we prove the accident, adding the expensive cost of verification of the vehicle, done in a specialist workshop, located on the outskirts of Poseidon, a city that you should see Mount Ida and notice, I hope, that there are several boats moored."

"I did not pay much attention. However, I understood that if one wants to go to sea, they must use just these."

"Exactly. Some fans do it. Very few. The Hellenes do not like to go to sea."

"Strange for the Islanders. Usually."

"The Hellenes fought against the sea for centuries, and when they, at last, managed to harness it - you understand what I mean, dome and sea hogs - they limited themselves only to have the contact of the sea along the sandy beaches, hardly venturing, swimming, over a hundred meters from the seashore."

"So, who needs those boats?"

"To the fans or the fishermen. Paris possesses one that he uses for a few days during the holiday period. Before you ask me that, I tell you that the two engines installed there are like the propeller of this car, modified to operate in contact with the seawater." "Two engines. Who knows how it runs?" Henry said to himself.

"I do not believe. It runs at just fifty knots."

"The speed of the sea hogs, then," replied the skipper slyly.

Phaedra did not catch the maliciousness of the question, and she answered immediately:

"But what are you saying! The sea hogs do not exceed twenty knots. Their species evolved itself neglecting the speed for an added power stroke."

"The little tugs of the sea," Henry said without a smile on his sleeve.

By now, they had come close to the great thoroughfare, and Henry, in obedience to the promise, stopped the car in a clearing. He opened the door to leave the driving to Phaedra when she called him laying a hand on his shoulder. He turned and saw the face of Phaedra close to his, in the act of being kissed. He made it chastely on her lips, trying the indefinable stunning of the first time and when she clasped his head with both hands, pulling him to herself, printing him a kiss on the face, she aroused in the young man such pleasure so tormenting that he felt himself fainting. Phaedra, as he had done before, slipped to his side.

"Oh, no!" he snapped, taking her again with his arm. "You cannot stun me in this way and then do the modest girl. If it is true that you, Hellenes are righteous and respect nature, do remember I am one of her and these sudden interruptions debilitate me. Alternatively, else you who do not want to count among humanity, you have not been blooded in the veins?" he ended with a heartfelt manner.

She sat with a composure semblance and looked at his eyes. He did the same, as he had not yet done so. And, in those irises by gold foils placed neatly in a circle, interspersed with others of iridescent opal in which he seemed to drown, he lost every reason. Not considering what he had just said, kissed her cheek, hugging to himself that beautiful face. Phaedra, this time detached herself with a slightly graceful movement, reciprocated in making him a caress.

"I do not want the disdainful virgin, dear Henry, but you cannot kiss me all the time," she said, intoning a voice graceful and convincing. "It's not because I do not desire, but for the simple fact that your body should have such a traumatic reaction that should lead you to death. I like you, and perhaps I might fall in love with you."

Henry put a hand over her mouth. "I, too. Excuse me, but I must tell you. I am already very fond of you. It is so true as I have forgotten my girlfriends waiting for me in New York and, even my mother and my sister, you have absorbed all my feelings. Phaedra, I should tell.

..."

"Shut up, I beg you," replied the girl after lifting Henry's hand Henry away from her face. "Because you can kiss me, you must before you acclimatize in my country, which is a new world for you. Do you not realize, maybe, that your eyesight can range with the acuity of a hawk's eye. Your weight has reduced by almost half, and your feelings have sharpened at least five times? Do not try yearning only to touch me and a great enjoyment when you kiss me? Will ever your heart from a human, endure that one more intense, paroxysmal of the repetition of our kisses? No, you should die."

"Never mind," he replied in a voice that became hoarse with passion.

"Should you say that, despite the risk, you should kiss me just the same?"

"I won't. I intend to express all my joy in knowing that you love me. I like being close to you. I adore your caressing voice, your goddess's body, and your angelic face. To touch and to kiss you, for me, it is Paradise. Unfortunately, the instinct of males leads me to go further. I'll try no more even though you are so smart to avoid it."

"Thank you, Henry. The Archon once again showed his wisdom in choosing a human who still has sound principles and sincere feelings. Well. Now, do we return home? I imagine that you must be hungry. I've got. "

Henry was about to repeat the manoeuvre to exit from the driver's commands to return the vehicle to Phaedra.

"Do drive it; you until home. I want my father to see how you're getting used to our way of life."

"But I do not know if, at that speed, I will be able to."

"It's easier than driving it off the road. Come on, put in motion, and take the strip of direction. Maybe for the first kilometres keep the ring nut of the accelerator at sixty levels, then slowly you will bring it at about eighty-five, which is the cruising speed."

Henry performed that simple manoeuvres and while the display was pointing the rate of three hundred km/h that, in the absence of traffic and, above all, to the width of the road, it appeared to be much lower, came to him to ask: "But if the limit of the acceleration would bring to hundred, what speed could we reach?"

"Have you ever tried it on your car, to bring the needle on the tachometer in the red zone? Perhaps for a few seconds in an emergency, but if you kept it fixed there, you should race the propeller, damaging it. The same thing was done on our cars, after just ten seconds, a particular device should turn off the engine."

"If there would not be that?"

"We should run two risks. The first that we should lose grip and the protection against any obstacles, and the second that the engine should cast becoming a compact block of, as you say, 'rattle.'"

"Why is it made of iron?"

"Nothing of metal here is iron. However, this thing will be Paris to explain to you. Now you can bring the ring nut to eighty-five, Henry if we do not want to be late. Alcinous is always precise like a clockwork."

He was getting used to living in Hellene. Not only, but he had also expertly driven the car, arriving just when Alcinous and his wife Hecuba was in the garden for a walk before the dinner, but he made a perfect parking manoeuvre to attract the attention of the couple.

Alcinous's left in a moment the hand of Hecuba and approached the car at the same moment in which Henry, sending down Phaedra, was about to do it himself in turn. However, only after making sure not to have left in function any button of the interior panels.

"Good guy," he welcomed him. "I am pleased to see that you are getting used to the way we live. Already drive yourself. It's real progress."

"It's extremely straightforward, Alcinous."

"I know that, but I was not referring to that. My satisfaction is that you are adapting. Already I saw how much you appreciate our food, now you drive one of our vehicles of transportation and who knows how many other things you will be able to do later. My sons tell me that you are making progress. You know. We've already been to."

"Father," interjected Phaedra. "The dinner is ready, and you left mommy alone," then, looking at him with a slight frown, "please, Alcinous."

Henry took the hint. If she had called him by his name, it meant that her father was saying something he should not. Immediately he thought that someone, long ago, had landed on the island and had not acted like he was doing. Perhaps, as he was thinking of doing, he could escape after learning some formula. But when and how? And what invention he brought into his world. In recent times it has not resulted to him that there has been one entirely revolutionary. The Westerners, after the discovery of nuclear fusion, had not invented anything else, except to develop any equipment that had evolved themselves until the excess, but the radio, the telephone, the internal-combustion engine, the aeroplane, and many other things, were invented at the beginning of the century, while solutions such as the creation of a protective dome and especially the fission at cold, were to last to come, at the condition that someone could be able to realize them. Then that guy who before him was a guest in Kallitala could only have been there in the last century, the time for Hellenes being much slower than for the men. But yes, of course! And if he had escaped, he could not have led a secret and then 'invented' something revolutionary at that time. For instance, something that could be the radio or the way to produce the electricity or, better yet, the engine at combustion. No, no, this was just a silly fantasy. Those inventions were born too primitive, and if a fellow had managed to escape from the great Atlantic Island with the secret, he should put it into practice at the same level as he had learned it. A stupid idea that he had thought, albeit Alcinous had let himself slip some valid words, nipped in the bud by the decisive intervention of Phaedra. What secrets hid this person so evolved and if that human being had been taken over by the sea hogs, and the Hellenes would imprison him since they did not kill any living being and there died of old age? Maybe he was destined to the same fate, and if so, for what unknown reason?


4  - THE ESCAPE


Paris and Phaedra, when Henry was in his room, were in the mood to exchange their opinions.

"He seems quite nervous," said Paris. "When I explain things to him, I feel pretty absent. How about you?"

"I realized that he should escape. He asked me so many questions about the possibilities of the car, and when I told him that it could not fly over the sea, he was extremely disappointed as a child to whom refused a sweet. However, it is strange, he confessed to loving me."

"And who should not do it? You are beautiful, dear sister and anyone stays close to you. He should fall in love with you. Do be careful, in any case, to Meleagros."

"Who, that presumptuous office colleague?"

"Did you always meet?"

"But you say, Paris! It has happened only once, during the pause of work. By the way, given that the matter for me lasts more than it should, do I not risk losing my job, for then to be set to make another one? I should not be at all pleased. That I am doing like me and this task to keep company with Henry..."

"No such risk of this kind, Phaedra. And then, to tell the truth, does this human, not like you? Did you always say that your suitors are a bit tasteless? How he behaves with you: he's quite intrusive?"

"He never loses an occasion. He always touches me in any part of my body like a blind man. However, it is pleasant, you know very well that he cannot continue to kiss me."

"If you left him to do it, it would be trouble, Phaedra. Instead of handing him healthy and well educated to the Archon, we should bring him our guest dead."

"Do not worry. I can stop him in time. Rather, however, we should solve his problem more pressingly so that once he attempts, he will not try again and will put his mind at peace, becoming one of us."

"You're talking about the escape, do you?"

"Should we risk losing him as with the scientist who was brought into Kallitala twenty-five years ago?"

"No risk, for two reasons. The first type came from the world too backwards in technology, so he suffered terrible psychological trauma in realizing our sound level.

Secondly, at that time a beautiful woman distracted him. If Henry had declared you to be very fond of you, do be quiet, that would not dislike him, finally, to remain here."

"So?"

"Let us give him the chance to escape. Didn't he say that he will be pleased with making a boat trip? Well, do we please him? We will find the manner as he will be able ‘to steal' my motor yacht. We will let him wander for a few hours, and then the sea hogs will come back. Considering that for now it is forbidden for him to go to Poseidon, tomorrow I will give the order to moor my moto-cruiser behind his sailboat. Then, you will think to operate, as you know."

"Good idea. Will Alcinous agree? "

"I think yes. Before the dinner, I will mention it to him, so tomorrow he will report in secret to Pausanias, your protector."

      The dinner that evening lasted longer than usual. After a delicious soup with seashells was served the lobsters and given that the most pleasant part of the crustacean finds itself in the claws, all the commensals arranged themselves to rid claws of their content.

Henry, however, did not do a great honour to the food. The declaration of love made to Phaedra, in part reciprocated with an 'almost', made him reflect intensely on the mystery of Kallitala. If by aside, that one predominant, he wanted to return home to resume his employment as a research engineer, although there was still the obstacle of living with Liza that the only to think it did hurt his heart, on the other side, after three days he had landed on the magical and mysterious island, but at the same time paradisiacal, he had developed himself a certain acquiescence to remain there for the planned period. Because, in addition to the love, he was feeling for that graceful young woman who accompanied him from the morning to the dinnertime, there was the goal of heightened curiosity to come to know, if not all, at least most of the secrets of Hellene people. Who survived to the usual extermination of the humans, who, if they had discovered the island of Kallitala as Columbus had done with the Antilles or Cortés with the territories of the Incas, they should wipe from the face of the Earth. With the religious fanaticism, then, that characterized those dark periods in which they gave more importance to the building of temples and to the draft of cheering chants and of self-flagellant prayers, the island now should be a territory from the hands of the Caribs. Who, as they did for Cuba, Hispaniola, and with all the other islands of Central America, had invaded them after bloody, and fratricide battles. Which continued if not explicitly, certainly under the form of misuses of power, unjust imprisonments, disappearances of opponents to the regime, prostitution, procuration, and lots but just as much, misery. But what was this island hiding? Quite disenchanted with the world in which he had lived so far, although he would be of only thirty-two years old, did not believe in perfection. The human soul as, inevitably, also that one Hellene, which for him was the same thing, is corrupt, or at least, contaminated. Too many passions of life as a human being can remain pure and then, during that all-time in which they lived. We can admit it was not conceivable. Even up to two hundred and forty years! For an exceptionally long time that on the planet Earth, whatever they considered it, flowed the same for all peoples. Until now, they presented him with the most charming facade. The island was undoubtedly beautiful, like its inhabitants, given that those few who so far had met or known did not wear on the face and the body the defects of human degeneration, where there we counted men and women ugly. Many with congenital defects due to tainted blood owed by ancient consanguineous unions, filled with diseases that brought them early in death. Perhaps the awareness of being ugly, deformed, and sick, led his fellow men, for instance, the men, to be evil and unleash the wars finding the excuse of the principles. The principles, the religion, and a buggy philosophy, here is the real calamity in the world, of his world, corrupt and hypocritical. Who, however, between massacres, injustices, inquisitions, wars, or natural tragedies, after the dark of ten centuries, had risen to such dignity that asserts the desire to stay alive and enjoy, if not more of the ordinary beauty as those enclosing in this incredible case of the Island of Kallitala, of those remaining. Nevertheless, above all, of the medical science and industrial technology they had, not in rare occasions, more than to triple the life expectancy in the short span of cosmic time counted by men in just two hundred years.

And, since he thought hard for these things and did not keep eating, received the light touch of the feet of Phaedra from under the table. The girl rebuked him with a glance because the commenters were watching him a bit surprised. Usually, it was he who did more honour to the food, sometimes making serve himself by the Ancilla another portion of the dish that most had tickled his gluttony.

"Friend Henry," said Alcinous, the only deputy to talk during the dinner, "you do not feel well or are not to your taste the crustacean you've served? You said that you were greedy."  

"I apologize, Alcinous, and to all of you, dear friends. The lobster is appetizing. I was just thinking intensely. You know. With all the new things I learn every day, I get carried away by the thoughts," Henry replied, picking up the device to crush a big claw and removing the meat. 

"Friend Henry," said Paris when, finished dining, they went out into the garden to the usual canonical informative walk. "If yesterday I told you that, perhaps, your period of stay at the house of my parents could be short. Unfortunately, tonight I realized that. However, there is the risk it could extend."

     "I see no reason, Paris. God forbids!" I replied Henry was alarmed. "And then, why?"

"Those profound reflections where you isolate yourself when you're in company, make me think that they occupy your mind all the time in which you stay awake and who knows, perhaps, without realizing it yourself, even when you sleep. It is not a good sign because it means that you cannot manage to acclimatize. Do you even know what we mean by that?"

"That I might adapt to your climate, which is very easy being always sprung and learn your usages, I get used to your food."

"No, Henry. That is the least. We should expect much more from you."

"And that should never be!" I replied to the American, who when he did not understand a thing well, irritated himself.

"Acclimation means to become one of us. Let me explain to you better. Inside your mind, you think that it could be foolish that time flows more slowly here, contrary to what happens in the world from which you come and that, after all, thanks to your knowledge of physics, will not be difficult to open a link to the network. Well, you are wrong. The Archon and, with him, all the Grand Jury, they want that when you present in front of their forum, you might reason with us as we do when we wish to learn another language other than our native language. You have to think like us; the time must flow four times more slowly and that, if we do not allow you, you'll have no chance to go away with your boat."

'Yes, with my boat, maybe not,' said himself, Henry, 'but with one like yours, I should like a little to see, and to Paris: "It is not easy, believe me," he said in the humblest way that he could, "my profound thoughts are dictated by the desire to adopt me. Good thing that your sister helps me to teach me things that, together with the pleasure of visiting some exotic places, are the easiest to learn."

"You're right. I must admit that mine is more pedantic because of techniques and further, I explain to you walking in this garden lit by artificial light. I promise you that in two days, I dedicate an entire day of the weekend, and I'll bring you to make an exciting excursion with my boat. "

"But in two days it will be Tuesday and not at all on weekends."

"Fair enough. Using your language, we call it improperly we too, albeit, for everyone who works, it's just the weekend, that is, those days off from work for a well-earned rest." "But it is not Saturday or Sunday," Henry insisted.

"Since it does not exist, because the work never stops, and each one is entitled to two days to a week, also to the vacation."

"Should you say that you spread out vacation and weekends?"

"Exactly, and with great satisfaction for all. The climate being ever constant, there is no reason to take those unhealthy habits you have. Crowds in places of tourist interest, clogged roads by your pollutant's cars, accidents, deaths, and injuries."

"Why, here from you, none of this?"

"I should say decidedly not. Yes, some accident, certainly not with the car that, as you have known, it is impossible, however, for some damn reckless excursions to inaccessible places done by Hellenes carelessly or distractedly in making things should happen. Although not ever caused the death, only more or less severe injuries were treated in the hospitals."

"The hospitals! So, you too, have them."

"Of course! And why should we not have?"

"I had got the idea that as well as long-lived. You could also be exempt from the drawbacks of us humble men."

"Go ahead, irony cheap. Do you recognize that you have preconceived ideas?"

"No, no, I beg you, Paris. It was just a bad joke, and miserable. What is the theme of this evening?" He asked to prove his greatest interest.

Paris looked him into his eyes, and he read there a sincere regret, for he faced that topic which to him too remained harsh, but was part of the program.

"So," he began, "you'll be asking yourself why we accumulate the energy from the sun through individual panels that convey it to the enormous power stations to provide electricity to industries and the surplus, representing the fifty per cent to the production, entered in the great transformer station of Mount Taygetos." He broke the description to ask Henry:" Do you know why it is called Taygetos?"

"What, the mountain?" Henry asked, a bit dazed. "By the little, I know of the history of ancient Greece, it seems that it was the place from where the deformed children were thrown. Am I wrong?"

"They were thrown over the abyss of Apotete since the Spartans boasted the right to breed their children who to become warriors were not supposed to have any physical defect. However, as Phaedra had been well explained to you, not to lose an emotional connection with the homeland from where our ancient ancestors came, we utilize names of the mythology, and there is not any connection between our Mount Taygetos and the Peloponnese. Even though there is the abyss that lost itself in the bowels of Kallitala, throwing to connect with a volcanic cone that is more than twelve kilometres in-depth, and then under the Atlantic. Our island is part of the chain of seamounts that represents the junction, or if you prefer, the healing of a wound caused by the shifting of the continents, which arrives at the Antarctic Circle. Our island is the only territory that emerged and located between the North American and African continental plate, exactly on the Tropic of Cancer."

"How should a sailboat cross such a long distance. I believed to have arrived in the Bahamas or, at most, to Cuba!" said Henry. "It's a very long distance!"

"Approximately three thousand five hundred kilometres. However, the sea hogs can do miracles, believe me. And at last, do you know how long you've been unconscious?"

"But, at most a few tens of minutes. The blow upon the head of the boom, it was not, then, so violent."

"Do you think you were hit by the increase?"

"Oh yes, I was on the deck at the rudder. I was just wet with my head under the water from the bottle, and I let go, and boom! Or not?"

"But how could that be possible? The spanker should hit you if you were standing on the deck, but if you tell me that you were at the rudder, and at the same time holding the line that controls it."

"But if I had eased it quite a bit!"

"A sea hog-mother has fallen you asleep squirting a liquid of our invention that drugged you. It's the same which we use for surgery."

"And they pushed me? But for how long? I know that the speed of the sea hogs does not exceed twenty knots."

"Which are roughly thirty-eight kilometres/hour, if they swim freely on the surface and are not countered by the rough seas. No, even forcing themselves, they could not reach that speed in the middle of the Atlantic that is never perfectly calm, with the risk, then, to cross the route of a ship. That one had brought your boat in our sea, was a cargo-aviolobe. Which has automatically slung it, once raised an altitude of just fifteen meters above the surface to the water and placed beyond our borders. After that, they intervened in the sea hogs of the inland sea, and they brought you to dock in less than two hours. Do you understand that by drawing a boat, they could not exploit their full speed? Finally, they had woken you up in the middle of the afternoon because when you thought there would be the boom to hit you in the head; it was just past noon."  

"So, I thought of having covered at most one hundred miles, roughly the distance to land on some island in the Bahamas, or on the coast of Cuba closer to the Keys," Henry said in a monotone voice, such that explanation had depressed him.

"Well, a friend Henry. Now you know how you came here and, therefore, chosen for a mission."

"Mission?" Henry bewildered, recovering the tone. "What mission, tell me, please. I am ready for any task, provided that..."

"You left me to go back home, should you say, is it?" I crooned Paris. "Do you understand that you are not a prisoner?" he added with a frown.

"Then, let us go."

"It's like a dog chasing its tail. If they grant you to go away since it does not depend on Phaedra or me or Alcinous, what do you think it has been setting up the whole operation? It is not simple to understand it, you know, not even for the Hellenes, believe me."

To continue to cry on, should not serve him anything to consider a coward, so Henry did not stay to insist and pulled out from the throat three precise words spoken with great conviction: "So, this abyss?"

"It's a furnace. Strange, isn't it? A furnace over another furnace, this latter perpetual, well, as long as it lasts."

"I do not understand."

"The good scar that bisects the ocean enclosing nothing but magma and not cast rocks is as you Westerners say, but rocks in formation, as we have discovered."

"Sorry, but I'm unable to follow you."

"The engine of the Earth, a friend of Henry, is in its bowels. And it is all about the time which for us living beings is much shorter, but also for our planet, it has an end. And this term is given by its internal fire. Until this speck of dust that is our planet in the cosmic context implodes inside, it ensures itself the life with the rotation on itself and around the Sun, developing so much magnetism to retain the atmosphere and, with it, the water, essential elements that allow us to live. When the fire blows out as it is doing now, gradually losing force by the volcanoes that vomited lava by millennia, increasing the Earth's crust, our planet will disintegrate after itself in its race in the cosmos where it will impact with other bodies wandering. However, this is part of the future though even our advanced technology can quantify it. In the meantime, with that hole we have created, we hold the fire that prevents the escape of terrestrial magma. The fifty per cent of the energy captured by the solar panels serves to maintain the protective dome, the twenty for the big industries and the remaining, transformed into heat conveyed into Apotete, is converted into the fire with the same characteristics of the magma that, descending into the hole, prevents that one of the bowels of the Earth to rise. Nevertheless, it is not only the purpose for which we keep it continuously lit, but we also need to eliminate any organic waste because nothing absolutely must decompose itself in our territory exposed to the atmosphere.`` 

"Should it mean?" I said Henry, intrigued by that catastrophic vision.

"That everything is dead or discarded, is precipitated in the large furnace so that in a millionth of a second it will turn into magma."

"So, the animals, the organic waste and."

"Even the Hellenes. Nothing has to contaminate our precious air neither the ground and the water-bearing stratum and, even less, our sea."

"You do not have cemeteries, then."

"We have them, but not like your human people think. For each Hellene, who dies, is added to a plate of phresite who remembers him, placed at the sites dedicated to the memory."

"Phresite?"

"Not to exhaust the availability of this rich land of all, including the minerals, we have transformed every precious mineral element, such as the metals and the rocks, into compounds with elements of industrial production. Thus, were invented the phresite, which is as beautiful as the Carrara marble, but indestructible at the time, and what is the metal most important for us: the rocroase. This latter has impressive features. It weighs a tenth of your titanium and has a resistance ten times greater, thanks also to its extreme elasticity."

"I bet that with this material, you have built the aviolobes, the cars, and I imagine, even the boats," ventured the American. 

"Bet wins. And many other useful devices. For example, the internal chambers of the production, the efficiency of engines, that you humans call the house of the explosion. Consequently, thanks to a procedure that involves dual processing of the compound, we have obtained the ruprice with which we manufacture the central parts of the motors and all the gears. Then there are the various materials for building constructions, those for the paving of the city roads, others for the fixtures and many other things, but of that, we speak about later. It is not an important thing. Now we must withdraw ourselves. It's late and the next day I must be at work before the usual working time to compensate for the feast day of the day-after-tomorrow, which I have reserved myself to bring you around to my boat." "Of course, Paris. It's late," replied Henry with a breath after looking at his wristwatch, which strangely had been adequate long before him at the time of Kallitala.

He could not connect well. All the information about things that, to understand them one at a time, he should employ for a long time, scared him. If at first, he had thought to bring along the secret of the nuclear fission with a cold procedure, now with all those names who jumped out of his head, and who knows if he should remember them, he did not want to adapt himself to this kind of existence. It was as if Leonardo da Vinci, who also had had a successful series of brilliant insights. He would be awake in his city: New York, where his epigones were using the latest advances in Western technology. What reaction should he have! Surely that one to come back to the Amboise castle to devote himself to his beloved studies, in the peace to the French countryside to breathe pure and balmy air. The air! They did not have spoken of that, yet, both Paris than Phaedra, except to make a brief mention immediately interrupted. However, as if to discuss of would be taboo. Could this situation go on in this way? No, of course, he had to convince himself. Tomorrow and tomorrow again, the two brothers should fill his head with other strange things that confused him. Already he does not remember the name of the invention to block the pain and, for sure. At his awakening, he should forget even those strange names that Paris had just said to him about the metallic compounds and the stony conglomerates. Strange names, but fascinating as phresite, ruprice, and rocroase.

A respective country where his body lightened by almost half, his sight powered off at least five times as a standard telescope, but the memory had remained as it was. If at least he had the foresight to write down everything with pen and paper, but it was the appropriate thing to do? What would serve if he had no idea of how those compounds were created?

Everything fell into absolute silence. Even the birds in the garden were sleeping as the Hellenes and so well all their animals and Argus, the sheepdog of Alcinous, that never left him a moment wherever he went, slept inside the room with his master. Phaedra did not show up. Usually, she waited for him when he came back to Paris for the evening walk, and she was the last to give him a good night. There was something magical that night, which was pleonastic in a place that looked like the land of the fairy tales. A slice of a big moon was rising from the mighty mountain range Ida and Olympus, but already the stars and the planets, magnified out of proportion by the optical effect of the electromagnetic dome, were illuminating all around. It perhaps was for that reason the Archelaus slept with the windows hermetically closed. To him, those lights were doing the opposite effect. Not only was he not sleepy, but he had not yet even undressed to slip himself naked under the caressing sheets, and if he pressed the button to close the window, he would fall asleep abruptly. That remote control had to contain some sleeping drug that emanated from itself with the electronic impulse that closed the shutters. 

He investigated the courtyard in front of the house and saw the two cars parked. He had the strange desire to take one and visit the yacht cruiser of Paris, moored opposite his boat. He knew that if he set it in motion, should not make a minimum sound, and even if by chance the engine at cold combustion would hiss a little, the distance was enough to make him heard, given that the house was soundproof. He could not, however, go out through the house. Even though Archelaus and the ancillas should not wake up by themselves, there should be Argus, who, like his kind, had to hear gorgeous and sleeping more than twelve hours a day. It never fell into a deep sleep. Even though his window lasted from the ground at least seven meters and made a jump beyond meant, if not to die, in conclusion, to break the legs. However, come to think, his weight was semi-halved. Perhaps, holding himself to the railing of the window, given that he was tall a meter and eighty-five centimetres, adding his outstretched arms, he should reduce the distance to a little more than four meters. They had to try it. But and the window opens? He could bring along the remote control and close it from outside. And if then, by pressing the button, he would be asleep? No, he must leave everything so, maybe after having turned off the lights. However, he could not come back after the night excursion unless through the door, and then Argus should hear him and whine in his manner, he should wake Alcinous.

He must decide. It was impossible to get out, not seen or heard, so if he wanted to leave the house, he had to flee.

'God, the sea hogs!' he did to himself. 'Courage! If I start with the boat of Paris which, as told to me, Phaedra, has the same records and two-car engines, the sea hogs will be unable to follow me.'

He looked again below. The light significantly increased because the Moon, in all its half-lit, had risen from the mountains. The brighter illumination gave him the impetus to decide, without remaining to reflect on the success or otherwise of the attempt of escape, and on the consequences if they took him. He lowered himself over the wall and once stretched out. He closed his eyes and dropped down. It is how to be precisely right on the Moon! He touched the ground without damage. Indeed, he bounced well for a dozen centimetres. The things were going rightly. He entered the car and pressed the little red button of starting. No noise so much that he thought he had not turned on, but then, looking at the console with all indicators. He saw that the engine turned low. He did not switch on the lights and followed the route already covered alongside Phaedra; he headed towards the main road slipping on the campaign, afterwards accelerated, and in less than twenty minutes, he reached the flat part of the beach. He left the vehicle at the base of the pier and, now conscious he is up to his tricks, caught up with the heart beating a thousand, the two boats. He got a compassionate glance at his ship and embarked on that one of Paris. The sea was like a plank, and he did not feel even slight lapping.

'This absolute silence makes me crazy. And then the lights from the sky, the glimmer of that vast crescent moon makes me seem to be the protagonist of Space Odyssey,' Henry said himself, feeling a chill that ran through his solid backbone.

Not sure that the engines of the boat would not do noise, but even if they did no one would have heard it. He tried to push one of the two small red buttons. The indicator of engine power swung to the right. Then he did the same with the other, and all worked out in the standard. Not even realizing, by chance, how it was the interior of the boat or if there was water and a bit of food, he deftly jumped from the pier and dropped the bow mooring. Then he took off the rope from the top of the stern and held it in his hand, and as soon as the boat put itself slightly crookedly, he jumped on board. He took the rudder, increased slimy the engine's power, and sailed for the northwest. He covered a dozen miles to the light pace. Because, afraid of what he was doing, he looked further back than in front to see if someone was chasing him. When he realized that the smooth surface illuminated by the rays of the Moon, there were not the trails of the sea hogs and no danger which someone would chase him, he amused himself to bring down the maximum allowed the two engines, so that the boat glided over the water almost flying with a speed that he had never felt at sea, especially in the absence of atomic roar from the engines, but only with that one velvety of the shattered wave which gurgling along the hull before being whizzed up by the turbofans. The direction was right, even the navigator was pointing to the end of the Florida Keys.

Although he would calculate that to the speed in which he was sailing, in an hour would arrive at the border of the dome and did not even would imagine what to do once have come there, he pulled to himself the little green lever of automatic steering and prepared himself to go down into the cabin to see if in the pantry and the fridges were enough food in the case, as he feared, he had to make a complete tour of the island continent to find a way out.

The cabin was deeper in the darkness. He had noticed, before entering the boat, that all the glasses had the curtains drawn but taken by the rush to leave, he did not give importance to that nonsense, albeit he had unintentionally thought that these Hellenes, perhaps tired of living every day under the rays of the Sun, when they retired themselves in a closed place, preferred the artificial light. Which he tried to turn on by filling in the hand on the inside panel, as it was customary to do on the boat he had hired. Nothing at the left side nor the right one. Fearful of stumbling in the dark by the few steps, he was about to go looking if in the driver's seat would be a flashlight, when all the lights switched on illuminating the interior, a sitting room elegantly furnished with to the centre, towards the bow, a corridor in panels of imitation marble that led to the cabins. Then, the surprise.

"What, what do you, Christ, Phaedra!" I exclaimed Henry. His growth widened.

"Come here sitting close to me," said Phaedra with a melodious voice.

"But the boat, you know. I should not want that..."

"Let it go. There is no danger."

However, Henry could not control himself. He seemed like a little boy surprised to steal the chocolate that had been prohibited by his mother. He must regain control over the words. He did not want to appear himself before the girl to stammer again to his surprise. So, after having whispered to her to wait outside for a moment, he stood in front of the console of the commands and noticed in the navigator panel that the big motorboat had changed direction and was heading southwest. As he had expected, approaching the edge of the dome, the electromagnetic controls rejected the boat, as they should do with any vessel that would come from the western world. However, he had entered his boat, and then, there had to be a pass. He chased away from his mind the crazy idea of inducing Phaedra to flee with him and the girl's voice recalling him, brought Henry back to reality.

He had regained control over his actions because when getting the five steps to enter the sitting room, he dared to say: "I did not sleep, and I wanted to try this magnificent motor yacht."

As a response, she motioned for him to come and sit on the couch, patting her hand on the cushion.

"Even you did not sleep?" he asked stupidly.

"Friend Henry," said Phaedra. "It's, so that calls you Paris, no?" And, to the American affirmative nod, she continued softly: "What you did is simple madness. However, we did not prevent you with the purpose that you realize the impossibility to get out of Kallitala. Put your heart in peace, a friend Henry, " she concluded, with a hint of sarcasm. 

"What! Before you tell me that my stay with you will be of one month, which should be four of my worlds, and now you affirm that I must stay here all my life. Phaedra, please!" "That does not depend on me, but by your men of the Western world." "What did I do wrong. I do!" did Henry with a plaintive voice.

"You, nothing. However, you are similar, and perhaps you too, albeit indirectly, are bringing the planet to premature death."

 “Death? And why?"

"Do not pretend, not to know, Henry. In any case, these things will be the Archon to tell you. Now," she replied without a hint of resignation.

Henry's eyes twinkled. "Ah, well! It was time, so I will know what my fate will be."

"To reduce this air pompous, Henry. If the Archon came to know of this escape attempt, you should relegate it to Boadicea."

"What is it, a prison?"

"We have no prisons here, as we have no cemeteries, as they understand you, humans. Boadicea is a beautiful valley in the centre of the island, at the opening of the dome, where the air enters, that the Hellenes have maintained with the characteristics of the Western world. There had lived those few your fellows who have been made to come to Kallitala for scientific purposes but, not having wanted to co-operate as you are doing, they have relegated there."

"To do, what?"

"The activities of all you men. To survive, and then cultivate the land, suffer the severe weather, too much drought or the heavy rain, the cold, the heat, and no mechanical device that can alleviate the harshness of the work in the fields. And do not think there you will not be able to enjoy the weight reduction or the acuity of the vision. You will see the sky like in your world, when the clouds permit you and, most importantly think, the time will flow like from you, and you are liable to get sick and die when it is your turn. You cannot get out of there forever, and if you should get unwell, you should cure it with medicinal herbs. Last thing: at Boadicea, the time stopped at the year one thousand. Do you remember something from that period?"

"The Middle Ages. The darkest period of human history."

"That's right, is not an attractive prospect, do you think? In that, the valley was hosted by many rioter scientists. One of them, an excellent Italian nuclear physicist, who arrived in Kallitala in the year 1938, refused to cooperate. And, not having had - lucky you - the alternative that is forthcoming to you, he has ended his days digging the earth."

"Ah, then!" did Henry with a note of hope. "Afterwards, I should have an alternative to that limbo. What should it be?"

"Before I tell you, go to shut down the engines. This rustling of water and the rocking of the boat is giving me some trouble. You know, not all Hellenes like to sail. Paris is one of the few, and I've never wanted to accept his repeated calls to take a trip around the island. "

The time that Henry would mount on the deck would unplug the automatic pilot and extinguish the engines, not without giving a stroke of the rudder to gather a momentum of the boat along the coast; the lights switched off in the living room, except those of the corridor. Phaedra was no longer on the couch. A harmony of celestial sounds came from the cabin room, spreading themselves everywhere. The music could attract magic, and Henry could not shrink himself from that invitation, albeit he would fear a danger. From its few readings as a student, that one seemed to him the siren song between Scylla and Charybdis. Only that, like Ulysses, he was not bound, but heading for the different room where, perhaps, it is waiting for him, a danger that should see him succumb.

She was there, lying on the bed as the Maya, but Phaedra was of beauty that neither Goya, but even Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli, could have ever made so wonderful on the canvas. Ho stayed dismayed at the door to the cabin where only the body of the young woman illuminated. Some of those harmonious curves among the veils, such as the chest and the mild forms, gave him the idea of being in the presence of a goddess.

"Do lie down close to me," said the young woman. And when Henry made it, just as he was, she was looking for him with her makes between the ironic and amused, whispering to him: "Interlace your hands with mine."

” Phaedra, you told me that..."

"Do you have that little box on the nightstand? Open it, remove the syringe and inject it under the skin."

Seeing him looking at her with a reticent air, she urged him: "Come on, Henry, is not at all painful. It's Bufutrin, the substance that reduces the enjoyment because, right henceforth, your life has become dear to me."

"Why, now you love me without the 'almost'?"

"I've loved you ever since I saw you arrive here with a boat, notwithstanding you would have aired so distraughtly! "

"It's true?" Henry replied with a devilish smile and after having injected himself the Bufutrin, he put a hand at her shoulder and the other at the head of Phaedra, and after three chaste kisses, suddenly he fell asleep.

He had to accept the deal. Phaedra should believe that he was not an escape attempt that should earn him the confinement at Boadicea, but a meeting to declare their love for each other, away from prying witnesses. Moreover, Henry was in love with Phaedra already since he had entered the room the first time, but after kissing her once, twice, three times, thanks to the formidable Bufutrin that had made him touch the top of a great inner peace never tried before even with Liza at their first meeting, he felt content with life and was evaporated forever from his mind the obsessive idea of returning to the United States. With the performance at the wedding, he should be considered a Hellene in all respects, except to learn many other things from their daily lives. Nevertheless, Henry was in no hurry for that. It intrigued him. However, to know the reasons for these lovely people who had chosen him among so many billions of men, to get him to Kallitala and to what mission he would intend. He savoured the pleasure that should derive to him from visiting Poseidon, the city of which everyone in the house told fables, and to admit to the presence of the Archon and the whole Grand Jury.

If of a small disappointment he suffered in that idyllic apotheosis in the arms of his beloved, this was the observation, as they approached the usual pier, not seeing his sailboat. He looked questioningly into the eyes of Phaedra, but she could not give him an explanation. Now with the thought of its highest fulfilment, Henry did not bother much. Already he was beginning to think like Hellene. He did not put to his good humour some malevolent suspicion but believed to interpret that disappearance as the necessity to recover the boat in another place. Perhaps, even in the marina of Poseidon were moored the motor-yachts of those few who love the sea, like Paris.

Alcinous, but more than him, Hecuba, who on that occasion uttered the ritual phrase to express her delight, they were happy to welcome into the family the friend Henry, now as always called him Paris, became at all effects their son because soon he should wed the wonderful Phaedra. She has been beautiful, but since her love returned, she had transformed herself into a magnificent creature that, to see her. Henry seemed a Madonna so much that if she had not been his future bride to invite him with her eyes, he should not even graze with a finger the respect he felt for her. 

The marriage, as intended by the inhabitants of Kallitala, could not be simpler. It was to affix their signatures on a screen on which we could write a sheet of paper, which was sent immediately to the central register of marriages of the Capital. For well three times within the space of a month so had to be explained to him by Phaedra, that screen could propose again to the family of the Archelaus and the groom, as to anyone who wanted to access it. Then, once received the confirmations, it was transcribed, and Henry and Phaedra were married. Later, it should ask if they wished to remain within the family of Archelaus or to form their own and if appropriate, enter the new patronymic name who in their situation, given that the surname Campbell could not be accepted, that one of the families which would evoke one of the classical or ancient Greece's mythology.

However, before getting married, Henry must have presented himself to the Archon to be told what had been because of its acceptance in Kallitala and what his future tasks would be.

As a real American, although happy to join in marriage with the beautiful Phaedra, Henry could not focus on the legitimate question of whether there was divorce in Kallitala. Phaedra took time and one evening, gone down in the garden after dinner Henry waited in vain for Paris to join him for their usual walk. During which the Hellene engineer had to explain to him one of the many things he had still to learn. Several times turned himself in, as walked home, curious to see if the brother was gone. However, the last time that he did it, determined to return home, he saw instead of coming towards him Hecuba, the silent mother. Who was inaudible, at least at that time, she was not at all. Because she linked an arm through the arm, and with grace and lightness caused him to walk with her through the paths lit by a heavenly light, in that which looked like an enchanted garden.

"Dear son," began his speech to the kind wife of Alcinous, with a velvety voice, "here in Kallitala, there is no divorce. Not because there is the imposition that a couple is bound to remain united forever by law, but for the simple reason that for us, there is no transgression.

In ordinary words, we are not able to commit wrongs or those that you humans define as 'crimes'."

"All people, destined to Paradise, so," interjected ironically her betrothed.

"Paradise, my son, but this 'your paradise.'' Our ancestors have sweated blood and tears to make it so, even managing to change the chromosomes. "

"It's true?" did Henry back with extreme curiosity, without even a hint of sarcasm.

"Did Paris not yet say to you?"

"Maybe this was the topic of tonight, but he did not come."

"Excuse me, but I felt I should give priority to my intervention to satisfy your curiosity when you asked my daughter if Kallitala would practice the divorce. There's no reason."

"But I've not your DNA. One day, which might happen."

"You're getting Hellene, my dear," said Hecuba with an inflexion to her voice that seemed to Henry to be one of the confessors.

"All right," agreed on the young man. "I'm forcing myself to learn all that they can explain to me, but..."

"It's not just for what, my son."

"Should mean what?"

"That with the wedding..."

He did not think that she would finish the sentence because he felt he completed it with: "I will become, in effect, a Hellene as you all."

"So how are you, dear son, you can never be like us. Only after that, how can I say," the sweet voice of Hecuba began cracking.

"Should you not subject me to..."

"Nothing serious. Only a genetic modification for the inclusion of some chromosomes in your DNA and the deletion of some others."

"But I," stammered just Henry, conscious that now he had no choice.

"You'll be happy; you'll see."

Now they were back in the house, and the dog Argus came to meet Hecuba to lick her hand, given that Alcinous and Phaedra awaited them. When the couple greeted him to retire to their rooms, Henry took an arm in arm with Phaedra to continue the walk through the garden. His head was on fire, and his instinct was suggesting him to scream his despair, but who knows by what strange alchemy, he could not do it. Perhaps expecting, they put something in the food, maybe the Bufutrin or some other devilry.

"Should someone put a calming thing in my food?" Without any prevarication, he asked to whom that should become his bride, who did not hesitate to answer him.

"The Cardilox, a sedative that avoids any physical and psychological trauma."

"An anti-stress, so."

"Do you know what reaction you should have when my mother would confide in you that to become my groom and, to all effects a Hellene, you had to suffer the modification of your DNA!"

That chemical invention must be truly portentous because Henry had another reaction then to want that she would illustrate to him that newness.

"And for this reason, that everything is in order on this island?"

"Long time ago, when my ancestors had already secured the existence of Kallitala, there were some protests by a group of Hellenes rather than troublemakers. Who wanted to claim at all costs the right to rule his country? They developed the disease of omnipotence, that same evil that afflicts many humans currently to power in the outside world. A cacophony of conflicting opinions, just to affirm each one's personality. Well, everything also arrived at us when a group of researchers carried out the studies on deoxyribonucleic acid, identifying all chromosomes. So, they managed to change some codons such as to cancel individual reactions to the character still human of the Hellenes.

For this reason, we now define ourselves as such and not as you, but not for long." "How long time, yet?" asked Henry with feigned indifference Henry.

"We have to wait until you're presented to the Archon, who must explain to you the reason you have been chosen to enter our world."

"Why, do you not know? Now you should tell me."

"I know just something, but the delivery does not say anything. Do let fall this matter, Henry. So, I was telling you that, once I completed the studies on DNA and found the system to modify it, there was the necessity to inoculate it to all the inhabitants of the island who at that time did not exceed one million. For the residents of the city of Poseidon, Katane, and Naxos, the only ones at that time existing, there were no problems at all. However, for the minority who lived in the family unit of the countryside that, as you have seen, as our home, were quite isolated, was a real problem, even worsened by the fact that the most recalcitrant contestants were located precisely in those areas. Considering that there have never existed coercive means, neither weapon, the only way was to trap the most reactionary in the valley of Boadicea, as we do with the herds of oxen to make them enter the stabling. And once they were driven by an encircling movement and found themselves in the valley where the living conditions were equal to those in which you men were living in the Middle Ages, in the space of just three months. They all became meek as in our heritage. Then there was no difficulty so that even their DNA was slightly modified. With the occasion, however, my ancestors preferred not to 'clean up' that valley, leaving it as it was, expecting to use it for similar purposes or for those humans who, from time to time, an Archon saw fit to invite them in Kallitala and that, if they had not agreed to become Hellenes as you are about to do, we're forced to live there until the end of their earthly life.

"Is someone there, at present?"

"The last man died of old age two years ago, but there was a period in which several men entered. Then there was a series of Archons, who had determined that it should be better to study the humans more closely, not excluding transforming them into Hellenes for genetic reasons or to clone them."

"To clone them? God, what enormity! In my world, that practice is prohibited by law," protested Henry.

"Because you can never reach our chemical-technical perfection. When a man is cloned, it is not its certified copy, but the transfer of his character traits with all the knowledge acquired, on a Hellene who, although received this new data, remains with his knowledge, so that he can interact with the man without renouncing, however, to his personality."

"At what purpose should all that serve?"

"To wangle us in the life of all days of you humans to update on the thinking of ordinary people. While all your technical and scientific details are sent to us by a device which absorbs them through the electromagnetic waves that travel freely in the air, the only thing that enters, frankly, into our world."

"Here it is, the air. It's the same that our humans breathe?"

To that direct question, Phaedra hesitated a bit. However, realizing herself that if she waited for a quite long time, Henry should be suspicious. "Ours is as pure as that of a hundred years ago, but it comes from the Atlantic," she replied, although her last words were uttered in a neutral voice.

However, Henry was still too human to grasp the nuance, more curious to know who would be the men 'captured' in Kallitala. "Tell me, who were these men whom you welcomed?"

"Oh, just some aviators who for some of our magnetic interferences had lost the route. And, not to drop them with their aeroplanes, we made land from the sea close to the beach without damage. Then the sea hogs, receiving the order by the Archon, led them to the shoreline."

"The same one where I did arrive?"

"No, another desert, on the opposite side of the island."

"Did not they, by chance, those of whom we have discussed been swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle?"

"Surely silly, you humans. The Bermuda Triangle, you have a fairy imagination, you humans," chuckled Phaedra.

"More than three thousand kilometres of the route. It seems exaggerated."

"Only those who had enough autonomy, to arrive at our borders. And you, what do you think? You got here, huh?"

"Ah, yes! You helped them with your aviolobes. And what has become of them?"

"As they were military, they did not agree to become Hellenes, so were confined to Boadicea and there are dead who have diseases, who are old, as well as the Italian scientist."

"So now there is no one," affirmed Henry with a slight tremor of voice, fearing that if he did not agree to become Hellene, he should confine there, the sole inhabitant of the valley.

"Exactly," replied Phaedra, who addressed his beloved with a significant glance.

"You have promised me to go to Poseidon, Phaedra. Your task is finished, and I think you must take your job again. Paris has told me that."

"Yes, but I have the permission to be absent until the completion of the assignment received."

"That was to convince me to marry you."

"No, it was just to transform you into a Hellene. My sympathy, and the love after, they have developed naturally, Henry. I love you, and I should do anything for you."

"Even to fly away together from Kallitala?"

"Even. However, it is impossible. Except with the help of sea hogs, which respond only to the orders of the Archon. "

"We could imitate him. You never told me that you could clone the people?"

"You're just a silly human. The Archon, once elected, is not imitable. And, to clone any living being, we must access many overly complicated and numerous codes in a special machine, which only works when it recognizes all the senses of the Archon in office, including the imposition of its sight and hands. Should you not do me the work of an ancillary, I hope?"

"What does that mean?"

"Do you think that we have adopted on our island the worst rules that are in force in the Western world. With the differences in wealth and position among the most unjust and criminal?"

"But..."

"You know what I mean. Of those who are forced to do the most menial jobs and, even worse, those who die of hunger or to those who lack the necessary means to live in dignity. You, humans, do not live so much! "

Henry was about to reply when a hieratic move of the sweet Phaedra stopped him with a serious look. "With us, all the Hellenes are equal with proper rights and duties and all the opportunities that political and natural life offers. The schools are for everyone and not cost, there is food in quantity, the clothes, of any shape, have, even so, priced, and critical. All inhabitants have an income that allows them to live a comfortable existence even if they make a trade that your people consider humble. There is nothing of shaming here and not even of the sublime. Many persons, like the young Archidauros, Antaeus, and Zeno who, among the others, cultivate clams and mussels or the brothers Menelaus and Agamemnon, who function as cheesemakers and look after the herds of cattle, do so by free choice. So, as Deianira in this house, while other people are forcing themselves to do so for the scruple of conscience."

"How is it possible to exercise a trade for a scruple of conscience. You, Hellens, are very strange, you!" It managed to replicate Henry.

"Simple, future Hellene!" I affirmed Phaedra, touched to the heart. "As I told you, at Kallitala do not exist the prisons or, of course, the sentences. When someone is guilty of a crime, always mild from us, since our chromosomes do not allow us to commit real crimes, he condemns himself, leaving the task of prestige that he is doing, for another of the lower level, although here all works are decent. That for a constant time appointed by the ethics code of each." 

"And if one is married and has children?"

"Nothing has changed. His wife and children continue to live their existence while the husband is extremely far from the place of residence. It also happens that he comes home in the evening for dinner. As you have seen, our cars are amazingly fast and in less than half an hour, each 'self-punished Hellene' is in the condition to return home. Furthermore, because the choice of the new job is set in a region other than their own. The city of Poseidon, where resides in the Grand Jury has the largest area that is thirty thousand square kilometres."

"And the employment that everyone has left?" Henry said in dismay, thinking of his job that he should never recover.

"It is temporarily occupied by another person as the owner does not return. However, my future husband, do you realize that Kallitala's existence is conducted in the same manner as in the Western world, but without the nagging worry of delinquency neither of the useless things."

"As television and," he remembered, something had been neglected so far, "the phone! How do you not have your phone? We also have laptops."

"You spend all your time talking to each other even when you do not have the necessity. Of course, we have the television that transmits only video or movies and no sit-ins or other various entertainment, much less than obnoxious advertising that empties the brains of the people. As for the phone, everyone has upon himself a gadget that you have never seen, and it needs to be identified purely in case of danger. The real devices, those which serve to perform any activity, are all by a cable connected not to interfere with the magnetic dome nor with the air towering above us. Should you notice, I suppose, that there do not exist cables of electric current. They are all buried at six hundred meters thick and disposed of the access to the auto repair and maintenance. Select equipment that the humans should define robots when needed to descend into the bowels of the earth and perform their job. We never complained about drawbacks whatsoever. However, now, I beg you, do we return home because it is late, and tomorrow we will have to go together to Poseidon." 

"To Poseidon? You did not yet tell me."

"Before I had to explain these things, Henry. What is it, you are not happy about that?"

"Very delighted. At last, Phaedra!"


5 - A CHAOTIC CITY


Although he would prepare himself, the confusion of the airport put him in turmoil. Yet, until then, everything had gone smoothly, has he managed to make clear to the diffident director of the enterprise Renting Boats, who had chartered him the boat, not be true that he was lost himself at sea but that, as there was in the small galley and fridge enough to eat for several days, he had moved away from the coast to enjoy the silence to the ocean.

“For four days!” I exclaimed Mr Ridges, with an expression of wonder and anger. 'But if the Air Coast Guard has gone up to over two hundred miles from the coast and did not see the boat even with the long-range radar,” and yet, he stayed with this last word from the lips believing appropriate, given that Henry Campbell had pulled from his pocket a consistent packet of dollars to pay cash that he owed to him, not to keep insisting.

Henry had to make a series of phone calls to the office because having scattered the rumour that he had disappeared beneath the sea, they would not replace him in his significant and delicate tasks. Then he did the same thing with Liza, asking forgiveness for not taking her on vacation with himself, promising her to explain everything to his return for two days. She mumbled a bit but then, happy that Henry would apologize for his behaviour when she knew well why he had left her after learning she had cheated him with another unlikely ‘boyfriend'.', She agreed not to do too many lamentations, convinced the prolonged boat trip had a little dazed by him in the brain, causing him to lose the memory of the more recent events.

And here he is, just landed from a very noisy plane that had taken more than four hours to reach New York, in an airport so crowded that when he put himself in the long queue of passengers waiting to palpate in every part of the body dismayed himself. The attempt at the Twin Towers had made the Americans hysterical and, not even satisfied to have invaded both Afghanistan and about to do with Iraq to chase away from its dictator along with the worst terrorists, they continued to conduct the war in their home. A sign that all the inspecting apparatus, made famous worldwide through numerous films, had sunk in all sectors. It was like people walking by who, once found a hundred-dollar bill on the ground, throughout his life, he should continue to look where he was putting his feet in the hope of finding another. Henry endured with a patience worthy of Job all the formalities and the serious nuisance of the swarming of people with his shouting so insisted to mask in part the constant roar from the engines of the aeroplanes in motion.

When he came out from the air station, had to endure another two imperative things, such to seem dangerous to his survival. The first, the chilly air that stung the lungs when inhaled the primary puffs, and the second, more severe, which the same air mainly polluted by the fear of remaining suffocated. He managed. However, to adapt to it. And when he was dismayed not to see Liza, who had promised she would come to meet him at the exit. He saw a limousine. The glass of the rear door was going down and a beautiful little head, that of Liza precisely, addressing a sunny smile to tell him: "Soon Henry, de enter. We cannot stop here!" Two guards were already approaching the great car with the apparent intention to get it away. Henry entered there immediately while the driver quickly settled the two suitcases in the trunk.

"Wicked!" did Liza soon as Henry sat alongside her. "To leave me alone while you went to scour the ocean!" System very feminine to avoid scolding, but that Henry learned to perfection and. Consequently, he did not give any importance.

"I needed to rest and, above all, to reflect," he echoed, just grazing at her cheek with a quick kiss.

Now the car was running on the highway Van Wick directed to the Upper East Side where on Park Avenue, right across from Central Park, Liza Limerick, only daughter, in addition very spoiled, of the President of the USOIL, the world's the largest oil industry was located its magnificent apartment occupying half of the twenty-seventh floor of the skyscraper that bore her name.

For almost six months, Liza was convinced to live with her in a small apartment nearly independent in her large residence. Because of the main entrance, it had a back entrance and that, according to the suggestion of his girlfriend. He could utilize it when she was not at home. Henry reluctantly accepted that arrangement. He should rather live in his small apartment in the Queens near Oak Gardens. But then, both for the repeated insistence of his girlfriend than for the hassle to take upon himself every day more than an hour for one way and another four to return on public transport to reach his job office in the laboratories of Westcox Engineering Research, located in the Fourteenth West, he surrendered. However, already after two months of living together, their relationship had begun to creak and gave some hint of weakness in the fourth, fifth and sixth, so it was not a rare thing that the two lovebirds had their daily altercation. It took place in most cases after dinner, when Liza had swallowed her third glass of bourbon, arriving at that point to unreason.

He told her several times: she must not drink. It was a vice that, along with the cigarette smoke, had always given him the perception that their relationship should suffer a definitive break and before that happened, he had asked to make use of a part of his vacations. Liza agreed with a fair play that decision, hiding quite well her resentment. That Henry would leave himself to the devil for a while. She was sure that, getting used to not seeing him more at home. She should further quickly forget him. But then, after just two days of the brief phone call announcing that he happily arrived in Key West, had again called him and, not finding him, had tried to find him with hysteria. Afterwards, she learned from the rental company that Henry Campbell, had been reported missing at sea, not being returned in the evening before the day he had rented one of their sailboats. The Coast Guard precisely started to carry out the research. Fortunately, the news had not yet been given to the newspapers of the North, but only the Florida News had linked that fact to an apparent disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle, where in the past, they had lost both merchant vessels than military aircraft. Then, neither the discovery but, after four days, the smooth landing from the boat which did not show even the signs of an unlikely storm, it had no more interested non-journalists unless the owner of the rental company. Who received the agreed fee multiplied by four, to which Henry had added a generous bonus so on that fact would put the end, had given the version that his client had wandered for three days at open sea, having damaged the satellite transponder, at last managed to find his way back.

The impact was traumatic enough for Henry. All those people, especially curious when he moored with a smart manoeuvre, were helped only by a young man on the pier, who had put the ropes of the bow and stern, then the contact. They had not left him for a while as if he would be a circus attraction. Luckily, that with all the money he disposed of, paying generously mister Ridges, owner of the agency and of the boat, who had also accompanied him to the airport, he had managed to slip away, but later, when he went behind the counter to buy the ticket on the first shuttle flight to New York, he realized. How annoying it would be to be surrounded by so many noisy people and, in some cases, so bad-mannered. Everyone thought selfishly to himself. He noticed how an old lady, struggling to recover her large hand luggage, did not find a person who would help her and how he, who was about ten files away. He would gain way among the passengers, hasty - but then who knows why, since the plane was still connected to the telescopic ramp boarding – to arrange their bag in the compartment above the seats. The host subsequently, so even used to do that regular job, had lost the grace and the kindness in serving passengers and when Henry had refused, with a slight nod, the tray containing the half-day meal, he had received in exchange a sharp glance.

And now that was approaching the evening, finding him in the apartment. He began to feel a special appetite because he did not eat from the previous night. So, he looked around for the case, the Butler, who had received him in a rather haughty manner, would make his way to the dining room which Henry imagined would be ready. None of that. Indeed, to complicate his life had intervened in Liza, who had wanted him to settle down in her room. The suitcases were already there, and later the housemaid should arrange his clothes in the wardrobe. Now, as soon as possible.

'Right now!' said the poor Henry.

The look of his girlfriend did him tremble. He, who had not deluded the will of Liza to kiss him and receive his blandishments, but he hoped that should arrive after having to eat, as usually happens. Then, fortifying his mind, he prepared himself for that task.

The desire for Liza was so impending that Henry did not want anything in the world to disappoint her. First, however, he asked permission to stand apart in the bathroom. That just seemed like a room, because it was high for his remote place in the Queens. There he took off the jacket and put on himself a beautiful Cashmere dressing gown that Liza kept him always on hand, and he pocketed an injection of Bufutrin. Since that essence, the biological chemical had to be injected just under the skin, preferably in the belly, less sensitive to the pain of a sting, it should be extremely easy to do that little operation when he would get close to the body of the young woman.

"Ouch!" I cried, Liza. "But what, a pin, maybe. However, take off that ridiculous dress gown!"

"Ah, right, I'm sorry," said Henry, hiding in the pocket that he had in his hand. "It's because I did not want you to scold me for staying in shirtsleeves."

"What?" It asked the girl, getting up here, too, and staying astonished to realize how embarrassing Henry was. "Oh, Henry," she sighed then, mirroring herself in his blue eyes and forgetting to have been stung. "I never thought to disturb you. Do stay yet comfortable. Strange, though, because it's warm enough!"

The two kisses that Henry exchanged with Liza affected her to go back to the time when a little girl was not too spoiled; she had a character sweet and subdued. Ever since, albeit reluctantly, she had separated from her lover, returned she was and from that moment, she behaved with humility marked by better education, such to impress all members in the service staff of the vast apartment, who did not expect to greet as firsts, nor that Liza Limerick did to each of them some questions about his family. They thought she would be a copy or a twin sister, until now, hidden in some secret place, as described in some nineteenth-century literature. Henry laughed in his sleeve. He knew what the effects of his kisses were attenuated by the Bufutrin, a substance that impeded the excess, but diluted it over time so that Liza was now in a semi-hypnotic state that should last a minimum of twenty-four hours, enough to give him a chance to show himself at work the next morning. Then, on his return home, he should repeat the operation. He had been equipped by its principals, as well as other important things, also of a dozen vials of Bufutrin, as much as it should take him to complete the mission.

He did not consider, however, the need for the affection of his girlfriend. Come home in the evening from his job where he received as commonly happens to those who return from the vacation, he found her quite nervous and with the unmistakable signs of impatience painting in the face. It was clear that she should not give him the time to take a shower and eat because she wanted him to join her in the little living room to exchange the signs of their affection. Henry did not expect such a morbid attitude that, in a good part, upset his plans so far. Everything went smoothly. His colleagues did not face him with some embarrassing questions nor his direct superior. Ernst Whiting, the engineer in chief of the research on an energy accumulating material, not asked him if he had been good in the Keys. He had, on the contrary, questioned whether by chance had happened to him, during all that free time that for someone like him was to be considered wasted, he would ponder with the necessary calm on those narrow results to which they so far had reached.

', tiny,' he said himself, barely concealing an ironic little smile. 'With what I brought with me, I will upset the right part of their physical and chemical principles, solving all the problems, so that I can...' closed with a sigh.

Unfortunately, he could not make out another acute 'ouch!' from the throat of Liza, already to the first spasms of pleasure, but then all went out for the best, because to the second kiss, he inoculated her with another healthy dose of Bufutrin. With that injection, she should be quiet for at least thirty-six hours in a manner that she should not have the other desire until mid-morning of the two next days when he should be at his workplace. If, however, given the predisposition of the young woman, the Bufutrin would not have the desired effect, he should make her breathe a little quantity of Sapotran.

He must reduce the time required because the operations are completed. Already he felt himself the bronchus inflamed to owe to have breathed all that polluted air. Luckily, Liza's apartment had air conditioners that filtered the air coming from outside, but when he went out certainly could not go around wearing the gas mask! Consequently, he was obliged to breathe the air corrupted by poisons and nasty odours, without mentioning the deafening noise from the traffic that for him was a roar. By chance that the airliners flew not moreover New York since the Twin Towers were destroyed, although the helicopters, ever further in quantity, would do it all the time and, finally, the cars, like a raging torrent, blocked all the roads. Nor could he do otherwise to reach his office with the limousine that Liza put at his disposal, to serve him his air-conditioning system, in part, to mitigate the major drawback of breathing.

Even in the offices of Westcox Engineering, there was an efficient air filtration set and, in the laboratory, directed by the engineer Whiting, the air was notwithstanding sterile, the first condition, which one, to ensure a minimum positive result of their scientific research.

Henry knew well what they were doing. They were still at the point of seeking certain components biologist-metallic of filamentous nature, the more sensitive to the light, without taking any account that of the Sun, we did not have to exploit only the light but, above all, the energy, we could separate from the heat emanating on our planet. As soon as he realized the dreaded reactions of his superior and the impossibility that, at least during the early stages of his proof, there would not filter out any news outside, he should subdue to its attention one of the panels he had brought in a suitcase and which, fortunately, at first glance, they could mistake as naive paintings for tourists, done by many mulattos who crowded the Florida Keys, although they were framed by a thin strip of metal like the steel and covered by a scratch-resistant darkened crystal.

That was the first key to opening the hope for the good health of the living beings. A solar panel should be able to produce in one-day energy equal to that developed by an engine that had burned three hundred litres of gasoline and kerosene or four hundred of diesel oil, fuels that were destroying the world. Once applied to a vehicle that necessarily had to be equipped with an electric motor, of which he had the projects, it guaranteed in practice a perpetual motion, without causing any air pollution, maintaining the same dynamic and operation characteristics of an equivalent combustion engine.

There were, however, two big unknown factors. He did not know quite enough the engineer Whiting, so feared a reaction, different from that of a mere admiration for such a great invention and, worse still, also the market results. What should they be? He knew what follies are capable of for humans, determined mainly by their earning interests. In all fields, they proved to worship the golden calf rather than a philosophical principle.

ΩΩΩ

 

"Engineer Whiting," Henry began his contact with his principal, as soon as the two were alone in a corner of the nuclear physics laboratory.

"Yes, Campbell?" I replied to the chief engineer.

 Henry looked again around and saw that John Frederick, where was the big console of the computers, in a separate area to them, was working on his post and seemed intent on searching for something.

"Do you remember asking me if, during my, hem, vacation? I had thought of the studies of the new component of the solar panel?"

"Bravo! Have you thought about it, then!"

"Yes and no, Mr Whiting."

"What does that mean? I see you are a bit undecided. Did you do it or not? So, if you had thought about it, would you come up with some innovative ideas?" I insisted to the chief engineer in a voice that in the end, words had risen of tone, such as to do turn Frederick.

"You see, engineer..."

"What's wrong? Some problem? "

"It's that," Henry hesitated softly, "I should like to mention it in private. It is a very individual thing."

"Personal? Have you got some problem with your girlfriend?" The engineer Whiting knew Mr Limerick and. Therefore, of what madness would be capable of his daughter Liza. "You're always housed in that huge apartment of your girlfriend and then..."

"No, no, Mr Whiting. Everything is for the best," Henry said, lowering his voice and becoming close to his chief so much that it seemed he had to tell him in the ear, he whispered: "It is precisely a question of the solar panel. I should find that..."

"Okay, Henry. Do we come into my office," replied to the chief engineer, who, turning to Frederick that the lab was the only one who was watching them with interest while the other three employees were absorbed in their work, he told him: "Hey, John, I go to my office for a bit half an hour. Do continue your research, and then we will see the result together."

And when he and Henry entered the administrative area. Where was his office, to the secretary who had been distracted to receive any additional provisions: "Miss Martha, please do not throw me some phone call. I'm there for none, "he said hastily before closing the door behind himself.

"Then Henry?" He asked his young and talented assistant once they were close to the desk, both sitting in the two chairs for guests to look straight in the face. "What should be your new brainwave?"

"Brainwave?" I said Henry, widening his eyes.

"Well... I think that you will have developed our initial plan," replied the engineer, Whiting.

"No, just that one, sure no, Mr Whiting," replied Henry decided, with a slight a wry smile, continuing, "our research will never have an outlet or, rather, can significantly improve the performance of solar panels currently in use, but the costs will be high, and I believe that commercially speaking, it should not have success."

"Heck, Henry!" I snapped at the chief engineer. "Then, for what you called me aside to do?"

"To show you this," replied with an angelic voice, taking from the pocket inside his coat a sheet folded in four and spreading it on the desk.

Engineer Whiting studied the project for a few minutes in complete silence, and from the first lines that he read, he nodded with conviction but then, at some point, "What does this formula, Henry? I cannot understand it," he said in amazement.

"It's just the core that leads to exploiting not the light of the Sun to generate power, but all sources of heat that we receive from the atmosphere, so both from the same Sun than from the pollution produced by man."

"Should you say the greenhouse effect?"

"Exactly. Absorbing the greenhouse effect, not only should we reduce the pollution of the planet, but with the motion of the turbine, each vehicle will purify the air."

Whiting did not answer him, but he began to study the project again. However, also to the first indications of the formula that had him just explaining Henry, he was unable to continue. Those subsequent calculations and equations were outside of his knowledge so that, giving himself a tone of who knows more of his pupil, he said, uploading his voice a certain imperiousness: "Maybe it was better than you would dedicate to do the tourist, Henry, rather than to invent fairy tales."

"But engineer Whiting, this is a real project, and I assure you that I have experienced it."

"Where, on the boat, perhaps? And what should you have done in the few days when you were absent? You know very well that between the project, and the subsequent testing lasts a period of at least six to twelve months. And then, go! All that is nonsense, Henry. I beg you not to waste my precious time. I consider this a joke, which I accept with sympathy, but now we return to our work. I've got a particular idea..."

"I never allowed myself to make a bad joke to you. You are the chief of the largest research laboratory of Westcox. You have been and are still my teacher. How can you think that I can make fun of you? Engineer Whiting, please, do you spend a little more of your time, please."

Those heartfelt words struck Whiting, also by the fact that his best collaborator had always demonstrated himself as a brilliant researcher and maybe something dangerous to submit to him, he could have, to insist so much.

"All right, Henry, I agree with you with my time. Even all this morning, if necessary."

"Thank you, Mr Whiting. You will see that I am not letting you down.”

They went back into the laboratory where, also to Frederick, was the entire staff. Henry whispered to his boss that it should be better to experiment without any curiosity. It was imperative because it handled a revolutionary discovery and should be unwise that someone, assisting, would speak of it out of their environment.

"We cannot send them away, Henry. We should put them immediately on suspicion. But finally, what should you need? "

"To have just an electric motor."

"I should not know which one. Have you had an idea?"

"Yes. That is one of the service's lifts in the garage. It should be enough that you should give provisions that nobody uses it only for half an hour."

Whiting, did he follow again by Henry to reach his office from where he asked the guards on duty to isolate the elevator? After all, it was handled for just three floors.

Henry took away the electrical contacts of the motor, set free from its transparent plastic what everyone believed was a picture bought in South Florida, and set it on the ceiling of the elevator, connecting its two poles with the outlets of the engine. Then he went down through the trap door and put himself close to the engineer Whiting, who looked at him in astonishment while he shook his head disappointed.

"Well, Mr Whiting, does want to come with me to go up to the third floor?"

"Henry," said his boss by doing rather resigned, "is not that we risk being locked inside, or, even worse?"

"But Mr Whiting, what danger do you think could be there! At the most, the lift does not move from where it is. You've seen well that I unplugged the electrical wires, no?"

"Yeah, how silly I'm!" I exclaimed Whiting with barely suppressed gurgle satisfaction, convinced that the lift should not even be moved. "Let us go, and then!" And he went in as first, inviting Henry to follow him. "Come on, now give me this excellent demonstration. Do press the button on the third floor."

Henry looked him straight in the eyes and his glance that had something magical intimidated the chief engineer who stayed in a corner and assumed a thick air.

Henry pressed the button of the three. The two sliding doors closed themselves, and the elevator went up to the third floor at a rate slightly higher than previously planned, with the engine emitting just a hiss.

"But you have disconnected the wires of the current, Henry?"

"Certainly. Now we go down, and we'll check."

However, when they reached the ground floor and left the cabin, they found themselves in front of a policeman of the internal security and looking for the combination, also to John Frederick, who had joined them in that place to communicate with the engineer-in-chief to have discovered a thing he thought was imperative and quite urgent that he had provisionally registered on the desktop of his computer.  

"I do not see the urgency, Frederick. Undoubtedly that it does not clear itself and then, did you have not copied it?"

"No, Whiting engineer is that I felt it was so important that I believed it was so urgent to meet you to advise right away," said Frederick with flattery.

"But is it so important, I say?"

"Chief, I should not come to bother you," and while he watched Henry, who, with the ingenuity that was natural to him, watched him with a neutral expression.

"Well, first, I must do a little verification, and immediately after I'll come into the lab," replied Whiting and turned to the guard: "Please arrange that step stool inside the elevator."

Frederick anticipated him and perhaps already knew what that verification would be had to do by his boss; he placed it in the cabin, and, with the excuse of protecting the engineer Whiting, that he would not fall. He helped him climb to the roof of the elevator and once he freed that space, there appeared himself to observe the strange panel and what his master was doing.

Henry, taken aback, could not intervene even if he showed him too reserved. He should confirm the suspicions of his colleague, who knew the curiosity, although would believe that he does not represent a danger. Further, he was curious to know what kind of discovery he would make the calculations on his computer. He was firmly convinced that the studies conducted so far have not led to anything but a ridiculous increase in energy capacity of the new solar panel, with higher costs for industries that should not consider it convenient to produce it in series.

"Amazing!" let himself come out of the engineer Whiting, foreseeing with how much interest Frederick would follow everything. Consequently, he fits appropriately to correct himself. "I do not know how you got there, Henry, but before I give you my compliments, it is necessary to do other laboratory tests. Here, between the rising and the falling, do apologize for me, but I do not persuade myself entirely."

Henry could not hear him because had already climbed to remove the panel on the roof of the lift and reconnect the wires of the electric current. When he came down, bringing the step stool, he nodded to the guard that everything was in order and that he could make it accessible again.


6   POSEIDONIA

  

He had gone to bed almost anxious, but that had not prevented him from sleeping, because as had sent the input to close the window, the anaesthetic gas emanated automatically by the remote control had fallen him asleep immediately. Phaedra had promised him that she should find herself in the room in its wake and, by a tacit agreement, right close to him. When, at last, she should accompany him to Poseidon with the car. Paris should wait for them at the entrance of the Palace of the Council while Alcinous and Hecuba should remain at home.

The morning program took place as expected. The effusions amicably of love sprinkled with kisses and caresses, early in the day. After a full night's sleep breathing the balmy air over the island, with a beautiful young woman as Phaedra is a spiritual thing, Henry had to reflect. I albeit would remain in his soul the desire to try to do it without that annoying injection in the belly of Bufutrin. Phaedra had explained to him that only after he met with the Archon if he accepted him as it already agreed, and its DNA underwent the necessary modifications, he should become a Hellene at all effects. In that manner should erase from his mind the desire to return to the world of humans, although he would maintain intact the memory throughout his life when he was a man. His biological clock should follow the rhythm that flowed in Kallitala. They should marry in the following days. After five years, because now they were still too young, Phaedra at the same time in her eighteen and he receded to twenty-one, they should begin to conceive the two children granted to each family.

After the marriage, considering that he was an engineer, should take a course for two years and go into service in the same industry where worked in Paris. That factory produced, in addition to the experimental available, also the plopidones, tools that every man should consider some computers, but that they were real brains equal to those of humans, with the difference. However, while they could not use more than forty per cent of its potential, the plopidones came to multiply this percentage exponentially depending upon the power project. They were mostly for the onboard avionics of the aviolobes. It had been one of these prototypes to invent the magnetic dome that even before the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus protected from the vision the island of Kallitala. For several years there had been the sea hogs, already trained for centuries, to prevent any vessel from penetrating the territorial sea that had given to themselves the Hellenes. Then, as was inevitable, the plopidon was technologically developed to make it impossible for any human instrument to identify the coordinates designed to discover the existence of their small continent.

'But how is that possible?' Asked Henry to himself, while he was dressing. Now he no longer used his clothes, but that last much more comfortable that Paris had provided him. They are made of soft, lightweight fabric, enough to feel its body as it would be naked, without retentions whatsoever. He had felt that sentiment when he went on holiday with Liza in Los Roques, the archipelago in front of Venezuela. And, since the islands, for the most part, were uninhabited, in the beautiful beach of one of those, by them christened Heaven, reached by boat they had rented on the island of Gran Roque, the only inhabited by a hundred natives, he had spent the entire day in skimpy costumes. Completely free and just the soles to walk the coral beach, swim, and enjoy the great silence. With those clothes, now, he still felt even better, although he would always look, himself in the mirror to make sure that would not filter through some embarrassing nudities. He asked it also to Phaedra, when, with natural shyness, was descending the staircase. He saw her waiting for him for breakfast.

"You look beautiful," she said to him. "I can affirm, indeed, that I find you more elegant with these clothes rather than with the blue jeans. You, humans, are strange people! You have elevated into a cult symbol that the rough cloth used by the workers. If they allow you that, you should even go to official receptions. Can you find how ridiculous this craze is?"

"A bit, I agree, but you know about the boat," Henry replied, giving her a chaste kiss upon the cheek. "Come on, please, hurry up, we have to go to Poseidon!"

"Are you happy?"

"Very delighted to have you close and then, wonder, to visit that city that seems mythical to me!"

"But first, you must present yourself to the Archon," pointed out Phaedra and reading the face of her beloved a flash of satisfaction, she added: "Alone. I cannot be present during the interview."

He felt like a hero who was going to face the fairy dragon, so he took the opportunity to ask her, "So, will you permit me to drive the astr...the car?"

"You do not know yet how to drive in the city traffic. You'll have plenty of time to learn it."

Indeed, despite the broad avenues to the capital, many cars would circulate, and we could see different aviolobes that flew over, the streets not cluttered with vehicles stopped along the sidewalks, as he used to do in the city where he had lived. Nor, at the first glance, did he realize where we were going to park them. Then, as they proceeded from the heart of a city that Henry found beautiful, he realized that each vehicle slipped in some subways in every street. Probably it was that they stopped down there. Because even Phaedra, just arrived near a long and wide Boulevard bordered by palm trees, which ended in front of an impressive staircase at the top of which stood a beautiful building like the Parthenon, piloted the car inside a tunnel, going underground into which, they drove for seven ramps to get to a large open undercover space where she parked. They walked a hundred steps and soon drew, without Henry would notice himself, by a conveyor belt with other Hellenes arriving unexpectedly, from where who knows, that very speedy, transported them in less than a minute to the exit number thirteen where with a manoeuvre like that one had attracted them, landed them with the others. A big lift without a push board command as well as the conveyor belt, amazingly fast it, too, made two stops before reaching the floor in the building, where some of the Hellenes of both sexes and by looking busy, they went down. Then, at last, again in the open air and when they found themselves in the vast space in front of the Doric columns of the propylaeum of the enormous palace, Henry wanted to make a stop before entering to admire the city of Poseidon at his feet. Everything was beautiful. The buildings, no higher than five or six floors, harmonized perfectly together, both for exclusively white colour, although in its various shades until to get to a soft beige, and for the very modern architecture evoking, but in a gentle manner, that classical Greco-Roman. And, between a building and the other, beautiful trees of an unknown species to him, by the dense green foliage that it seems to have been shaped by the man, such was the perfection of their forms that would suit thoroughly in the urban context to them nearest. We do not see any billboard of any kind and even those few stores he could see with his powered vision, exposing the goods into good-looking windows, had no garish signs, but that we are all made of the same size. No billboard so far observed was written in his language but, certainly in that, one of the Hellenes were talking to each other, of which he was learning a dozen terms a day. It was not difficult to remember it, although the phonetics, for someone like him used to the American slang, would be quite harsh to him. Of those words, we must pronounce all, both the consonants rather than the vowels, the doubles, the diphthongs, and the perfect punctuation. As much as to him it would seem difficult after the first fifty words memorized, it seemed to him would be sweet and harmonious.

Phaedra wanted not to dissuade him by contemplating the landscape that, every time captured her, with the usual trite phrase of getting hurried not to be late. At Kallitala seemed no one would give an appointment, as there was no need to press some button both on the conveyor belt than in the elevator, to reserve the exit or the entry. It was a real mystery for the Americans. It was that, in fact, rather than the call of his woman, to dissuade him from continuing to look for the broad avenue.

"By the way, Phaedra. At what time should you report me?"

"At the appointed hour," she replied, affecting a slight smile.

"All right, and what should it be?" 

"It's quite complicated to explain to you. Paris, who is an engineer like you, will certainly do. I..."

However, Henry, who had sensed something, replied to her: "Well, Phaedra, should you do not tell me that have been Paris to ensure that the conveyor belt and the elevator would stop at the right point and now, to determine also the appointment with the Archon, do you agree?"

"If you satisfy yourself, I'll explain it in familiar words, but please, do not ask me the mechanism of that."

"I think I understand, Phaedra. I am now quite a Hellene," replied the American with a slight sigh.

"Our brain sends impulses, formulates desires, ideas, understands feelings, finally, like yours. Well, you still do not have it, but in each Hellene, at three years from his birth, given that the family until that age keeps it under close supervision, are inoculated with some substances - nothing dangerous – like when to you humans, they do the injection preventing smallpox. So, to us, however, these materials within two or three days, depending on the subjects, turn into a real small computer that, gradually, with age its technologies increasingly. It's this processor who, emitting pulses that receive from the pituitary gland, sets in motion or stops the collective mechanisms that we use and make us respect each appointment such as an agreement."

"Then, what can I do to be on time and after, to know what floor rise and through which room to enter?"

"I will be that, from where I am, I'll address you toward the right places, and now do you go. The time has come," concluded Phaedra, smiling, and immediately Henry walked to the colonnade of the palace.

In fact, with the confidence of someone who had already been there countless times, Henry forwarded himself within the magnificent palace and stood uneasily to note how many people would circulate there. He went in front of one of the elevators came in and landed on the third floor, continued down the corridor that led to the hall of the Grand Council, and neither admired, as he had done when he was in the company of Phaedra, the splendid friezes and the precious coverings of the walls nor the floor of storied marbles on which was walking almost flying. He decided into the anteroom and the employees did not even ask him who he would be and what would want. It was all agreed, so one of them sent the input so that a leaf of a large door would open, and Henry forwarded himself in a huge hall lit as in the full day.

He was allowed only a moment of indecision when slowed to admire an enormous full-length portrait of an old man who watched his neighbour with a sweet and awe expression as if it would be divine. He guessed that it would be the Archon, who should receive him in a few moments, but at the same time, a gripped foreboding anguished his soul. When he opened the door through which he had come to appear before the Elect, two Hellenes, elderly they too, wrapped in a white toga with gold edges and with a cute toque on the head, was coming to meet obsequious him.

Henry stayed amazed at how everything worked at perfection. If anything like that would happen in his New York, who knows how long his fellow creatures should save.

It was a handsome old man if we could say so of a Hellene to the good age of fifty-three years, that in the world that maybe Henry should never see more, was equivalent to two hundred twelve. His gait was austere, and he seemed to have lost a part of the typical lightness of his people. His beard, considering that the Hellenes begin to do grow themselves at about that age, distinctive traits to be considered seniors, uniformly white and trim, ended in a goatee which stretched his face and lent him, as if would not be enough the extremely high office that held a good-natured authority. The title of Archon replaced, at least for the period in which he should exercise the most power, all his names. Although, for strange alchemy in his brain, he knew that without anyone telling him yet, Henry had the premonition that the period of its principal mandate would be coming at the end.

"Henry Campbell," said the Archon, smiling to him and making the magnanimous gesture to go seating on one of the chairs opposite his in the large, marmoreal reception hall. When Henry did that, he felt enveloped by a soft cloth that was giving him a sense of well-being as if he would be less his natural weight. So, I did in silence the two elders, too, who so far, except for having whispered something in the ears of the Archon, had not said a word nor their faces had expressed anything but a neutral attitude.

"You're one of ours, now. Almost soon you should marry the beautiful daughter of Alcinous. I welcome that. They told me that you were very fond of her, and you are more than appreciated in the house of his father. I read in your face a great satisfaction, but also just as much curiosity. For some time, you have been waiting to come to me, especially to know the reason I have chosen to make you enter our territories. Well, if my project was planned such a thing. And since you have not rebelled like our other guests who have finished their days at Boadicea, there is no more reason, at least, for the moment, not to reveal to you."

An impulse suggested not to answer Henry, but his eyes did not prevent him from asking for an explanation.

"You're disappointed," said the Archon. "It's good for you that the things have taken a turn that is in your favour. It is ongoing that will ensure the survival of the planet Earth. The Western world and, consequently, also ours, is risking the collapse because of pollution. The reports of our scientists speak noticeably clear. The air is becoming unbreathable even for those parts around the world where there are no industries or great traffic. That was due to the winds that for some ten years no longer follow the millennial ducts, but as it used to say among your people, they had become crazy, bringing the pollution everywhere. The climatology is out of range: some calmness of wind alternated themselves with storms of power ever recorded. The drought makes desert countries notoriously famous for their gardens, countryside, woods, and forests, especially those bordering the Mediterranean, our ancient sea that, closed as it is, is becoming an open sewer. An important clue - of that we must thank our Sea hogs – is that a right part of the bottom of the seas which surround the most industrialized countries is covered with a thick layer of sediment formed by the fallout of the fumes of your engines. When in the cities, someone blesses the wind that 'sweeps' away from the pollutant particulates, those powders must go somewhere then to the end, after hundred years of senseless warlike and industrial activities, they continued to pose to the calm bottom to the abyss, that abyss should be how they want, but are part of the Earth's surface and will prevent the survival of any life. Our planet was not born with humans inside, but with micro-organisms that gradually grew up to create simple types among the men. Who wants to assert their dominion over the world? Now they dispose of as well 'in power' some means to wreck it, not realizing that the borders cannot prevent it from circling through the air freely and, with it, clouds laden with unpleasant matters, especially the atomic molecules. You have noticed that we are protected by a dome that prevents you, men, the possibility to 'discover us' and, which saves us from the changes of the Atlantic climate and its storms. Here it is always spring and summer. Our sea is never rough, except for the light waves that supply his oxygenation. We invented a system to make it rain every night. We move from place to place with no polluting vehicles and our industries, even those heavy, do not produce smoke." 

 The Archon paused briefly and did not get a word in response from Henry, but saw his assistants nodding to approve everything he was saying. He looked at the American with a frown and went on: "Of one thing, however, we cannot do. The air. Despite how much effort we do to make it clean, filter, and regenerate it, we cannot manufacture it. The air is like the liquid - in the end. It is not another thing than a liquid - and we cannot expand but only compress it. In nature, it should escape from us and should go to melt itself with the other pollution. They should be futile efforts. We could, if anything, expand the atmosphere surrounding the Earth, but if all this could come true, what real thing should breathe over four-five thousand meters above sea level? None who breathes lives to those heights except, if he existed, the Yeti in the Himalayas. In short, dear Henry - by the way, you know that after the wedding, you will need to change your name? As the men became soft caring themselves only to the idleness and to earn much money for rejoining of which not inventing anything new, the Grand Council that I chair and of which the friends present here, Pausanias and Alcaeus, represent the most important part since just Alceo will be destined to replace me in less than a month has decided to give them a solar panel that can collect a good part of the energy which comes from the Sun. You who are an engineer, you will know that this great star, while he lives, lets out more neutrinos than light. Our panel captures just those, so even if the Sun is burning the other face of the Earth, or if the sky is obscured by the clouds or that pollution that you, men called 'greenhouse effect, our solar panel can capture the neutrinos turning them into energy. Not only that but also it exploits the heat of the greenhouse effect, so reduces it substantially and if this invention is applied to any engine, it will delete it in just a dozen years. This manner will as well ensure us an exceptionally long survival.

At our meeting, I confer you the status of Hellene citizen. You will be at all effects, but only if you should want it. I grant you a fortnight to ponder my offer well. If you should accept, you must undergo minor surgery for the modification of your genome. After that, you can marry your beautiful girlfriend, and you will be assigned a job commensurate with your skills. I imagine you will want to know what will happen if you do not accept. Well, since I have little time to administer this my sacred land and, beyond that, I have to give deliveries to Alceo, Pausanias will explain it to you and will remain at your disposal for the rest of your stay at Poseidon."

That said, the Archon stood up and did a nod to Pausanias and Henry, he walked toward a large opening in the bottom of the hall that Henry had not noticed before, followed by his future replacement.

Henry looked around bewildered and crossed, unintentionally, the look of Pausanias, who reciprocated the smile of encouragement.

"Do speak Henry. You are no longer in front of Archon. Now we two are equal. At Kallitala did not exist differences due to both to the census than to caste or to merits. Excluding the Archon, but only during the performance of his extremely high office, we are all at the same social level. So, erase from your face this serious expression of fear and talk to me with an open heart. "

 In truth, Henry at that moment was thinking nostalgically about his lost state of man, American, engineer hopefuls, although with significant problems of living with his girlfriend. To his mother who was residing in Vermont - his father, Colonel of the Marines John Baines Campbell was killed during an ambush in the war in Afghanistan - to friends and colleagues, who all missed him. Even that unpleasant troublemaker Frederick. However, the words of Pausanias had the power to calm him. Consequently, he gave in to his curiosity and thoughts that were pressing him more at the time, leading him to ask: "Why tell me Pausanias, if I do not accept, what should happen to me? You should isolate me, perhaps, in the valley of Boadicea? "

   "Ah, you already know it!" I said the Senior Councilor, smiling.

"I know enough of that."

"I say, young friend, should you not want to think of returning to your previous life," said the doyen of the Grand Jury, cutting him the phrase, this time in a gruff forcibly. "It would be like meeting a premature death. However, you heard well. What did the Archon do? Aside from the wars and the pandemics, the pollution is bringing the humans to early death and not only for established causes, but I assure you that is the source of all evils, from infarct to cancer. Just you who have lived in New York, one of the most polluted cities in the world."

"I always have to go to Central Park during the work break and when I could, together with my girlfriend, we went to visit my mother in Vermont and sojourned in the house that Liza possesses on the hill. So, for more than twenty hours a day, I breathed the clean air and, especially in that State, even balmy."

"Your air is so polluted, poor Henry, that the air you seem soothing here should kill much of the population."

"Here the air is so light that it seems..."

"To live again. Nevertheless, we are already fearing the danger because even though we are thousands of kilometres far away from the places inhabited by the men, with the atmospheric upset due to the unnatural changes in climate caused by the senseless human activity, that same air, for now fortunately enough diluted from the poisons, is coming here too. We hitherto have a hundred of elderly admitted in various hospitals of the eight cities of Kallitala, and unless we can persuade men to use clean energy, our world will end after ten years." 

'Well,' ten of yours, should be forty of ours."

"Young guy! The Archon has granted you to become Hellene like us, but with the talks you are doing, it seems that you want to end up in Boadicea. Certainly, there you will find all the features of the country from which you come and should struggle until you die, as a man, of course, to secure yourself, the food, and the few comforts that your work can give you. The Archon gave you a fortnight to decide, so."

"Fifteen days of your own?" Henry asked, interrupting Pausanias.

"Of course! Here, only we compute the time."

"That should take two months..."

"What should you insinuate, Henry Campbell?"

"Nothing wrong, Pausanias. Given the fact that it has been just ten days since I arrived in Kallitala, I have the time to learn something more. Is that a spurious claim?"

"No, indeed. I think it is fair for you to discover what's new in our country, and I'm here at your disposal as long as you remain in Poseidon."

"But I should stay with Phaedra. She's waiting for me outside."

"Your girlfriend, after completing her mission, has resumed her work in the city, and this afternoon, she will return to her father's house. You will be our guest for a working week under my guidance. I have the task to make you informed about many things that, yet you do not know."


7    THE SOLAR PANEL

 

"Let us see if it can do run this two hundred HP turbine," said the engineer Whiting, once they in the laboratory of the technical applications followed, despite the opinion of Henry, by two technicians 'sure to one hundred and twenty per cent' as had told him his chief, among them, there was the ineffable John Frederick. Alcaeus and Pausanias and the same Archon, they warned him. It subsisted in the danger that the men would act in a criminal way to steal the plans of the solar panel of Kallitala for purposes other than those which the Hellenes hoped and had imposed upon him, for which eventuality, to destroy both the plans of the project than the three demonstration elements that he had brought along, with the remote control, so microscopic which they had inserted it under the skin of the left shoulder. However, if he were forced to use this radical solution, the mission could fail, and he should come back, at the same time.

The problem of pollution of the planet should not be solved if not using, then, some coercive means. Which meant a protracted conflict that could not manifest itself as such, but it must put the men able to accept certain principles of physics and the chemistry which, at first glance and according to the parameters of the humans, they should seem irrational entirely. Therefore, recourse to Tresero, such as the code name of the little device, had to be justified by a small emergency, calculated on several hypotheses, equivalent almost to the impossible.

Henry watched with some dismay, the two technicians whom his boss had wanted them would be present at the second test of the solar neutrino's panel because the engineer Whiting had the faint suspicion that his best assistant would do to him a game of cunning. It was not the first time. Two years earlier, he had subjected to him a ridiculous project on cold atomic reactions and seemed it would work, although on a reduced scale, but then he realized that it was the simple reaction between two chemical opposite elements. They have smiled on because that experiment was carried out only under his eyes, as it was done an hour before in the elevator to the garage.

"Here we are in front of the turbine we use for various laboratory experiments. Now do a show to your colleagues, too, how you should make it work without the electricity. Before proceeding, " he said, motioning to the two technicians to move and approaching Henry's ear, "I warn you that if it is nonsense, as I believe, I will take serious measures against you. Usually, it happens to you when you return from vacation. I know that you can make you secure in your situation of a boyfriend of the heiress Limerick, who will never influence any drastic decision I would take, so you still have the time to get you out, with the only consequence of a reprimand for making me lose precious time. Everything should end there, but if you."

"Engineer Whiting, I beg you. How can you think that I would allow myself to shield the wealth of Miss Liza Limerick? You know well that I should never do it, at the cost of finding myself in the street without a job. Does the rest assure that the experiment will perfectly succeed? Only that I do not approve of the presence of both Huggins and, above all, that of Frederick. Do you know what, just him; he is not exceptionally dependable," replied Henry, using the worldly wisdom not to be heard by that present.

"I have imposed them not to tell anyone. Otherwise, they will fire. And finally, just that they do not see the plans of the project. What do you want them to understand, " replied the chief, now? However, with a certain gentle way, given him also that after having studied them, he had failed to go beyond the sure incomprehensible formula.On the contrary, to what do with the lift, this time it was all under the careful eyes of the spectators. The apparatus of the turbine was brightly lit, so there could be no danger of simulation. The power outlets were arranged on a panel in plain sight, placed against the wall at a meter above the electric machinery, and the chief engineer should hold for his hands the two power outlets as soon as they had detached from the framework. A thing that he did when Henry pulled and folded the two electrodes of the panel facing the electric motor. Then, with ease ensued to him by the perfect knowledge on the matter, he swung the switch, and the turbine set in motion. He increased the turns operating the commutator up to a quarter of the power, marvelling the spectators, especially the engineer Whiting, who expected a bluff, when they saw that the pressure gauge needle already indicated the maximum of rpm.

"As you see, engineer, this is not a joke. The panel is so powerful that if I rotate the cursor, which is now at two, even up to only three, the engine revs should increase by a lot. And the fans should not be able to maintain the temperature. In a time of just one minute, the copper windings of the bobbin should be cast, making the engine unusable."

"But how long should it last?"

"What, Mr Whiting?"

"I said that I wanted to say," the dismay of the engineer-in-chief was such that he could not utter a word without stuttering. "Well, the panel."

"His energy charge does not exhaust practically never. As I said to you, the board is charged for twenty-four hours and can capture the neutrinos emitted both by the heat from the Sun and by the pollution dome looming over our heads. A synthesizer converts them into electrical energy that can reach five thousand volts for power that exceeds easily three thousand Ampères."

"But how is it possible, with this tablet that I think the flat screen of a computer!"

"Everything depends on the material used. You know how technology has transformed that big box of the machine of the eighties of the capacity of ten on hundred in those of portable type, roughly my panel, with a power thousand times more potent."

"Sure," said the professor, turning his gaze to the two assistants who remained mute as fishes, while in the little eyes of Frederick passed some flashes of the greatest interest, "with the electrical circuits, mainly also using carbon fibre and platinum, but what material should you take?"

It is my invention. I baptized that ruprice that along with the rocroase..."

"How, how?" exclaimed engineer Whiting. "And what should be their composition?"

"It's a thing overly complicated and secret. I can anticipate that there is also gold, platinum, palladium, and tellurium. I cannot mention, at least for now, the other components."

"Gold?" I widened his eyes wide Whiting. "But if it is a metal that we never managed to use otherwise than for jewellery or coins. It's, but if it is an inert metal!"

"That's the error, engineer Whiting," he replied in a voice made a little bitter by the disappointment. "Having considered gold as a precious metal, has diverted all civilizations from using it for other purposes, especially that to which nature had intended. With a special process and joined to the atoms of other metals, it becomes a powerful catalyst. In this panel, it has a primary function. But, in short," he added to the tone of voice of someone who is self-confident even in front of their teacher," do you believe yes or no, with this experiment? I see through your eyes the wonder, but also some scepticism. I bet you would like to open it to see what is inside. Well, I will advance you immediately: anyone would open the panel. He should be hit by an electric shock so powerful to become doornail, and the board with all its components should destroy itself. To some third persons that would assist by a shelter, they would have to see nothing but a charred human body and a piece of black mineral like the kimberlite, with no trace of another compost, nothing else."

"But you, I say, and repeat Henry, how did you build such a thing? Where did you find these metals and, finally, how did you create something that is, oh! It is just monstrous to think that a human mind has been able to conceive it. You have always followed me with the research studies, and although I must recognize your outstanding gifts of intelligence, you should not be capable of achieving these results and then, gradually, do all in the period of a short holiday! Later, Henry, where did you get it?"  

"But what do you say! I designed and built it with my hands, and certainly not in the brief time of my vacation in Florida, although I have finished assembling it in that period. Where do you think that I have taken it? The result you had under the eyes. What should you like to do, engineer Whiting, perhaps disown it? If that happened, I would find other people extremely interested to apply it in all fields so that, as we sometimes have jokingly said, we get beyond the point the producers of the oil would themselves do the morning showers."     

"Certainly, not, God forbids, Henry! Your invention should re-launch the Westcox that should become the largest and most influential companies around the world, and you are rich with billions of dollars. Only that we should be embarrassed to explain it. Do you know that you should have to publish to obtain official recognition by the scientific journals? To complete the work, and then, it is essential to present the project to the appropriate department to get the trademark?"

"And here is the error, distinguished professor." It was the first time he called him by this title, with a hint of annoyance in his voice that was becoming monotonous for the rising anger. He had reckoned such a proposal, but not that would be formulated to him by the Engineer Whiting, who had treated him as far as a godson, but inevitably by the direction to the company for which he worked. "This invention is not of the Westcox but entirely mine. There is nothing of the studies we have so far conducted at this laboratory neither physical nor chemical principles. It is the result of my research both in mining and in the chemical fields and, once I found the various combinations, I have applied them to a formula devised by me. If I subjected it to you when it was still in the embryo, you would laugh in my face and perhaps even fire me. No, engineer Whiting, this invention is available to the whole of humanity to ensure that all the motors or power producers will no longer use mineral oils that pollute the air and are turning the planet into a mixture of poison gases."

"But Henry," replied Whiting, who did not care at all that Frederick would go to himself, "sure that it will be for everyone, God forbids! The United States has always been at the forefront of aid to other countries."

"For some fee," Henry replied sarcastically. "Even when they make the wars, especially in defence of the oil-producing countries, they are repaid of their expenses. Does a war cost a hundred billion dollars? There is no problem. Since they always win because, with the military display, they put on the field, the battle is unequal. And, between reconstruction and exploitation of energy resources within the country won, they will ensure not only the reimbursement of all expenses but, above all, the oil supply, and derivatives to keep in motion their massive deployment. Forgiven for civilian use, but do you never ask yourself how much fuels consume their Armed Forces? More than double the civil and industrial utilization. Just think of the thousands of military aircraft in flight, of how many millions of tons of kerosene they burn in the air and the ships then, who knows how many more of heavy fuel oil. The burnt kerosene expands itself in the upper atmosphere and remains there for a long time before it relapses on any surface, and the width of oil goes to increase the thickness of marine debris up to the danger threshold. My panel must serve to eliminate these consumptions drastically and well, other things more."

"I fully agree with what you are saying. I am sure that the entire direction of the Westcox and the President of the United States in person will be in solidarity with your principles and commit to spreading this invention in the world after having applied it to our devices. You know. We must test it, and that results in a single lap of time."

"My invention is already tested and ready for use."

"Okay, but you should not claim that were ready-made electric motors to put on it neither available the industries to produce the panel and then, do you be wise, all that material of which you speak, a mixture of combinations of minerals with their fanciful names, as rocroase, ruprice, and others, we must as well extract them from where only you know, do not you agree?"

"There's not any necessity of the industries or searching for minerals, engineers. That one is a secondary issue. The first thing that interests me is the assurance that this type of panel should be available to all without distinction. If you agree, I should like to present it to a plenary assembly of the UN and there to receive a written commitment by everyone, that will abandon the use of the internal-combustion engine for all vehicles and the energy production with derivatives of oil and, above all, by the fusion or fission of the atomic nucleus, both to the civilian and military purposes."

"But dear Henry," said the engineer Whiting with a mellifluous voice, "we will as well that, first, your invention should bring before the attention of our greatest scientists and then, do you be reasonable, should you want to discard the President and the entire Congress?"

"They should be the last to know this matter," Henry insisted firmly.

"But it's impossible! Do think, if you did something like that, the reaction! Henry, your country is the United States. It's your duty!"

"If you think about it that way," replied the young engineer heading to the turbine that still worked in full swing thanks to the energy of the panel, "I recover the group and go home," and that saying. He turned the switch rotating off the turbine, but while he was about to pull out the wires, Whiting came close behind him and with a dismayed voice, first, he begged him not to do it and then, donning himself some authority, commanded him to leave everything as it was.

"This is my stuff," said Henry, with a bit of an altered voice.

"Hey, Huggins!" shouted Whiting, "come to help me, this madman wants..."

However, he would bring Henry by the shoulders, holding him firmly. He knew that he could not cross the young man who was much more vigorous than him and when Huggins came to give him some help, both realized that they needed considerably more strength to block him, so, having it at hand. Mr Whiting broke the glass and pressed the button of the fire alarm to rush as many people as possible from the lab room. When the first security agents rushed, Henry had already freed himself by the two who, as they would be feathers, had thrown upon the ground with a shrug of shoulders. With so far with the arm in arms the panel, he was heading toward the exit with an Olympian calm when one of the three agents, while the alarms shouted at a maximum noise, unlike his two colleagues who with the fire extinguishers in hand looked dazed from where would come to the non-existent fire, he had at all a different idea, so pulled his pistol from its holster and pointing the gun in both hands against Henry imposed on him to stop, not even knowing if the panel belonged to him or not, to put down that little painting that he was holding under his arm.

"It's a false alarm, agent," said Henry with sweetness. "The engineer Whiting in falling had broken the glass of the alarm. Rather, go to help him up."

The agent, still holding the gun pointed to him, looked Whiting, who, helped by Huggins, was back on his feet and, first waving his arms, but then having found his voice, he shouted: "Stop him! He is taking away something from our laboratory!"

It was then that Henry once lost his patience and pressed at his turn a button. However, it was that of his remote control, and the agent immediately lost his senses. Then, pointing to the frantic Whiting and his assistant, he did sleep on them in the same way. And when the two stupid other agents, at last, realizing that handled not a question of fire, but a police operation, were in their turn pulling out the guns, Henry did with them the same thing. In this manner, he could leave undisturbed the lab hall that locked it and walked toward the exit, reassuring the people rushing in that it was just a false alarm.

This general confusion gave him time to earn the street where the chance assisted him because he managed to jump on a free taxi that was passing there. He realized that the House of Liza was not the most suitable place to hide. However, he must take his suitcase wherein the background of which hidden the other two panels, the injections of Saprotan and the mirillinis. These latter were some tiny circuits physicochemical which, assembled on the board at solar neutrinos, as a pattern he knew by heart, should compose a chemo-brain the processor of an extraordinary power of a reasoning and intelligence equal to one hundred of those humans of a quotient at one hundred and ninety. The engineer Whiting, his assistant, and the three security agents should be not in a condition to give any explanation of his escape, except in a few hours, so he had the time to find a safe hiding place.

Before getting on the elevator, the doorkeepers of the skyscraper Limerick, although that would be an odd hour to see him come home from work, greeted him obsequiously. Perhaps too, so Henry was reluctant to enter through the main door, but he went around and introduced himself to his private apartment. Nevertheless, having him has been placed inside the chamber of Liza since it was there that he had left the two suitcases, in one of which was the material that was to carry himself, he had obliged to enter there. Not hearing the voice of his girlfriend, who when was at home revealed herself both addressing with a loud voice to the service personnel than she liked to spread throughout the apartment her loved music, especially the acute voices of her favourite singers, thanks to its exceptional hearing, Henry had the certitude that in the adjacent apartment not flying a fly. Most likely, all the service staff in the other wing were in the kitchen and the quiet area. He entered with the due cautions. His footsteps made no noise, and in a few strides, he reached the room of Liza. He opened the suitcase were pinned his secret things and instead to take it with him, that great, as it was, should raise some suspicion, especially to the control staff who, assisted by the cameras spread everywhere in the vast hall, did not lose sight even a particularly, he did snap the four springs that kept hooked the false bottom of the suitcase, from where took out a briefcase coated with the Calotex with the colour of the rough leather. Without notwithstanding checking the contents and neither taking a peep around as it happens to those who leave forever a place where he has always lived, he reached his apartment from where he went out to the elevators. He remained hesitant before the four doors, and although there would be one available on the floor, decided it was better to take the stairs. The floors were many, but he was lighter and had gone down rapidly three steps at a time, so arriving at the ground level in less time than he would take the elevator.

It was a sensible decision, as he glimpsed his colleague Frederick, who, along with two types, both dressed in a grey mouse suit under which he noticed the bulge of a gun in the holster classic, typical of the FBI, asked the chief porter if he were at home. The man nodded with a certain cordiality and gave the order to his subordinate to accompany the three men to the elevator door at that time.

Henry remained hidden, out of the range of the cameras and when also the chief Porter moved from the reception desk, with its multifunction remote control, he darkened all the cameras just long enough to sneak out of the building without being seen by anyone. He did not need to take a taxi, because at the time he did not know where to go and then, with his nimble step, he should arrive extremely far in a brief time and be after that, drawn by the sole oxygenated source of the metropolis, that he found himself in less than five minutes in the middle of Central Park.

He sat down on a bench. 'Here, for sure, they will not be looking for me,' he said himself a bit discouraged. He was sure that with the experiment of the panel, the engineer Whiting, whom he knew of independent nature, especially what concerned his job search, should have with him substantial complicity, facilitating him so that marvellous invention would be available to all the peoples of the Earth. And, indeed, none of that one. The objectionable vice of the Americans who, despite being people formed of various ethnicities, multiracial for excellence, and they would represent. Therefore, an accrual of culture with similarities common to all peoples, in the face of such a solution that should have been freed by the utilization of oil, the primary pollutant of the atmosphere. They would want to exploit the panel of conception Hellene only for themselves. Maybe they should keep it as a state secret, or, given its potential, should sell it, but only for a purely commercial purpose, to other countries 'friends', while excluding the others. The field through the panel application studied for the universality of its use and not merely as soon as in the Western world would work one hundred million of these panels at the same time, they are beneficial emissions not only should absorb the poison gas present in the air but triggered a physical-chemical reaction that should prevent the fission of the atom forever. They were two main objectives achieved. The first, the elimination of the sulfur dioxide and the carbon monoxide close to the ground, of the ozone in the upper atmosphere, and then of all dioxins, sulfuric and nitric acids, not to mention the potential pollution of both atomic slags rather than that volcanic. Within a few years, when all energy producers would be powered by the unique Hellene solar panels, the air of the Earth would return to be the one that breathed in the times of Graecia Magna. Pure and healthy, to ensure, especially with the advancement of medicine, long life, and with minor illnesses, except those dangerous caused by the vice of smoking and to exceed in drinking alcoholic beverages.

However, that was part of the destiny of men who could not contain themselves. Nevertheless, their early death should not at all affect the most valuable assets of the planet Earth. The air, the water, and the soil. This latter understood on the ground where should sprout the plants that, also to provide the food should continue to produce oxygen. Let us say that millions of men would die of cancer or heart disease to tobacco smoke, and many others would end their days in the liver reduced to pumice or for delirium tremens, it should not prevent the survival of the vegetal and animal world, first, that one of the Hellenes and the men of sound principles and, in general, of the animals. After these reflections that occupied just the space of a minute, Henry resolved to go to the United Nations Building. He should find the system to receive from the Secretary-General, who, as indicated by all the media, was a person overly sensitive to these problems. A bird's eye, the distance that separated him to the UN was only three kilometres and decided to go there walking. To call a taxi, which did not circulate inside the park, was risky, and it might as well if he were to get out of it, to proceed with its means. However, albeit his pace would be light and fast. He had to cross the entire East Seventy-Ninth Street and run along the riverside of Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. A joke for him. In less than ten minutes, he should find himself in front of the parallelepiped in which he had to enter a casual way to avoid any suspicion among many Guardsmen guarding both in uniform rather than in civilian clothes. By the attack on the Twin Towers, the controls in New York had reached such severity that it seemed to live in a city under siege.

When he found himself at the height of the Queensboro Bridge, already exceeding the half of his path, a white Chevrolet car flanked him as he was briskly walking the broad sidewalks. I lowered the window, the person next to the driver, with a false casualty, asked him if he could show him which side he should go to get to the Cathedral of St. Patrick. The time that Henry would stop, and, with proper education, he would answer that he must turn right into the Fifty-seventh, continue to the intersection with Fifth Avenue, and once arrived there, to turn left when the spires of the Cathedral should parade in front of him. Two other cars stopped carefully, one in front and the other behind, and out came four people with the drawn guns, pointed close


8   BECOMING HELLENE

  

Pausanias did not leave him for a moment until the fourth day during his stay in Poseidon. However, his explanations were clearer and more explicit than those given to him both by Phaedra, his future wife, and by Paris, her brother, who had been quite confused about him. These lessons were also consequential because a topic linked itself to another, so much so that Henry was the right part of the mechanisms regulating the various activities of Kallitala. So, absorbed in following the teachings of his mentor, he does not stay annoyed not to see Phaedra nor disappointed can visit the city, yet.

All last Pausanias led him in a wing of the immense palace to attend what that more urges him to make him know. He had mentioned to him of a great chemo-electronic computer which Henry had imagined being the inevitable horrible thing that had as well to exist even in a country that, until now, had seemed him a paradise on earth. Too much goodness to the people, too much organization, as well as much ecology, silence, order, good government, happiness perhaps, who knows? It should be inevitable that the classic false note and indeed the ten days used to know the wonders of this fantastic island situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean were served to prepare him for the worst.

Even that name, chemo-processor infused him with a disturbing idea. Chemo was a word that meant pain and perhaps death. It is handled with a mixture of drugs - protocol, called the doctors - to cure all forms of cancer. Pausanias, whose acumen made him appreciate Henry Campbell for what he was, that is, now more Hellene than human, laughed to himself, well imagining what a disciple was dreading, and he amused himself by keeping him in its latent anguish. Then, when they entered into a circular hall with a high domed ceiling, also that one entirely white of marbles or similar stones, as to him had already explained Phaedra, with about thirty employees, both male and female, silent and absorbed in their work, each in front of a console with over a big flat screen, Pausanias, who until then had remained quiet, finally said: "Here's where works the chemo-computer, that we call familiarly 'Proteus' for its multiform combinations, which govern the entire bureaucracy of Kallitala. Those that you see are the terminals, each of which performs the functions of a department, as you have in the Western world. However, before I explain to you what they are doing the operators, whom now I should not bother. I invite you to follow me."

With the remote control, Pausanias did run a door that opened itself into the wall at the back to the job posts and Henry, after making a nod to those operators who had turned to look at him, followed the Counsellor by an elliptical the scale of considerable proportions, which opened in big floodlit space, a bit smaller than that one above, to the centre of which stood a massive gatehouse that was emitting, in addition to light signals through a myriad of LEDs of a sundry colour and strange to believe in a country where the noise had been banned as the pollutants, even a slight hiss, as he used to hear when putting into operation the electrical transformer in his house.

"Here's the chemo-computer", Pausanias, not caring to hide a smile of satisfaction. "The word chemo will not mislead you."

"But I in truth," was the first word uttered by the odd Henry since the moment they entered that area.

"I noticed your tremor when you heard that word. I reassured you, that has nothing to do with the care that you are now ex-similar to attempting to cure several types of cancer. The irreversible disease will destroy the whole of humanity if they do not eliminate the sources of pollution. We call it in this manner because it is a version of the human brain." 'Here we go,' said Henry. 'Now he presents me with the evil entity.'

It was true when Pausanias began to describe its characteristics. Of the traditional computer, it had only the chips albeit in a material entirely different from that one employed in the Western world, which had a hundred times higher conductivity, and the system was not binary but to the neural impulses, due to the chemical solution into which intersected themselves the countless contact's electro-propulsive, that was much closer to the human brain matter. With this combination of electro-chemistry, the huge how a powerful chemo-processor developed an intellectual capacity greater than that of over a million humane brains, each with an IQ between a score of one hundred fifty and two hundred. A real genius with a cosmic memory, since they introduced all the Hellene knowledge and much of the human, especially everything concerning the languages. Unlike the conventional computers, this one had no folders or files, or programs introduced in watertight compartments that could not interact or communicate with each other, but all the channels were open so that they could draw anything. In short, unless the feelings, Proteus, was a super brain able to create, invent, write correctly in the main languages, and translate all the others. In his system were also incorporated the personal writings. Those, of course, which did not speak too explicit about sex and of violence, and if one of these were ranked imperative in the literary field, properly cleansed of certain crudities. Of the civil and criminal humane codes, it contained only the basics because, as it is universally known, in the pile of laws and rules, there the case that one would be the opposite in the other, giving to the human judges the ability to inflict punishment for crimes not committed to some people of, not their liking, or just the contrary.

"The last day in my company we will discuss the racial issue and why we are all the white race here in Kallitala," held to clarify Pausanias, among an explanation and another on the capacity of the chemo-processor. "I assure you, that is not because we are racists, on the contrary," and truncating this subject, he invited Henry to approach himself to the enormous machine, in its part by that one. They were. Pausanias opened a door large enough for their two heads to see better, and he pointed to a transparent panel that showed a lighted interior section.

"Do look, that is the chemical material that, as we can see, is crossed by the circuits. How thick are they?"

"They look like hair," replied Henry, a bit disgusted to see that viscid matter he associated with revulsion to that one cerebral. In his life, he had seen it once, and it was enough for that horrible vision. In the Queens, at the time still not attending Liza, was passed casually in a street where only a few moments before a person had committed suicide, throwing itself from a ten-story building. He saw what was left in his head. A watermelon crumbled into pieces that had splattered blood and grey matter to the full width of the sidewalk.

"Yeah! Just think a bit, Henry. Each of those 'hairs' can carry at the speed of light millions of information that is processed in the ventral hypothalamus, which occupies the greater part on the computer and the other areas, which in the brain Hellene is called the cerebral cortex, they perform the peripheral's functions. Which we are seeing, is a part of that, exactly the eastern cervical lobe containing the scientific data."

"But, Pausanias, and the results? That is, I should say," stammered the young man, impressed by such a wonder, "what does it?"

"Millions of things and, contrary to my brain and, for sure, to your own, Proteus never sleeps, unless a reduced activity during the night pause, and, of course, in the end considering that it handles as well of a machine, it is stopped once every four years for a general overhaul. In that situation, it is replaced by the spare one, identical to this one, which is in the adjacent hall."

       The things that produced Proteus were not millions, but the infinitive, such to list them in millions of volumes of over a thousand pages each. However, those Pausanias listed to him were the main, it was not worth knowing all of them. To that thought of the many workers in the upper hall and the others, scattered in hundreds of the eight cities of Kallitala.

     First: the government throughout the country. It is that there existed the Archon, the highest constitutional position, and the Grand Jury as the second, but these people usually followed the directions of the chemo-computer that elaborated daily the best strategies, freeing the Archon to endorse it or less. In most cases, he applied its initiatives and if in those, however, he had some doubts, he should ask the suggestions of the members of the Grand Council. That institution was composed of twenty Councilors, each of them was elected, year by year, as well for the general change occurred over twenty years and, usually, was the Dean of them which in turn should hold the position of Archon who, once accomplished the mandate, he retired himself to private life. Every citizen of Kallitala could be appointed Councilor, and it was just Proteus that chose him. He must have exceeded the age of thirty, have family, and. Therefore, with two sons already in a career other than politics and ever, both, they, and any other relative, should choose by the chemo-computer neither any Councilor had the faculty to facilitate in any way a consanguineous nor, worse yet, a friend. In Kallitala does not even exist the idea of theft, the most significant activity throughout the world of men, since that moved interests of thousands of billions of dollars for the construction of tools for protecting ourselves nor nepotism, a source of grave troubles in the Western world. However, as proof, was Proteus to take account of that, as of all citizens, whose it knew life, death, and miracles. There is no need for an identity card. It was sufficient to look in a first eyelet installed in every shop, place of entertainment, or other, to be immediately detected by the computer. The machine debited to his account every expense that he did because, as Henry already knew, all people in Kallitala worked and perceived a salary which was credited to the account of each and, once paid the part of the income tax of the Country – only the ten per cent – it administered by the computer as an equal to a cent of a drachma, which was the currency, that was at no cost and no percentage of interest. In Kallitala did not exist the inflation. The prices were still by hundreds of years, and everything was ridiculously cheap so that the expense for food never exceeded the percentage of the income tax, which ensured an adequate pension upon completion of the fiftieth year of age, including the medical and hospital care. The eighty per cent of the salary needed for the boarding school of the children, the purchase and the management of the house, clothing, car, travel, vacations, luxury expenses, and savings. Just with that Alcinous and Hecuba, after many years of work, had bought their big farm. There were no obligations in Kallitala. The genome of every Hellene, although would have distinctive characteristics from individual to individual, was based on the happiness on Earth, therefore, it was impossible to commit a crime, but only a few small faults for which the same Proteus - with the consent of the guilty – to inflict the punishment that consisted of minor sanctions. To get to something more serious, the subject had to commit a series of little failures as inattention at work, cause damage to third parties, or a delay or early anticipation at the end at the work turn, poor performance or other little deficiencies which, if provided together, over time could generate the mild punishment to be destined for a specified time to perform low-level tasks such as domestic, gardener, farmer, shepherd, street cleaner, and other small crafts that, although decent, like many others, reminded the redo the essential things of the life. Of course, this did not affect his family or his income. Not even on the psychology of the subject, who willingly accepted the punishment that still was not made public during the period of penance, being the chosen location far from his residence, family, and the sole wife, usually followed him or made him often visit, reaching him with the flights of the aviolobes, the cost of which was to the charge of the state.

Proteus planned further the crops, the fishing, the maintenance of forests and coastlines. It was this giant machine that wrote the textbooks for boarding schools and designed the courses of study for the school boarders both children, rather than older ones. The school began before the age of three years and ended with the highest level at twelve. The course of studies could interrupt by each to eight years, having assimilated the ability to read and write, the mathematics, the history and geography of the world, the English language in addition to the own, and one of the foremost of the Western world. He continued his studies up to the twelve, obtained a certificate granting him full employment for the career as the director. Various were the specializations, but beyond those, unlike what happened in the human world, the knowledge of the academic culture did not suffer any reduction. It was for that reason that all the Hellenes read a lot. For them, to read a book is like watching a TV show.

The books, of course, were written by the writers because, even if the chemo computer disposed of intelligence equivalent to so many human brains, did not have the fancy that, as well known, is better than the knowledge. For this reason, Proteus vomited only wise both historical and current textbooks, of any school and university level, including all dictionaries. The fiction and poetry, then, were the product of the bright minds of some Hellenes, who had the satisfaction - along with their publishers - of seeing their books bought in hundreds of thousands of copies. The doors of the culture, however, were open also to that of the men, but only for the works considered by the Grand Council of high cultural interest.

"I will not bear you more than much, a friend Henry," said at last Pausanias, the fourth day. "I think you've grasped briefly what it is capable of doing. The other things concern the bureaucracy which is also in Kallitala. We cannot do without. However, not Hellene is obliged, as in the world from where you come from, to do the queue. To a thoughtful question, there is soon a reflective answer. Always comprehensive, never anodyne."

"You had mentioned to me about the national question, Pausanias," Henry asked, pleased that, if he clarified to him in a few words, he should have had the possibility to meet his beloved Phaedra.

"Yeah, the issue of skin colour," he replied, a little reflective and for the first time since Henry was assisted by him, he saw him sad. "Here it does not exist because, as you know, well. Our ancestors were white-skinned and came from the Graecia Magna. However, when they were rescued and housed on the coasts of North Africa, offered themselves to carry a young married couple of Imazighen. The husband was particularly expert in marine things, but when he uttered the phrase: "Will does the will of Allah. Allah is great and merciful and will help us," they said to him apparently that wherever they were going, could always find a place to stop forever, they wanted that there would not be religion. If Ahmid and Fahtma committed themselves to forget their, as they had done all of them with that Grecian, populated by an infinite number of gods, they could start the trip. The couple, more for superstition than for his religious conviction, declined the invitation without to take umbrage, indeed, thanking them for being informed in time."

"Right, Pausanias, but this, more than racial, is a religious matter. I thought you would talk to me about the Black people, those poor enslaved and brought to the new world, which is now my ex-country."

"That does not exist. When my ancient ancestors landed on this island, the Black people lived only in Africa, and your ex-country was an area populated at most by the Amerindians and by dense wildlife, especially the bison, then unknown among the men, who believed that beyond the Pillars of Hercules would not exist than the vast Ocean: the borders around the world. I did interest in that issue when with our improved equipment, we discovered the slave trade between Africa and the coasts of Virginia. I asked the Archon of that time to intervene to cease that low traffic. Our sea hogs managed to come back to various ships, but the result was disastrous. Almost all the Black people, crammed like anchovies in the holds died from the lack of food and water. The only solution should be to let them enter under our dome and with them, unfortunately, even the slave traders. If we did that, it should be the end of Kallitala, certainly not by the fault of the poor Black people, whom we should be able to educate, but to the slave traders, human beings cynical and barbarian, whose greed made them like the wild beasts.``   

"So, with a few little incursions of the sea hogs, you have solved the problem of racism," said Henry, with a remnant of irony.

"We understand the word, as all your things for the men, a friend Henry," replied with levity Pausanias, "but it just so happens that we are Hellenes and not men. And your soul that is becoming like us, thanks for your love to your Phaedra and your acquiescence, though."    

This last word terrorized Henry. 'You want to see that he said to himself, scared.

"I know you've tried to escape by the Paris boat and if not for the intervention of Phaedra, now you should find yourself in the beautiful valley of Boadicea. Do go at present," and realizing that Henry was hesitating, he urged him firmly:" Go to your future bride. She advised and is waiting for you at the entrance of the Palace."

"But Pausanias, it's all over?"

"Yes, a friend Henry. The other things you will learn as Hellene."

"I would like to remind you that you had to explain the work among the employees of the upper floor..."

"Does not matter, for now. Do go, please, "and pointing the way forward, he invited him for the last time to leave the building while the old man was heading toward the big staircase on the opposite side.


9   TOO MANY INTERFERENCES

  

Henry could not do less of the use of his remote control, which sent thrown legs flying the two men armed with pistols in front of him, lying on the ground with two small discharges of Sapotran. He was about to turn around and do the same with those already he had at his back when arrived at him with a big blow upon the head that made him stunned. Before he loses his balance, however, he sent a double dose which put into the ground two others and when now lying upon the pavement those few moments to regain his strength, he pressed the pawl of the subcutaneous injection of Stetopan, earlier prepared since he had escaped from the apartment of Liza, the sole survivor of his assailants managed to steal the briefcase and to slip himself into the third car.

The criminal missed that short bit of time to settle himself in the driving seat, as he had not led that car right there. His experimental uncertainty gave the chance Henry to seize himself to the window pillar with the glass down. The bandit left like a rocket with a screech of tires and a tear to the clutch to free him from his victim, but Henry, with his superhuman strength and resistance, did not catch off the guard and managed to crawl upside down on the seat. Then the fugitive, once put down the thin briefcase on his legs, lengthened the hand to open the glove compartment to draw out the pistol, because he had lost his own in the scuffle, but now Henry had recovered from the stunning and with a flick, he grabbed his arm and held it with a tight pincer that did scream of pain the bandit. The car, launched at breakneck speeds, began to swerve dramatically, and it seemed that the thief, made mad by the grief, would put more deeply the accelerator pedal and the sizable car, already in poor stability, given the speed which had been launched, first collided creeping against the big van which was overtaking then, since Henry was still with the head downwards while he firmly held the arm of the wild man with his right, he lengthened his left hand towards the foot that pulled on the accelerator and twisted it causing a sudden stretch, doing to him emits an inhuman scream from the throat, but managing to decelerate the car which, skidding still conspicuously, went to smash with the nose a Fire column, uprooting it literally from the sidewalks.

The confusion that ensued, with the passers who shouted across the water that splashed to downpour everywhere, showering them, and shopkeepers who were leaving attracted by the noise of shouts and the crash of their belongings destroyed, it was an excellent opportunity for Henry to get rid of his attacker-thief, worn himself senseless against the ball of the airbag burst against his chest, to recover the briefcase, to go out of the car on the sly and disappear as soon as possible, although someone had noticed of him and showed him to the presents to have been the author of such a disaster.

However, now Henry had entered in the Fifty-seventh and given the lightness of his pace, had already covered the nearly three hundred meters for sneaking off in the First Avenue, among the confusion among the people. He looked back himself, but it seemed that none would pursue him. It should arrive at the United Nations building on the opposite side. There were almost two kilometres to walk, and he should do it in a brief time, but he must not arouse some suspicions so, make himself tidy to the suit with two or three rightly aimed little blows in front of the pants and the back into the jacket. He walked to the pace of other people, allowing himself well, between an overtaking and another small group slower, to pause a few seconds to look through the windows of the elegant shops, sometimes stopping himself to the sound like a siren, although would handle of an ambulance now of a police car. To him did not think anyone more, the witnesses to the accident probably thinking he fled towards the broad Riverside Avenue where the incident occurred. Rather, he thought hard about what to do when he would find himself in front of the UN building.

Perhaps for clothing and the briefcase but, above all, for the determined air, Henry managed to enter the lobby of the UN as well, using his levity. He covered the vast space so fast that it exceeded without complications whatsoever the area on the metal detector. He found himself in a crowded elevator that made the first stop to the eighth floor where, not knowing to whom addressing himself, he went down. He followed an official who, dressed in a grey suit of excellent cutting and holding a briefcase, and he forwarded himself with determination to the corridor to the left. He entered his suite in a large hall with fifteen employees, each in front of a monitor screen. As he was following the man with a decision to do, neither of them nor the safety man, wanted the will to ask him who he was. Only when, crossed the threshold of the private office of the functionary the door opened by a diligent employee - probably his secretary - and locked it behind them, being the elegant gentleman about to sit behind the desk, realized his presence.

"Please?" he uttered with an almost choked voice. Then, after he has coughed to clear it, "Excuse me, you should be Dr Longwood? Sit down, I beg you."

Henry did not remain that to take the opportunity offered to him and, without saying a word, he sat down laying down the briefcase on his knees. He stood silently to observe the relevant official, a rather meticulous man with a smooth face and the head haired abundantly with some white streaks, who were putting the contents of his briefcase, partly in a drawer and the rest on the polished floor of the wooden desk. Then he pulled from his breast pocket a red leather case from which he slipped out a beautiful pair of gold-rimmed glasses and put them on to give a quick peek at the dossier that was set before him. After that, with a courteous manner, he turned toward his guest, asking him: "Do you take a coffee with me, Dr Longwood?"

"Yes, willingly. Thank you," answered Henry with a voice by a distinct timbre.

Henry knew at last what name the official would have after that, called his secretary to the entry phone, and asked her a coffee for two; he heard her answer, "At once, Dr Benson."

It seemed that to Dr Benson would not interested now to start the discussion on a professional topic with the false Dr Longwood since, after turning the head slightly in the direction of the full-length window behind his desk, he said with a very friendly doing: "Indeed, a beautiful day today, for the winter in New York. Do you agree?"

"Yes, indeed, Dr Benson. Something quite unusual," replied Henry, and meanwhile, he began to fret because he expected at any moment that the real Longwood would announce himself. He tried. Therefore, to start to talk on the subject, he most wanted but had to wait for the secretary to bring the coffee.

He had the chance because, as the secretary entered the office carrying a tray with cups, coffee pot, and of the milk and the sugar bowl, she had to say to Dr Benson, after laying everything with caution on the desk: "Doctor. Longwood, the sir, phoned right now, saying that owing to the chaotic traffic, he was delayed for about ten minutes."

"But if he is here, Miss Ashley. Have you noticed yourself?" rectified Benson, who added hoarsely, "So, then," he looked first at Henry and later dismayed, his secretary. "How is it possible that" and fixing his eyes on those of Henry, he said: "There must be some hitch. Are you Dr Longwood, correct?"

"Well," said Henry, who already by a minute was handling the remote control in expectation of such a situation, "perhaps Miss Ashley has been confused about the voice of who phoned to her."

"But sir!" I exclaimed with an offended air to the secretary, "I understood very well that," but she had no way to add more because crumpled unconscious on the ground.

To make the situation more credible, Henry, who had splashed on her a slight dose of Sapotran, went to help the poor woman and pretended to revive her, knowing that Miss Ashley would wake up peacefully from there in twenty minutes at most.

The result was a considerable confusion where, in addition to Henry, who pretended to revive Miss Ashley, and Dr Benson, who was shown himself to the salon to ask for help, at least good dozens of employees ran, more to realize what was happening than to be able to revive the poor woman, since it handled only of fainting due, as had to say the usual well informed, that he would know to all the medicine, a simple drop of sugars.

"I know Miss Ashley well. She had always boasted herself of doing the breakfast with only a coffee and with all the work she exercises for the lunchtime, I do not know if I explain myself..."

The intervention of that employee, perhaps a genuine medical doctor who had opted for more well-paid employment in the United Nations headquarters, calmed Dr Benson, to whom that small earthquake had made him forget the last words of his secretary, who in the meantime had regained the consciousness, but she felt so confused as to be exempted from work for the entire day. The chance wanted Dr Longwood would not yet arrive, so Henry took the opportunity to explain to Dr Benson the properties of the solar panel.

"What's that?" I asked the high-ranking official, taking it by the hand and carefully looking after putting on his glasses again.

"The future of humanity," Henry said with a note of triumph.

"I do not think that's the time to joke, Dr Longwood. A naïf picture inserted in a very external frame."

"It's a solar panel that provided an incredible energy boost," he replied, but with much serenity, Henry.

"But, well, Dr Longwood, indeed these things must not affect me. I am not an engineer. I do, but I direct the diplomatic section of the UN," and looking for the first time very carefully at Henry's face. He uttered in a voice which was taking an altered tone, "but perhaps, now given that I remember, my secretary was saying that, but you are surely Dr Longwood? This thing, " he stammered, returning to the panel, "I do not think that it should be on the theme of our meeting that we will focus..."

"Do stay well to hear me, Benson," Henry said sharply. "Whether you are or not an engineer, it's not important. You are a human being, and you must listen to me carefully!" He got up and went to lock the office door. "Do not worry about it. I am not Dr Longwood, but I am harmless. Moreover, I am an engineer."

"But why did you come to me, then!"

"I did not know where to see you in the elevator, I opted to follow you to let me pass as your attaché. You know, to avoid being stopped."

"What intentions do you have?" I asked Benson with the cracking voice from raising fear.

"I repeat to you; I have any malicious intention against you nor against others in this palace that seems like an anthill. My name is Henry Campbell and if that tranquillizes you; I am the boyfriend of the daughter of Limerick, the big oil tycoon. Now, do you listen to me? That one I've in my hand - in the briefcase I have two others - is a panel of solar neutrinos, which once applied to an electric motor, will run it forever, given that it absorbs energy from the Sun and the air pollution present at all latitudes. It can very well replace any engine without emissions of any kind. I'm here for the purpose that you allow me to meet the Secretary-General to whom I should show this invention."

"But right here! At the United Nations! Why do you not offer it to some mechanical or automotive industry? What interest should we have in it?"

"You represent all the peoples of the Earth or, at least, almost all. I want that the entire world could use, at the same time, this modern technology before it is too late." "Too late? Late for what?" I asked amazed at Dr Benson.

"Maybe because you are a diplomat, and you should realize with a certain lightness, but I assure you that the world is going to its downfall. And not slowly as always have been for the upheaval's earthquakes or the volcanic eruptions, but ten, twenty, a hundred times faster. By the calculations made, in thirty years many things will change on Earth. Entire countries will disappear beneath the sea. Half of the fertile lands will desert themselves and a great part freeze while to the Tropics, the heat will be so hot that will break the heart of each living being."

If at first glance Benson looked at him with some dismay, derived from the fact to be in the presence of a character who had introduced in his office with the deception and by the bustle achieved, as a man who hitherto had lived a sedentary existence, but that led to cover a place of prominence in the organization of the United Nations, as to become one of the nearest - and heard – of the Secretary-General, after these statements, he terrified. "But are you sure of what you are saying, engineer?" he hesitated.

"Do lead me to the Secretary-General, I beg you. Do take my case, if you think I am a fool who wants to attempt his life. I will prove what I say. If you, do it, you will have a part of merit for the salvation of humanity because the world, once disappeared from all living things, both animals, and vegetables, will regenerate itself and who knows if a chromosomal combination in a few millenniums does reborn other living beings that do not breathe.”

Dr Benson brought the red phone receiver to his ear and staring into the eyes of Henry as if he would read the confirmation of what had heard, pressed three keys and after the nerve-wracking waiting of about ten seconds, uttered without much prevarication, "I need an important interview." Then he hung up.

"Come with me," he said.

Probably those few words spoken directly to the Secretary-General did part of a code of understanding for exigent circumstances.

When exiting from the great hall where the engaged employees were, Dr Benson, addressing a security man, whispered to him to follow him, and probably asked him if he was armed, because the police officer slapped his left chest where the gun was.

"So, Peter?" I requested the Secretary-General when the functionary entered his office followed by Henry. "Something serious?"

"I should say so, secretary. The instinct led me to believe the things that told me this young man, and I could not be wrong, but he is right. He wants to subject its invention," and turning to Henry: "Want you to repeat that, please, for what it is handled, engineer Campbell?"

"Of this panel at solar neutrinos. Do see, Secretary-General, as I explained to Dr Benson recently, this group captures the energy that comes from the Sun in the form of neutrinos and manages well to extract it also from the pollution on Earth. I will demonstrate to you what I am saying if it is a laboratory with any electric motor in this building. At the limit, even that one lift."

"We could ask the chief of maintenance," replied the Secretary-General. "But are you sure not to waste my time? I should cancel a commitment that I have in ten minutes."

"Do listen to me, Mr Secretary. Outside the UN building, there are some emissaries of the big oil companies and FBI agents and who knows how many others are hunting me to get hold of my panel. I should not call it an invention. If you did not listen to me and would throw me to those men, my attempt at salvation through the life of the entire world should end in smoke. I'm here on purpose because you represent almost every country in the world to whom I want to make users of the solar neutrino's panel, which will be available soon in a billion and more units."

On the way to go, the three men accompanied by a swarm of security agents, to the workshop of the palace, Henry had the small possibility to explain the technical functions of the solar panel.

"But how can you affirm that you could make it available, am I right? Even more than a billion units! Which industry should be able to?"  

"Mr Secretary-General, I beg you. Before the details, do realize yourself how the panel works," replied Henry with such confidence that the two high-ranking officials did not comment until they entered the workshop of the great building.

And as if everything would be ready, without even spending unnecessary words, the person responsible for the maintenance shop, since for a mammoth complex like that, which housed the world's meetings, where every day circulated thousands and thousands of persons was equipped with everything, including the electric engines of various kinds, he made way for them toward a turbine engine already prepared before the experiment. He in person pulled out the electrical contacts and. With a nod, Henry arranged to connect the solar panel.

Despite the buzz of the various motors in motion, it seemed there would be dead silence. Both the Secretary-General and Dr Benson did not say an 'ah' either, of course, the people to the sweet and even the workshop manager. All waited anxiously to see the young engineer put in motion, although a careful observer could see that two of the agents would put themselves the palm on the bulge which formed the pistol under the jacket.

At last, Henry, looking through the eyes of two principal characters, pressed the button in the start, and the turbine began to tour to the minimum.

"Please, come to see up close how it works," he said to the bystanders.

The first that came up was, however, the principal workshop which, realizing that the electric motor worked without power, had the pleasure of presenting himself to Henry as engineer Milland. And was he who, with exemplary behaviour, invited the Secretary-General and the head of UN diplomacy to approach themselves and when the three were well assured that the panel operated the engine, Henry grew by just a notch, the potentiometer and the turbine began spinning at its maximum speed. At that point, the operator of the private television intervened, who with a camera filmed all the phases in the experiment.

"You see, engineer Milland. This is the maximum that the turbine can endure. If I increase it, it should be entirely cast."

"And of the autonomy of this, uh, panel, what can you tell me?" he asked, astonished.

"It continues. That is perennial. I could leave it here and be sure that the turbine should continue to operate. If it stopped itself, it should not be for lack of energy, but certainly for the deterioration of the material with which the turbine is built." Done a nod to the responsible for the maintenance of the large complex and addressing the two top officials, he asked: "So Mr Secretary-General, and you, Dr Benson, did you realize the importance of this solar panel? I want us to project a distribution plan?"

"Yes, willingly, but not here. Come into my office," answered the Secretary-General and to Benson: "Please, Peter, go with me."

Henry, despite the chagrin of engineer Milland, broke away the panel from the electric motor and, making a sign of solidarity to him, put it back in the briefcase that he had never left unattended. 

ΩΩΩ

 

"First, I must convene all the accredited ambassadors to the UN Glass Palace to hear their opinion on that subject," said the Secretary-General to Benson. "Should you want to charge off that, Peter?"

"Sure. I'll go to my office," replied the chief official.

"Do you, it from here, but after," interjected himself Henry and to the Secretary-General: "Do you permit, right? None must leave your office before it could guarantee acceptance by all people. Do you know, do you, sir, in what situation? I found myself?"

"Frankly, engineer Campbell," said the Secretary-General, "I do not see..."

"Outside of the United Nations building, there are at least three or four groups sent both by the Pentagon and by the President of the United States, others by the oil companies and perhaps, also, by the big-business banks."

"Ah, yes, I understand."

"To worse the matters, everything for nonsense since, if they would by chance, seize me one of the three panels that I have with me unless they could not apply it to an electric motor to do running it indefinitely, should not combine anything other. They want the formula that, I assure you, is so complicated that it should be incomprehensible to anyone and failing to understand a clue, should wish to open a panel to see how it is done. Well, anyone who does that, even a robot, as soon as the panel is open, it will self-destruct, not remaining as a heap of a small heap of burnt metal and killing undoubtedly those who have tried to open it. They should have rightly practised those tortures of old memory to force me to speak, but they did not know that I have the final order, in that situation, to destroy myself, too. Then, in following the time you, as well, will destroy yourselves, but with the pollution. It will take more time; it is true. However, this thing is mathematically defined."

"You are under the protection of the United Nations, engineer Campbell. Do not be afraid. Should we even have the necessity to get out of the Glass Palace, you are under diplomatic immunity?"

"Since they now know the importance of the panel, they give a darn themselves about the diplomatic immunity, Mr Secretary-General," Henry replied without affectation, but with the calm that always distinguished him.

"Should you explain to me,” intervened Benson," what should be the applications of this formidable solar panel and how, indeed, it could save humanity?"

 "Of course, Dr Benson. It is part of my program to illustrate it after the technique test," answered Henry, so satisfied that he went close to the desk so that the two men did not lose an only word.

"As you have seen, in practice, if the Sun, the panel always works or deteriorates because it's composed of a durable material that indeed becomes stronger over time. It absorbs the charge of neutrinos that comes from our star, so both with the cloud cover than in areas where the Sun has already set. A panel like the one I showed you can power a car, truck, or bus of any size. Until it operates any vehicle or engine, and, after their discard, the panel will insert in a new one. It can also apply. Moreover, to the aircraft, but for those, especially for the widebodies, they take at least three for each motor, which must always be electric. What do you think? A plane that would work in this manner, without the load of the dangerous kerosene, should be much lighter and should fly across the border on the wall of sound. It should not pollute and, in the case of an eventual impact, should not explode and perhaps. In that situation, many people should save themselves. If all the motor vehicles used it, any pollution would be generated, but not only. This panel has been projected to ensure that it would absorb the existing pollution that, I assure you, is reaching the limit of tolerability. You imagine yourselves only a part, but I can assure you that none of the materials on the Earth will disappear. The crude oil from its shape of the viscous liquid turns into smoke that everyone thinks is just air that goes somewhere, perhaps in the cosmos. No, sirs. It returns through the ground and on the water surface. The bottom of the seas is almost entirely covered by a layer of this exhausted pollutant material. And finally, the panels will transform all deserts into gardens with fertile land, turning the saltwater of the sea into drinking water, well enriched by many fertilizer agents. We always complain about the scarcity of water, and we forget ourselves of that one of the seas. Some strengthened desalination placed everywhere and powered by the panels should solve the problem of the undernourished people in agricultural production of high respect. And another especially important thing: since will be in operation at least one hundred million of these panels, it will become impossible the scission of the atom invented by the men so that all the nuclear arsenal in the world will become inert and will lose its explosive capacity in addition to the emissions of harmful radiations. At that point, the physical situation of the planet Earth will begin to return to the times of the Middle Ages. With, also, the technology of the third millennium. What do you say?"

"Brilliant! Very well," replied enthusiastically the Secretary-General. "Dr Benson, please, convene all ambassadors and prepare a reminder of what we have seen and heard. Do also ask if the movie is ready to screen. Urgent meeting. You, Engineer Campbell, will always move close to my side, with an escort of six security guards fully armed and waiting to hear the opinion of the most important nations of the Earth, you will lodge in my apartment."

"Worse yet, Mr Secretary," Henry said. "If they do not see me come out, those who should kidnap me will increase for a number. I should suggest one thing; I now consider myself quite experienced."

"What should it be? Do tell me, tell as well. I'm at your disposal," said the Secretary, with his usual kindness.

"Find me, please, double. Nobody knows my face well, except the engineer Whiting and my colleagues of the Westcox, who. They are waiting for me outside the palace. This look-alike will like me as height, build, and hair colour. We will wear my clothes and deliver a briefcase like mine with some naive pictures. I hope that you have those in this vast palace!"

"I think so," interposed himself, Dr Benson. "The ambassador of the Dominican Republic had given us several paintings of Haitians of Port-au-Prince, who pressured themselves, thanks to the benevolence of the border guards, up to Barahona."

"Well, Peter, give the order to detach three of these, vitrified and identical size to the solar panels that can fit inside a briefcase and, please, follow exactly my rules. Urgently, please."

 

ΩΩΩ

 

The waiting was almost unnerving. Henry did not know what to do. Before he had been taken by a flash of euphoria when they had told him that the subterfuge of the look-alike had a full success. They accompanied that substitute by car with the escort to the airport La Guardia. From there he boarded a plane for an executive transoceanic direct flight bound to Rome, on a mission on behalf of the FAO. It did not result that from the airports of the east coast would leave another jet in his pursuit. However, without any doubt, the CIA agents credited to the US Embassy in Rome should discover the trick and the producers of the derivatives of petroleum alerted their correspondents in Italy. Nevertheless, the Secretary-General had plenty of time to receive the answer from the ambassadors accredited to the UN.

One answer? More than hundreds! All, except those of the little countries, unanimous in saying no, although conflicting in their contents. Henry, by nature a calm and thoughtful person also had the merit of being a humorist of real wool, so he began to read the various responses that each ambassador had handed to Dr Benson in a sealed envelope, as it would handle a private treaty for public work.

He left as last ones those of the United States and the United Kingdom. He already imagined what would be in those contents.

He read those of France, the country of the 'Grandeur.' Because the French Republic had the largest factory in the world of commercial aircraft, of one of the most powerful oil companies, some of the major automotive, mechanical, and electronic industries in Europe, of nuclear power plants among the safest and national pride, since with which the highfalutin the country had risen as the champion of all states bordering themselves on the Mediterranean, with the 'force de frappe' which was the atomic weapon, terribly sorry the French ambassador to have reported which the solar panel of which operation, among other things, had him not at all convinced, seeming to him that the movie turned the usual tricks of Hollywood, once heard the President whose opinion is the law. The proposal could not be accepted.

Along the same lines, more or not, the response of Germany. For some time, the two European countries ruled by the convergence of ideas to indicate the Supreme European partners the right way forward and, despite the German ambassador's belief in the functionality of the solar panel, he had not been able to convince his government to accept it.

The response of the Italian was active. The most important officials complimented the initiative. However, they had to wait for the opinion against the government on the motion before it was voted on by both chambers of the Parliament. After that, the proposal will be subject to the three unions, to the Confindustria, and the departments concerned. It should flow for several years.

On the contrary, Spain said no. Now that at last the sunny country was making its way towards industrialization, it was not the case to drop everything. And then, the air over the Iberian country - the same opinion of Portugal - was pure, and the sea of its coasts coloured, the clearer than possible.

That of Holland, in part, followed the opinion of France. Rotterdam being the largest port throughout the world, it had no desire to see its level. The commercial activity was too necessary for this small country that had colonized half the world with that.

Thank you, no.

Russia declined. In both senses in the word: the offer of the UN, then his political level. The vast spaces of Siberia already absorbed the small level of pollution produced. Had never, gentlemen breathed the pure air of the Yakutia-Sana?

Greece, like Italy, gave a definite opinion but had the same political problems so that it could not commit to two or three years.

All Islamic country's oil producers, whether in everyday life, they had always looked at themselves as daggers, taken over by religious problems than another thing rejected the proposal that, if implemented, should impoverish them to the point that they could not purchase the weapons and maintained for their leaders a Sardanapalus level of life in palaces from the Arabian Nights.

China was so vast that its moderate traffic posed no problem. And then it was a country in high development thanks to the work that went into the most industrialized countries, Italy in the first place. Taiwan had no right to express its opinion.

Japan, almost disdainfully, rejected that offer. The country's economy boosted its solid foundation of mechanical and electronic industries, whose products are exported all over the world at cheap prices. And then, of what pollution spoke Mr Secretary-General of the United Nations? Japan being a conglomerate of islands of many sizes that extends itself into the Pacific Ocean for over two thousand kilometres, there were the high winds to sweep away the pollutant dust into the sea.

All the countries of Scandinavia were unanimous in rejecting the offer because, over the fiftieth parallel north, the air was very pure and underwent continuous regeneration thanks to the pleasant gusts of arctic wind. As you know, the cold keeps everything well, although it slows the functions of the neurons.

Australia, a nation-continent like Scandinavia lacks pollution. And at last, it should follow the opinion of England.

So, also, all the small and large nations once forming part of the British Commonwealth, including India, that, with the overpopulation of which it suffered, was making some enormous efforts to adapt itself to the production of the great industrial countries. First, the food and the religion. And, concluding the matter, the Sacred River, as well as to clean up the soul of the people, assumed itself the task to lead to the sea all the sewage produced by degrading activities, scarce, indeed, given that only one Indian of a thousand owned a car.

All the nations of Africa, excluding those Islamic, had no problems of pollution by vehicles because there were circulating so few that the feet were the most-used mean of locomotion - the famous horse of St. Francis - so much so that they had fruity the renowned sports for the cross-country races or the marathons. And, what made them shudder, the possibility of having drinking water in abundance to cultivate the vast lands. Who should take the trouble to do so? It is better to play the noble profession of cheapjack goods sellers in Italian soil, where they illegally debarked.

The Republic of South Africa replied a bit resentfully. That they leave them tranquil because they had some big problems to solve. They thought to have found the solution for the elimination of the apartheid and instead, the enormous resources exploited by the usual and the people of colour could solve day-to-day the problem of joining the lunch for the dinner.

The most interesting letter, a prelude of what Henry chose to read as the last, for instance, that one of the United Kingdom and The United States was that one of Ukraine. The biggest granary of Europe, self-sufficient in the production of energy by its famous atomic plants. It said: Thank you, no. We have even too much energy. A few years ago, we exported all everywhere; notwithstanding, we should not know where exactly it could go. If some countries affiliated with the UN, by chance, would want to take advantage of it...

Canada, diplomatically, albeit affirming the principle of Scandinavia that over the fiftieth, parallel does not exist the pollution, because the cold prevents the harmful effects, the problem existed in large cities located close to the US, so they deferred to the decisions of the neighbouring country. The same determination of Mexico and all the countries of Central America, Venezuela excluded which, having given the birth to the great leader Simon Bolivar, they followed the sacred principles, together with Cuba, of communism for the happiness of their people.

The lay producers of oil rejected the proposal altogether. Without the production of black gold, the population should be hungry. They did not account that this tragic situation always existed and that the proceeds of the extractions went through the pockets of the usual few.

The smaller countries of South America should adhere willingly but did not have the means were to install the fantastic solar panel, while Brazil being the immense lung oxygenator of the world did not see the utility, and Argentina, the nation of great traditions, was so prostrated by the continuing financial bankruptcies, which could not understand what the most urgent problem would be to solve. Certainly, not that of the pollution, at least for the moment.

The situation was different in Colombia, entirely caught in fighting against the drug traffickers of cocaine. It was like a dog biting its tail. They should always play the police officers to robbers. Imagine us if they had the time to think about anything else.

And here, finally, the two letters kept for last. Henry gave precedence to that of the United Kingdom. 'The proposal is very tempting,' it said, 'but we expect that if we cannot build the panel since they are already available for all, that might reserve for us a double quantity than to the other countries, especially Italy and Spain. Further, the guarantee of the construction of the electric motors for all the nations we have colonized and of those who have been part of the Commonwealth, including Hong Kong. Furthermore, given that the UK is part of the small circle of the countries forming the UN Security Council, we could intervene to grant or not the panel to some individual states in the odour of fomenting riots or attacks.'

'By the fact that ours are a democratic nation' began the letter of the US, 'in the principle, a principle we agree to accept your unique solar panel and that its installation must-do only after several experiments scheduled to be held exclusively in our territory. So, we mistrust the UN organization to distribute it to all, except for a few specimens to England, which, in turn, will rigidly observe our guidelines. As soon as it tests with a minimum of two years will be the United States, with the purpose to avoid that it will arrive in possession of the rogue countries that feed and support terrorist acts in all the world and, particularly, to us, to identify to whom and in what quantity to distribute the new concept solar panels. Furthermore, having already by the First World War defended militarily the countries invaded by the evil enemies, the bulk of production of modern electric motors must be entrusted to the US industries.'

The humour succeeded, as it could not be a bitter disappointment. Henry's thought had completed the mission and already rejoiced in himself to receive the promise acceptances. It was the entrance of Dr Benson in the apartment in which he was confined, to give back him a bit of liveliness.

"Have you read, correct, engineer Campbell? Daunting!" he sighed.

"Maybe they did not see the experiment well," replied Henry, tied to the last thread of hope.

"They've seen better than us who were present. The camera operator has been very attentive to detail."

"I do not know what else to do," Henry said disconsolately.

Benson nodded in sympathy. Then, after thinking of that for a moment, he asked: "But, frankly, you, your organization, it's true that it is a charity agency? It could not be, since you have never spoken of compensation, well, tell me, Engineer Campbell, but surely you might manage to distribute more than a billion and more panels? You were joking, I guess, or you wanted to impress the tour audience so that everyone would accept?"

"At one point in the Atlantic that I cannot specify to you, there will be in short days the main vessel loaded of these panels. It could come to an agreed place on the coasts of a loyal country in a few hours and download the groups that, piled in an airport, should sort in the entire world without the aid of cargo planes that each state will send. Do believe me, it should be a natural thing. A panel, " he had it in hand, weighed it, and gave it to Dr Benson because he would do as much. "Did you notice? Just 250 grams. The full load should be two hundred fifty-thousand tons. For some countries, it should be enough for a single cargo plane to transport the share of panels of its competence. For the others, two or more. What should never be in front of the salvation of humanity? Besides, do think of the savings that should result in not having to use more petroleum products with all derivatives."

"I'm not an expert at that, engineer, but even if I was, how to make the plastic, the lubricants, and all derivatives, without which we cannot do? The refineries should work the same and since plastic is one of the byproducts of the oil, what should they do with the gasoline and of the naphtha?"

"Conversion. It's planned for this, too," replied Henry, who had not yet lost the hope that all people should revise their decisions.

"I do not permit me to ask you how, given the fact that I do not understand this topic and explain it should be time wasted. After attending the demonstration of what your panel can do, of any other invention should you tell me, I believe you."

"The Secretary-General, Dr Benson, what he said after he read the answers?"

"Tell you that he is left mortified, should be reductive. He was close to himself in his office and did not want to see anyone. He spoke on the telephone with all the chiefs to the government of the most important nations, but there was no way to make them understand the importance of this invention. He has also threatened to resign immediately but has not had any effect. He sent me for you to ensure you all our assistance if you left the Glass Palace. He offers you the position of diplomat offered by the United Nations assigned to an embassy of ours and an executive jet to reach a country of your choice where you should not be disturbed. I'd suggest China. There, the CIA agents or those of oil producers do not scratch around so quickly. What do you think?"

"I'd rather stay here a little longer," Henry replied calmly. "We could make another attempt. How about if all ambassadors assisted in-person to a new experiment?"

"It's impossible, engineer Campbell," replied Benson. "As usual, someone filtered out the news, and tomorrow morning all the newspapers will be full of that. I managed to block the television report on CNN. If you do not leave this siege as soon as possible, tomorrow morning the entire square in front of the UN building will be filled with so many journalists that not even a mouse should be able to pass unnoticed."

"What a pity! I thank you and the Secretary-General. However, you see. I should have another plan," replied Henry, and he explained to him what it would be.  


ΩΩΩ

 

After all, he was just incurable and naive. He did not know the rules that moved the human passions if we expect the bland falling in love with his girlfriend.

Liza was surprised that Henry had not yet returned at the usual time.

Once came back home in the late afternoon after the conventional verbal

revelries with her friends, she knew by experience that, customary like most of

the Americans, finished his work, he went to the favourite bar, the Bullock, to

continue to talk about working with one of his colleagues and, at the same

time, downing one or two beers. Nevertheless, at most seven o'clock he came

home and since that time had passed for more than thirty minutes, began to get

nervous. She made another ten, and then she tied herself to the phone and

called the house of the engineer Whiting. I replied to his wife, telling her

that her husband had called to announce that maybe he should not return even to

sleep, being busy with an important work matter.

Since that time, the daughter of the biggest oil tycoon of America began

to raise the devil. Liza, aided by a glass of bourbon, comes to know through a

tip from an FBI agent, her real acquaintance, that Henry Campbell was in the

United Nations building, none knows what to do. Even so, since he was yet not

left away, the thing must be imperative. Naturally, he did not reveal to her,

being a state secret, what the real reason was, that although he would

anticipate her that, according to his opinion, he should spend the night there.

And the spoiled daughter of billionaire Limerick, rather than to keep

herself quiet, disturbed by her petulance all the police districts alerting and

further reporting them that her boyfriend was ‘kidnapped'. Not getting, then,

the assurance of their immediate intervention, she phoned the editors of the

major newspapers and the television networks, primarily CNN that, at that

point, could not alert itself.

At six o'clock precise, when he was relaxing for less than half an hour,

Dr Benson rang at the door of the Secretary-General. He introduced himself in

his restricted area.

"We must implement the escape plan of engineer Campbell, instantly.

Below is ready for the team of CNN and a series of journalists of the most

important headlines in the newspapers. I spoke with the manager of CNN, who

explained to me that although the agreement with us to postpone tomorrow the

service, having spread themselves the news, apparently by the guilty of Miss

Limerick, the girlfriend of our host, could not procrastinate their

intervention for not be outweighed by Fox News and even by the printed papers."

"What should you suggest doing, and then?" I asked the

Secretary-General.

"Anticipating the departure of Campbell."

The Secretary-General opened his arms as a surrender sign.

"All right. Do think about everything, you have carte Blanche. I

have guests for dinner, and I do not want any commotion in my house.

Fortunately, this apartment is vast. Go to the guest area and convince the young man to leave immediately."

"Do I have to implement the plan of the engineer Campbell or our 12 seconds?"

"Follow his instructions as well. We Should be in the least embarrassed, do you seem, eh Peter? And good luck!"

 

ΩΩΩ

 

He had time to mount the mirillinis and make with them a computer of high power which, once connected to a solar panel that, also, to give it the necessary energy to run, worked as a screen. A very rapid calculation suggested to him the destination where the executive plane of the United Nations could land: Port Au Prince, the Capital of the unstable Republic of Haiti. A country that is owing precisely to its internal political instability was not crowded, like the other ones, by spies or by the so-called diplomatic attachés.

He had to approach himself with a certain Hyppolite Charles, the distinguished name for a humble fisherman, whose individual wealth consisted of a small boat unsuitable to advance itself as far as the shoreline. So that every time that he went fishing was not controlled to prevent him from trespassing the borders to reach the Dominican Republic. That fragile hull should not have been in the condition even to cross the Saint-Marc Canal to arrive at the Ile de la Gonave, let us think if it could, albeit along, get Cap Dame Marie and from there, Cabo Rojo, the place was usually landed the fugitives, since once in Pedernales the Dominicans should reject them off or be arrested for returning them to their areas of origin. There were already too many Haitians who had entered illegally. For that reason, the Dominican Republic government, although a little enriched by the mass tourism had not been sufficient resources even for its inhabitants, increased them dramatically in recent times.

In his wretched hovel on the beach close to Troutier, to the north of the Capital, and a short distance from the airport, Hyppolite Charles lived alone. He had lost his wife recently, consumed by grief over the death of their only son Toussaint, who was killed by a stray bullet fired by guardsmen during the first attempt at the impeachment of President Aristide. The poor Toussaint found himself just by chance in Port Au Prince, along with his friend, and went there together looking for any job. The family had received compensation in cash, for that misfortune, that they could not refuse since the first wish of the grieving mother had been to give a proper burial to her beloved son. With the rest of the money, Hyppolite had renewed his boat, caulked, and painted in a beautiful blue sea, with a thin strip at the edge of a blood-red, to remember that one his son unnecessarily had poured.

To the extra, things should think of Henry. He had an enormous amount of dollars, all in cash in pieces of fifty and hundred value. Would he just wave one of those notes under the nose of any Haitian living on the road? That man should offer himself to do any service to earn it. And it was right on the project of his computer that he would provide himself with an electric motor and, separately, to avoid any arousing suspicion, an axis with a reduction gear and a propeller. With the help of Hyppolite, of whom his information indicated being available man, to him should not do at all difficult to mount the engine on the boat, that he should appropriately weigh the bow to prevent the powerful engine would make it wheelie, given that he had to strike to the motorboat a speed greater than that of any motorboat-lookout of the Haitian Coast Guard.

Hyppolite Charles should lose his precious small boat, but not for long. With the logical sum of money, Henry should leave it to him. He should buy another and with the rest, struggled along with dignity at the end of his days. The computer had also indicated to him that the man was smart enough not to reveal anything about the plan that he still did not know, nor, later, made suspicious about the agents who in that forgotten locality not circulated rarely, about his sudden enrichment.

Early in the morning, worn the uniform of the security guard inside, Henry acted as no armed escort to Dr Benson until to the underground garage and embarked close to the driver in the limousine that went outside without anyone had to stop them, except for some more curious journalist, who checked carefully whether by chance in there inside would be that phenomenon of an engineer who was reporting back the invention of which everyone spoke, because more than anyone had believed that he would move to Italy.

Then the car sped smoothly throughout Little Italy, underpasses the Hudson River through the Holland Tunnel, and turned onto the Highway 78 to stop itself on the parking around International Business Airport in Newark, New Jersey. Making way to his protégé, Dr Benson went into the space reserved for the diplomat, where Henry managed comfortably to change clothes, an elegant summer suit which he had already prepared for him. 

It seemed that nobody would notice his escape. No journalist insight and, better yet, no person who could be suspected to be a spy. They had left a New York that had clouded itself during the night and were surprised to enjoy a shining Sun that put in plain sight the beautiful Cessna 750 Citation X, entirely white, without any UN emblem, but admittedly it owns, because Benson when entered there as first, he was greeted by the crew. By two of the three pilots and by one of the three hostesses, quite friendly, which demonstrated that it was not the principal time that the distinguished diplomat was travelling with that staff. Another first pilot, who for the occasion served as a navigator and two hostesses, had to be added at the last moment. Nevertheless, it seemed would be the norm, given that Dr Benson did not give trouble.

A quick run on the strip, nose up of thirty degrees and away toward the south. Just in four hours, they should land at the international airport of Port Au Prince in Haiti.

The interior of the executive jet was an elegant living room divided by a double wall of the cockpit and another, in the queue, of the galley area where the hostesses prepared the necessary provisions for the journey. Henry, not being accustomed to eating during the day, declined the invitation to make a hearty breakfast as was in use among the Americans so, not to upset Dr Benson, who had ordered a full breakfast, opted for a black coffee, which served himself from the same coffee pot utilized by his companion.

His apprehension was motivated by the fact that among the three hostesses, given that the jet, in compliance with the international standards, could fly with two pilots and only an attendant or, in exceptional cases, with one more concealed herself as a CIA agent. Furthermore, the third made him suspect that she had been added to keep him under control. He needed to consult his laptop, but he did not want the three girls, among other things one more beautiful than the other and very elegant, wrapped in a beige uniform that highlighted their slim body lean, and tanned complexion. They would notice it to him. As an easy note, it has a very strange shape. It had no keyboard or mouse, but he could interact with the simple look. This action should not be the action that should raise some suspicions because to watch a naïve picture, could be a relatively regular thing, except that on the screen should appear images always different with strange inscriptions, city maps, and geographic maps of some large areas and, even, the route they were travelling in the sky with the distance to the destination that gradually shortened itself. Nor could he ask Dr Benson, at that time is all taken to enjoy a hearty breakfast, to dismiss the hostesses who were serving him with such high reverence even though he would be a king. 

An hour later, it was all over. The table cleared and, at last, Benson, well settled in the large chair and crossed his long legs as he had just sat down, spoke to his travelling companion, who at that time was thinking as to take advantage of the absence of the hostess to draw out the panel from his unassailable case in calotex.

"It's inconceivable that an American does not consume a hearty breakfast in the morning. For what reason, engineer Campbell? Do you feel stressed by the trip? Do take note that everything is under the rule. There is nothing to worry about, believe me. In just over two hours, we will land in Haiti and embark on a UN service car that awaits us in the parking zone. With that one, we will go directly, without any customs and police operation, to the UN Civilian Mission where we will study what to do. Unless you do not have another program."

"I should only consult my laptop, Dr Benson," replied Henry with a smile. But then, nodding with his chin in the direction of the galley, added, frowning, "without that the assistants, however, could circulate here."

"Do not be afraid of our flying personnel. They are proof of security," replied the official.

"Please, Dr Benson, do not be worried," said Henry in a flat voice Henry. "You know very well how rapidly the rumours circulated. It's just that we are travelling."

"Once in the Glass Palace, the matters were different. The news was disclosed to all ambassadors accredited to the UN, you understand that... well, some of the many secretaries or assistants have let slip some indiscretions."

"Some Indiscretions, Dr Benson? However, if the journalists, to put it mildly, knew it more than us!"

"What do you think of as a simple hostess if you begin to work with your computer..."

"But it's the same solar panel, Mr Benson!"

It's true?" did the senior official open wide-eyed? "But then this invention is a real prodigy!" L smiling mischievously: "It's not that further, I will come to know that we can cook as well, with that invention!"

"Certainly," replied Henry piqued. "Being an energy transformer, if you connect it with a heating pad, it can do that, too."

Meanwhile, just as Henry, fortified by the insurance of Dr Benson, once extract the panel out of the briefcase and ready for connection thanks to the assembly of the mirillinis, was sending pulses with his look, one of the hostesses, coincidentally just the third, the one who had been added to the impromptu flying across entered the sitting-room and with a deferential doing, after being approached to Henry, asked him if by a chance he wanted an orange juice, but not without observing what had appeared on the monitor screen. It was the map of the airport of Port Au Prince with all lines leading to the city centre and, especially, to the UN Civilian Mission, on which a green LED illuminated itself with a quick intermittence.

"No, thanks," was the laconic reply of a bit annoyed Henry. Who, with the ingenuity of a kid, turned the screen on his knees, showing the small package of mirillinis connected to the panel. It was, as it seemed, what the flight attendant wanted to see because she answered him in a positive tone: "It's a pity that you do not drink it, sir. It should be the right supply of vitamin C for the day. However, I leave you; it on the table," and put the glass down into the appropriate small circle so that it would not slip into the ground in the event of any yaw of the plane, which occurred almost immediately. A sudden air pocket dropped for some hundred meters the aircraft was forced to heavy rotation on its axis, just when they started to fly over the Gulf of Mexico.

Imprudently, Henry left to consult the computer. There was the well-founded fear that the impulses that he had sent would be the cause for the loss of altitude. The copilot came out from the cockpit and shortly after, addressed Dr Benson, said: "We apologize for the sudden drop in altitude, Dr Benson. Perhaps it caused you some trouble?” "No, Captain. It did not even spill the glass. It is normal. I think it was a pure vacuum."

"It's not an air pocket, sir," replied the second pilot and watching Henry, "if I can permit me..."

"But, of course, do say as well, Captain."

"The commander sent me on purpose to relate to you. A strange thing. However, do not worry, now everything is under control. Even though there was a time when the automatic pilot disengaged by itself and for about ten seconds all the tools were no longer fulfilled. Right now, he is driving in person. If you wish, you can come to talk to him in the cockpit.”

"I think," Henry whispered into the ear of Dr Benson, as soon the copilot returned to his post, "I think that was I to cause that little inconvenience."

"Ah, your panel turned into a computer. Maybe that."

You are on the right track, Dr Benson," replied Henry, while blocked with his look the usual hostess who had raised the curtain partition to get closer with the excuse to recover the glass still full. Benson motioned for her to come back in the galley.

"I'm interested to know it," he asked Henry, remaining at the half phrase.

"The poor functioning of the computer does not generate interference with onboard instruments. It is specially shielded. Only that."  

"Only that?"

"I had to transmit an order that lasted just five seconds."

"Ah, then!" burst out good-naturally, Benson. "It's also a radio transmitter. A true prodigy! And to think that the entire world has discarded it. Good heavens, what we men are stupid!"

The last word provoked Henry a simple smile, to disguise that he said: "Do you remember the billion and more panels like this one, prepared to distribute as a first advance?"

"Sure, engineer Campbell. I wondered how the hell they would transport and who knows with what vehicle, then!"

"They have already built three hundred million units, ready for delivery and are below us, to hundred-fifty meters above the surface in the sea, somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Indeed, not scattered to float, but on the board of an enormous submarine vessel which runs itself automatically at a speed of thirty knots. I sent the order to return to the starting point, waiting for the events. "

"And where should this be your 'point'?"

"Far away, Dr Benson, extremely far away. In a place, unknown to all." 

ΩΩΩ

 

Strangely, despite Henry having refrained himself from committing another imprudence, everything went smoothly. The executive jet landed and, to the complete shutdown of the two engines. A hostess opened the exit door while stretching the ramp. Streams of hot air-dried invaded the cockpit as the plane, and, in descending back to Dr Benson, Henry had to squint his eyes to the blinding light of the Sun, to which he was not used. He just foresaw the limousine that was waiting for them, but he had to submit, along with his companion, to the inevitable rite of presentation to the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Haiti, who had bothered to come to pay his respects to the chief diplomat of the United Nations.

The prominent politician, although being made aware by its ambassador to the UN about the revolutionary invention of engineer Campbell did not make any mention of it, perhaps not intrigue more than certain the four men of his suit. Moreover, his country needed primarily for necessities and for massive investments and certainly not of a propeller for the rare cars that were circulating.

That made Henry reflects on the insufficient knowledge that the ambassadors accredited to the United Nations would have on his solar panel and suspect that someone would be busy for an instructive, convincing counter-information.

He did not give too much importance to this matter, because the program had already been set by his computer at mirillinis and, once left Dr Benson again with his plane in the aftermath as agreed, he should be able to confuse himself into the population as a mere tourist, even if in Haiti they would arrive few, except for the French or Creole-French who debarked there with the frequent Air France flight that landed there from Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe or Fort de France in Martinique.   

He barely had time to take an excursion into the town to realize the situation. However, not could carry the briefcase with him, he had to disassemble the mirillinis as they were original, that is in small pieces into the shape with a square, rectangle, triangle, and diamond, a crossing between approximately the domino game to that one of the puzzles, in addition, the solar panels, to insert all of them in the calotex briefcase, virtually unassailable as a compact steel plate. As an extra precaution, he closed the wall safe of which equipped the tiny apartment that they of the Mission made available for him because there, such his tastes, circulated to many people. Among them, there was the second commander pilot who during the trip had acquitted the useless post of navigator and the two hostesses over excess, who, after three days of rest should be part of the crew of another UN plane incoming from Brazil.

Precisely, with the intention not to have any contact with these people, who. However, did not interfere at all with him during the short hours that he passed into the Mission partly spent during the long dinner with some distinguished guests, during which he ate with appetite being discreet fasting from the day before. And, further, thanks to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, though from the window to his room would filter in disturbing blades of light, the following morning, he came away with all his baggage, which was well only the suitcase and went out searching for accommodation more anonymous. He found that one in the city centre, in Rue Capois, at the Plaza Hotel.

From there he phoned Dr Benson to thank him for the assistance received and to wish him a safe return journey. If all went well, he should have contacted him again.

'If all went well.' A phrase that might not enter the dictionary of Henry Campbell. Since he had been a victim of the reaction of engineer Whiting and then of all those to whom he offered the opportunity to solve the problem of the pollution with the new, revolutionary 'combustible', he had lost the faith in the men and, at last, to himself, too. Despite all that, the sophisticated equipment of Kallitala and the authoritative opinion of Proteus were not foreseen. Even so, with the men, everything was uncertain, neither if it handled a complicated equation and then, for Henry had flowed to a long time since he returned from Key West. His psycho-immune defences had deteriorated since then, and now, after a week, he felt have lost the sensitivities of which he provided. He did not perceive the proximity as well to a person or his intentions. He must resort, to see better and to calculate any hitch and, above all, to foresee the intentions to the others, to the mirillinis laptop computer. Impractical, however, since, mounted as such, it could not be housed in the briefcase. So, every time Henry had to install it in a secluded place - in the hotel room - and dismantle it after use. A significant waste of time, because the installation of mirillinis had to do with a precise pattern that the day before, during the flight to Haiti, he knew by heart. However, that now, his memory was made weak by the time spent in the open air of the Western world, obliged him to resort to the manual.

He had forgotten even about Hyppolite, and the place where he lived. How should he introduce himself to the fisherman to avoid generating suspicions? It was necessary. Therefore, to change the cheap light-coloured suit he was wearing. Wanting, then, to believe as a tourist, albeit, with a not matching coloured leather briefcase in hand, it was necessary to procure himself suitable clothing.

He found everything he needed in a shop not far from the hotel, whose owner, so happy to have sold all that stuff to a single customer touched the summit of happiness when Henry told him he had the only minimum of a fifty-dollar banknote and if one of them was enough, by chance, to pay for all that he had bought.

"Certainly, sir!" I replied to the shopkeeper, with a voice cracked with emotion.

The price of that goods, compared to the US currency, did not exceed twelve dollars. And, fortified by the axiom that once happy the customer, he must not be less than him. The retailer asked Henry to wait only a quarter for an hour to adapt the pants jeans to his stature, given that he was also a tailor.

Henry inquired at the front desk on the schedules of the courier to reach the village of Troutier, at about nine kilometres from the city centre. There were several buses during the day, towards the small town of Blanchard, some of which pushed themselves to the village by the sea. His computer marked the exact place. Where was the hut of Hyppolite, over a kilometre towards the sandier sandy beach. To go there on foot, albeit with his levity that, like other feelings, he still had not lost should garner the attention, especially with the eye-catching briefcase in hand. He decided that dressed up as a tourist of a mid-level, it would be better if he was confused in the crowd and, particularly, on the bus that did service to the villages on the coast until Port Bambou and, for sure, not to the next day. He must ascertain himself that nobody would spy him. If by chance, he would meet that hostess wandering around the city. Nevertheless, he did meet anyone who would already see. 

At nine o'clock the next morning, he paid his bill from the hotel and went on foot to the port area, struggling quite hard to convince the various taxi drivers that he preferred to take a walk. Fortunately, the accounting of the Hotel Plaza had given him, like the rest of a lot of dollars, a right quantity of local currency, so he could pay the minute amount to travel by bus. At ten o'clock, he was already at Troutier, mixed with a motley crowd that swarmed in the narrow streets. He took a stroll in the open-air market, holding the case, not to the handle, but along arms linked, to give the idea that he would not have to familiarity with an object that denotes the busy man. He bought a straw hat with wide brims quite frayed. With that in mind, looking well around, he started walking along the shoreline and slowly, with indifferent doing, finally arrived in the hut of Hyppolite Charles.

He saw him patching a network and watched him carefully, despite him turning on his back. He had described to him the computer at mirillinis. A man still in full force, hair yet Black people, square shoulders by rower, bull neck and superior ability to sew the nets, given that he did so quickly and without mistake's mesh. The slight crunch of small gravel that Henry stamped attracted the attention of Hyppolite, who turned himself and, without saying a word, investigated the eyes of Henry, and as if by tacit agreement, he brought the sewing tools on a little wooden board and stood up, going towards him.

"The gentleman came here, for me?" he asked in a flat voice.

"Yes," replied laconically Henry. "I'm engineer Henry Campbell."

The fisher nodded conspicuously with the head. "My boat is ready, Mr Engineer," adding after the words the gesture to indicate that it floated at a few meters.

"I have to get some things for me. Could you indicate to me someone that might find them with some discretion?"

"Of course, sir. Paul should be the right man."

"He's trusted?"

"If he will be well-paid, certainly yes, engineers. He finds himself without work for a month and has two small children."

"No problem for that matter. When can I see him?"   

"Even now," replied Hyppolite, who, putting two fingers in a semi-toothless mouth, let out a long shrill whistle.

From a hovel inward, at more than hundred meters away, came another whistle of receipt and five minutes later, showed a skinny mulatto of medium height, with a hint of a beard on his chin that stretched the face a little too round, where two wild eyes moved continuously.

"Here's Paul Lavalle," said Hyppolite Charles. "Paul, Mr Engineer should tell you something."

What better way to convince that man, who seemed to him almost cunning, to show him the American money? However, in his not enough knowledge among the men, Henry was rather unwise because he took out of the pocket one of the several bundles of hundred-dollar bills, that the sharp eyes of Paul calculated would amount to the respectable sum of ten thousand.

"I'll give you a good tip if you get me an electric motor, a steel axle with a propeller, and a reduction gear," Henry asked, looking him into the eyes so fixed that almost hypnotized him. Hyppolite, indifferent towards the bundle of money questioned with gazing at the American.

Who explained to the two men that the requested material needed him to install it in the fisherman's boat. Especially that the electric motor could also be that of a big lawnmower or, better still, on a small lathe.

"But the engineer," asked bewildered Paul Lavalle, "to what comes useful for an electric motor on the boat if there's not the electric-powered current! At least one at petrol." And, before Henry replied, he added:" I know a person who should want to sell his fifteen-horsepower outboard engine. At a decent price, you know!"

On the face of Hyppolite a smile of someone who already knows.

"No, Paul. I want what I asked you. Do you surely want to do it?" And, as the biracial person shook his head in the sense of agreement, Henry added to him: "Are you keen to do that?" "Yes, Mr Engineer," Paul answered with a timid voice.

"And in how much time?"

"Just that one I need to go to Blanchard. I have a friend who is a blacksmith, and he can provide me with the engine on a lathe. "

"And the axis of the propeller and the reducing gear?"

"Easy. I can buy that stuff from marine equipment. If I had..." 

he thoughtfully. I should settle myself in less than two hours."

"Here's one thousand US dollars and one hundred gourdes. The first to buy the material and the Haitian currency to pay the taxi. Do you think that is enough?"

"Of course, sir. It will be well an advance, yet!"

"Well, do not haggle over the price, indeed. Pay what they ask. In payment of that, at your return for the material, I will give you another thousand dollars. However, I advise you, do not to say who sent you and at what purpose the electric motor. For what concerns of the axis with propeller and the reactor gear, I am convinced they will not nose about," and turning to Hyppolite Charles, who so far had not moved an eyelid. He asked him firmly: "Can I trust in him?"

The fisherman approached himself to the mulatto and told him something in the ear. "Yes, Mr Engineer," answered Hyppolite. "I feel responsible on behalf of him personally. Paul Lavalle with those thousand dollars can make his family live well for at least two years. For him, it is manna from heaven."

One left the mulatto; Henry wanted to visit the hovel of the fisherman. Neat was the right definition as it held. Even so, it was indigent and lacked even the bathroom. Hyppolite said to him that keeping it as clean as always had done his wife, was to have her close to him. At last, he had time to do all the work, given that the fishing was quite satisfactory and did not force him to stay at sea for more than three or four hours. He went out early in the morning when the weather permitted it. Once retired the extensive line, to which a relatively substantial number of fishes came back to shore were found waiting for him the only fish trader of Troutier, who bought everything to him. He lived in such a manner; he had to say until the forces would keep him. After...

"To you're after I think about myself, Hyppolite," heartened him, Henry. While the fisherman remained inside the small house to play his little tasks, Henry took off his shoes, socks, and blue jeans - he had under the bathing suit - and reached the boat moored at only three meters from the shoreline, on a sandy bottom that did not exceed half a meter. He boarded on and began to study its inside to see how to install the engine and the propeller axis.

On the beach, there was none. He opened the briefcase and assembled in a few minutes the panel at mirillinis, turning it into a computer, which showed him where to place the electric motor and where to make the hole pass through the axis of the propeller. He memorized the project, dismounted all, and closed the case. There was no fear that if it slipped through the water, it would fail something of its content. The calotex was a substance that made it floatable, also to be impenetrable to the liquids.

He nodded to Hyppolite, who, coming out of the hut, watched him with curiosity. He invited him to come to the boat. And when the fisherman was on board, he said to him: "You already know that I'll buy your boat. Nevertheless, I will give you such a price that you will not only buy one newer and bigger than this one, but the money will help you to live comfortably for a long time."  

The fisher asked him how much he should agree to give him. The impulses that he had received from the computer at mirillinis had already explained to him everything.

"Do you have the tools to make a hole at the stern?" Henry asked.

"I have everything in the small, annexed laboratory," answered Hyppolite motioning with the chin toward a cabin tin leaned against the back of the house. "Okay. When Paul comes back, we must move it in dry and do the job." "It's better that we do only the two, Mr Engineer," said Hyppolite.

"Why? Did you not tell me that Paul Lavalle was an innocent man?"

"Oh, sure! However, when he has the money, you have promised him, he will not be more."

"Strange," Henry doubted. "I do not understand."

"You do not know the men you engineer. You are still incredibly young. My experience tells me that even the right Paul when he pockets the thousand dollars will feel like another and will not be happy, as long he does not confide this fact to someone. First, perhaps only with his wife and after."

"I need to manage to get far away with your boat. It lasts only two hours to go over the territorial waters of Haiti."

"But he should do it even earlier, engineer."

"Well, then I'll not pay him until, rightly. I will deliver to you, indeed, the money to give him two hours after my departure. So, as he will just come with the requested material, will help us to pull the boat ashore, to install the engine, and to make the hole for the propeller axis."

"Good idea, engineer. You are ingenious," replied to the fisherman," although still quite naive."

The waiting that the multiracial person would return was quite unnerving for Henry while for Hyppolite seemed a usual thing, so much so that he finished the work he had interrupted. Put to lay in the Sun trammel, he began to unravel one of the two long lines placing them in a special box, and did it with incredible skill, because every two laps he slipped the hook in the cork. Henry followed the repetitive movements of the fisherman, but when he found them boring, decided to pull the boat aground himself alone. He tried it, looked furtively by Hyppolite. Before unhooking it from the dead body that held it in the water, then pulling to himself stretching it by the stern, it was aground in the sand of the shoreline. With the power that he had, it should be a joke to bring it to a dry place. We tried there again, sure to draw out an exclamation of wonder by Hyppolite but when once grabbed it firmly by the two rails of the stern, he tried to drag it. The boat slid down the sand for just five centimetres, but then it remained grounded.

'Oh no!' exclaimed to himself, 'I'm also losing the forces. If that mulatto does not arrive in time, I cannot even take off.'

It seemed that Hyppolite would know what was happening to Henry. He approached him and said, in the tone of a benevolent father: "Do be fearless, engineer. Paul will come back in time. It is only two hours, and then, with the amount that you have promised to him. He'll put the wings on his feet."   

He had just finished saying that a rickety car came with a rattle and stood in the forecourt of the fisherman's hut.

Paul got out well gloating, who, instead of helping to download the driver what he had bought, ran Hyppolite to express to him the satisfaction of being able in finding the required material. Turning then to Henry, with the more respectful tone that he could, "Mr. engineer, we're excellent. I got lucky. I bet that you should not expect that I found all the material?"

"Not at all," replied Henry, affecting an ironic smile. "I was sure of that, thanks to Hyppolite, who guaranteed me."

"But Hyppolite, how did you ask," Paul said, addressing his friend.

"Let us not waste time. Do get down that stuff and then come into the boat to help pull it dry," said Henry with authority. He felt himself losing his forces. The time in eight days granted to him had already expired from his landing in New York and did not expect an even swift recovery.

Paul Lavalle was skilful or incredibly lucky. Sometimes it happens when an assignment to an ordinary person, who can solve a problem by instinct that even a technician should be able to do. The engine was one of the lathes of average power. His friend's blacksmith had to have had an urgent need of money to grant it to him. The axis was full of everything. The seller gave it to him, as an upright man, with the pieces for the joints and even the tow to tampon the hole in the stern where it will insert. There was no necessity given that the speed of the boat with that engine should automatically empty the water from the cockpit.

Hyppolite was of his word. He surely possessed all the tools that he must use, so in less than two hours, both the motor and its axis with the speed gearbox and propeller were mounted. Henry found an excuse to get away from the mulatto who, like the dog that with the dripping tongue awaits the promised mouthful, showed in the face but, above all, in the eyes, the languor hopeful to receive at once the guaranteed payment.

"It's there that you keep it, Hyppolite?" did Henry turn to the fisherman, who immediately had understood what his intention and the fisher were, in return, but addressing to Paul: "Yes. Inside the closet. I seem on the third shelf at the right. I do not know if I remember right, but you look for the others. There is certainly a transformer. Go and take, please. We must apply it to the motor for instrumentation."

Paul Lavalle left quickly like a rocket, convinced to return from there after ten minutes at the most.

"We have time, Mr Engineer," said Hyppolite, glancing at him with complicity. "I have the transformer, but it is not in the closet of the tools."

And Henry, to whom that device was useless, given that he had not expected any navigation instrument, asked him only for curiosity: "Why, where do you keep it?"

"Uuuhh, at home, right? I need it for the radio set."

"Oh, yeah," Henry said absently. "But how do we do the things that Paul should not see. First, take these thousand dollars that you will give him after my departure."

"And the rest of them?"

"What rest?"

"How possible he has paid for one thousand US dollars, this engine, and the axle... at a guess, knowing him, he will have spent six hundred."

"And let them to him. He deserved even those. Listen to what I must tell you. I must leave immediately," Henry said with stale air, pulling out of the briefcase four large bundles of American banknotes. "Take these for the payment of your boat and the rest to make yourself an unearned income. They are around seventy-five thousand US dollars. Do not you let anyone see this money? Spend the money a little at a time and I recommend that you do not even think about depositing it in a bank. Within a few hours, you should know it, notwithstanding your president." And to the words of thanks of Hyppolite, Henry objected: "Do not mention it, Hyppolite. Help me to put the boat in the sea and then, farewell forever."

When the boat began to float on a sea that, fortunately, was smooth as a lake, Henry mounted on board and the fisherman bounced a strong push to the stern so that when Henry finished applying the solar panel to the electric motor, the boat had already detached dozens of meters from the shore.

Henry started the engine idling and the propeller turned, instead, to its maximum, so that the boat reared, forcing him to move to the bow where he could not hold the tiller. Then, given that he had the time and the boat, for the moment, proceeded straight ahead like an arrow, he opened the calotex briefcase and installed the mirillinis on a second solar panel that had never been used before. All worked perfectly and, in that way, Henry could direct, with the look fixed on the monitor, the hull in the way he wanted, that was opposite at that time to the Sun, already at a third of the sky. It was three o'clock in the afternoon. He had at least three hours of light to get to the appointment. The boat was spinning at thirty knots, and if he increased the power if it did not turn over itself, for sure cast the engine. 

Overtaking to the starboard the silhouette of the Ile de Gonave, Henry slightly corrected the route by a few degrees in the south. The appointment was planned by the computer from the point nineteen degrees and ten seconds north and seventy-three degrees forty-eight-second west, about sixty miles from Troutier. There is the only submarine, the same one that carried the first instalment of the individual panels at solar neutrinos, which should emerge to rescue him. Just another hour and a half of navigation. The boat responded well to commands and exceeded with agility the long wave of the Atlantic.

"At last, pure air!" I loudly exclaimed Henry, exalted by the next return, although he was disappointed by the behaviour of the Nations, not so much taken by men in their individuality. Hyppolite, the humble fisherman in a country that had always been oppressed by the dictators, had a heart unpolluted and loyal and, in the end, even Paul Lavalle, happy to pocket a revenue, millionaire for him, had not shown greedy, but the only guarantor of the survival of his children and wife. Healthy feelings that he had noticed himself would usually dwell within the heart of ordinary people.

"You Sun, however, although you are both my father and mother, you're burning me with your too warm rays," played as he would be an actor on the stage. And, in effect, the rays blinded him in such a manner that to see the stern as the boat. He had to make a screen with one hand. Doing this operation, he was impeded to see that a helicopter, detached from the Pointe Ouest of the Island of Gonave, seemed to come and fly over his boat.

'Maybe they are intrigued by the speed of a small boat that sails like this one in the middle Atlantic and should induce me to come back toward the ground,' said Henry in whose mind, to the exaltation of a moment before was creeping a feeling of apprehension. So, he gave the last order to the computer before putting it away, along with the briefcase, under the dunnage of the bow.

The boat made a full curve and put the bow on the island from where the helicopter had taken off and when the aircraft was almost over him, though stunned by the noise from the turbo engines lost his hat, and ruffled the hair by the jet of the air of the blades, he made some noticeably clear signals that he did not need anything.

Nevertheless, it seemed that those of the helicopter, model Comanche supplied to the US Navy, would induce him to return to the ground since the boat headed right there, but they would be interested in him, or rather better, what he had in the briefcase.

The briefcase that Henry pulled out from under the bow gave the impulse to the boat to regain the primary route to gain time to reach the set point. It missed just one hour before the appointment. If he arrived there, those of the helicopter would be contrasted by the crew of the massive submarine that, indeed, should drive their aircraft back toward the island, without causing any harm to them. 

But how to prevent someone from the crew of the helicopter from not managing to get down on his boat? He imagined himself that there would be some raider's divers, and he knew how they were skilled in such operations. What should he say to them to prevent them from being slung and getting up? And, with him, the precious panels and, well, the mirillinis, too?

He had received very precise orders in this regard, and to that thought, he shuddered.

Luckily, there was no wind, if not that one generated by the blades of the helicopter, and the boat was spinning fast, preventing that with that pace, someone of the crew would manage to go down there. He kept them at a distance for a good half hour. And at that point, he began to hope to get to the appointment, or at least, close enough so that those of the submarine would realize the dramatic situation in which he had come to find himself and would intervene to chase away the intruders. Yes, because it was handled just by invaders, sent by a government that believed itself the owner from the world and at all costs wanted to determine its fate. Who knows if they as the firsts would do the right example by accepting the conditions he had set, the other countries that already by a longtime aped it, feeding themselves on its culture, should not have by imitation, they too, creating a domino effect and in such a manner suspended that kind of collective suicide?

These reflections helped him to erase from his mind the urgency in the situation that was getting desperate.

The helicopter was flying increasingly weak, and that uproar took him away. In his fundamental weakness, given that also to that, there was as well the smell of kerosene that gradually burnt polluting the air around, the possibility to study an extreme solution neither in consulting his computer. He gritted his teeth and held out; it lasts not a long time, now.

However, he had not thought about the determination of the men who pursued him.

Suddenly, the helicopter gained altitude. When it was again on the vertical of the boat, Henry realized that something, perhaps a smart man, would throw himself on top of him without retention of the cable recovery. Instinctively, he dodged himself and saw not a man but a shapeless object that arrived on the small boat with such violence to stave it right on the electric motor, which sank immediately, despite what left of the craft, after a short headway, would continue to float with the idle current.

Henry remained miraculously unharmed on the bow, no longer supported by the speed. The rest on the boat was partially submerged in the water from which it protruded by only half a meter, took the briefcase and the computer, tightened them to his chest. The helicopter began to descend in altitude. It also reduced the revolutions of turbo-propellers, so Henry had a moment of quiet to gather the ideas and to complete his mission.

He did it right away because he did not want to harm the occupants of the aircraft.

Already put on standby the device that he had inserted through the skin, he looked at himself carefully all around in the last vein of hope, to see emerging from the water the submarine of his salvation. However, the horizon appeared on every side smooth. It vanished like the mists of the sunset of the island's shore.

He uttered just three words: "I had so much life!" And, tightening his briefcase and computer, he commanded the last pulse to the small device inserted in his shoulder.

The helicopter had to make a sudden nose-up to avoid the worst.

From what was left in the boat of Hyppolite Charles, the real fisher of Troutier in that of Haiti, it stood a flame of fire red-orange that lasted a few seconds and then to go itself out without a trace of smoke.

Back in a horizontal position and to see better, they switched on the headlights because the Sun had just set on the sea and left nothing other than a small triangle of wood. It was the tip of the bow that their attempt of the boat to seize the precious panels had been thwarted by the sacrifice of engineer Henry Campbell. 


10    AENEAS OF ANCHISES

  

 It was an operation of disarming simplicity. He had thought who knows what and, instead, once introduced into the specialized cabinet inside the Hospital of Esculapius, Dr Hephaestus, after receiving Henry as if he would be an old friend, applied to him a small device with at its extremity, that one on contact with the skin above the jugular, a suction cup. And, in less than a minute, that is, two hundred and forty seconds, the operation terminated, and his DNA modified. Now the engineer Henry Campbell, a man of US origin, became, in effect, a Hellene. It just lacks that he would choose a new name, and a few days later should marry the beautiful Phaedra.

They greeted him with a stretched smile, strange for a magnificent and always smiling creature.

"It's something wrong?" he asked after kissing her on the cheek.

"Bad news, Aeneas," said Phaedra.

"Aeneas? However, I am still Henry, until that..."

"That name had already been given to you. Now you are Aeneas of Anchises."

"What should it mean? I no longer have the opportunity to choose the name for myself, as promised?"

"Do not worry. It is not an imposition, but a necessity."

"Why, sweet Phaedra?"

"A great misfortune has hit our people. An unheard thing. The Archon wants to talk to you in the presence of the whole Grand Council."

"To me? Just to me, Phaedra? I made something wrong?"

"You've not. Only that what happened concerns you personally, and it came the time that would you explain your presence in Kallitala."

"If that's why, when you'll be my wife, you can tell me that."

"My family, Paris and I, do not know the reasons. We obeyed the orders of the Archon without asking for explanations. The thing that will do you too, any decision would take against you, thanks to the modified DNA. It is like Hellenes. Nevertheless, now let us hurry up. We must go to the Archon."

"Must we do? Why, you, too."

"Yes, Aeneas, this time I will admit me, too, and with us, my parents and Paris."

ΩΩΩ

 

It was six o'clock just unchecked. The rush hour, when all the employees, workers, officials, and executives, once finished their work, went home.

Although the mobile streets, stairs, elevators, and the underground pneumatic means would crowd, everything worked perfectly, and not Hellene hampered the path on the other, so Phaedra and Henry, the next Aeneas, came out in the broad Avenue leading into the palace, the Grand Council. I got up the stairs. They came to the large square in front of the neoclassical building and saw Alcinous, Hecuba, and Paris were waiting for them. Phaedra flew into the arms around his mother while Aeneas touched the canonical pats on the shoulder. Before that one of the heads of the family and then by his friend and future brother-in-law, Paris.

Like the first time he had entered there, also on this occasion none of the employees of the palace came to ask the small group what they would want or where to go. Everything is already established. When they arrived in front of the big door of the Council Hall, place of meeting of all the members of the highest forum of Kallitala chaired by the Archon, two ushers spontaneously let enter the family of Achelais, including Aeneas.

The Council was all present. All members seated in the vast hall in comfortable chairs arrayed a hemicycle to whose opposite side sat the former Archon and Alcaeus, who should replace him in the same session. The four members within the family of Achelais were seated beside the two Archons, while Pausanias, got up for the occasion, invited Aeneas to remain at the centre, before the two highest authorities.

Aeneas now that he had become Hellene to all effects did not feel any discomfort. What we asked for him was part of the normal process of things, nor with his levity, he tried hard to stand up.

"Friend Aeneas of Anchises," began the Archon with a flat voice, but that we felt precise and clear across the hall, "a heavy bereavement impressed us all. An event never arrived at the generous people of Kallitala, which finds us, apart from being saddened, also very disoriented. The men are creatures well strange not to understand that either individually with their vices than collectively with the pollution they cause on the planet Earth, are committing suicide. Should we remain insensitive to these dire predictions since we live isolated for millennia and neither has any intention to live with the human species? Unfortunately, our ancestors, and after them, their followers whom we can create the air or the water, so we suffer the senseless race at the end of the habitable world for the guilt of those creatures whose you were an individual, not even offering them an easy opportunity to save themselves.

Our beloved Aeneas of Anchises had immolated himself on a mission that seemed to us not risky as, on the contrary. It proved. Do not wonder about yourself, a friend Aeneas. You have taken for the right reason the name because we have given yours to him. He was your double; we can say your twin brother. Nature sometimes is strange. To give birth to a modern Hellene, who looks like a drop of water to a man, is like creating the air to breathe, the water to drink, and the food to sustain ourselves. A combination of a billionth of billion, which took place in an infinite cosmos as well as in the macroscopic number of the inhabitants of the Earth.

As we could not take the advantage of such a combination? You are an engineer, and he was too, albeit at a level ten times higher. You worked in search of components that could capture the Sun's heat to accumulate energy. And he was one of the inventors of that operation, with the difference that our beloved deceased knew, which was not the light to generate power, but the charge of neutrinos that poured themselves like rain continuously on all planets surrounding the Sun. However, arriving on Earth with their total cost and right proportion, while they were captured, now feeble, by the bands of Saturn and further proceeding, they were exhausted in the cosmos, not even arriving at Jupiter.

The men are so greedy for money, comfort, and power to exercise on their fellowmen, that to their selfishness, they sacrifice everything. Even though life is foolish, they do not know what is going to happen in the end. Silly race of beings who believe in Destiny and a God, always benevolent, who protects them. Although we Hellene's ought to recognize that the men chose themselves some symbols, which represent the noblest, generous, and merciful part of the human soul which led as an example for millennia, for our belief that supernatural entities should be well done do not exist. It is demonstrated by the fact that we live in peace and good health so that our time is marked much more slowly than that of humans.

However, beyond any commiseration or criticism of human philosophy, I reiterate that our future situation will arise from itself full of tragic events if we fail to stop the men from their self-destruction. I arrived at the end of the mandate that all of you, fellow counsellors, have conferred, and I hope to have acquitted satisfactorily. Now is our friend Alcaeus, whose name we must forget, given that he will be the new Archon, to formulate the projects."

The Archon outgoing sat down after having made a papal gesture toward Alcaeus, and before his successor took the word, Pausanias approached Aeneas inviting him to sit at his side.

"Dear friends ... " said the Archon with a clucking voice, which cleared with two strong coughings. "Sorry, I beg to pardon. I am not ready to tell you what we should do, although briefly, I agree with Patroclus, the already Archon, to conduct every effort to convince the humans to accept our inventions to cancel the pollution's effects on the planet. Our messenger, though well instructed, so that also being physically identical to the here present Henry Campbell was cloned himself in his life story in every single detail, such as not to arouse any suspicion in those who had lived in close contact with him, as was demonstrated by his girlfriend, who seems to be trying desperately to find him. However, we did not imagine the adverse reactions by the entire world, except the principal officials of the United Nations Organization. In our mind dwells on ingenuity and love to our neighbour to such an extent as to result from the men. We should transform one of us into an individual more like them."

The Archon stopped himself when he saw the raised hand of Aeneas and gave assent to intervene, with a simple movement across the face.

"Archon, your analysis of the human mind is right as love and sensible are your words. I that come from that progeny, by me disown, I might be the incomprehensible

There was a slight murmur in the hall, and Phaedra also managed to attract the attention of her future husband, to whom she sent a scowl.

"Thank you, Aeneas. I did not doubt your loyalty. However, despite being you became a Hellene to all effects. You have not yet absorbed the professional training to understand our inventions or our discoveries. You should need two long years to get to the technical level of your double disappeared. Which is equivalent to eight years in the Western world. Too much time in hoping to regenerate the air and the water. Who knows, then, what should combine the men in this lap of time. Surely, if they continue at this pace, since they do not give more value to life, they might as well get to unleash a nuclear war."

In his turn, Pausanias asked to speak by raising his arm.

"Archon, I committed myself to teach everything's needs to Aeneas to know a Hellene engineer, in less than three months. I do not think that the men could do it in one year."

"If it's for that, a friend Pausanias, even in less time," said the Archon with a demoralized way, still muttering, "despite less time..."

Aeneas is doing himself strong by the encouragement by the glance of Paris to say, after having obtained the permission to intrude on himself: "Archon, I'm willing to make every sacrifice as long as to become a Hellene engineer. I'll sacrifice all the time I have available and if necessary, also to postpone the wedding with my beloved Phaedra."

"Well, a friend Aeneas of Anchises, you have my consent," pontificated the Archon.

A chorus of applause closed the session.


SECOND  PART


1           - INCOMPREHENSIBLE THINGS

  

The explosion left stunned the crew's members of the helicopter, such they were sure to have hunted the engineer Campbell by many people considered a fool, but judged by CIA or a genius of the new millennium or the emissary of some powered the country would want, with that strange solar panel, to turn the ordinary course of the things. And then that blaze, so vast as to appear for a few seconds a little Sun, which left neither smell nor smoke, meant explicitly about the capacity of modern invention.

Two raider's divers, among the most experienced of the US Navy, were thrown into the exact spot where the small boat sank. They had got down over twenty meters below the water surface but, except for the ridiculous little triangle of the bow of that absurd fishing boat that had travelled at an incredible speed for a similar hull, there was nothing else. Only the remnant of what was once the bow with a small red strip was left to float there, undeterred, as a witness of the grimace. A playfully that was expensive for engineer Campbell, who could not have disappeared from a mythological elf, but disintegrated in the terrifying explosion and given that the rotational movement of the helicopter blades rippled over the surface to the sea to a diameter of over thirty meters, the Major pilot Davidson did give the order to launch a small raft so that the two divers will go up above and, once drawn away from the aircraft from the area, they could find more carefully some fragments of the explosion, especially the remains of the body of the manor, even better, the briefcase that Janet Craig, the third hostess of the UN executive aircraft that, as had guessed Henry, was a CIA spy, had reportedly made of indestructible material.

Despite the research lasting all night with the help of a high seas tug that arrived from the Ile de Gonave had not found anything. Only that worthless piece of wood, the last the remnant of the small boat, the witness of such a cataclysm, which left to float around the painting men in unsuccessful searches and that, strangely, did not move more than thirty centimetres at a time from the point where the boat disappeared with his occupant. It is returning there at every splashing, as it would be a position buoy.

They had the opportunity to keep the searches up early the next day with the sunlight when they had arrived at the scene of the US Daggett, a factory ship equipped with everything for the underwater research. However, without the result, neither with the bathyscaphe was not able to get to the bottom, because just at the point of the explosion the ocean bed exceeded five thousand meters. A never-seen misfortune. What was left to the man, of the boat and the briefcase, probably still intact with inside the precious inventions were sunk in a small pit just two kilometres in diameter but deep over seven thousand meters, the other part of the seabed, for a wide area surrounding almost all the West Indies, not surpassing about a thousand?

There have been, then, the decisive intervention of the U.S. Secretary of State who sanctioned the ambassador to the United Nations. Who in his turn had set against his official subordinate, debating him not having well clarified what it would handle? Neither that engineer Henry Campbell, as alleged by the Secretary-General and by the chief of diplomacy of the NU, Dr Benson, would make the condition that the entire world would benefit from the miraculous solar panel.

Nobody, in truth, had understood about that and the President of the United States, advised by his experts, had done nothing else than to follow the practice of the obligation of the various tests, indispensable for every new technologic discovery.

'However, if indeed that capture energy panel was now ready, given that the young engineer had disappeared had mentioned that there were already a billion of units available...' Yes, but where?

Despite its weight, the weight would not exceed two hundred fifty grams. A billion solar panels constituted a cargo of a quarter of a million tons. It did not seem that there would exist throughout the world a ship or even a submarine, of that capacity to the load, then! And at last, come on! From immemorial time, the submarine has always been a means of offence in war, also of reduced size to navigate underwater, evidently not a cargo ship!

For that reason, an order was issued to all units of the US fleet scattered over the globe and, in convergence, with the cooperation of the British in some areas, to search for a huge ship.

'Why, though!' the directors said at the Pentagon: "It does not exist such as the great vessel, maybe a tanker. Yes, of course! Only one of those giant ships could carry a load so onerous that, instead of crude oil, has in his tanks all those panels?"

It was not difficult to research. None of these ships does exist anymore. It had been built a fair number immediately after the crisis of the Suez Canal. Nevertheless, once solved that problem, a last remnant of the Anglo-French colonialism, as the Lesseps channel, given that the Europeans did not well remember themselves, had cut and exploited in Egyptian territory, the construction of those enormous than aberrant vessels were abandoned in favour of others much safer, although of minor loading capacity. It certified that their excessive length made the supertankers unreliable when navigating in stormy seas. Especially when they must round the Cape of Good Hope, where the huge waves raised by the two confluent oceans in storming weather would form a vacuum under the hull structure, causing its fracture.

However, once identified those sundry supertankers that were sailing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the US Navy before and British ships then, could not then note that the giants of the sea were carrying only, and solely the crude oil loaded in different areas of the Persian Gulf. No trace, afterwards, of that freighter carrying the enormous quantity of solar panels of new concepts.

Being the news appeared in all media, Greenpeace as first with his banger ships and the ecologists after, began to board peacefully all cargo vessels of a certain size and at the same time the various organizations of ecologists of any colour, to rumble against the governing of many countries that had not accepted the offer of the engineer Campbell. So, I came to create an international committee that criticized any country, including his own indiscriminately, that he had declined the generous offer and, of course, the United States, ever-increasingly targeted by protesters even when there was any reason.

However, in that situation, there were reasons to sell. If the US President gave a good example, all the other countries should queue themselves, and at last, the world should begin to loosen the chains that by the too long time, now, held it to the senseless use in petroleum products, direct and indirect cause of the evil of the past a century and the current one: the malignant tumour, or better, the degeneration of the tissues of the human beings. Even the atomic submarines, precisely those who had a great deal of autonomy were still in a search of the large submarine boat that was bound to sail in the Atlantic Ocean were agreeing to report by the disappeared Henry Campbell should surface for downloading the billions of the solar panels, in a point agreed. However, all the searches had proven themselves vain during an entire year, for then to be finally abandoned, although the secret services of the world's major powers at the same time would interweave their connections with a renewed commitment, so much to discover, quite incidentally, some cells of Al Qaeda are ready to implement some senseless attempts. Two of some Moroccans in Spain, the same number of Pakistanis in England and, respectively, one in France and another in Italy, but 'embedded', journalistic slang expression to define the crime awaiting the go-ahead.


ΩΩΩ

 

"At last, now I'm sure that you're ready," said Pausanias to an exhausted Aeneas, who in response just closed their eyes. "You're tired, right? I am convinced that, embracing again your beloved Phaedra. You should recover your whole energy."

"Do you think it, Pausanias?" I replied to Aeneas. "Yet in these three months, I've kept myself constantly away from her. Not even on that day when she had come to beg you're a granted visit."

"We should disrupt the rhythm of study, dear friends Aeneas," responded to the Grand Counselor, "and that should result in a recovery that should cost us at least two weeks of challenging work. Did you realize the consequentiality of the elements that you have learned and the fact that we cannot waste any more time? If for us three months, over there," and he gestured vaguely toward the sea, "a year has passed, and the situation has worsened."

"I must agree that you are right. I'm sorry."

"Do not apologize. Although your DNA has been modified, something rested in you of a human. That we Hellenes endure with pleasure because those features are precisely them, that will help you to complete your mission in the Western world."

"I do not think that I will do the same things of the true Aeneas of Anchises, dear Pausanias. My former country is unsuitable for the successful completion of my task. As previously planned, will China be the nation more appropriate? Hard-working people make up one billion three hundred million people, who are the ninety per cent moves by bicycle or on foot. Do you know how long they will take to build the same number of electric motors without a fuss!"

"We talked already about this matter, Aeneas. It's poor people and will not have the resources to build all these engines without anyone giving them monetary compensation."

"To that, I'll provide for myself. And then, I beg you, from this day forward, call me Henry. Henry Campbell, an American engineer. I disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean three months ago but who will reappear on board a boat on the Yangpu Jiang, opposite the Yuangpu Park with a briefcase of calotex and everything containing that one of Aeneas, with the difference, instead... 

ΩΩΩ

 

They all gathered at the home of Achelais, in the countryside. It was that Aeneas had promised himself after the gruelling course of study in the palace of the Grand Council, under the direction of Pausanias. He had had some contacts with some professors, each of whom had taught him, like a puzzle, a part of his specialization, and thanks to the use of the big chemo-computer had succeeded brilliantly to pass the final exams. For the three of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, being considered 'normal' in Kallitala, there were no problems, but the most difficult of all, having given him a commitment to the limit of his intellectual capacity, had been the history of peoples of the Earth with their culture and icing over the cake, the learning of the Chinese language, which now he spoke and wrote to perfection.

Phaedra missed him a lot. And given if he met her at Poseidon, they should jump at the neck for happiness, attracting the attention. A thing considered indecent by the inhabitants of the Capital. They have agreed to embrace themselves in the house of Alcinous. Paris should accompany them there in his car. Despite having started to prepare for the marriage, Aeneas had not granted enough time that this union would happen smoothly since he had to leave in three days. For that reason, he decided to leave two with Phaedra and his family and the last in Poseidon to take delivery of the material to bring with him, including the American money, accepted all over the world outside.

But how the Hellenes get the American dollars, so too when needed, also of other things about the city life of the Western world?

As for the American currency, it has been Diomedeous, professor of economics and finance, to explain it to him. When needed, were shipped in the Western world some fishing boats full of the crew, each formed by a dozen Hellenes, to download and sell large batches of fish products among the most valuable, such as snapper, swordfish and, particularly, a big quantity of crustaceans, much appreciated by the men, willing to pay them for their weight in gold. Nobody paid any attention to the generality of the fishermen, who sold in bulk, promptly cashed the money and, before that anyone would take an interest in them, they had already left for another similar operation, but going to another port. In this manner, over time, the 'treasure' of the government of Kallitala enriched itself as exorbitant, so there was no spending limit but, indeed, of encumbrance to carry all those banknotes whose value never exceeded the hundred dollars. However, when Aeneas expressed the fear of how to bring along that huge swag, the same Pausanias explained to him the mystery. The calotex, besides being a durable material, water-repellent in which it did not sink, had the property to reduce the paper as any tissue, of more than a thousand times.

To slip in a billion of dollars was a joke as well as all clothing that should serve him during the stay outside Kallitala that, unlike the man who perished in the original mission, whose plaque-monument stood in the cemetery of Poseidon, a memento of the first and biggest hero of the Fatherland, Henry could survive for a pretty long time, having lived as a man for thirty-two years, Complete dresses or combinations of jackets with pants, shirts, and shoes, ties, and socks: it seemed a dream. Everything was neatly put in and, in a compartment, also well placed the solar panels for demonstration and two sets of mirillinis for possible their use in case of need. Furthermore, all the amenities are required during an extended stay in the polluted world. And, I wonder, the suitcase did not weigh more than one of those normal things that usually, a busy man brought along.

Aeneas, now transformed into a Hellene, although he would present himself in another part of the globe as engineer Henry Campbell resurrected, should keep all senses sharpened who had assimilated in Kallitala, indispensable to be aware of the pitfalls and if necessary, to defend himself against possible attacks, particularly the movement speed by only walking, thanks to the lightness to the body and to the invention chemical-technologic tested specifically for that mission assuming what had happened to their first messenger of salvation, which had been inserted by him under the skin: a cheriosmate powered. A kind of small motor at pulses that responded to the breathlessness of the wearer making him immediately disappear into space just a brief time to disorient the enemy.

Only a brief nod of understanding with Paris, an unusual thing, given that not seeing themselves by three months and after, go to the two in the car in the direction of Anticyra, such as the name for the locality. Where was the countryside of the Achelais? Paris was strangely silent. Aeneas believed that was due to the complicated manoeuvre to get out of Poseidon, but when they turned onto the highway that exceeded the low hills to enter the plane, he marvelled that his future brother-in-law, usually always discursive, would not be saying a word.

"Something bothering you, Paris?" I asked Henry once the car reached the cruising speed, which is less than half an hour should carry them to the destination.

Paris looked at him with a sad look, so Aeneas insisted on asking him if something serious had happened by chance in the family.

"It's about you, my friend Henry," he answered. By now, he attached himself to that name and was not spontaneous for him to call one of his missing friends.

"I, you say! What should I ever do if I were always indoors for three months in the palace of the Grand Council?"

“God forbid, my friend! You did not do anything wrong and then, since you became Hellene, except giving a big disappointment to Phaedra, I love your sister, and I should rather die than cause pain to her. Should you understand to say that she does not approve of my participation in the mission?"

"That assignment, I assure you, finds the consent of any inhabitant of Kallitala. It is an issue that although presents itself unsolvable for a Hellene of birth and to you, on the contrary, gives some assurance of success to all of us, Achelais brings much sadness and does not find the approval of Phaedra. Nevertheless, do not believe that is due to the postponement of the marriage. My sister, who loves you to madness, fears that you will not return."

"Besides having more allocations than my predecessor, I know better than you, all the human mind and my choice to reappear in China rather than in the United States, will guarantee the success of the operation 'solar panel.'

"But why just in China?" did replicate Paris, with a note of despair. "Such a vast territory and with an infinite number of inhabitants."

"All-good, good workers, who by some centuries fought to survive against the odds and not used as the Westerners to the comforts and the convenience. They have not. It is true, there is a particular need at the present for the utilization of the solar panel because the motorization in their vast territory is just early on, except in the big cities but are you sure that they will immediately understand its commercial importance."

"That should be that of the building and commercialized."

"Vehicles with an electric motor powered by our special neutrino's solar panel."

"In this way, however," objected Paris, "the poor countries should not buy them."

"I will put into a condition that one hundred thousand vehicles sold; a thousand were intended freely to them."

"And the producers of crude oil?"

"Do sort it out. Moreover, they drained the wealth of the industrialized world. As poor Bedouin, they have become rich as Croesus and used evil the money gained. I do not make any particular reference, but some of them are still indirectly raised the terrorism, soiling his hands of horrendous crimes owed to the hate that has never managed to win against the democratic civilizations, although also these latter are corrupted by the money God."

"It's a pity that all the major manufacturers of cars, planes, ships, and vehicles, in general, among which included some famous brands, will have to suspend the operations of their factories..."

"My dear friend Paris," did Aeneas, affecting his face with a sarcastic smile, "this is the proof that you do not know the men. As soon as I put into circulation the vehicles built by the Chinese, you'll see how they will push themselves!"

"There, no war will break out. I hope!"

"The Chinese are pretty hard and confident of the procrastination and indecision of the crude oil producers in the industrialized Countries will manage to place the hundred million vehicles equipped with our solar panels. Then, if they keep their positions, probably a war will burst but, as you know, it will not be atomic."

"Many human beings will die."

"We are unable to do anything on their behalf. It is in their nature to kill each other. The human beast is always lying-in ambush within their minds," said Aeneas sighing. "Maybe if we intervened on each of them with one small modification to a DNA codon..."

"The chemical laboratories of Kallitala should not be able to produce enough adusbralina."

"Ah! It's in such a mode that's named?"

"Yes, and since its main compound comes from a substance produced by a Hellene body that provides it only once in his life, we have a reduced reserve of what we need in an emergency, as already happened a long time ago," and waving to Aeneas not interrupting, he added: "It not even contemplated the project to produce that substance by a chemical process. Our scientists perhaps should be able to do it, but it should take at least two years to get to consistent production."

"As with the solar panels, right?"

"Sure, and above all, the vehicle to carry them. That huge sunken ship, for its construction we took a full year, using some substantial mineral resources. In short, Aeneas, my friend, do urge you because Kallitala is not an inexhaustible reserve. The construction of more than a billion solar panels has almost dried up our stocks, especially those of diamonds, copper, bauxite, and tungsten."

"Why, the gold, no?"

"The company where Phaedra works, as you know, extracts it from the sea, pumping the water to the limit of our territory now exploited, and production is ever-growing. The construction of the solar panels has not minimally affected our reserves amounting to one hundred million tons."

"I read the provisions delivered to me by Pausanias that I must retrieve those precious minerals that here begin to run low. That is a reason I will reappear in China whose sole regime does not allow its people to hold gold and jewellery, in general, although it has vast reserves of diamonds. It will not be difficult to also procure copper and bauxite, while for the tungsten..."

"Will it be difficult to have it?" I asked Paris, frowning.

"Not at all. My request for this material will make them just smile. Its use gradually abandoned for other compounds that are replacing the filaments for lighting."


2           LANDING FROM THE SARGASSO

  

Although they would tell him and show him further, with an image on the computer, Henry should never imagine himself that it would be so big. His tapered shape made it look like a submarine of the class of those atomic supplied to the US Navy, but the Sargasso, such was his name, not only had a length ten times more and a width quadruple, but it had ten bridges, in eight of which systematically crammed the solar panels that should unload on the Chinese coasts with a very original system. An exceptionally long arm like a walkway should emerge from the sea in such a manner without noticing the big submarine, should load the hundred huge rubber rafts that could carry thirty thousand panels each. So that, once finalized the agreements by the Chinese government, in less than three days, working day and night, the first billion should discharge on the ground. The rafts should return underwater - the last two loaded. The first with ten tons both of tungsten and copper and the second of twenty tons of bauxite and fifty kilograms of industrial diamonds, at the condition, that each would not be less than half a karat. Than the Sargasso, with the whole crew, should resume the way back to Kallitala, remaining at anchor off Poseidon, under the commandments of the new Archon to be or not as much loaded with as many panels, after their construction with the recovered materials in addition to those, of course, available in abundance in the island-continent.

Another surprise awaited Henry. It was about the time since his landing. It should be secret, thanks to the cheriosmate inserted through the skin of him, which should allow transferring himself by night from an aviolobe to a Chinese boat on the Yangtze River, and from there to the Peace Hotel in Shanghai. This aviolobe had characteristics unique. Its dimensions were those of a small reconnaissance aircraft but without wings, which could carry a passenger in addition to the pilot and flew within a magnetic field, so as not to be identified by any individual instrument and should cover the eight hundred miles of the Sargasso and the Chinese city in just five minutes.

As he had guessed, when he was accompanied to visit the aviolobe, those two passenger seats behind the pilot seat had to be inserted at the last moment, as it was usual in that type of aeroplane, there was only one place that was occupied by the reconnoitred man. He had not, however, made some awkward questions to Heraclides, the commander of the Sargasso, although he would show all sympathy to him.

The human instinct that was yet in Henry had discouraged him for fear that he would tell him what of which he was afraid and that, in his opinion, should upset his plans. Only when it was time to board the plane, he noticed from below that the pilot was talking to someone behind him. He began to climb the steps of the ladder exceptionally slowly while he thought with the pounding heart who could be that person. If a control officer who was giving the latest explanations to the pilot or but could be ever, it is?

Henry took his place with some difficulty on the narrow seat and immediately after being installed there, he received a light slap on the shoulder. He turned and found himself in contact with a man of robust physique who ill-suited to the chair on which, more than sitting remained crouched so that her thighs overflowed from there, invading all the free space, who welcomed him with a winning smile springing itself by a square-jawed face.

"Hello friend Henry Campbell," he told himself in a stentorian voice. "I am Melesigenes, your companion of the mission." And, to the attempt of replication of Henry, he added: "Of course, during our stay in the human world, I will behave like an American because, as to you, my name was changed to Lloyd Clodell. You know. For the Chinese, it will be easier to pronounce it."

After swallowing for the surprise, Henry, confused by a jumble of thoughts to adapt himself to the new situation, issued a laconic: "Hello!" Exaggerating his attention in settling down in the narrow space left. Not finding a place to put it, he had to learn the calotex briefcase on his knees, and while the aviolobe detached itself off the Sargasso emerged specifically for that task, he reflected on the unusual fact that proved the complete confidence that the new Archon had on him.

'Maybe...' he had to reflect, 'having remained in me something of human. He had believed that once returned among the men, I would involve myself in my old nature, especially with an impressive lot of money that I have in the briefcase along with all the technical, biological paraphernalia, and the three solar panels on new concepts. They doubt that my genetic modification is not perfect. They are wrong!' ended with a slap on his thigh, drawing the attention of Melesigenes, who did not miss anything about the behaviour of his fellow of the mission.

However, it seemed that man would expect any and every reaction of spite by Aeneas, and he had been trained to perfection thanks to the onboard computer that connected with Proteus. While the navigation, long enough because the commander of the massive submarine had preferred to round the Cape of Good Hope instead of passing through the stormy Cape Horn, Melesigenes had never revealed himself to Aeneas but had remained to receive in his cabin the instructions through the supercomputer of Poseidon. The evening meal was served to him by an ancillary specially chosen for that service. On the Sargasso, the crew was promiscuous, and nothing justified the sharp division between males and females not only because each had their private accommodation but, above all, because it was contrary to the way of life Hellene. There were no prejudicial to justify the inferiority of one sex over the other as it happened a bit too often among the humans, and the woman held an equal dignity and functions as the male, and both interacted for the best success of their tasks. The commander of the Sargasso man only because had gained experience in the field more than any other, but his second was a woman, and so among the other members of the crew, each of whom did not have a degree, but an assignment. To expose their degree in public, outside of their specific functions, in Kallitala was considered undemocratic because there were no social hierarchies.

Henry did not stay indefinitely to deplore the fact that they would give him a companion. However, while the aviolobe approached itself to the destination, he studied with the help of the laptop at mirillinis a new plan for the presentation to the Chinese. As soon they were brought down, not seen, on a boat already waiting for them in the centre of the Yangtze River, he agreed with Melesigenes - whom henceforth he should call Lloyd – every future movement he believed to do, receiving his unconditional approval.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

They landed in a left bend in the river a few kilometres from Shanghai, and thanks to the cheriosmate found themselves at the Peace Hotel, each one with the bag. Only Henry had the briefcase in calotex, his bag being empty but weighted to make it appear that there would be his things. It was apparent that Lloyd was instructed just to defend him by possible ambushes such as those of which was the real victim Aeneas of Anchises, although was still latent in Henry the suspicion that, in addition to that, Melesigenes was put closest to him so that once in his primordial element, would not prevail with him the human instincts. Both the money he carried as well as the three solar panels, should account for everyone the chance to become rich and powerful.

Everything seemed perfectly organized because, as disclosed before the entrance of the renowned hotel, two willing and exceedingly kind bellboys hinted that it could take their bags and once they received the consent, they made their way to them into the large entrance of the grand hotel.

The formalities between the hastiest and even an eyebrow of the two employee's receptionists stood up when they had to hand the passports of the two Americans to whom assigned the Empress apartment so had been baptized that luxurious lodging. Five minutes later, Henry and Lloyd installed themselves there. Everything already prepared by Proteus, the chemo-processor of Poseidon, each one headed in the assigned area considered that the imperial apartment was composed of two beautiful bedrooms, each with two bathrooms and a living room, having in common a reception hall and a dining room. Things are unnecessary for the occupants presented themselves as busy men who had nothing to do with more diplomatic representation than commercial. That, at least, had thought Henry, in whose mind still floated some human feelings, not having put into the account, however, of what had expected Proteus.

It was the rightest thing. Only an hour later, just the time that each of them would arrange their things and refresh themselves, the green phone at the head of the sumptuous bed of Henry, which distinguished itself by the other of a neutral colour whose derivations were scattered everywhere in the vast apartment rang with a silvery sound, but of an intensity somewhat discreet.

He was an official of the largest metalworking factory Whang Rong Automobiles, still owned by the Chinese state, who asked for confirmation, as agreed, if, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the executive delegation of his company could receive. Henry nodded. The program foresaw the demonstration of the panel's operation on an electric motor that some workers in the factory should install in the showing hall. Once taken the necessary preliminary arrangements are made, the whole Chinese delegation should be invited to the dinner already prepared by the hotel's management.

Lloyd Clovell behaved more like a bodyguard of Henry than a negotiator. He did not let him for a moment, afraid that the ancient human would take aback himself by surprise by the greed and wickedness of the men. Neither he retired himself to rest, except the necessary time to hasty ablutions, near the apartment assigned to him.

"Lloyd, why do you stay here with me?" Henry asked him, noting a certain discontent.

"I have been specially instructed not to let you even for a moment. Do not worry, a friend Henry. It is not for lack of confidence that the Archon has chosen me as your companion, but for the unfortunate experience that the poor Aeneas of Anchises was obliged to experiment on his skin."

"But here we are in China, Lloyd. This environment is not infested with spies and double spies, and overall, by some journalists too pushy."

"Do you think that's right?" I replied to the gentle giant. "Do remember that they are always the smartest, the evilest, and the greediest at the top in the human world and not, as in our island, those who serve the Country for idealism."

"We are here in peace to offer these modest and productive people the ability to export their work all over the world at very accessible prices. So that in a brief time we will be able to cover all the needs of humanity in the field of electric vehicles and, therefore, anti-pollution."

"This city that we have observed in part from the boat on the river is a modern metropolis that can keep the comparison with New York or other major urban centres of the Western world. With what capitals do you think the Chinese have built it?"

"Want us to talk with those westerners?" I answered Henry with a mocking doing, but then, very seriously: "Yes, all right. There are also Americans and, in general, of all the major industrialized countries. Nevertheless, these are trade agreements that have nothing to do with the war industrialization as in my former country."

"Follow my opinion, friend Henry. Although our operations were made easier in China than in the United States, even here you must pay attention, to the contrary, to the introduction of vehicles that do not burn fuels based on petroleum derivatives. And I am nearby for that. Excuse me if my continued presence weighs you."

"But what are you even saying, Lloyd! I did mean that. Only," Henry kept himself silent because he knew that if he continued that insidious topic, should reveal his desire to be merely the sole protagonist of the solar operation panel. Precisely that something vain of that human instinct left in him floated in his mind as if, at service ended happily, his name would perpetuate as the saviour of humanity. If Phaedra guessed that, surely, she should never marry him, and Pausanias then perhaps should promote appropriate punishment, if they would not exceed in sending him definitively in the valley of Boadicea.

The simple phone ring took him off embarrassment when Lloyd was already scrutinizing him with interest.

The director himself warned him that the whole Chinese delegation of the auto industry, just arrived, was waiting in the lobby for the engineer Campbell would do the consent to receive it.

"Wait for a minute," did Henry, cutting for a moment the communication and addressing Lloyd, "should you go to collect in the elevator's area the guests coming up? Meanwhile," and as Lloyd nodded, he reactivated the phone line, and 'mister' director, please, tell me that I am happy to receive them in my modest accommodation." With that, proving to have learned the usual ways of Chinese living.

The delegation consisted of six people, and Henry was not surprised at all. The Chinese had always given immense importance to significant numbers. When they showed up themselves, two of them had the compliance to declare being emissaries of the government, not doing part, then, of the delegation of the Whang Rong factory, whose technical director, the engineer Wangfujing, a man in his fifties who came out of the classic patterns of the Chinese type, being tall about as Henry and more of the other five members of the delegation, ordered his assistant to bring in the apartment the four workers who were waiting in the corridor, who should carry the heavy pallet, with the size of a large refrigerator, containing a modern how powerful electric motor.

The four small men entered the reception hall and in silence and with much skill, they opened the removable panel container, taking away the protective tarpaulin of an engine with the dimension of a blacksmith's lathe.

The two government delegates put themselves at both extremities of the engine while the engineer Wangfujing gave instructions to his three subordinates, among whom there was one, probably his assistant, he called for a more familiar note, Lin Pao. Just this guy linked the sockets of the electric motor to the main transformer and from there to one of the halls. With a sardonic smile, receiving the consent of his principal, he pushed the ignition button and when the engine began to turn up as if it would prove a real thing to a child, turned two clicks of the rheostat to increase its speed.

"Well!" I exclaimed Henry. "With this operation, I imagine that you wanted to make sure that your motor functions," he said quietly, but with a slight note of irony. "Now you can disconnect the electricity and remove that transformer that I consider unnecessary for the experiment." Then, showing what everyone had believed a little picture, to which no one had noticed during the time that was left exposed on a console, said, attracting the attention of the entire assembly: "Here, we are. That is the panel to which has been mentioned to you. Funny, isn't it?"

The Chinese, technical director excluded, laughed squealing, immediately scolded by their boss who approached Henry, to who asked the panel. He looked it over carefully and widened his eyes when he saw the naïve image. Then, like a blind man, he touched it everywhere, turned it over in his hands, examined it meticulously on the front and back, and, unable to veil his disappointment, returned it to Henry.

"You, engineer Wangfujing, are not sure of Chinese extraction?"

"As a citizen, I am indeed, but my mother is Japanese. Why do you address me with such a question, engineer Campbell? "

"Only for your height, which has aroused my curiosity. That's all."

Lloyd, instructed about the necessary tasks, asked the guests to arrange themselves neatly around the electric motor, then, supporting the panel on the flat part of the rotor of the machine, connected it electrically to the engine, later did himself aside waiting for the instructions to Henry. Who, looking straight in the eyes of all the six Chinese, in the end, stared into those of the technical director. "Engineer, to you the privilege to press the button of a start-up."

The engineer Wangfujing approached himself to the engine and, with slight fear, first put his finger on the red button watching the bystanders, then, almost ashamed of his uncertainty, pushed it decisively and the electrical machine set in motion. All, except Henry and Lloyd, looked at themselves around if there by chance would be a wire hidden that would receive the electric current of the hotel. But not having spotted anything, especially the two government officials that had not even the decency of being seen rummaging well also under the big carpet nor to raise the curtains to find out if there would be an under or behind any electrical connection, the technical director of the Whang Rong Automobiles, began to turn the slider to increase the rotor revolutions that started to spin to its maximum speed.

"Enough, engineer!" I almost screamed at Henry when I realized that the Chinese were about to snap the cursor one notch more. "The engine is already at the maximum, if you increase it, it may melt the coil itself."

In front of the spectators dismayed by what they believed a miracle, Henry explained the characteristics of the panel that despite being indoors could not charge to his best for the shielding of the walls, already had a load of twenty-four hours, enough to that before exhausted itself, could recover the energy spent. Of course, if a sole window into the hall would be open, however, the use of power to run a simple vacuum dynamo was so little that it should have a range practically unlimited. A car should be somewhat different, but the car, we know, runs on the roads in the open air and the panel should be 'fed' by itself, both of solar neutrinos than of the global pollution.

By doing ironically triumphant, one of the two officials from the government, a certain Xuahn Li, sure to put on embarrassing the two Americans, said: "Well, gentlemen. We have already set up a car with an electric motor, to which we have removed the batteries. Should their Excellences make it work with that, hem, small picture?"

"But" intervened Engineer Wangfujing, "Now, the program foresaw a conference of Engineer Campbell on the utilization of the solar panel, of its composition and on the probable adverse effects, what I know, on the men wealth or the environment

..." and to a nod of Henry, who wanted to intervene decisively to argue that there should not be the negative effects, the technical director managed to finish his phrase. "And then, the dinner that will seal the deal with our company."

"Friend Xuahn Li," at last could intervene in Henry, "I should be ready to show you how my solar panel should move the car. However, leaving the hotel for a visit to the factory, which is located on the outskirts of Shanghai, and does this additional experiment, should take a long time. The dinner already prepared by the staff of the hotel should jump and, in addition, as rightly has pointed out the chief engineer, I think is extremely helpful that I explain to you in detail the characteristics of the panel at solar neutrinos, since it seems that some of you have not yet been convinced despite having attended to the experiment, we can postpone at tomorrow the test requested by you. Meanwhile,"

"In the meantime?"

“In the meantime?" I had to replicate Xuahn Li.

"I'll list to you the conditions that I put to your government, without the proper and flawless respect of that, our meeting will be served only to introduce ourselves and..." once heard the three agreed-on phone rings, "now let us think to taste the aperitif of the Peace Hotel, after which the dinner will be served. Should we not spoil it, isn't it?"


3    - ASSEMBLY LINE

  

The next day the experiment on the electric car, deprived of its bulky than heavy batteries, had several successes. Running the engine as the car to perfection, this time making the spectators free of any doubt about the quality of that innovation, the solar panel was left for the entire day on the car so would continue to turn the wheels at full speeds on the trestle over which had been placed.

The engineer Wangfujing, by half-breed, he was, contrary to the Chinese temperament that manages well to mask the feelings, became caught himself by the enthusiasm and immediately asked to see the project of the new electric motor by the colleague Campbell, which must be of a standardized shape and more power, so that the body shell of the car would lighten with less material usage and, consequently, with lowered production costs.

"I'm not authorized to do so as long as the whole government does not sign the contract, I have with me," Henry answered to whom, strangely, Lloyd Clovell stood alongside as if to protect him from possible aggression.

At that point, Xuahn Li intervened. "If you cannot show it, given, I realized how you took the briefcase, should I know, at least, in general, what that foresees? You know, I should report to my superiors."

"Just briefly, Mr Xuahn Li, I had mentioned that during the dinner. However, perhaps distracted by the palatability of foods got on our behalf by the incomparable chef of the Peace Hotel, everyone's attention was a bit loose."

"Well, I could repeat to you, engineer Campbell," interjected the technical director of the industry Whang Rong, who mistakenly thought that Xuahn Li would have the authority to give immediately on the operation.

"Thank you, no, engineer," said Henry. "It's good that everyone now must listen to me very carefully."

They sat in the lounge of meetings and Henry, invited to sit next to the president and the general manager of the company, with the loyal Lloyd close to him, opened the briefcase in calotex and pulled out a second panel at solar neutrinos on the back of which mounted with consummate skill a series of mirillinis transforming it into a computer. Although everyone would observe with heightened curiosity, nobody, neither even the engineer Wangfujing, had marvelled at that.

"The Central Point, gentlemen," began Henry as he was receiving the information from the computer, "is to save the world from the senseless pollution that has already dangerously weakened its delicate structure. By which I mean to refer both to the air and water, but I should not exclude that, going at this pace. The whole environment might have deserted itself, so it should also lack all the enzymes that make the soil fertile for the cultivation of those plants that transform themselves into food. We," he continued, "and with the pronoun, I mean a corporation of which I will not specify anything. The primary reason for breaking the agreement is if anyone investigates what it is and where my assistant, and I come from. We want to save the planet and, with it, all beings who live there. We have chosen your people considered by us, in addition, to be great, industrious, and less involved in the oil interests of all more productive countries of the world. That solar panel, of which you have seen the potential capacity, is indestructible and impossible to construct by anybody, except by those technicians who have designed and assembled it. So, we will provide up to two billion units to supply the needs of every single engine that is a slow car, aircraft, or an electrical framework that could run a workshop, or even an entire factory. We calculated that in the entire world will circulate, henceforth to ten years, at least eight hundred million of private cars. The remaining two hundred million solar panels will be employed for all other activities that, also then, will grow over time. Therefore, we should have in our project to furnish another tranche of one billion units."

"Always to us, right?" again the indiscreet Xuahn Li.

"It's not said," replied Henry. "At that point, the extraction of the crude oil should be interrupted and the mentality of the rulers of the greatest nations modified. Do think about how should improve the life then, and I am sure - but this is my opinion - will no longer happen the terrorist attacks because they will not ever have supported by anyone."

"Do you think that there are substantial Arab capitalists to do it?" I said Xuahn Li, attempting to divert the discussion on politics to probe the intentions of that strange man. Furthermore, the American, who was offering to China, the country which remained caught the communism tout court and that had never expressed much sympathy for the United States even after the brief period of the Nixon presidency, where the Americans would waive some big commercial affairs.

"Too far from me to say such a thing, Mr Xuahn Li," replied Henry. "Just that, turning in those parts an enormous swirling as a massive turnaround of money, some of it comes, maybe in a roundabout way, to the angry and fundamentalist minorities, those precisely, that foment uprisings by the name of buggy principles that not only fit at all in the Islamic religion, but they are mere mental aberrations, worthy of careful and thorough psychiatric examinations. The contempt of life of others and their one is a legacy of the dark times that the man had lived perhaps in the Neolithic when his brain had not yet developed." Received. However, a decent dig of the elbow by Lloyd. He realized himself not to talk as a Hellene but as man and with a particular polemical inspiration: "Dear Sirs," he limits himself to say calmly and articulating well the words of its fresh Chinese, "I beg your pardon. I said silly things about a subject that is not within my task. Do we come back to talk about the deal of the panels, please?”

"Ah, then!" I exclaimed Xuahn Li. "It's about some business affairs so that you are handling. And, please, what should you want in exchange?" he affirmed, watching his countrymen with irony.

"Do you see the commercial that I'm offering you?" Henry replied resentfully. "I justify you, Mr Xuahn Li because you'll make a good impression with your superiors to whom you must report, perhaps immediately after this informal conference, giving your opinion that, at least to hear your argumentations, will not be quite favourable." He paused and pinned his look in everyone's face with such a frown that nobody wanted to replicate. "I assure you that you are wrong, and if the others thought like you, they too should be in error. And roughly, I assure you."

"I firmly believe in what you've affirmed, engineer Campbell," said in a voice acute, but firm, the President of the Whang Rong, so for a long time remained silent to listen carefully to the exchange of views. "I hope that the comrade Dr Xuahn Li is of my opinion, and he expressed to you those questions just to better explore your intentions." "That is, do, believe me, Mr President. The best," Henry answered.

"But it's true that you do not want anything in exchange?" I timidly asked the general manager, despite. He would support with a knowing look of his president.

"Of course, indeed, that we want!" I said Henry, who, to demonstrate his security, drummed on the suitcase in calotex. "Although it is a good bargain for you and to the extent that you will be allowed, as well enormously lucrative will be quite burdensome because to build the electric motors agreeing to the plans that I will give you as soon as will have signed the agreement with your whole the government will commit your workers in such a massive way, that you will be forced to contract out the work in other factories throughout China."

"But who will guarantee that you could buy our engines running with your panel?" I said to the general manager, who now felt free to intervene.

"You will create points of sale in the most industrialized sites in the world, doing demonstrations that will develop the franchise contracts and, consequently, strong sales." "But it will take an enormous capital outlay that the Whang Rong will not endure. Do you know how much it will cost to create a branch? A significant amount, which must multiply by a disproportionate number of subsidiaries in the industrialized world. We do not have this seed money, although I must recognize that we will draw a considerable gain. And finally, kind engineer Campbell, we must account for this construction of these individual electric motors. Where to bring the money, which we need to buy the appropriate quantity of raw material that will require us?"

Henry replied before with a smile always drumming his fingers on the briefcase, then with a decided doing, since he expected to get to that point, he said: "That one will advance to me, do not worry." He should mean that he had everything in the briefcase but stopped himself in time. What should think the Chinese, if they see that he should come out with a billion dollars?

"Will you also tell me that you have deposited it in a Chinese bank without us knowing?" interjected Xuahn Li, with the usual woody voice.

"Dear Friend," Henry smiled, "I should not be amazed by this assembly, but I prefer to proceed in stages. Now is essential the agreement ought to be signed by your government. "

"And if you would not have the money and would be all a bluff?" said Xuahn Li, addressing the leaders of the Whang Rong. "If he would have only the panels and not the two billion promised?"

"I've promised you only one billion. Which as the money, will come out at the right time," Henry replied blandly, showing heavenly patience.

"But I should say..."

"That's enough!" The little voice dry and vibrant of the President froze the hall. "You, Dr Xuahn Li were overcrossing all limits of decency and your insinuations are outside of your tasks. Let us see how the operation progresses. The Chinese government has nothing but to gain in it. This panel at solar neutrinos, is in such a way that they are called, is not? Solar, is marvellous, indeed and even the mere fact that our American friends will bother themselves to show us, for us it is again because if, as you affirm, would not afford the money you need and the billions of panels, tell me Xuahn Li, what we should lose, eh?" And, flowing his look in the face of all present to discover a possible negative reaction, he fixed it in the eyes of the government inspector. "It's in the traditional and friendly millennial welcome that the Chinese people have always exercised against any stranger, what do you say of that? Do you lose your sight, by chance?"

"I beg your pardon, sir," replied Xuahn Li, lowering his head. Then, addressing the two Americans: "Please forgive me, I did drag by my investigative duties."

"Does not matter, dear friend," did with a liberating smile. "It was just a professional slight bias. Should you have the goodness to report to your government, urging you to sign the agreement?"

"I'll do it just today when I will reach Beijing with the Falcon jet of the Army."

ΩΩΩ

 

Aboard the Sargasso, life flowed with the same rhythm as ever, although the whole crew - a hundred among men and women – would not feel at its perfect ease. It is known that the Hellenes did not particularly like going to sea, an idiosyncrasy transmitted to them by the ancient ancestors who had suffered in discovering Kallitala months and months of sailing in what they considered the hell, such it was excruciating and unknown. Neither they could trust if the case the mission would last a long time too, with a change of the crew because they were the only ones trained in this special work since as first Proteus, the powerful chemo-processor, second the entire Grand Jury and finally with the final the decision of the Archon had been approved for the salvation of the planet Earth, to give to humanity the panels at solar neutrinos. They had the time to train themselves during the construction and the preparation of the submarine vessel on which now we are sailing over the surface of the Chinese Sea. The area that is not particularly haunted by the American nuclear submarines, which are present in almost the whole globe. However, the master Heraclides holds himself regularly in an alert to the control of the special equipment capable of identifying anybody who would float around them within ten miles.

The autonomy of the Sargasso was unlimited. His four powerful and silent motors at the atomic energy produced by the cold fusion kept the big ship like a miniaturized version of Kallitala. The greenhouses, created specifically on the two floors below that of the command and the crew quarters kept at a constant the temperature of twenty degrees and ideal humidity, wet by a night drizzle enriched with mineral salts and vitamins, produced within a month of the humans all products of agriculture, especially fruit and vegetables.

An electromagnetic system, placed in the queue of the Sargasso, worked as a trawl, only that his range was no more than thirty meters deep so that the submarine could supply itself with fresh fish only when surfaced. In that situation, as in the small aviolobe that had transported Henry and Lloyd landed them on the river Yangpu Jiang, was created a magnetic dome modelled like that one of Kallitala, to become undetectable by any human instrument both natural and mechanical.

The onboard life was made less monotonous by the commitment of the entire crew to perform their duties and, during the long hours of rest, with their dedication to reading or watching movies and documentaries. The submarine, whose eight lower decks were loaded with solar panels, also had a gym at all points with an adjacent regulatory field of handball. This special sport was much practised in Kallitala and had several teams in all the cities of the island continent, who were tearing a championship at various levels. A competitive sport like everyone else practised by the humans conciliated better; however, the social relations, because gave way to the viewer to follow all the phases that took place a few meters from the stands. Further, it does not forecast a multitude of people who, taken from the sporting passion, should cause sudden movements of the crowd that, though unintentional, could cause damage to people and property.

In the extension of the observation tower of the Sargasso was housed the two aviolobes of reconnaissance, like that one, had transported Henry and Lloyd in the proximity to the city of Shanghai. This aircraft, which flew inside an electromagnetic bubble to render them invisible both to the eyes of the men than to their most sophisticated contraptions had also the task of crisis intervention that the two Hellenes, whom we are dealing with the Chinese the government would become targets to hit or kidnap by the secret services of the major industrialized powers, including the crude oil producers. They were able, once alerted by the security system of the Sargasso, to intervene in just half an hour to neutralize with targeted spraying of Sapotran any aggressor and subsequently to board the two compatriots to bring them to safety.

The Archon had given specific provisions so that would not happen. The same thing arrived three months before to the Aeneas of Anchises, to whom had erected a monument in the memory of a hero of the sixth century that has just begun. The calendar of Kallitala marked the date from the year six hundred four.

For that reason, the work turns to the crew of the massive submarine vessel, was organized so never lose contact through the monitors with Henry Campbell, the task of Lloyd providing only his immediate intervention in case of danger, who ought not at any time to interfere in the negotiations that were to be conducted exclusively by the novel Aeneas of Anchises. The monitors of the Sargasso were connected either with Proteus than to a portable laptop at mirillinis, conditioning that Henry had mounted them on the solar panel. For the emergency, solutions should be the cheriosmate to give the alarm and show the trail of the sudden movements of the two Hellenes.

In the last lower deck, there was a large hall with the four dominant atomic engines with as many pumps which, sucking water, pushed it through the nozzles with such a force as to shift to the enormous boat several tons to navigate in immersion at the fantastic speeds of over thirty-five knots at three hundred meters below the sea surface. The navigation system was among the most sophisticated, since the route traced by the big chemo-processor and a high radar system gradually corrected it to avoid any albeit small obstacle, especially some massive wrecks semi-submerged or the big sea mammals.


4     -      OPERATIONS IN PROGRESS

 


    "Paris, do tell me. Are you sure, indeed, that Aeneas has made the best choice? I fear that..."

"This time, my sister, there is no risk. The Sargasso has two amazingly fast aviolobes that can intervene to draw him out of trouble."

"To draw him out of trouble! However, here we handle his life, other than trouble, Paris."

"Life, indeed, come on, Phaedra, you're not exaggerating a bit? Even the risk of life!"

"And that poor man that had destroyed himself wanting not to reveal our secrets?"

"Well, I think he got caught by the orgasm. We talked about him at the factory. Having lost all the peculiarities of our DNA, which, as you know, destroy themselves who lived more than eight days in the world of men, he could no longer think. If he were to bring himself by those of the helicopter, just half an hour later should intervene in the Sargasso."

"What could he have done if the submarine should not have onboard an aviolobe?"

"Once in a radius of one kilometre from the helicopter, the Sargasso should create a magnetic dome and wrap in Aeneas with the others."

"And what should they do with the men trapped?"

"Once they bring Aeneas to safety, they should let them free."

"After that, they would see that huge sunken ship! Do you know how to behave like human beings?"

"Not exactly. Do you know how?"

"Aeneas had explained to me," answered Phaedra, whose face empurpled itself in revealing to her brother a secret learned by Henry.

"And then, my sister?"

"They should chase to the Sargasso and, despite. They would have any chance to find it because it enjoys the invisibility like our island, they should increase their suspicions about the existence of unknown people and, perhaps, especially the Americans, instead of playing in sending some objects in the space, spending massive amounts of capital devotes all their energies to research Kallitala."

"They should never manage." "Are you so sure?"

"Of course! They have a technology rather outdated than ours, although..."

"Although?"

"If they did detonate two hydrogen bombs in the centre of the Atlantic..."

"What should happen?" I asked Phaedra to tremble and frightened Phaedra.

"That we all should die, and the volcano beneath us will explode because the human bombs should prime an earthquake of such proportions that should destroy all the lands, which are located within the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the entire Gulf of Guinea. With us will also perish in millions and millions of men and animals. It should be a global catastrophe."

"So, our Archon was right to say that our first Aeneas of Anchises had been a great hero."

"Sure. It is all recorded. Proteus had warned him what we should risk, in the last link with his laptop at mirillinis, that's why he sacrificed himself."

"That all, however, leaves the doubt, Paris."

 "Should it be?"

"If once Aeneas is trapped, it should not be better to relegate the helicopter and his entire crew to Boadicea."

"In the current situation of emergency, we canno longer afford to maintain that valley. The Archon has decided to make it livable for us and to restrict the cone for the entrance to the air. Did you know that there will be a large factory built there," Paris said to her, whispering it in her ear.

"We have arrived at this point, indeed."

"Do we hope for your future husband?"

"Alone, what will he ever do..."


5 -  STARTING COMPLICATIONS

  

The first units of cars were already ready, although the Chinese would use the electric motors for a long time stored in the sheds and not utilized because unsuitable to work with batteries of old conception. In the meantime, the engineers of the factory Whang Rong were still studying the design of the electrically-operated motor delivered by Henry to Wangfujing, chief of the plant, Mr Wangfujing. Some prototypes of vehicles at the solar panel were turning continuously for days before the ring road test at the factory itself, and it seemed that the testers were enthusiastic about them.

Henry, who was aware of this irregularity, had to intervene on his way back from Beijing. He had been invited for three days only because the leaders in the government had wanted to meet him in person, despite having signed any agreement. In short, a visit of diplomatic representation. I came to take him with the executive aircraft that was the same Xuahn Li, so mistrustful during the first approaches and then. However, so happy as a clam, having been him the bearer of that sensational news, the party leaders awarded him to a decided advance in grade, naming him plenipotentiary for the future negotiations between the governments of those overriding nations to which sell the cars powered by that formidable solar panel of extraordinary than inexhaustible performance.

The unexpected visit had taken Henry to the embarrassment of continuing to suffer the company of the beautiful Chinese whose fresh name was Kekou. The night they had dinner together she had shown uninhibited, marvelling Henry, who had considered her at first glance not only private but also a bit timid. Consequently, when had served them the appetizers and realized the embarrassment of the girl was Henry in commencing the conversation understanding, however, that those sentences were quite ordinary, such as not to stimulate Kekou to feed the chat. Immediately after finishing enjoying the appetizer, awakening in him the human eloquence for the fault of just swallowing alcohol to which he no longer used started the argument that led him to choose China instead of another Country. The reasons given were more than justified because they spoke of China as a square barker. Only then Kekou began to talk on the subject with such an ability to get almost to the point to ask him very explicitly from what strange country he was coming, because it was not at all credible that an American would charge of such a humanitarian mission to those greatly convenient conditions, and in Chinese's territory, subsequently!

I luckily had intervened in time the adusbraline, present in his body, which had prevented him from saying what the smart girl was just about to make him confess. Since then, he had used the same language utilized by the members of the government and with those of Whang Rong Automobiles, taking refuge behind the strict conditions that he had placed on them. Kekou, who until then had trusted her beauty, charm, and a lovely voice warm and persuasive, picked at just the tasty food that attentive waiters were serving them, food that Henry. However, since his only meal during the day, ate with taste and appetite.

The conversation languished until the final course and when about to get up to go to the American Bar, Kekou, in a flash of cunning, tried to turn the situation to her favour. Bending with a graceful movement of Henry's ear, she whispered: "Should we not, on the contrary, ask to bring us something to drink, in your room?"

"Why not?" answered as a blackbird, Henry, but soonest, once rebalanced the being Hellene in him, he corrected himself: "And 'that, do see Kekou, surely I should have a…" he was to the point to say a' commitment' that he had not. "I am fatigued. Tomorrow morning, I must get up at dawn to go to the factory. Where my presence is necessary because the work progresses. I'm sorry," and taking up absolute control. He concluded: "I have just enough time to keep you company for a drink. I would like a cup of tea with you?"

The grace of the girl was equal to her beauty, as she answered with a serious tone of voice: "Good idea, Henry. Tea is just what we want."

Nevertheless, not doing herself won, to the return of Henry, the next day, from the Whang Rong, she went to encounter to remind him that they should dine again together. And so long until he had moved to Beijing albeit, despite the extensive conversation fed by a Xuahn Li triumphant to have obtained the promotion, he would do nothing but nodding to his interlocutor, but in his mind, he had intensely thought if he would let himself say by chance some extreme confidence with the beautiful Kekou. Certain phrases uttered by her could be understood in double meaning and Henry, perhaps intoxicated by the charm of the attractive Chinese remembering, while he watched her, his graceful Phaedra had answered too exhaustively letting her know that he was coming from an unknown world and that his task was to convince the 'humanity' to reduce, until its complete elimination, the environmental pollution due to emissions of smokes of any engine fueled by hydrocarbons. And, supported by an enhanced memory, he remembered that had also hinted to her at a greater availability of solar panels to distribute in other parts around the world.

The Chinese girl, during the exposure of those extraordinary things, had, with deliberate indifference masked her keen interest. Only the expression 'humanity', had just made her eyebrows, but nothing more. In his photographic memory, during the flight, despite the constant chattering of Xuahn Li, Henry had revised that definition and, for the first time since had set foot in China, worried himself of that, regretting the presence of the loyal Melesigenes.

The Achilles heel of the Hellenes remained that of being obliged to breathe only pure air, despite the technology that had seen them overtake at least a thousand years more than the men. He has not chosen by chance. He must, with his presence, accelerate the construction of the new vehicles. In addition, to be alongside Xuahn Li who soon should go to all the selected countries to inaugurate the branches of the big factory, to illustrate the features of the modern concept cars so those would accept and purchase thanks to their very favourable price.

They spoke of that with the direction of the Chinese government. The President and, with him, the entire Committee approved, agreeing as well also the price that must be equal to one-third of the cost of an automobile of the same category. With the fact that knowing the car drivers, Henry had given orders which the machines produced would be of diverse types, although powered by the alike electric motor which had to be falsely classified in its amperage, giving the impression that, like those feds with the gasoline, the higher electrical capacity would be equivalent to a greater power. Who besides if it were true. The power available to the small solar panel was such that if it was made to full use, it would impress to the car the strength of an engine of over a thousand HP with disastrous consequences, easy to imagine, especially if it was driven by a daredevil. For this reason, in the project handed to the Chinese was expected a limiter that nobody could calibrate risking the self-destruction of the panel and the inability to open the electric motor, given that even the little mechanism, with the entry of air, should transform itself into an anonymous piece of rusty metal.

The Chinese, in building, did not know exactly to what it would serve either, as agreed, nobody should ask of that to Henry, who had already confirmed that one of the conditions of such an outstanding deal on behalf of China was not to ask some questions in that sense, because, indeed, he would not be able to give a logical and comprehensive explanation.

That morning Henry waited that Xuahn Li would give to him the plan of the route chosen by the Central Committee to present the first cars in the Western countries. The factory Whang Rong had prepared just ten and after their presentation in the foreign markets, it was expected that they should produce at least ten thousand a day, most of which should remain in China, particularly in the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Zhengzhou.

At the time, two Boeing 747 Cargos of the China Airlines, should do the backhand-forth to transport the automobiles for their sale and if bought them at once, to cover the first needs of money, they should construct in a vast quantity. The others, which in the meantime should produce copious amounts by the car factory should load onto big ships uniquely equipped.

Xuahn Li found it strange that Henry would decline his invitation to travel together. The first chosen destination was Germany with the two cities of Monaco of Bavaria and Stuttgart, headquarters of major car manufacturers, each having under test an experimental hydrogen car.

"All the appointments have been seized, engineer Campbell. I hope you will accept to travel with me. Our cargo plane carrying the first three specimens of different power has a passenger area luxuriously furnished. During the flight, I will be happy to make you taste some of Beijing's culinary specialities," he said and Henry, with a smile and a swinging motion to the head, made him realize that was not at all the case.

"But how, engineer Campbell! Do not will, not, I hope, show you delayed! You know. The demonstration program is almost sizable."

"It is not in the agreements that I am part of your delegation. Moreover, you will not travel alone. You'll have been close, in addition to diplomatic staff, also several professionals, ten sales agents, and some experienced advisers," answered Henry with a smile, as he is accustomed to doing since he stayed in China.

"But Mr Henry!" I exclaimed to Xuahn Li that, faithful to the orders received, had to do anything to convince the American to travel with his delegation for fear that he would take another direction.

"Do not worry, Mr Plenipotentiary," Henry replied with irony. "Although that does not fall within my tasks, I assure you that I will be on time for the first presentation in Monaco." He wanted to add that he could arrive there before him, but the Hellene instinct stopped him in time. If he said that, should give some explanations, thereby increasing the curiosity of his interlocutors, especially that very cunning Kekou.

The individual aviolobe that the Archon had placed at his disposal, was ready to take off from the roof on the government building of Poseidon and to a simple command of Henry through the transmission central of the Sargasso, at that time in 'deep' navigation towards Kallitala, in half an hour, it should suspend over the river of Shanghai and in the same short time, it should deposit Henry with his calotex briefcase place on a small boat situated in a bend of Kleinhesseloher See in the English Garden, in the heart of the vast city of Bavaria, at least six hours before the arrival of Chinese Jumbo. Henry should lodge at the Hilton Munich Park, located a few hundred meters from the pond.

He intended to hear and evaluate the comments directly by the staff of the large car factory, including what should be written in the local newspapers, since the visit of the Chinese delegation with the prototypes of the three awesome cars was announced already for a week.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

He warned the director of the Peace Hotel that he should shy away for two, at most three days. He put something of his clothing in the briefcase where there was already all the paraphernalia, including money and solar panels, and went to himself to the nearest pier on the river was addressing to the usual boatman who had paid handsomely for a similar service, obtained the rowing small boat to make a 'spin'. The elder river man received him with several bows and asked him of those rare excursions into the water that forced him to go and retrieve his boat left at the mercy of the current, albeit his little evil eyes conveyed an accomplice's condescension. Nevertheless, anyhow, the fee that the American gave him was so generous that even he would lose it. He had too much money to buy two new boats.

In the centre of the great river, taking advantage of a brief time when the traffic was a bit thinned out and thanks to cheriosmate he had under the skin. He made a jump and was sucked into the cockpit of the Hellene aircraft, behind the pilot who greeted him with a 'Welcome, dear friend Aeneas!' while giving him a gentle pat upon the shoulder. Then, at the mention of Henry meaning that he was professionally installed, he rolled the throttle to gain altitude to the aviolobe doing which is a noticeably brief time it got flying over India.

At last, the amazingly fast magnetic ball was on the pond in the middle of the park sprinkled by a shining Sun that made him look like an enormous emerald with the inclusion of bright lapis lazuli and Henry, taking advantage that the local renter of boats would be busy with two clients who with their small embarkation was docking got down on an unattended boat. He sent a brief greeting to the invisible pilot and sat on the little bench with the quietest air around the world, waiting for the German man to join him. The thing that happened in a few minutes and the boat renter, even not intrigued by the fact that a man dressed in a blue complete suit with a tie in tone, beautiful shoes, and notwithstanding indeed, with the briefcase by his side, underlined to him that the minimum rental time was an hour at the price of fifteen euros.

During the accelerated course with Pausanias, it had not been contemplated the need to learn the German language, so that the poor Henry, who had not understood the word remained dazed and at the questioning look of the boatman, hinted to be an American. "Ah!" did the man, pointing with his arm to the nearby hotel, "Hilton's customer you?" And to the affirmative nod of Henry, "Vhis sboat costvs fifteen euros for an hour."

"Are OK, fifty dollars?"

"Shon, gut, gut," said the man, and once pocketed the note, "pthanks many."

The small boat, after a powerful thrust of the charter, arrived at more than ten meters from the shore even before that Henry would take the oars in hand then, with some energetic shot of the paddle, he earned the centre of the pond and there, quietly, and not saw by anyone, although he would always observe the German man opened his briefcase, took out both panel and mirillinis, and within few seconds mounted the computer. Which gave him the exact position of the two Chinese jumbo planes that got off from Shanghai. They were just flying over the foothills of Tibet and should not arrive before the evening. He had all the time. He reserved a park-front apartment at the Hotel Hilton giving the number of the credit card, real but not spendable. He should pay cash.

Before he started to disassemble the computer, considering that he had decided to land to the reverse bend and leave the boat there, an emergency signal came to him from Kallitala.

It was the first time that such a thing happened, and he impressed himself as though permitting him to become Hellene. That is, without any sense of panic. However, in a flash, his thoughts flew to Phaedra for fear that something had happened to her. It was, instead, only Proteus, the big chemo-processor, who warned him to be running an unnecessary risk, not foresaw in the plan. Alone as he was, he should remain in China, so in an hour at most, he should reach Melesigenes with the same aviolobe about to land at Poseidon.

His companion should protect him throughout his stay in Germany. The country felt at risk by the presence of too many 'insider' diplomats. The American counterintelligence was aware of his reappearance and of the use of that solar panel to which they had given an unsuccessful chase, causing the annihilation of the first Aeneas of Anchises.

Henry knew who had been to divulge to the news. Certainly, Kekou Shang, the beautiful Chinese on whom he had never relied. He looked around himself if someone followed him but, as far as the other end of the pond crowded with people who are taking advantage of the beautiful day for a spin in a boat, in that area muddy and surrounded by a cane thicker where he landed, there was nobody. The cheriosmate helped him to overcome any obstacle and found him in a thick grove of ilex and oak trees in front of the hotel building. From there, with deliberate indifference and without forcing the pace to a walk that must have seemed a ramble, he headed toward the entrance into the hotel.

To the obsequious chief concierge who, after checking that the booking was in order, asked him the credit card, Henry gave ten hundred-dollar banknotes as a deposit, preferring to pay everything cashes. I had sent the details of his credit card for the sole purpose of accepting the reservation through the Internet. The skilled professional did not bend but ordered his deputy to accompany the gentleman to apartment 511, while Henry beckoned the bellboy to rush for the baggage, saying that he did not need his services. All that he needed to be crammed in the briefcase. And it was true, considering that he had included, also to spare underwear and the necessity of the toilet, as well the black evening dress. What that left in the human in him had whetted the desire to participate in a possible elegant reception.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

The return of Melesigenes to Kallitala was greeted by the entire Grand Council he presented to report on his mission alongside Aeneas of Anchises, with special scepticism. Not for the actions of the brave companion, but for the project that Henry Campbell was performing. Not everyone agreed that China did itself a business promoter with the other nations of the Western world for the purpose to sell them the cars already finished. They, fortified by the experience of the first Aeneas, who had sacrificed the life - to die at thirty-two years old, for a Hellene was an unheard thing, inconceivable and unprecedented - imagined that the most industrialized countries would smoulder some trickery to get hold themselves of the panel even if, once have it, they should be never able to discover exactly how it worked and of what it was done because the only attempt to open it caused his complete self-destruction and the death of the unwary who were there at less than a meter away. However, some decisive factors should encourage them to kidnap engineer Campbell. The first, of course, got going with the United States and, to a lesser extent, by the United Kingdom, should get on their hands the man they considered a genius by the incredibly brilliant brain within addition supernatural powers to survive the tremendous fireball in the Bay of Port-au-Prince. Neither of less importance was the easy acceptance by the Italian and German carmakers who had neither the style nor those melodic lines, especially the Italian ones that had made them famous throughout the world, as well as the powerful engines. It was to recognize that the friendly inhabitants of the Far East had not been brainless themselves to draw a type of vehicle that would grant something pleasing to the sight. Their automobiles were just ugly and if they did not be that they worked with the solar panel and that, in short, certainly not too fast, holding the road well, did not affect anyone. That was a problem that at Kallitala had considered themselves, given that the Hellene people held in high esteem the harmony of the shapes and, above all, safety. As evidence of that, they had intervened on the tall trees with which adorned their cities, making them grow in a balanced manner with trunk and sturdy secondary branches that held a massive canopy of leaves forming a perfect green dome.

However, Pausanias informed the Archon that the new Aeneas of Anchises had not given the project of a car specially fitted for the humans, with the purpose not to waste too much time on the Chinese technicians to construct it. It needed to see if the westerner manufacturers should admit entering in their markets the Chinese cars that resembled the old Trabant built in former East Germany, or they should claim only the electric motors with the applied panel or even just that one.

That was not just because it should handle mere speculation on behalf of China, although it would represent a salutary lesson to those nations that did not accept the first offer made to them through the United Nations Organization.

"Pausanias," said the Archon, and the whole assembly kept silent about itself. "That one is the latest attempt to induce the men to utilize the panel. I do not know what reactions they could have because none of us knows their mind and neither the powerful Proteus should manage to do it. For this reason, my predecessor, Patroclus, did arrive at Kallitala the human now becomes our blood relative of whom. However, we are unable to control his moves entirely.”

"But Archon," replied by a bow the sage Pausanias, "I'm sure that Aeneas of Anchises will behave like a true Hellene. Not only, it was the DNA modified for him, but I was in person made as his teacher, assisted by the most distinguished professors of Poseidon."

"Of course, a friend of Pausanias," answered the Archon, turning to his interlocutor a smile of magnanimity. "The human mind is unfathomable for us, Hellenes, and the various operations with the inclusion of the adusbraline and the teachings received made Henry Campbell a Hellene in all effects. However, you should agree with me that the men possessed something, which here is exceedingly rare: the instinctive imagination. And it is precisely for this reason that Aeneas of Anchises decided at the last moment to show him before the humans, in a distinct way with those most corrupted by the vile pecuniary interest and, therefore, reactionary to accept our offer, because once all vehicles or most of them will work with only the resources of nature. They will not have the opportunity to make their shady speculations. They know very well that the utilization of the hydrocarbons leads to environmental pollution also to the increasing the greenhouse effect which in the long run will provoke some disasters that destroy and desert the environment, but as the smoker who, aware conscious that tobacco inevitably leads to cancer, to ictus, and myocardial infarction, not happening immediately, they delude themselves to be immune and that the death concerns only the others. We cannot risk it. We are refractory like the men to breathe air that smells of carbon dioxide. To us is enough a tenth of that is inhaled in the world out of us to make us sick and shorten our lives. We must implement the operation, Boadicea."

"I did not think we would arrive too far," answered Pausanias who, as Senior Counselor had been the first to propose such a thing even before that to Patroclus would come with the idea to 'capture' the unsuspecting skipper of a day. "Your decision should mean the admittance of our failure. I've almost the feeling that by doing that, maybe we will not get to the natural end of our lives."

"Do not be catastrophic, Pausanias. It is not by you." The voice of the Archon echoed in the vast hall. "I am convinced that, even though the new Aeneas of Anchises does not follow exactly our recommendations, he will accomplish the mission, and the solar panel operation will become at last consenting to all the men. However, already since my appointment to this extremely high commitment, I had put on the program the project developed by Proteus."

Ten Counselors stood up in unison and after a brief conventicle, they left talking to one of them, Pasifile, who said: "We do not want that the project Boadicea immediately put in fulfilment, friend Archon. The air that enters through the funnel above the valley is not yet polluted to the point of not being pure with appropriate filtering."

"Well," did the Archon. "Since a friend, Pausanias has a 'feeling' that is an emotion more human than Hellene, do without a doubt to the infection by the proximity with Henry

Campbell by us renamed Aeneas, I want that this motion was voted unanimously, please! "

The first to raise his hand as a sign of acceptance was Pausanias, followed by all the others.

"Very well. All twenty, I did not doubt at all on your reasonableness and fairness. Pausanias, my friend, I entrust to you, as dean of the Grand Jury, and probably thanks to your outstanding merits, to be chosen to replace me. When my mandate, the task of directing the work in the construction of the vast factory in Boadicea. Even before that in the Western world, the second billion of solar panels must be completed, the first stock of three hundred million of the containers each containing ten thousand litres of air at a pressure of three thousand atmospheres."

"Three hundred million," did Pausanias almost say to himself, "we'll have to store them in the underground warehouses."

“Excellent the idea," reconfirmed the Archon, "and, by the way," he looked around between all presents and pinning his glance to a particular Counselor, "you, a friend Pasifile.

I entrust you with the commitment to the supervision and maintenance of Caulonia, our vast underground city. It is the time that we do that, and the storage of air cylinders is an opportunity most propitious. It must first be that all the containers are linked to the various branches covering all the space that we have created, parallel to the electricity network. It handles off to emergency preparation. I know that some of you should argue that we are not in danger and that Aeneas will implement his mission with skilful ability, however, do we consider that a lifeboat drill for that to you, friend Telamon. I appoint the task to equip the houses of Caulonia of all appliances, furnishings, and fittings to make them habitable homes to some families who, in turn, will settle themselves for two weeks each. Proteus, our great chemo-processor, will assign the turns to each family resident in the eight cities of our island, as well as to all those who live in the rural areas or that are engaged in the fishing, so they get used to the pristine environment. Who never knows what can combine the men and with these real wars and skirmishes, I do not feel peaceful."

"But Archon, which one in Iraq, is over. The evil's man is captured, and everything is starting to normalize itself," interjected Pausanias, the sage.

"I do not believe in that. In the Western, the world began the era of cowardice. To hit on the back, killing defenceless people, even elders, and children. To kill this latter, then, is such an awful crime that if we were not kind of people and have in horror the use of weapons, we should intervene. Killing a child means to deny the future."

"Your wisdom words, respectable Archon, came out in me," answered Pausanias.

"Well, do show it. I know that when you use these terms, you have something constructive to say, and I do not think that has come to you spontaneously but is a project on which you are brooding for some time," said the Archon, with a peaceful expression.

"The disappearance of Aeneas of Anchises, the one original, became particularly saddened, and although I have poured my affection on whom that has taken the place, had fed to me much more a resentful distrust against the men. Not the hate, because it is not a Hellene feeling, but the desire to make the human people a bit wiser, yes."

"And then?" I asked the Archon watching all the Counselors who in turn were staring at their curious look on Pausanias.

Who, almost with contrition, positioned himself at the centre of the hall and bowing his head slightly in front of the chair of the highest authority of Kallitala for deference, said: "Do we increase the production of adusbraline and, at the appropriate timing, with our chase aviolobes, do we sprinkle it in the territories where there is this kind of terrorism. The first country could be Palestine, Iraq, and let. We do not forget, Afghanistan and Pakistan."

"But so that the adusbraline make an effect, needs to be inoculated with the blood" replied the Archon.

"Hephaestus, the director of the Hospital of Aesculapius of Poseidon had anticipated me the morning that his research team has identified a pathogen gene that joined to the adusbraline, sickened the men who breathe the two compounds become them, during the illness - no more dangerous than an influence state, obliging them to stay in bed for at least three days - permeable for our invention that amends the DNA. After this period, they will transform into beings like Henry Campbell, gentle and wise."

"The idea is an excellent friend, Pausanias," said the Archon. "You know, however, that the production of this enzyme is rather small, and as we could..."

"We can increase it with relative ease,'' Pausanias said emphatically Pausanias. "So far it has been limited to rather sporadic cases that happened in Kallitala. However, if we built another factory in Boadicea, near that one of the bottlings the air, there should lack to us the elements to produce it in industrial quantities."

"Well, then. Give the appropriate orders that we proceed. Woe betides those who infringe the happiness for the Hellene people!" I exclaimed the Archon, thereby supplying the term to the forum. 

ΩΩΩ

 

 "Paris, that news of the building of the factory in Boadicea worries me greatly," said Phaedra when her brother, now no more assiduous of the parental home since the new Aeneas had left on a mission.

"There's nothing to worry about, dear sister. It was already in the projects of Proteus to adapt the valley Boadicea to a fair territory called Hellene. We have, by now, found the right man: your future husband."

"But if the mission failed..."

"We cannot do other attempts, and we have to adapt to using only our internal resources. So even the air that we will store, and I assure you, that we will do with such commitment these men must adapt themselves to breathe it more polluted, for what which we will absorb is the purest."

"But Paris and Henry, who are Aeneas, what will happen to him?"

"Aeneas, which is Henry Campbell, has the advantage of having even a particular human discernment. He will not be so naive as the first Aeneas to sacrifice his life not to get caught up with the solar panels, mirillinis, and everything in the briefcase. He will defend himself and will stand with all senses be alerted not to deceive, and at last, close to him will be Melesigenes who, as Pausanias reported to me, is very shrewd and has an extraordinary force. Do not worry, sister. Your Aeneas will return, whatever will be the outcome of his mission.”

“They have put Melesigenes alongside him." "And who should be him?"

"A gentle giant, but very experienced. It will be indeed hard for the Chinese, although intelligent men, they could manage to trick Aeneas."

"To trick him? A word that is not in our lexicon, Paris!" "It's one of the few things I learned from Henry Campbell."

 

ΩΩΩ

 

Henry, once returned to his apartment at the Peace Hotel, accompanied by the loyal Lloyd, who, since they had flown from the Sargasso, not left him a moment, and never had issued a word if not required, began to read more carefully the contract drawn up in concert with the Chinese government assuming what the neo-Hellene had claimed. It is written, of course, in the English language, but there was not affixed, for the moment, any signature. Henry had asked the time for its careful rereading, but it was a mere excuse. He knew by heart the contents. However, for a scruple, he wanted to submit it to the judgment of Proteus, and to do that needed to use a solar panel on which he ought to mount a series of mirillinis to transform it into a computer. Nevertheless, of course, he could not perform this operation that should be filmed in the apartment, since those human instincts left in him, made him suspect that there should hide some small cameras in some recess that could spy on his every movement. Thus, once nodded to Lloyd, put themselves in the search.

"I was right in saying that the Chinese are efficient people," Henry said to Lloyd, after having discovered, thanks to their enhanced senses, about twenty micro cameras scattered everywhere in the various rooms, including the large bathroom but excluding, however, the smaller one next to the office of Lloyd. "How they did in the brief time in which we lingered in the lobby, given that nobody knew of our arrival, says a lot about their ability to build in an abbreviated time the largest number of electric cars."

It was to mount the computer in the bathroom after another thorough inspection. Therefore, it was from there that Henry sent a copy of the contract to Proteus through the sophisticated equipment at electromagnetic waves underwater of the Sargasso.

The response was swift. Proteus ordered a drastic reduction in the supply of solar panels and the total financing in exchange for the provision of raw materials needed for the construction of the second billion of panels if the Chinese continued to behave suspiciously. These changes justified by the discovery of television spies considered a wrong thing that little had been conciliatory for a collaboration at the highest level. After the delivery of the first two hundred million electric cars and about the ensuring that at least a half of them would work simultaneously if the Chinese acted like themselves unfairly and not fruitful without, then, to spy and to investigate both the composition of the panels than on the two emissaries, the contract could honour in his completeness.

The intent was clear. With of running off the hundred million and perhaps more engines fed by those portentous solar panels, meanwhile, we avoided two important things for the survival of the inhabitants of Kallitala. The first is that their motion should begin to ‘eat' the environmental pollution of the planet Earth and the second that from that moment on it should be impossible to fission, a thing which one which the men should not explain themselves. In that manner, lacking in so many countries around the world the electricity produced by the nuclear power stations, those who had shown themselves rowdy in accepting the solar panel, they should come to blander advice.

And, at that point, once honoured the contract with the Chinese, the other billion of the panels could be distributed according to the original plan formulated by the first Aeneas of Anchises. The submarine Sargasso should place itself in the Gulf of Mexico and, with the same system used in the China Sea, should unload them at an agreed point in Central America, close to an intercontinental airport, so that each country would allocate a portion of the panels, would go to take them with their means.

There was a problem: after the unloading of the solar panels in the Chinese territory, the Sargasso had to regain the waters of Kallitala to give way to his crew to rest upon the ground and, above all, to breathe the home air. Not in the metaphorical sense as the term, but rather supply clean air to their lungs. If the autonomy of a Hellene to breathe it in the super-industrialized countries did not exceed ten days and for those boarded in the Sargasso, this period was quintupled, it was necessary to consider the travel time for both the outward and the return. The big submarine vessel was already out of Hellene territorial waters for twenty-five days.

This information was communicated to the laptop at the mirillinis of Henry Campbell. At the same moment when he did that, he was locked up with Lloyd in the smallest bathroom of the apartment reserved for them at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai.

And to them: Henry and Lloyd, how was their breath autonomy? Henry, originated by humanity, almost as an ordinary man but Lloyd, although they would subject him to a special treatment to lengthen the autonomy to a month of humans, at the Hospital of Hippocrates of Poseidon, he was already under 'pre-alarm, having sailed on the Sargasso for twenty days.

So, there was the necessity that Henry would bring out the operation within five days. Then he must send back Lloyd boarding on the submarine that, after the unloading and loading operations, had to sail to the Atlantic Ocean. In the meantime, he should remain to follow the various stages in China of the storage of the solar panels and the start of the construction of the new electric motors to adapt, first, to the cars.

Henry informed his hosts that he had received new orders that claimed the largest loyalty by the Chinese if they wanted all the panels and the billion dollars. The emissaries of the Chinese government promised promptly that both, he, and his partner would no longer have peeped through some illegal means, but only monitored carefully to ensure their safety. As a demonstration of their goodwill, they did offer to deliver the required material, even before they would get both the panels and the money. Once received the final approval by Proteus, Henry accepted the added terms, and the Chinese did not postpone whatsoever and showed all their efficiency. They did not make any objections from where would come to those inflatable boats carrying the solar panels, but the two hundred million of them were stored in some vast industrial warehouses on the outskirts of Shanghai, close to the Whang Rong Automobiles and the other eight hundred million, in other underground shops, built as atomic shelters, in the Gobi Desert, a few kilometres from the border with Mongolia. Then, when the emissaries of the government and the heads of the metalworking industry saw the billion dollars which Henry had poured out on the floor of the dining room, having been his hotel apartment freed by all the spy cameras, the firsts gave an order that the boats which had transported the panels would load the requested material, already available, and the others gave the start of the construction of the electric motors to mount them on the hitherto bodywork of the automobiles.

The Sargasso was ready to take off, with input in his capable holds the valuable material to build other billions of panels. Commander Heraclides awaited the consent, Henry.

"What are you doing, Henry?" I asked Lloyd, seeing his protégé who, before leaving the apartment, once mounted the mirillinis on the solar panel, was putting himself in contact with Proteus doing the electronic link to the Sargasso computer.

"You have just five days to stay in the human world, a friend Melesigenes. I'm asking permission to send you back to Kallitala."

"What! I must protect you. How could you do without me?" "Melesigenes," answered Henry, looking at him with an easygoing expression. "If you stay still here, not only you cannot 'protect me, but you should do the end of the first Aeneas. Do you remember? Now I am well settled, and the Chinese will do everything to ensure that nothing bad should happen to me."

"But..."

"Here we are. The message just arrived. Do see it," said Henry, handing to Lloyd, the monitor.

The message was clear and not allowed misunderstood. The original Hellene writing imparted the order to Melesigenes boarding on the Sargasso and positions himself on a boat on the river Yangpu Jiang where within half an hour should come one of the two aviolobes of the submarine, to pick up him. Regarding Henry, the Archon gave provisions that as soon as at Kallitala would receive a distress call, they should send Hermes, that in less than half an hour should collect him.

"In such a brief time!" I exclaimed Henry and to Melesigenes: "And what never will be! Do you know something about this matter?"

"About what, a friend Aeneas?"

"Of that Hermes."

"Not so much. Commander Heraclides mentioned to me that, during the navigation on the Sargasso. Nevertheless, that is not a person. It should handle a new concept of aviolobe, something concerning cosmology. I do not know anything more."

'That's an argument of which Paris had never mentioned me. And, to think better, neither did Pausanias, who had always been very explicit with me in all the technology of Kallitala. Strange, very odd, he said to himself, worried. 'If they hide me something, it means they do not trust me entirely. Furthermore, the mere fact of putting Melesigenes to my ribs.'

But he went beyond to pity himself. He must go along the companion on the river and there lends him a boat for an hour by any fisherman, without to incommode his guardians, because he knew that from this day forwards, although very discreetly - with his powered feelings of a neo-Hellene, he feels them around - the Chinese should not leave him for a moment.


ΩΩΩ

 

Coming back to the hotel, that late afternoon, was rather sad. Already the red sunset over the river had reminded him those he had become accustomed to enjoying in Kallitala, to acute him again the desire to re-embrace his beloved Phaedra, but also the departure of Melesigenes contributed there substantially. That pleasant person, whose before he willingly should do without, he had made pleasing him the gruelling days of negotiations with the Chinese, they have proven to be smarter than many other peoples, linked to double-locked to their more or not legitimate interests.

When he showed up in the lobby of the grand hotel, the same manager came to meet him and with his ceremoniously and polite manner, introduced to him a young Chinese of extraordinary beauty. It is an unusual thing, given that the humans with the almond eyes never counted among the most beautiful. However, when a Chinese woman is good-looking, she is in a manner so spectacular thanks, precisely, to the shape before the eyes.

Henry, always sensitive to feminine beauty, was struck off by her, although an underlying sense of guilt would crop in his conscience of Hellene. Advanced neat to his mind, the figure of Phaedra: a real goddess of beauty, making him understand that we cannot categorize in the womanly empyrean the absolute in the gradation of the beauty and that what had given the mother-nature was not enough to consider beautiful for a woman in a superlative way, but there wanted something more. And that something Phaedra had for her good behaviour, for the sweetness of her voice and her intelligence, while for the girl whom he has before, not even knowing her, she expressed that surplus thanks to the dark almond eyes in a face of porcelain that seemed otherworldly such as so beautiful.

"Engineer Campbell, I dare to present you to Miss Kekou Shang of the foreign affairs department that the Chinese government made available as your assistant. Being left alone, sir, at least during the meals, you'll have somebody who entertains you."

"Thank you. Colossal, director. However, it happens that I am here to fulfil an important mission in which is not envisaged any distraction," answered Henry, apologizing to the girl with a knowing look.

As the director remained banned, and the girl uttered a word, the situation became embarrassing. Henry added: "It's not a reason that I can afford to reject the pleasant company of Miss Shang for this evening's dinner."

"Ah, well!" did the director, barely holding an ouff of a scrape.

"I should be glad that you call me Kekou," said the girl, addressing Henry, a charming smile at the same time holding her hand. The hand whom Henry just tightened up, seemed, so fragile such was diaphanous and light.

The hotel's director believed well to sneak away, and he did that undisturbed because the look of Henry and Kekou stared at each other.

Henry felt the rug out from under his feet. If Melesigenes were still with him, such a thing should not happen. Neither, at the time, he could consult the computer to know how to behave like himself. However, he managed to suppress his instincts of a human being and thinking hard about the pleasant life he had led for more than one year in Kallitala, occurred to him that before he completed his mission before he should return to that which had become his homeland and, at last, married the beautiful and beloved Phaedra.

"So, Miss Kekou, do we want to sit down in the dining room?" he heard himself say with relief, having believed he could not utter a word.

"Willingly, Henry," the girl replied in a whisper.


6 - CHAIN REACTIONS


Melesigenes being not yet arrived was the unintended result of some difficulty to Henry Campbell. The new Aeneas had not expected himself that Kekou Shang would be part of the Chinese delegation and neither imagined that the most important part of it, formed by Xuahn Li, by two important diplomatic officials with adequate train, by four technicians and, precisely, by the beautiful woman, would book the entire third floor of the Hilton Park Hotel. Stupid him not to have asked the chief concierge when he showed himself to pick up the key to the quiet apartment, given the fact that he had received the message from Proteus that his loyal companion should arrive as soon as possible.

And, coincidentally, when he came down for the dinner choosing the tourist restaurant of the hotel to eat alone, imagining that the Chinese delegation should do it, but much later going to the luxury one, Henry had not yet crossed the threshold that he felt the call himself warm and inviting. Was Kekou, that who knows how she knew that he was staying in her same hotel and who knows because also the time when he wanted to eat and where, at last! There was to be incredibly careful and at that precise instant, he remembered the insistent recommendations of his mentor Pausanias, who not actually convinced that he, although ex-human, would perfectly know the minds of his kind.

"Hi, Henry," she apologized to him, reaching him with two elegant strides. "Should I say combination, but whatever you are doing I do not wonder about myself anymore. However, it is a pleasure to see you again." Henry remained astounded, indeed concentrated in searching for an answer that does not put her in an uncomfortable situation: "I do not think the opportune time to eat and then, why do not we dine together? You know. I arrived with the whole delegation headed by Dr Xuahn Li."

"Thank you, kind Kekou, but I cannot. I have a crucial commitment in an hour and a healthy appetite. We will see tomorrow at the car factories. Now I must leave you," he replied, making his entry into the restaurant.

"Truly, Henry," tried to insist the beautiful Chinese giving to her words a persuasive inflexion, but the chief waiter was already making him the way and Henry, turning the head toward Kekou remained in the doorway, gave her some greetings nod, and went to sit at a table not visible at the entrance.

"Is there another issue?" he asked the waiter, handing him a twenty-dollar banknote.

"Yes, sir. Do follow me," he answered, crumpling the money in his fist while making the way to the toilet, preceding Henry up down the corridor where there was a back door that he opened with a key coming out of the pocket in which he had placed the banknote. "Do come in, sir. Those are the bathrooms in the luxury restaurant. From there you can get out at the Arcade shops. There, nobody will disturb you."

And, indeed, although there were people who looked at the shop windows, Henry did not see Kekou or any other Chinese. He walked across the whole parade of shops and watched from the corner of one of them the great hall. There were several customers sitting on the sofas talking to each other and six others around the large reception desk that kept busy with the employees. It was the right time to come out and earn on the sly exit. He had decided to consume his only day's meal in a restaurant in the city centre and, once beckoned to the attendant in a pompous braided uniform, who approached the first taxi of the row waiting for customers.

To the taxi driver, a young man who spoke decent English, he asked to lead him to a restaurant where they would serve some courses of the international cuisine. He abhorred eating the savoury German sausages. The taxi driver took him to Karlsplatz, near the train station, inviting him to enter the luxurious Hotel Konigshof where the first floor was one of the most renowned restaurants in Monaco of Bavaria.

The dinner was excellent. For a long time, Henry Campbell forgot the taste of food cooked with such a rare skill. The tagliatelle with mushrooms was unique. To prepare them could not have been then an Italian chef and the fillet 'en croûte' where he thought would be covered with puff pastry, had, instead, a layer of chopped almonds that had made it crispy on the outside and soft and juicy inside. The unique drink that he could afford as he had done in China, was beer. Unlike that one rather sour, this one was full-bodied, sweet, and slightly frothy.

When coming out of the restaurant he mingled with himself among the people, in that area it was quite crowded. He had to wait for three taxis to get one and embarked there quickly, given that in the last minutes, he had risen in himself a premonition to have been too careless in leaving his hotel in the park, although he would not run the risk of being robbed of his precious briefcase in calotex. The concierge chief, having offered him the possibility under his request, had placed it in the large central safe in the back into the reception zone, in a compartment of which only Henry had the key and the combination.

As soon as the taxi pulled onto the park road, the driver did deviate from it from the broad paved road onto the grassy path and, before Henry would notice of that, they found themselves at the shelter of a group of trees. There, the driver got out of the car quickly and with a gun in hand, he went to open the rear door, threatening Henry to come out swiftly. At the same time, from the depths of the wood, three angry customers materialized as themselves, armed as the taxi driver and one of them, came from behind, foisting to the unsuspecting Henry a harsh blow of the luncheon at the rearmost base of the crane, making him unconscious.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

Worse than a cell, it was a container. Mouldy and, in the corner where they laid him, too smelly. Luckily, it had a small rear window, without glasses, but closed by great vertical bars. Henry who, thanks to his powered senses since had become Hellene, immediately after having been deposed, had awakened himself. And, although he had received a consistent stroke on the head that his assailants- kidnappers had believed did remain him unconscious for a while, fortunately not had bound him. So, not only did he move right down the small window but could be undisturbed rummaging through his jacket pockets. From where he took out both a tablet of Stetopan to erase the pain that pounding inside his head and the can of Sapotran ready for use.

As soon as the pain stopped, he put pressure on the coin of the container and pushed hard. The tipper rippled slightly.

'Evil!' he said to himself. 'It's already mounted on a vehicle.'

With his bad hearing, he heard approaching some people. They were undoubtedly his kidnappers who came to open the container to realize if he revived and, therefore, to tie or handcuff him. It was what he expected. With a fair sprinkling of Sapotran, he should drug them and come out from that awkward cell. Then, quietly, as he would be still in the park, he should reach his hotel as if nothing happened. Stupid not to have brought with him the briefcase. Nevertheless, how could he go to dine in a restaurant, by night like he would be a nostalgic marketman! His conscience of Hellene had to rebuke him. Could he not eat at the tourist restaurant of the Hilton Park Hotel? A true Hellene should do it. His imprudence had crossed all limits and if something unpleasant happened to him, on his coming back to Kallitala, other than getting married to his beloved Phaedra! He should relegate to end his days of stupid man to Boadicea.

He had not yet finished commiserating with himself, that clearly, he heard two men climbing into the cab of the truck and, entirely tense behind the door waiting for someone to come to tie him, holding the container of Sapotran ready, he was disappointed because the vehicle was set in motion and left for an unknown destination.

At last, the running of the big vehicle became linear and the roar from the engine, constant, after the starting tossing due to the curves to make a straight road that prevented him every movement, only then Henry, for fear that the trucks would go too far, though how to free himself. The cheriosmate that he had under the skin should provide him with the impulses to get far more quickly from the place where he offers, of course, that he would find himself in the open air. He would utilize it inside the container, should it crash from a wall to another. However, everything in him was enhanced. Sight and hearing, therefore, are also strengths. It should be a joke to bend or even eradicate the bars on the small window. Even so, just because it was a little window, his body should never pass. Unfortunately, the Hellenes had not thought to invent something that would reduce it temporarily, and then, what to do?

The truck stopped earlier than Henry would expect. Waiting to come someone to open the door to transfer him somewhere else, he crouched close to it, ready to squirt out a small cloud of well-dosed Sapotran. He was whole in strain to do it when he heard the distant rumble of a helicopter in flight. So, his kidnappers knew of the narcotic he had so that they could be only the Americans because it was precisely against them that the true Aeneas of Anchises had used it on the riverside of Manhattan.

'If they are, I do not see which way out to me; he could say himself, discouraged.

His deepest thoughts to find a solution were interrupted by the roar from the engines and the whirl of double helicopter blades.

'It must be a Chinook. Of those giants of the Army, capable of lifting a tank, ouch, ouch, they are slinging the container. I lost!'

He heard a bustle and the classic sliding, below, of a first steel cable. Then, of a second and a man who was bustling on the roof to join the four terminals of the harness, while the noise from the helicopter was getting deafening. Despite that, his powered senses perceived the trampling of several men who arrived at the truck, yelling in a stentorian tone some harsh words that Henry interpreted to be some commands summoning immediately to stop what they were doing. He heard. The thud of the four hooks falls over. The helicopter made a sudden nose-up, and his deafening noise was gradually dying out while to the firm orders that were given to the two men in the truck, were added the shrill voices of two Chinese. Henry identified at first that of Kekou and after the other of Xuahn Li.

"Silly man," whispered to him the girl, as soon as she could come in person with Henry quite distant from the others. "Not to have dinner with me, you went to shove in serious trouble. Do you know who they were?"

"Americans, no doubt," answered Henry, who was still holding the little can of Sapotran.

A curious Kekou distracted herself for a better look, despite the darkness in the night, would just interrupt her and thereby the torches of the German guardsmen. "What is that you have in hand?"

"Nothing, nothing," answered Henry, putting it in the pocket. "You were telling me who my kidnappers would be. As I said, then, some Americans..."

"The helicopter, yes. It must be of some American base. The police have failed to see the numbers because it was flying with the lights off, but you'll see that they will find it through the flight plan."

"Damn!" I exclaimed Henry, letting out an interjection: "Again!" "That already happened?" I asked the cunning Chinese.

"No, no. It's just that," dandled Henry and fixed his look in the beautiful eyes of the girl, "someone has to have them informed."

"Do not think of me or my government, Henry. I can prove to you that we have not leaked out any news."

"Who should be them, then?"

"The men who kidnapped you were not American."

"Germans, then. Like those who have led the truck up here and whom the police have just arrested."

"Those two are of cheap Manpower. They cannot be accused of kidnapping. They have already said that they did not know what was in the container."

"Who else, then?"

"Some Arabs. So, told by the two men of the truck, paid handsomely to lead it in this desert area so that the container, once harnessed, would be taken away by the helicopter." It is quite logical. As predicted by Pausanias, said himself, Henry.

"Now, Henry, do you not want just to tell me what that spray was that you put into the pocket?"

"What, that one? A simple nasal spray. You know. In that container, I missed the air, and then, there was a very unpleasant smell..."

 

ΩΩΩ

 

'So, the Americans have joined their forces with that one of the Arabs for extorting me with the secret of the solar panel,' Henry said himself with a keen sense of guilt. 'The firsts to obtain the single ant utilize at their convenience the Hellene invention and the seconds. It quickly imagined saving their mineral wealth. The Americans, then, who for the petroleum, as they have already amply demonstrated, should unleash a war anywhere in the world, had oilfields that hold semi-active preferring to buy what we pull out of their borders. Belong to them are the largest oil companies, around which swirl lucrative big businesses and can determine the political direction of the Nation. Perhaps, to make me handsome to the eyes of Phaedra and for gratitude to Pausanias, I exaggerated to propose myself for this mission. Almost, almost, if I had Melesigenes again close to me, he would be so kind and attentive...'

And when he entered the apartment, accompanied to the door by Xuahn Li and Kekou, who did not stop to advise themselves, not to commit more carelessness, Henry saw Melesigenes alias Lloyd Clovell, comfortably sitting on the sofa in the living room that shared at half the apartment, in a state of great peace, although a slight smile would curl the lips as soon as Henry closed the door behind himself.

"Ah, at last!" I exclaimed Henry. "You do not know how you should be useful before, to me. That girl spy shadows me everywhere I go."

"Are you who sent me away, a friend Aeneas," replied Lloyd, who called him by the Hellen name, when they were not supervised. "It seemed like you would burn the ground under your feet in my company."

"What are you saying, Melesigenes, my friend! You needed to come back to Kallitala. Your time was running out. Is it not?"

"It was enough that the service aviolobe of the Sargasso would bring me back on board to 'recharge' me in the infirmary, and I should be able to stay with you ten days more. Enough available to..."

"To prevent that I would slide myself in this evil adventure and maybe stay in Shanghai while the Chinese, who knows what should combine herein Monaco."

"Proper justification. Pausanias, too, was convinced that we would witness the negotiation with this big German car factory. Do not understand it as a reproach, for charity, but we should dine together here in the hotel where the security services and, also, if you permit me that, with my presence..."

"You should protect me from anyone. It's just a real thing, and I beg your pardon, Lloyd," answered Henry, who in the meantime looked around himself to discover if by chance in that apartment too, as happened in that one of the Peace Hotel in Shanghai would be hidden both cameras and microphones.

"Do not worry about Aeneas. I have already checked everything myself. There is nothing and from this living room that is located between the two rooms, I certified that it cannot leak outside even a scream."

"Okay. Welcome back, my friend Melesigenes. Tomorrow we will have an exhausting day. The Chinese have already landed the first three electric cars and, after the demonstration, will begin the negotiations over the sale of stock of a thousand exemplar each."

At eight o'clock in the morning, the two Hellenes were already seated at a table in the tourist restaurant for breakfast, which consisted of a long coffee and a double orange juice. They stayed there for only five minutes when Xuahn Li arrived followed by the whole delegation, about twenty persons among demonstrators and engineers. It lacked. However, the beautiful Kekou and Henry, for the first time, felt a slight regret. If I were not, she always kept him in her sight, the night before he could not save, and who knows if the operation 'kidnapping with a helicopter' could be successful, where he should be now.

" I see with the pleasure that Mr Clovell has returned," said Xuahn Li once approached to the table of the two Americans, holding out his hand to Melesigenes that the right Hellene shook with warmth and, finally, referring himself directly to Henry with a smile between the sarcastic and amused, he added: "That will avoid you more unpleasant encounters, engineer Campbell. Here we are not in peaceful China."

"The entire world is quite equal," muttered Henry, and then, more determined, "we must never wonder about the human misunderstanding. Our solar panel, which should make our lives healthier, inspires in some people the desire to the unique purpose of not changing the old rules to the game. The Americans to always secure their superiority and safety, as if not would be enough sufficient two oceans to divide them from the other peoples and the Arabs, who have never intrigued to emancipate themselves as industrious countries, to keep themselves very wealthy from the proceeds of the black gold." "I'm flattered by your words, Mr Campbell. Offer to us Chinese your invention." "It's not at all my inventions," snapped Henry looking at Loyd to tranquillize him.

"I know that you have always pointed this out. Even so, I should not know how to define it more simply. Do grant me. To me, please. Offering it to my people, you were sure that the entire Western world would benefit from it at costs quite affordable."

Henry did not answer but put to his mouth the second glass of juice, and Xuahn Li interpreted this gesture as the end of the conversation. He bowed and walked to the table where his two aides were waiting to order the breakfast.

The two Hellenes came out in the park. The day was beautiful and although it was still early, they could see the first fanatics of the jogging running along the avenues, while in the background of emerald meadows some wolf dogs were playfully chasing each other, observed by their masters with the leash in one hand and a critical thing with the other. Although it would seem not, the park was guarded discreetly by some local policemen and woe betide if the dog's excrement did not immediately follow by the intervention of taking away by their guardians!

Thanks to those police officers as well as Kekou, the night before Henry had been taken away from an embarrassing situation, so that, turning to his companion, he had to say: "Do you think that they have heard in Kallitala about my kidnapping attempt?"

"Certainly not," answered Melesigenes, who expected himself such a question. He added: "Do not worry, a friend Aeneas, I'll do not mention that," and giving him a gentle pat on the shoulder, "after all, I was not witness to that event and have known it only by a common combination."

"Ah, you then consider that a simple combination?" I answered Henry, addressing him with an accomplice smile. "Now I ask Xuahn Li if everything is ready for the presentation of the new electric- cars."

The chief of the Chinese delegation was at that moment biting a croissant when, seeing Henry coming at his table, put the cake on the saucer. Apologizing for himself with his two companions with a nod, he rose to go to his encounter.

"Engineer Campbell," he said, smiling, "in what could I serve you?"

"There was no need to get up," answered Henry, slightly confused, although he would get used to the formality of the Chinese. "I just wanted to ask you when and where the press conference was."

Xuahn Li told him it, recommending himself to join him henceforth in half an hour.

"My staff set the cars since yesterday after they unloaded from the plane in when I arrived." "And those inside the other Jumbo?"

"The plane is parked in a lay-by of the airport of Munich. The ten cars contained there will not be landed here. We will leave the three prototypes available for the factory at which, between today and tomorrow. We will do the demonstrations. Those still in the B747 cargo will serve us for the same reasons as the other factories in two different cities of Germany. The first in Stuttgart and the other."

"But was there indeed the necessity to bring them to several German automakers? Was It not better to do a simple demonstration for everyone in this city? My kidnapping last night gave me the perception that this type of car is not welcome. Could it be that?"

"But never mind!" I replied Xuahn Li cutting his sentence in half. "The authors of the kidnapping, it is now clear, were the Arabs with the permission of the Americans. Perhaps both were hired by petroleum producers. Here the thing is different. We will be facing some of the biggest car manufacturers, extremely interested in our products."

"Are you sure?"

"Of course, engineer Campbell," answered the chief of the Chinese delegation. "Our visit is a result of preliminary agreements and the inspection, at the Whang Rong Automobiles of Shanghai of the managers of the three major German car factories. They already know how to operate the vehicles, which today we shall present to the specialized press."

"Well, Dr Li Xuahn. We shall see in that place within two hours at most." "But, like! Do you come not with me, with us?"

"No, I cannot. I will come with my colleague Clovell. Do not worry, this time I will be well protected," answered Henry, shaking his hand to take leave of him. Then, turning to Lloyd and making him nod, the two went out of the restaurant and headed themselves to the reception.

When the helpful manager left his office for the occasion after being warned by the concierge, ceremoniously went to meet them.

"Can I be useful in something, gentlemen?" he deferentially said. "Thank you, indeed. I should pick up my briefcase," Henry answered.

Ten minutes later, the two friends were in their apartment, and Henry was about to mount the mirillinis to a solar panel. He had to get in contact with Kallitala to broadcast the latest news to Proteus. That ten electro- cars would be still inside the belly of the China Airlines aircraft parked in a lay-by, who knows if well-guarded, worried him.

"Listen, Melesigenes," he said before starting the computer. "The fact that I kept silent about my mishap last night does not seem like a clever idea. Perhaps with that information, Proteus could communicate to us what the writer moves to do. I do not feel tranquil in this country where people from all nationalities circulate freely. I am also convinced that there is a lot of counterintelligence around. Some Americans, English, and Arabs in particular."

"Right, a friend Aeneas," answered Melesigenes, taking the attitude of a relaxed smile.

As soon as Henry linked himself with Kallitala, they heard the roar of an explosion, so powerful to make trembling in the glass of the window. It was coming from the airport area, at less than ten kilometres. Melesigenes looked in that direction if, by chance, in the clear of cloud's sky, there would form a black one. Nothing, everything remained unchanged. He called the entry phone to the concierge, who answered that he did not know anything yet. Perhaps the radio or the television should immediately have spoken of that. Then Melesigenes, while Henry occupied the communication with Kallitala, turned on the radio. Usually, it precedes the video in giving the first news. He got the good station that, despite the journalist would speak in German, with the few words he knew, felt to handle off an aircraft that exploded on the runway. He could not understand much more, but as also the staff of the hotel concierge had heard everything; he called the concierge again. The news learned was quite fragmented. Neither one knew if the plane had caught fire during the take-off nor the landing.

Proteus, to the news that had introduced Henry, after just a minute answered that indeed the explosion was caused by an attempt at a China Airlines plane that contained the ten electro-cars and that he, and his companion ought to be careful. When would they go themselves to the demonstration, remaining defiled by the delegations, and that they would keep themselves in the shadows to try to guess what might happen.

When they went, there was nothing to discover, except to see the Chinese delegation, Xuahn Li on the front, who was complaining about what had just happened. Not knowing yet that the jumbo cargo destroyed in the parking area of the airport that, by the way, as they said - had caused twenty casualties among the flying crew and the airport security guard, the Chinese official was despairing, now screaming furious lamentations, at present plaintive exhortations to the present authorities, they too bewildered for what had happened.

 The three electric cars, the pride of the Chinese cleverness, even if fueled by the solar neutrino's panel disappeared and immediately there was no trace left by thieves that could direct the investigation towards a direction, indeed.

Some inferences to no end, by all people. The rationale was expressed by Melesigenes to his friend Henry, who suspected that the theft could not happen without the complicity of the security staff. He ventured more. That complicity could be shared by the managers of the largest car factories if not, indeed, even by the Asiatic government.

"Sure. It cannot be otherwise, Lloyd," Henry said. "I have doubts about my kidnapping. Do fly over for a hired thug, but a helicopter of the military type, even though he had any signs or had temporarily covered them, it should be easy to identify if the police wanted that. And, instead, we do not know anything yet. It seems it evaporated because the first investigations gave a negative result. It appears that no helicopter of that type was lifted into the air last night in Germany. Just think of you!"

"Pausanias, before I am returning to you, had told me to be much in apprehension about this mission. He does not believe it."

"But..." Henry was about to reply.

"No, you're not involved. He has a lot of faith in you. Much less, however, in your ex. Our solar panel represents a danger to men thirsty for power and money. Our board should bring too many benefits to most of the human population and should cancel many privileges to the few puppeteers who pull the strings of the world. For this reason, the Archon gave orders to build a large factory for the shelter of much air still clean and suspended production of the second tranche of the panels."

"Why did you not inform me immediately about that?" I asked Henry angrily. "I know that's unpleasant to tell you, but I should remind you that you have put at my service, with the obligation to collaborate with me."

"Aeneas of Anchises, my friend," answered Melesigenes in a whisper, taking himself further away from the people that still should not understand the language in which they conversed, "you know well that the word obligation does not exist for a Hellene. I would like to remind you that I am here only to watch your back and, at last, neither I expected such things. I did not speak to you before, not to make you discouraged in the task that you have brought yourself. That is very noble, but now the matter is different. We are facing remarkable facts, and I confess to you that I am in apprehension about the Chinese factories."

"I beg your pardon, Melesigenes. Therefore, in Kallitala they believe no longer in the panel at solar neutrinos?"

"See yourself conclude," said Hellene.

"Then, we must come back to Shanghai as soon as possible. Do we return to the hotel. I must contact Kallitala."

"Do not think of the hotel. I am sure that they are already in search of us. You have the briefcase with you, so do we sneak away and take advantage that they are all in confusion, let us. We escape."

"But where?"

"Everywhere. With the cheriosmate, we should find ourselves on one end of the pond in the park."

"Good idea, Melesigenes. We shall make an excellent boat snip. I know an old German, who..."

Who, when saw the hundred-dollar banknote that Henry handed to him, without saying a word, he did follow himself by the two friends to his best boat inviting them to embark there and always without spending any of his guttural words, with his index, pointed to his wristwatch, and he uttered two rare: "No time" doing to follow those by the generous gesture of the arm from the water as to signify that both pound that boat would be at their complete disposal.


6  -   CHANGING STRATEGIES

 

Outside of the curious gaze on the man, since the explosion occurred at the airport had put in apprehension the entire population, including the tourists who usually crowded the lake for romantic excursions on the boat, Henry, while Melesigenes was pulling himself away in vigorous strokes with the oars opened the calotex briefcase and pulled out a solar panel on which he mounted the mirillinis. He had to call the aviolobe that would lead both to Shanghai for the operation he had in mind, getting ready for the authorization of Proteus.

The waiting period was half an hour, so the two friends had the time to share their opinions calmly about the accident.

"So, Melesigenes, do you still think that Arabs should handle of Arabs assisted, perhaps, by the Americans?"

"Yes, Aeneas. Only that now I am convinced that are the Arabs, the coadjutors, and the Americans, namely those of the CIA, to move the strings of everything."

That something left of the Human-American in Henry almost rebelled itself against those claims. "The Americans," he said resentfully, "do not make these operations when there is the risk of killing some innocent people."

"Maybe, Aeneas," answered the seraphic Melesigenes, "order others to do the dirty work, but the result is always the same and in my opinion. That is the major fault. Where they would like to arrive."

He had not yet finished the sentence that the boat suffered a strong jolt and Melesigenes, who had stuck out himself to find what was the cause, grabbed around the neck by two sturdy black arms and pulled from the water. Henry, at that sight, not having the possibility to disassemble the computer, had barely the time to take the can of Sapotran from the case, but not the ability to use it. Immediately after, his movement was blocked with a lasso-bolas of the type of Argentine, launched skillfully by a man in a black jumpsuit, and in a brief time, his chest and arms gripped.

"Do not move," said a third man suddenly came out of the water, while emerged other three and then a fifth, who held by the scruff the frightened Lloyd, tied like a sausage, who floated lying in the water.

"Do not be afraid, we do not want to hurt you, only..."

With the hands and the wrists free, Henry was still bustling with the computer. He could operate the mechanism of self-destruction of the three solar panels, but that should kill him and everyone else on the boat, including the friend Melesigenes. The complete failure of the enterprise with the Chinese in possession of the solar panels should represent a danger to the Hellene people. He managed only to detach the mirillinis from the computer and spread them on the floorboard, making them unusable. His kidnappers, once in possession of the three panels, should never be able to discover their secret, because, in the first attempt to open them up to find out the composition, they should destroy themselves. He carried out the order from the chief of the frogmen, whose way of speaking made him accept the argument of Lloyd. They were Americans indeed.

Of the Special Forces, in fact, and decided to do everything, apparently.

As the first of them climbed aboard the boat while the other pushed it, swimming, towards the nearest bend, he took possession of the briefcase and pulled out the hands of Henry the solar panel. Then he picked up the multiform solids spread on the dunnage and, after removing himself the bathing cap, murmured to Henry: "Do not worry, engineer Campbell. We are acting for your sake, and subsequently. We are compatriots, aren't we?"

Henry did not react. He was reassured when saw that Melesigenes was safe on the shore where he lay upon his back into the arms tied tightly to the body.


ΩΩΩ

 

 Then a sudden interruption of communications by Aeneas of Anchises alerted the operational centre of Poseidon. The pilot Praxiteles, who had already transported Melesigenes was previously at the controls of the aviolobe on the flat roof on the building of the Grand Council when came to him the order not to take off. Proteus was preparing a contingency plan, the result of which had to be approved before by the Counselors of the Grand jury, who, although not present in the palace, were, however, so far in contact by video conference and, at last, the decision of the Archon.

The plan was quite simple. Two aviolobes should take off and, once achieved the two prisoners. In consideration that they knew their position every minute thanks to the cheriosmate that each of them had implanted beneath the skin of the right shoulder, with some targeted jets of Sapotran, they should drug the kidnappers and free Aeneas and Melesigenes, transporting them immediately close to Shanghai were with the unique onboard equipment and after having warned the workers involved in the assembly of the electro- cars, to move away to a safe distance, they should begin to render useless for all the solar panels, given the enormous quantity of elements, work with this kind should involve almost a long time. In that special case, at least ten days.

Then, the low returned to Kallitala, for the second failure of the peaceful mission.

Nevertheless, at least, with his envoys, alive.

"It's against our principles and the laws that we have done ourselves, to cause physical harm or the death to any human that is not the living beings below the sea surface. As you know, from some countless generations with those, we do it just to feed ourselves," said the Archon in front of the big screen of Proteus.

"So, must be," answered all twenty Counselors, each of them appearing at the screen just long enough to tell those three words.

"They've left us nothing to do except closing Boadicea and creating immensely more reserves of the purest air than possible for our survival. The chief engineers Thales, Anaximander, and Persephone, designers of Proteus, assured me that the factory under construction will bottle as much air as will serve us for at least twenty years of ours. As soon as the operation, expected within six months, will conclude, it will be planning a system for comprehensive recycling. That will ensure the survival of our island-state as long on Earth, tortured by the men, there will live to the plants and animals."

"It is not excluded that the men come to mildest advice," interjected Pausanias the optimist, whose face appeared on the screen. "When they realize they have missed an opportunity to save themselves, perhaps willingly to renounce their selfish interests and use our panels."

"Friend Pausanias, I note your immense generosity, but I'm no longer willing to squander the resources of Kallitala to build them yet. That they fend for themselves and when they see that, in addition to the ozone, even the air will be reduced, the human's beings will understand to be on the edge of an abyss and will stand to draw their intelligence aside themselves in time. I've done."

Once finished the video conference, the Archon gave an order so that the two aviolobes, already equipped with the individual guns at laser research to shoot the jets of Sapotran would depart immediately for the mission and that the Sargasso, currently located in the south of the Arabian Peninsula would start sailing to get to the point X located at fifteen hundred miles from the coast of China, perpendicularly to the south of the great maritime city of Shanghai. That to facilitate the intra-wave water broadcasts with the operation centre of Kallitala, to follow each process and where appropriate, because the humans always have unpredictable behaviour, to intervene more decidedly to save the lives of the two Hellenes and to make the panels useless. Those stolen by the organization that had kidnapped Aeneas and Melesigenes could use them to power an electric motor, without any danger that the men would discover the secret since they should open them with the inevitable catastrophic consequences. And if someone more intelligent among them would do it with success, they could not remount to the formula or find the materials with which they built. That themselves would keep the six panels. It was the clearest proof of their foolishness.

"Maybe," said Pausanias to the Archon, immediately rushing to talk to him in person, "We could postpone the operation of a billion unfitness solar panels already stored in China, friend Archon."

"You are so even available not to cause some damage to the humans, Pausanias," replied the Archon good-naturedly.

"If, as you mentioned, the men who commissioned the theft of six panels will become more reasonable in seeing them in function without being powered by any fuel, that enormous availability currently in the hands of the Chinese could be used for our purposes."

"Do you want to cause a war after death? This time, atomic, indeed!" I exclaimed the Archon. "The Chinese will never accept to share the panels, which now consider 'they're,' with other nations. The agreements with Aeneas predict that they must build cars for sale, albeit at ultra-competitive prices, without distinction to all countries."

"Earning with the enormous profits that should make China the first nation in the world," said Pausanias mournfully Pausanias.

"It was expected that, too," went on to say the Archon. "Not to feed this ambition, I had decided that once put into motion the first hundred million of these solar panels, should lack forever the trigger for the scission of the atom that causes the atomic explosion, so that if the men did the war reciprocally, which should happen with only the conventional weapons."

"Well, there should always be war and after, even the explosions of the dynamite or the plastic explosives, should certainly be due to the health of the atmosphere," replied Pausanias.

"Yes, it's true. However, patience," answered the Archon firmly.

"So," said Pausanias, "we must find a way to take back all the panels to solar neutrinos or, at least, to be able to hide them better before their use and not make them useless forever. The material we used to construct them is too precious, and if we needed it later, we could use it again."

"It's just the problem that only Aeneas, alias Henry Campbell, could contribute to solving."

 

ΩΩΩ

 

It seemed that the men who had taken them prisoners would be aware of their abilities, given that they did not intend to untie them. Indeed, they could not know of the cheriosmate even though they had experienced on their skin the practical effect of the Sapotran, since delved into both carefully and only in the pants pocket of Henry, ready to use, they found the spray can.

As well, in that situation, had to calm himself the neo-Hellene, they could not know what it was neither, from this day forward, to analyze his content, but just be careful not to inhale it. Its range, if the gas leak button pressed, was significant and Henry hopped right in that manoeuvre. If his captors wanted to try it in the same room where he was with Melesigenes, they all would be suddenly asleep. I included him and his companion, but they should be the first to wake up just three minutes later while the men should sleep for a good half hour. And then, they should untie themselves by those sturdy nylon ropes that kept them wrapped like some salami.

He studied what to do if that eventuality could realize and watched carefully the three hooded men employed in their surveillance, one of whom, the unique, who was not wearing some gloves, by a bit of time, watched the spray can work where there was no label describing the contents, but only a barcode of different colours that the Hellenes read quickly and, which indicated its use and composition.

The three men, remaining hooded not to recognize themselves, could not, therefore, talk to each other. It was evident that they were waiting for the order for someone to obtain the relief guard and deliver the contents of the pockets of the two Hellenes together with that small cylinder which their colleague without gloves turned over curiously through his fingers and was doing it with such a skill that displayed how his interest in that would be of scant regard, attracted, however, more out of boredom than for anything else, by the trick of manual dexterity.

Henry and Lloyd did not lose looking at him. With their looks, they exchanged opinions on how it should end the thing, and both wished themselves that they would not arrive to interrupt that play. Statistically, to the fiftieth revolution of the little can of the hands of the most nervous of the three jailers, a finger whatever should do that any slight pressure on the button, sufficient to squeeze out enough puff to invade the whole cramped room.

Henry watched carefully and counted until the thirtieth revolution of the small cylinder and then, clack! The index finger fixed itself for a split second on the overly sensitive button and ssshhhuuush. A little cloud came out of the short nozzle. Just two breaths and, without realizing it, they all fell asleep.

Henry was the first to awake himself. At least a minute and a half since foresaw what should happen had stopped breathing and managed to stand up on the uncomfortable chair that they had forced him to sit on. The ropes held his arms tight with the trunk, but the legs and the wrists were free, though he could not perform the movements smoothly. He knew that the Sapotran, once sprayed into the environment, after having done the first effect, due to its specific gravity should get down in the lower layers and continued its activities on the drugged men who had fallen to the ground, Melesigenes included. He had predicted such a thing and, consequently, prepared the small ferrule so that at least pressed the button of the dispenser, a quantity of gas would come out to cover as much space as possible. And the handling of a closed room.

He had to wait for that, his companion would be awake to himself but was attacked by the human anguish to arrive at the colleagues of the jailers, so he went down with a lot of attention from the chair and got himself close to the place where all the small can, filled up his lungs with pure air and held the breath. He went to sit next to the man without gloves and, with his semi-paralyzed hands, tried to pick it up. To the first contact with the fingertips, the little can roll away a bit. He had to do some contortions with the neck to see sloping where it would go to poke in the side of the lying soldier. He arched the legs and with the heels pushed himself rubbing the buttocks on the hard floor. Once close to the man's body, had to make a rotation, but his legs prevented him from that movement since they had to climb over the soldier. In that precise moment, he felt the exchange of short sentences between two men who were walking down the corridor.

He had a jump of terror. He must take possession of the small can. If they surprised him at that moment, it would be the end of any chance of escape. He had no other possibilities. The cheriosmate worked only for transfers in the open air and could not communicate with Kallitala nor with the aviolobe that indeed was coming to rescue him and his friend.

He possessed strength in quantity so did a somersault on himself and went to be crawling with the shoes to more than a meter from the little can. And meanwhile, the voices were getting clearer with the approach of the new jailers. Maybe in less than half a minute, they should open the cell door. He rolled the body counterclockwise and made two somersaults, coming to find himself a body on the body of the sleeping man. Now he felt the rhythmic steps, typical of the boots of soldiers. Fifteen seconds again.

He felt the man's body in his hands and when heard the voice of one of the jailers to ask to open the door, the keeping of feel, at last, his fingers laid themselves in the small cylinder. For fear that it would roll again, he brought it to the index and the middle fingers and managed to throw it between his legs. This time, a soldier of the changing guard knocked firmly on the door. An infernal racket. The jailer had to do it with something of metal on the steel plate.

Henry dropped onto his knees, shook the can well, and turned the ferrule that controlled the flow of the atomization of Sapotran to a minimum. He was sure that the men behind the door were two, and while the first slipped the key to the lock, Henry positioned himself on the opposite side of the leaf. Being the door to a cell, it is bound to open outwards. He held the little can with both hands on the abdomen owed to the ligation and with the finger on the button, ready to press it with the flow direction against the two jailers who were entering. Almost losing his balance, he flexed his body backwards so that the jet would arrive at them directly in the face. He had not relayed, though, with the second soldier who stopped himself in the hallway, so he narcotized the first and the other, saw his companion fall to the ground as dead, stepped a bit back, braced the machine gun, and pointed it decided on the breast of Henry, who, frightened by his grim appearance, stood for an instant stunned seeing his hands. In that position, if he crushed the button, the Sapotran's jet should not have the immediate effect hoped for. The gunman distracted himself for a moment to observe what Henry was handling.

Suddenly, when he was resigned to remain a prisoner, a shadow passed before his eyes like a flash, and a moment later the gunman was towered above by a massive body that put him out of action. It was Melesigenes, who grabbed the soldier by the scruff, carried him under the weight, as he would be a twig, inside the cell, closing the door behind him.

"Give him a small sprinkle," he whispered to Henry.

"But you... how did you..."

"Do quickly make Aeneas. I'll explain to you later."

"Do you not see what condition I am in?"

"Oh, yeah!" I agreed with his companion who took out a knife from his belt with deftness and just as quickly with a single blow severed the whole complicated ligation of Henry.

"The knife," stammered Henry, marvelling, "how did you manage..."

"Schutt!" I said to my friend. "Give him a little sprinkle. We have a little time!"

Of time, indeed, there was a while, especially to find a uniform that would fit the muscular body of Melesigenes. For Aeneas, the thing was more secure and hurried, but his companion had to wear the pants of one soldier and the blouse of another who was still sleeping blissfully.

"I must recover my briefcase," muttered Aeneas.

"Do we think before we get out of this building," replied Lloyd. "It seems like a fortress."

"Just that there is an internal courtyard and," "We do indeed not fly!"

"Wanting that, we could do a big jump with the cheriosmate."

"But not exceeding six meters. You'll see that the walls of this fort will be even higher."

"Then, do not remain to us that..." and Henry whispered to the ear of his companion, his plan.


ΩΩΩ


"You two, who are you doing there!" they felt reproached by a stentorian voice.

He was a sergeant with the square face, shoulders quadrilateral, and square feet, fully armed and with the head helmet that, instead of the round, seemed square that, too.

"They had given the change of the guard outside the cell of the prisoners," answered Henry ready.

"And the weapons? You let them in custody, eh?"

'Yes, the weapons!' Henry did it himself. 'What a stupid not to have thought.' "I have that one," answered Lloyd, showing the dagger to the sergeant.

"What... but these are..."

Henry gave him no time to say another word, which already a sprinkling of Sapotran did as he lay on the ground.

"Hurry up!" he said to his companion. "Hide him in that compartment and take him the weapons. We must get the yard. I'll keep the gun and you the rifle."

In the effect, in those action stations, although not of the ordinance, they managed to cross the courtyard where some soldiers looked at them aroused curiously and when they were close to the exit barred gate, an officer, followed by a sergeant and two soldiers ran after them. The officer yelled to block them at the head of the checkpoint, but now Henry was just at the range of sprinkle and after having sprayed the four- inspection staff, along with Lloyd jumped in equal feet the bars and once having touched the ground, both motioned the cheriosmate to find themselves in less than two seconds to more than five hundred meters from the fortress. When they arrived, they got free of uniforms and weapons, which hid in a thick bush and set off at an average pace towards within the not too dense wood.

But after Henry had once again asked him, Melesigenes was starting to explain to him how he had procured himself that knife when they heard the roar from the engine of a helicopter overhead.

"Get us away for a while," Henry suggested.

"But how much time?"

"We do not know where we are. We try with five pulses to the south," he answered.

They had good luck. The five pulses ordered to the cheriosmate brought them to the centre of a small town called Freising, located a few kilometres from Munich of Bayern and for sure at a dozen from his airport.

"We cannot get in contact with the aviolobe; we have no money," began Henry discouraged. "We are at the mercy for the men who, as you'll see, will recover us."

"What do you think that I was sent to do on your behalf, eh?"

"To protect me. The thing that you have done very well. Now the situation did complicate itself for both, and I should not know how to get out."

"To you remained some human characteristics, a friend Aeneas, which induced you to discourage yourself too soon and, as well, in your mind, to believe that we Hellenes are all a bit as well naive."

"Excuse me, Melesigene. I did it without any malevolent will."

"I know a friend named Aeneas. You should not be one of us, otherwise."

"So, what? Do you have the solution? "

His friend smiled at him. Of that big smile that all Hellenes exchange with each other, even if they have never seen themselves or known.

"Want you to know about knives, doesn't it?" and, to the nod of Henry, he explained to him: "The handle made of rocroase and the blade of ruprice. You forgot yourself of our metal princes and that they are not detectable by x-ray of the men nor their touch, because, inside the handle that, as you see, is quite extensive, there are two miniaturized pieces of equipment. One to create a magnetic field to make it invisible and the other, do guess at what it serves."

"There is the money that we need."

"Always that remnant of the human with you, Aeneas of Anchises!"

"So, what?" I replied to a bit annoyed Henry, pointing out the tone in his words to let him understand who was in command.

"I did not want to irritate you, Aeneas. So, well, here down, there's the automatic emergency to get in contact with the aviolobe. "

"That's true! So, come on! Put it in motion!"

"It's already in motion. Our aviolobe is waiting for us at the exit of this small town. As you know, it cannot come down to the roofs nor the woods. Come on look at a place where there is water. These areas are rich in ponds or marshes. It seems that there is one located to the north-northeast, at thousand-two-hundred meters from here. In a moment, we shall be there."


7 - THE WORLD WITH BATED BREATH

  

Xuahn Li did not stay ruminating over. Those facts which, although rejected a priori by his government for the reliability of the German police had been taken into consideration vaguely an unlikely atomic conflagration. Something could also happen as a challenge or an attempt to sabotage given the enormous interest in the field, but such a thing of such gravity was out of prediction. An oversized cargo still inside its precious load exploded. The death of the whole crew in the cockpit and of ten security men to the ground and think less severe since it did not cause the loss of human lives but of great offensive impact, the subtraction of the three prototypes of the electric cars that must represent the pride of his considerable country, wrongly contemplated by the Western world far behind on the strategic technological field.

Given that the ambassador and all diplomatic representations had retired themselves, he decided to get the airport to return to China with the entire trade delegation. Destination Beijing and not Shanghai. He should report the details of the grave incident regarding the inevitable relationship already sent to his government through the Embassy.

Nobody hindered them. It seemed, indeed, that everything foresaw and the customary apologies of the envoys of the German Government were accepted for the sole purpose of not having any impediment to take off the jumbo-comb that, once in the flight out of the German airspace, sent in code from ten thousand meters of altitude, the first angry report to the chief of the delegation who, however, does not permit himself to expose his suspicions about who would make the blow, but he should confide only in the presence of his most direct superiors.

He did not omit to report that the engineer Campbell, who had strongly advised travelling with the delegation, once arrived by other means in Munich of Bayern, had disappeared for the second time. Maybe kidnapped again by those who had blown up their additional plane and stolen the three prototypes of electric cars.

The lack of an immediate comment by his superiors put him in a crescent agitation. It meant that most likely they should implement the program 'Ivory Tower' and if that happened, good-bye to the career that only two days before he had planned blazing, making himself rich in millions of dollars. The dream he had cherished all his life should never materialize. A magnificent villa on the French Riviera and a bank account, so huge such to make him live on the income as a nabob, at the same level of the very wealthy who withdrew themselves in those beautiful coasts sun-kissed, so lush of life. He loved the Western culture and its way of life, including food, nauseated to an excess of the rice, soybeans, and those absurd sauces always present in cooked foods of his country. For a long time, he used a westerner restaurateur who delivered at his home some gourmet food of the international cuisine, like that one that had been served him by a gracious hostess. A tender filet steak with new potatoes well browned and, finally, the wine. A Bordeaux red ruby by the delicious aroma and full-bodied flavour that married itself beautifully with the delicate flavour to the meat.

The plane landed at Beijing airport in the pouring rain that tormented the area, dangerously swelling rivers, and streams. The very extensive campaign's rice cultivation was already down of two meters the level of rivers and streams. Thousands of peasants were leaving their homes thanks to the intervention of the Army that was transporting them by helicopter to some shelters previously prepared for adversity like that, on the foothills of the Hebet Sheng, north of the Capital.

Strange thing, Xuahn Li saw nobody receive the delegation from Germany, only an Army colonel, who was waiting for him at the output gate of the diplomatic corps, and he revered him, begging him to follow him outside, were waiting for a big a black sedan with driver from his seat and two men in a blue suit, each armed with a machine gun as well as a noticeable bulge under their left armpit that revealed the probable presence of another weapon.

'What's going on?' Xuahn Li asked himself. 'Agents of the Secret Service and a colonel, if by chance in the high places, someone could consider me responsible for...'

He had no way to think for a long time, which the Colonel was already inviting him to take place between him and an agent while the other, after looking at himself carefully around, sat beside the driver.

'I'm in trouble,' mused discouraged Xuahn Li reminiscing with the thought to the last forty-eight hours lived in Germany. He explored his most recent memories and made a comparison between the various situations in which he found himself, especially when he intervened to save the American, such an engineer who, strange to believe, had come to offer to his own country the portentous solar panels and then, in what quantities! That was all designed on purpose and, for what?'

During the high transfer to get to the downtown since nobody of the occupants of the car spoke, he combed in the mind every single detail of that event. When they were leaving the Shoudujichandfu to take the main motorway Dongzimenwaixiejie arriving in the Dong Cheng District, he realized himself that should conduct to the palace of Dongsi 10 Tiao, the subsidiary siege of the government, in the same place where appointed chief of Delegation and top-level official.

There, perhaps, they should take away all the prerogatives he had for a brief time, and if he were lucky, they should not put him in jail. He should satisfy himself with a mere immediate dismissal without money benefits, hoping that they would not imprison him. He abhorred the interrogation and the psychological torture. For a long time in China, although remaining in forcing any penalty, the physical pains were no longer practised except in isolated cases, but only in the border areas, especially in Mongolia.

And in his wrong frame of mind, after having covered, accompanied by the sole colonel, the long corridors that had seen shortly before raising him to one of the most important positions in the State, he was about to enter the antechamber of a powerful office that knew well. It was one of the First Secretaries of the chief in the government. Xuahn Li did not stay ruminating over. Those facts which, although rejected a priori by his government for the reliability of the German police had been taken into consideration vaguely an unlikely atomic conflagration. Something could also happen as a challenge or an attempt to sabotage gave an enormous interest to the field, but such a thing of such gravity was out of prediction. An oversized cargo still inside its precious load exploded. The death of the whole crew in the cockpit and of ten security men to the ground and think less severe since it did not cause the loss of human lives, but of great offensive impact, the subtraction of the three prototypes of the electric cars that must represent the pride of his considerable country, wrongly contemplated by the Western world far behind on the strategic technological field.

Given that the ambassador and all diplomatic representations had retired themselves, he decided to get the airport to return to China with the entire trade delegation. Destination Beijing and not Shanghai. He should report the details of the grave incident regarding the inevitable relationship already sent to his government through the Embassy.

During the high transfer to get to the downtown since nobody of the occupants of the car spoke, he combed in the mind every single detail of that event. When they were leaving the Shoudujichandfu to take the main motorway Dongzimenwaixiejie arriving in the Dong Cheng District, he realized himself that should conduct to the palace of Dongsi 10 Tiao, the subsidiary siege of the government, in the same place where appointed chief of Delegation and top-level official.

There, perhaps, they should take away all the prerogatives he had for a brief time, and if he were lucky, they should not put him in jail. He should satisfy himself with a mere immediate dismissal without money benefits, hoping that they would not imprison him. He abhorred the interrogation and the psychological torture. For a long time in China, although remaining in forcing any penalty, the physical pains were no longer practised except in isolated cases, but only in the border areas, especially in Mongolia.

And in his wrong frame of mind, after having covered, accompanied by the sole colonel, the long corridors that had seen shortly before raising him to one of the most important positions in the State, he was about to enter the antechamber of the powerful office that knew well. He was one of the First Secretaries of the chief to the government.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

The elderly man assigned to the boat rental was different to whom Henry had given a generous tip, but another, although he had about the appearance and the age. Corpulent, square-faced, and with a disproportionate stomach due without doubt to the copious libations based on Bavarian beer showed the apparent age of fifty years. However, he had not, like the others, the same friendly and casual manners. On the contrary, he seemed would not be at his ease with the role under the charter of boats and when Henry handed him the money of the rental cost, which fortunately had not been removed from the pockets by his captors and added to it the usual twenty-dollar tip, to the man who took them with indifference, did not shine the eyes for gratitude, but he accepted them as a standard practice.

That laid-back attitude makes Henry suspicious so he exchanged a few brief words of the Hellene language with Melesigenes.

"There's nothing we can trust him."

However, given that all around, there was nobody except the two small boats floating placidly on the pond, each far more than two hundred meters from the bend where they were, also occupied by as many loving couples, so at least he discovered thanks to his enhanced sight, the two Hellenes mounted on the little boat and, albeit focusing their powered senses. They did not find anything abnormal in the range of at least two kilometres. Neither, however, of the approach of the aviolobe.

They had the perception that the aircraft would approach itself as soon as they were at the centre of the pond, and even if for them, it had not been yet visible, they knew that exactly in about three minutes should suck on board and, in less than half an hour, at last, should find themselves in China, extremely far from the intrigues and pitfalls of the Western world.

The only sour note for Henry was the loss of his briefcase in calotex with the three solar panels, the mirillinis, and a lot of US money. He reverted to his precious lost suitcase and calmed himself because they had subtracted it tightly closed. At present time, the thieves were undoubtedly cursing to open it, an impossible thing without imposing on the small keyholes the fingerprints of their thumbs, and if they tried to force it, as soon as they entered there the first breath of air, it would itself destroy, causing severe damage all around. What he regretted more was the loss of human lives. He hoped in the last breath of thought that thieves would read the warnings written in English glued to the cover.

"It's coming!" Henry said excitedly to Melesigenes. "Leave the oars and let stand up in the middle of the boat. In a few moments, it pulls us up."

In the effect, the aviolobe conducted by Praxiteles was placing itself on the vertical of the boat to go down up to five meters below the ground level, when the ship suffered a tremendous shock from below as if it had been hit by a tidal wave, doing loses the balance to the two friends who found themselves in the water to swim with powerful strokes to reassemble on board. The aviolobe could not aspire them to that position because with them should enter such a quantity of water as to render useless for the

electronic controls, not to mention that should also interrupt the action of the magnetic bubble within which it fought, making it well visible and unfit to fly with the speed of a satellite in the cosmos: thirty thousand kilometres per hour.

"Come on, Henry!" cried Melesigenes who, more vigorous than his companion, drove him toward the boat swaying quietly at less than two meters.

"But what was it?" Henry said, spitting the water that had entered his throat.

"Something severe. Soon, do grab to the border! I'll give you the push to go up," answered Melesigenes.

And, in effect, Henry was already halfway into the boat, when his companion disappeared under the water and the same force that had pulled down his friend, kept going against him who felt himself bring the legs and could not cross that herculean energy found himself under the water where expert hands capsuled him inside a large bell of frosted plastic in which circulated oxygen-rich air.

He had not the chance to see who the men would be who had again kidnapped them because the casing let us enter only a dull light. He just noticed that the shadows of the swimmers who wore the bell were four, all equipped with an underwater electric motor and a few minutes later the glow inside became more intense, a sign that they were about to go out in the open air.

And, again, that deafening noise to which he no longer accustomed. The rotating blades, that powerful pulsating roar that seemed to scan the heart pulsations of a mighty dragon – he could not make himself remember the memories of his childhood - loomed above him, and as was logical, the bell that contained him brought on board. He only hoped that even that one with the body of Melesigenes would load into the helicopter.

'Melesigene!' he said himself scared. 'If he cannot load himself with fresh air, he will die.'

But then, upon best reflection, that one they were breathing, so oxygen-enriched. It was not clean then, perhaps more than that one of Kallitala. Afterwards, he put himself the heart at rest, and instead of being himself to puzzle over who would be his captors and how they would surprise them on the pond when, both, he and his companion had arrived there with the pulses of the cheriosmate, he began to think hard about how to get out of the new situation. Critical, this time. Much more than the other two, because the kidnappers had to have learned something of the high capacities of the Hellenes, for example, that kind of sarcophagus from which was impossible to escape, and the inside the appropriate mixed air. But where were they able and, at last, how?

In the absurd supposition that they would be able to open the suitcase in calotex without it exploding. They should not have the time to study the solar panels, and the second reserve of mirillinis entered in bulk in the form of small cubes, parallelepipeds, and several types of dihedrals. Only mounting them according to the right scheme, they should obtain the computer whose panel should remain, however, opaque if it did not graze by the palm of a Hellene, whose wrinkles were entirely different from those humans. He looked at his hands. Strange, nobody had told him, nor he had paid attention to that. In effect, the lines, that one that the men mistakenly define of the life, were not horizontal and parallel, but got down, on the contrary, from the attachment of each finger toward the scaphoid to the base of the thumb, and some intersected between themselves.

He put his mind at rest. The men, of the Hellene people, knew nothing, and those who had kidnapped him and Melesigenes were only interested in questioning them to reveal the secret of the solar panels. They were certainly his former compatriots. Nobody more than them possessed such technical means abroad. The helicopter, the frogmen, and then the listening points and the takeovers. Who better than the Americans could move even above the legality in overseas friendly countries? Nobody. He prepared himself to undergo an interrogation. Luckily, he had with himself the small can of Sapotran, which contained more than two-thirds of gas and two subcutaneous injections of Cardilox, the powerful anti-stress that should help him to endure the insistent and pressing questions to which he should submit. For Melesigenes, being born Hellene and thus provided of a full bearing, there should be no problems. Interrogating him, it should be like talking, without the appropriate signs with the hands, to a deaf-mute.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

"Dr Hu Shi," said Xuahn Li, who rose from the small uncomfortable chair. There was a comfortable sofa across the waiting room, but he had preferred to sit on that one, perhaps to prepare himself psychologically for the scolding of his direct superior, provided that should not foresee much more severe penalties against him. To the silence of the famous character, he did follow a respectful bow, repeating: "Honorable Dr Hu Shi, the facts had happened against my will, I beg you to believe me."

"Please sit down," answered the Secretary and, with a papal gesture, pointed to his office where the two men entered. Then, after closing the door behind himself, Hu Shi took care that his protégé would sit before him in the chair to the right side at the desk.

"So," he said, looking Xuahn Li into the eyes. "A real disaster, isn't it?"

"A catastrophe!" answered Xuahn Li weekly. "And to think that I had put all my devotions, not even sleeping the night."

"I believe it. I had not responded to my confidence poorly," said the Secretary of the chief of government.

"So, you, Mr Secretary," did shyly Xuahn Li, whose facial features were stretching.

"What have you believed?" I replied to Hu Shi. "We are satisfied with your mission though not brought to a happy conclusion, just to some random facts of which you cannot be held responsible. We imagined ourselves that someone should try to obstruct us and the first thing they had done was steal the three electric cars transferred in the halls of the great German automobile industry."

"And the explosion of our cargo plane? They did not go too fussy. Before they caused that one, at last, had stolen the cars taking advantage of the general confusion,” added Xuahn Li, who now feared no longer some reproach.

"It's not that, which came after Dr Xuahn Li. I am pleased to anticipate your further promotion to the chief of counterintelligence and henceforth, everything that will confide in you will be considered as a state secret."

"I? But how..."

"Do not make you modest. You have proven to be an official loyal to his duties and wins as well as mine, even the full confidence of our great President."

It was not for modesty that Xuahn Li had pronounced those interjections, but of surprise, unpleasant for him, also. Entangled in the state secrets, he should never come out, and although would come to him with some generous emoluments, he could say goodbye to his dreams of retiring to the French Riviera to enjoy them. He put his mind at rest because he could not refuse. If he did it, it would lead to his head the worst lamentations of his superiors who flowed, in the ninety-five per cent of the cases, in severe penalties up to forget in some prison on the border. If, then with Mongolia, it should be the inevitable end to his days.

"So," continued Dr Hu Shi, "a cargo plane with onboard the three electric cars, blew up by our security men whom we had sent to Munich in Bavaria before the trade delegation led by you, Dr Xuahn Li. Do tranquillize yourself. Nobody died, although given the news of some deaths. We put it all on the scene. We could not afford to lose the ten cars and, with the action of commando, which we suspect to have been concocted by the Americans. We had the certitude of the failure of our mission. For that reason," he interrupted himself for some seconds owing to the raised hand of his interlocutor, who withdrew it quickly to his look of reproach, "We decided to utilize all the solar panels to the needs of our great Country and of our trustworthy cousins: North Korea and Vietnam."

"Could I make you humbly point out, honourable secretary of our very respectable president, that those panels have been provided to us by an unknown entity with which. However, we have signed a truly precise agreement, which provides their distribution to the whole motorized world of electric cars which will come out from our factories, with a profit for our nation, as well as the prestige, of several billions of dollars?"

"We are not in the condition to respect it, and the engineer Campbell will understand the reasons for that. Nobody, over a few of us," replied Hu Shi, who was giving a glance at the framed portrait from the wall behind him, "knows exactly how the events took place. So that the engineer Campbell, whom I suspect is the inventor of the solar panel though if still, we wonder where he had got the resources to build it in that quantity has been led to believe that the matrix of that attempt would be the same as the theft, and he will agree with us that it will be good which at least, for the moment, not a motorized vehicle with that portentous panel comes out from China. It will be your commitment to convince him."

"But Honorable Dr Hu Shi, I do not know where he is right now. I have the vague impression that he has been kidnapped. The first time I could free him, but now I think they have seized him, and they will not let him in only on the condition that he before will reveal the secret of the project."

"It will not be so easy, given that he addressed us and not to others. We had already tried last year through the good offices of the United Nations and since he had not been successful, in retaliation had preferred China, judging us as a people graver and intelligent than the others."

"But..."

"Dr Xuahn Li!" I exclaimed with a gentle voice to his superior. "In your position as chief of the counterintelligence who must investigate on these facts, there are not permitted you these substantive expressions. No 'but', 'perhaps', 'if', and so on. Only the statements with a steady base. I understood where you wanted to go behind the screen. The solar panels will remain with us. The provisions said that the panels ought to shelter in a secret place and be invisible to spy satellites."

"All right," answered Xuahn Li with a discharged air, without adding another word.

Hu Shi looked puzzled at him. He expected that his most important collaborator would express the curiosity to know where they should hide the panels. Maybe he has been a bit too rude, so he tried to make the situation lighter. Given the circumstances, it was necessary for the success of the cooperation that they would exchange all kinds of information. "Do you not ask me where?"

"What?" Xuahn Li, taken aback?

"Where will hide the panels," said Hu Shi discouraged.

"Ah, yes! I apologize, honourable Hu Shi."

"Yeah, it's typical behaviour from you. Individual questions should not be addressed to their superiors."

"That's that I did, Mr Secretary-General."

That title caressed the vanity of Hu Shi who, with a mellifluous doing, looking at himself around in the studio as if there would be a stranger who spied him and finally planted the look in the eyes half-closed of Xuhan Li, he said: "The operations are still ongoing, given the enormous amount of the panels, but already more than half were transported to the region of the Qinghai Sheng, in the depression around Suhai Hu and sheltered in some capable deposits underground. These material transfers take place during the night to avoid detection by the spy satellites. In any case, the Americans, for the moment, do not control the area of the Gobi Desert, so they ignore two main things: that we possess many solar panels, and that we are hiding them."

"Without utilizing them?"

"In due time, we will distribute one hundred million of them to our factories throughout China, to be used by our new cars but, more importantly, installed on our means of warfare that will have a virtually unlimited autonomy even if for each tank our engineers reckon necessary to use two of them at a time. Now they are studying an electric motor to apply to interceptors and assault fighters. Do you think, Dr Xhan Li once these planes will fly? They can reach any destination without the support of aircraft carriers. The only problem to solve will be to equip the aircraft with a refrigerator for the reasonable reason that the two pilots did not starve to death," and, instigated by a rising smile to the face of Xuahn Li, he blew with a little nervous laugh," he, he, he, hi, hi, hi."

That infected, though, Xuahn Li, still worried about his uncertain future and always with the disappointing thought that sailed on the golden coves of the Côte d'Azur.

"What should be my immediate task, Honorable Dr Hu Shi?" he asked with a cold voice.

"The first thing, to go and visit the deposits of the panels and the second, to coordinate a strategic plan for their future use, and most importantly, make sure that the people involved in these operations do not leak any information about it. Despite being chosen among the most liable, we do not feel guaranteed at hundred per cent." Seeing a pass before the eyes of his interlocutor a flash of disappointment, he added:" Soon after, you must work hard to track down the engineer Henry Campbell and explain to him the new situation."

"But if he does not agree?"

"It's obvious that he is not. It is your task to manage to convince him. Otherwise, you'll lead him to visit the deposits and then..."

"But honourable Mr Secretary tenure but with much deference Xuahn Li. "After this, I have a part for you. I recommend to myself Honorable Dr. Xuahn Li."


8    -   THE BOADICEA VALLEY

 

To not to impress the population of Kallitala, nothing leaked out of the difficulties that the mission 'solar panels' sent in the Eastern world was the meeting, while fevered the works for the transformation of Boadicea, to which contributed a part to the workers of the great industries of the state-island. Apparently, not lacking to each Hellene the work has reduced the production of some factories and a part of their skilled workers detached in the yards across the valley that surely could define for the last time 'of the humans. The reasons given were simple. The first, that Boadicea was a valley of considerable extension and unique beauty, with slopes descending gently towards the depression formed by the river, rich in vegetation until the edges of Lethe that flowed, slow and with plenty of waters, for twenty-two kilometres before entering the Flegeton. To the Hellenes liking more the land than the sea, several times had expressed, in the politest manners possible that, not coming by longtime in Kallitala a human - the arrival of Henry Campbell with his sailboat not revealed – it could be pleasant if, once restored the characteristics of the territory where they lived, would open for its peopling, although we should take into account that over the valley must remain the open cone for the air entrance, even if that caused some inconvenience. Which, in any case, should be not serious, since it could move along the direction of Mount Dicea, feature a flat-topped mountain on which the entering from the air under pressure should not do any damage if not, on certain days in which in the Ocean raged a cyclone, an annoying puss. However, they were rare cases because those powerful depressions formed themselves in the latitudes were roughly located in Kallitala and hardly practised their virulence in the places of origin, but they reinforced and magnified themselves gradually in approaching closer to the American continent, going to download in those areas their devastating power.

The Boadicea's valley was such harmonious in its rounded forms, with the lands sloping down toward the plane formed by the river Lethe, that the architects in command of the project judged should be best to build the factory of the cylinders containing the air under pressure in a small valley formed by the great Mount Dicea, indeed under his rocky cover, so that his sight should camouflage with the surrounding

landscape. While for the construction of the laboratory of the synthesizing on industrial base of the adusbraline, was chosen a parcel of the valley's land where the river formed a large bend and should have the appearance of an immense two-floor villa, surrounded by trees that in Boadicea occupied a good third of the surface: umbrella pines, chestnuts, walnuts, olive trees, oak trees of all species, and albeit at those latitudes, also a luxuriant Mediterranean maquis with its varied colours and the intense odorous floods.

It was essential, as soon as it was transformed the territory into a suitable area from the living of the Hellenes, to create a small town, the ninth in the entire large Atlantic Island. The future inhabitants of which should choose by the great chemo-processor assuming the characteristics of each one, given that the territory was fit itself beautifully to exploit for agriculture and the zoo. The same staff employed in the air bottling factory and the laboratory producing the enzyme should settle themselves there permanently, bringing their families for who had them or if still, bachelors or unmarried, creating a new familiar nucleus. However, the Archon, despite having approved the plan, gave the priority, among the two factories to their completion, to the construction of that one behind the mountain, establishing for about four months and the other, given the difficulties in synthesizing the adusbraline, should begin as soon as would put into operation the first factory. The four months budgeted represented a time four times higher than in the world of humans, so that had the precedence throughout all the execution of the mission 'solar panels, panels', although not all members of the Grand Jury and the few strangers who were with knowledge of the project would be no more convinced.

Yes, it is right. Since more than one of the components of the highest institution of the state-island was sure that the mission in place would prove impossible for the selfishness of the men and their reluctance to accept an innovation that should revolutionize their way of life. Not that they would show, regarding mentality, to have overcome the stage of their medieval consciousness. Some billions of defenceless human beings from the claws of the predators had a lot of difficulties in living a life of misery, deprivation, moral insults, and several of them died even before their bones would consolidate: the children, the promise for the future.

A total discouragement took Pausanias. Having same lived in close contact with Henry Campbell, who later became Aeneas of Anchises, was so fond of him, in some cases even sharing the ideals, to the nickname 'the optimist'.

And just because the Archon, who had shown great wisdom, maintained firm his intention to continue the conviction mission among the men by giving freedom to an invention that, in the enormous quantity that was built, had practically exhausted the resources of some components, especially diamonds and tungsten, instilled the hope at all. Despite he would know that Aeneas and Melesigenes were in serious difficulties, prisoners of the men in the underground were armoured with the thick concrete walls of Fort Knox, the largest gold deposit in the United States. Given the sophisticated equipment of Kallitala, precisely due to the immense amount of gold deposited in that kind of sarcophagus, they could still know exactly their position. In the case of an ordinary prison, they should not know any news. For the moment, Praxiteles, the first pilot of Kallitala was on standby at the controls of Hermes, the most modern and fast aviolobe, just released by the yards were employed by the engineer Paris of Archelaus.

It was even enough simple information that Aeneas and Melesigene would free themselves and position above the water but also, in case of emergency, at any other place, provided that in the open air, far from walls or other dense fences, which Hermes should reach them, given that the two prisoners were in the United States, just in ten minutes. What patience if to save them, it would force to rout any pursuers of the fugitives with several jets of Sapotran or fight them in the ajar field if, instead, the Americans would hold under the threat of the weapons of the two Hellenes. For this purpose, forecasts, a copilot chosen by Praxiteles and his name were, strange to say Paris. Yes, the same him, Paris of Achelais, future brother-in-law of Aeneas, who had begged his friend chief pilot to bring him with himself after receiving first the green light by Proteus and, later, the complete consensus of the Archon. It was his initiative for the friendship that bound him to Aeneas but, above all, to reassure Phaedra, who was informed of all the stages in which was acting like her future husband, with the calm that was natural to her, since the Hellenes never came to anguish themselves, although for certain events of danger. Where could find someone of their loved ones, they would feel a dumb pain that not even the Stetopan could soothe.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

While therefore, there fevered the intense work of transformation of the Boadicea's Valley, Aeneas, and Melesigenes were 'guests so were claimed themselves to define their captors - inside Fort Knox, in a luxuriously well-furnished apartment and not missing anything of modern comforts. Somehow, the Americans knew that the two Hellenes ate once a day, at Sunset and could move quickly from one place to another, when they were in the open air, so they were too attentive, albeit not wishing, not to miss them on anything, to let them free in the garden of the large building deposit that had become an institution has lost its intrinsic value, as the gold, mistakenly believed by the men only metal from the monetary value, downgraded such 'reserve.'

Of what, we do not know," told each other the two Hellenes in their language entirely unknown to the Americans.

"If they knew, instead, how to exploit all the gold reserves that contained this building, perhaps in the time of about forty years should be able to build themselves a good enough imitation of our solar panel," said Melesigenes, who, passionate about that branch of the physics, had followed times along all that project's phases.

"When the planet is so polluted that all the Hellenes should disappear," answered Aeneas but, suddenly changing the topic: "Listen, Melesigenes," he whispered, "you, with the knife and I with the small can of Sapotran you have hidden there. We should be able to overcome our jailers for at least five minutes when they bring us into the gardens for the walk. We must study a plan."

"The aviolobe Hermes takes ten minutes in position above us. So, the five at our disposal are not enough," answered Melesigenes.

"A reason more to study an escape plan, considering that we have to warn Kallitala ten minutes before going outdoors and to find us later, if possible, quite far from the men and almost close the pond in the centre of the garden."

"If we use the Sapotran indoors, we should be asleep ourselves and although the effect for us lasts about three minutes, those who control us from the guard posts will have plenty of time to come to tie our hands and feet."

"Hence the importance of your knife,” ventured, but with a resigned note, Aeneas.

"To do what? There are not sure some ropes to cut."

 "But to put them out of action, Melesigenes."

"Aeneas!" did scandalize his friend. "We Hellenes are not capable of injuring or killing anyone. I say!"

"Do not be so drastic, a friend Melesigenes," replied, but very gently, Aeneas, giving well a light pat on the arm around which he knew there was the invisible knife. "Do you remember? I was instructed on purpose."

"What should you want to say?" I answered Hellene, who already foreshadowed what the companion would do.

"That, well, I could..." humbly ventured the emissary of Kallitala, who at that moment felt himself more Henry Campbell than Aeneas of Anchises. "I assure you that I will not hurt them too much, just a small wound to put them out of action."

"Oh, yeah!" agreed Melesigenes. "You know how to do it." He pulled out the knife from his left arm and put it as it was into the hands of Henry. "Be careful. Just holding it without touching the red pawl, you could cause, ahem! Physical damage to your adversary.

Nevertheless, I beg you, do try as much as possible to do without that!"

"That will surely give me some pleasure. It will be only in case of a pressing need. Do we take advantage that they believe we are the kind of people, escorted by just two men during the walk who will not be excessively careful in controlling us, so that?"

"I beg you," Melesigenes interrupted him, "do you spare me the details..."

"We must talk about it, instead!" Henry insisted. "It's essential that you come from the action blocking one of them." And he explained to him the plan of action that had thought of, finding the weak enthusiastic approval of his friend.


ΩΩΩ

 

Once received the call signal, Praxiteles lost only a few seconds because Paris, at that time on the soil, would take place on the aviolobe Hermes that took off from the roof of the palace of the Grand Council. As soon as it left the city of Poseidon, his atomic engine formed the magnetic bubble that sent him flying to the space velocity making it, at the same time, invisible. In just seven minutes it found itself over Fort Knox and, like a helicopter, but silent like the sky in which it floated, stopped itself over the small pond in the middle of a garden by variegated colours, beautifully cared for. Both pilots stayed stunned to follow the scene that took place only ten meters below them.

Two men lay on the ground. Melesigenes, held by the neck who struggled for himself more, while wounded another with a knife, Aeneas was shouting at his companion in approaching the pond because a group of armed men was about to get out from the four sides of the building. Melesigenes tried to free himself by the guardian whom he was blocking, but him, not out of action as the other lying moaning, clung with all his strength to the legs of the Hellene. In a rush, Aeneas jumped on him and wounded him with the dagger. I began to hear the discharge of the machine gun. However, more to intimidate the refugees rather than hurt them. They were too precious to the Americans, who had not yet managed to reveal themselves the secrets of both portentous solar panels than of the mysterious global power to which they belonged.

In one leap the two Hellenes, thanks to the cheriosmate, found themselves in the water beneath not more than fifty centimetres, and, from that position, they saw the aviolobe towering over them. There was a slight problem, though. Attached at the foot of the giant Hellene, there was still the tenacious soldier whom Aeneas had hurt too lightly because he would remain only stunned as his colleague, so that it was not easy to get rid of that gripe and, above all, there was a waste of time while the bullets dashed around to them. Even so, with a powerful as decided kick by the free foot that hit him between the eyes, the soldier, at last, let the grip. Paris, once put into operation the magnetic aspirator managed to enter both inside the special compartment, and the aviolobe gained altitude with a sharp nose up that took it out of the range of the weapons to the men. However, something was not working at its best. Praxiteles could be not capable of maintaining correctly on the route of the spacecraft, despite his expertise. Consequently, I could not launch it to its normal cruising speed.

"The big stray bullet must have hit one of the stabilizers," said the chief pilot to Paris. "I cannot keep it in line."

"Yeah," answered Paris, "it does not matter if we travel swaying."

"We cannot proceed with our increased speed but keep to that of a standard jet of humans."

"It will take an infinite time to reach Shanghai. Who knows in the meantime, what the Chinese manage to combine. There is the serious risk of international complications, with all that has happened in Munich."

"I should propose to stop somewhere in the desert to undertake the repair. You are an expert, a friend Paris, but I think there are two problems," said Praxiteles in a neutral voice, Praxiteles.

"Of those, I already know one," answered Paris. "For the time of repair, we will not be protected by the magnetic bubble and then the result will be visible."

"And the other one, that we do not know how long it will take. In such a manner, Hermes is skidding. The damage must be quite severe. "

"Therefore, do not worry, a friend Praxiteles. I participated in the construction of this special aviolobe and can 'regenerate' the damaged part. Rather, we must first inform Aeneas and Melesigenes, who, in the compartment in which they are locked up, have autonomy of breathing for just one hour."

"We do think to find a desert place where to land and let them come out," agreed the chief pilot. "As long as the air is breathable."

"By the map that appears on the screen, I see that we are in the Blue Ridge Mountains," said Paris. "It seems like a place that is isolated enough."

"Bravo Paris!" did Praxiteles. "I was just studying the most suitable place to land, and I think that the most isolated is Mount Le Conte, that we have right our bow, about two thousand meters high. There, under those two pinnacles, there is a valley that hides us from three sides, and agreeing with our probes, the air has pollution of exactly zero point two. Do aware of our friends whom we will learn in three minutes the stabilizers on the mountain.

Landing manoeuvre. Out the extendible legs."

Paris pressed the button, and the four long legs of the aviolobe stretched themselves down at an angle of fifteen degrees each to occupy a surface equal to twice that of one of the aircraft that stabilized itself entirely at the point indicated by Praxiteles.

The usual backslappers. It was the friendliest manner for the Hellenes of greeting themselves. It does not hug and kiss and has too many effusions. A part of Hellene conveyed the meaning of true friendship.

Since, from the cabin where they installed themselves, Aeneas and Melesigenes had observed the entire flight without talking with the pilots not to interfere with the manoeuvres of the aviolobe, they too were aware that the aircraft had suffered a quite severe failure. Unfortunately, Aeneas, despite being an engineer, could not give valuable aid to the two pilots, who immediately set to work themselves to repair the failure. Neither much fewer Melesigenes, medical physiologist and gymnastic instructor, could in his turn be of some help.

"You two, friends," said Paris, as soon as he spotted the damage, "make yourself lookout from the north that is that one exposed, to warn us if something comes like a helicopter or an aeroplane," and to Praxiteles, putting the hand on the magnetic generator, "as you see, the bullet broke the cup of coolant through the reactor," he confirmed to him. "Serious damage that could blow us up if you did not reduce the speed but now, nonsense because we have one extra and..."

"Even the liquid. We have one capsule of twenty litres of it. Enough to recharge it to perfection,” added Praxiteles with a liberating smile.

"Well, then we must hurry," said Paris. "I, of these humans, I trust so little!

They should be able..."

"To find us also in this desert place," accomplished the sentence, the chief pilot.

"And he is not wrong," interjected Aeneas, without interrupting the careful observation of the way where they are visible. "I do not know how, but I believe that they had understood something about it and gave us the chase to obtain all the information they needed." "You can pass it well," said Paris addressing Praxiteles. "Here's the damaged piece. Look what a hole they made! On our return, we must report on the factory that for new aviolobes under construction, given that this is a prototype, they must install a ruprice protection and not of rocroase and greater thickness."

To install the new protection took just five minutes, but the longer work was to insert twenty litres of coolant, creamy as a hair shampoo, so it had to flow, as well as with much caution, even with a lot of patience. Estimated time: at least half an hour. An exceptionally long time if the Americans had, by chance, the impression of where they would go to stop themselves.

And they were just at the of the work when Melesigenes, by the look sharper than Aeneas, motioning to his companion, said to him, pointing to the horizon clear of clouds: "That dot seems exactly a plane."

"I do not see anything," said Aeneas.

"And it is also amazingly fast. So much so that if you look carefully between the two ridges on the horizon, you'll see it approaching. "

"Yes, it's true!" agreed Aeneas with a note of disappointment in his voice. "It must be a Stealth, the aircraft invisible to the radars."

And when Paris and Praxiteles, not yet warned by the two observers, were at the two-thirds of the pouring, all aware not to spill from the container the viscous liquid, the American aircraft passed over their heads with a roaring that, despite it would be at an altitude of more than three thousand meters made to vibrate the air.

"What is that ..." asked Melesigenes to Aeneas, "a plane on a mission?"

"These types of aircraft, when they go on a mission, are always in two," answered Aeneas. "I do not see the other one, and I think that..." and realizing that the Stealth was making an improper turn on the opposite side, "this one has discovered us, and it is coming to be sure that we are the fugitives."

While Melesigene held under his visual control, the small black dot that was gradually widening itself, Aeneas, addressing the two pilots asked them: "If you have not yet finished pouring, do not you think that what you have put in is enough to take off and get out of here? Maybe you could continue the operation in another place."

"It should be as if we are not putting anything there. If the liquid does not reach the level, the producer of the magnetic zone does not put itself in motion," answered Praxiteles.

"Let that fly over us again. Aeneas" interjected himself Paris without diverting his attention by the pouring. "Indeed, let it say hello with the hand."

"But Paris!" I exclaimed Aeneas, watching the two pilots who were smiling, "it will discover all."

"But what do you want that it discovers, Aeneas!" I replied to Paris, this time emphasizing his smile. "Indeed, we will make it more curious because it will not have the time to do another fast dive and observe us in detail. We are almost ready. Do you begin to take place in your space? In just over half an hour, we will be in Shanghai."

When the Stealth repassed, it managed to photograph only a strange light device that mingled with itself with the landscape. No trace of the men, then given that for better observation, instead of a grazing fly, did a large circle at the lowest altitude possible to have a greater visibility range, at some point, the American pilot noticed that the remarkable device raised itself a few meters, and suddenly disappeared into the thin air.


9 -   BACK IN CHINA

  

This time, their return to the Peace Hotel in Shanghai amazed everyone. Nobody expected himself to review the engineer Henry Campbell and his inseparable assistant Lloyd Clovell. The entire world had spoken and written on their seizure and although nobody would have the proof, all people assumed that the authors of that would be the Americans, backed by the major petroleum producers.

The Chinese government called home its diplomatic representatives accredited in the United States as well as those in Germany and Saudi Arabia. Against this, the latter country had occurred, for the preponderant part of the world population, the suspicions that it would be the matrix of the attempts to the Twin Towers and the Pentagon since almost all the nineteen kamikaze's authors of those horrible massacres came from its territory, theories also founded by the fact that some rich sheikh would finance them. That would-be revenge, as in the game of billiards, of a, managed a bend rebound? Wanting this to say that, could not operate against the bosses of the nation the most oil-rich in the world, they picked on that one, that most of all he had always offered friendship and protection to their Country, accomplice determining the inexhaustible source of black gold of which the Americans could not do.

Strange world that one of the humans. The comforts and conveniences clouded the brains of all. Never an invention that would revolutionize his way of life. If there was someone who had had a bright idea that, if exploited, could lead to the solution to many problems, 'le voila'! Was it to find immediately the buyer who fills him with money and his 'invention in making' shelved if not indeed destroyed? The world had to go as he went. There as someone who said that the petroleum reserves could drain in twenty years, and who, instead, considered them bottomless, strengthened by the fact that, once spent the time since he had prophesied their exhaustion, they discovered something new both near the same places and in the sea. It was more of predestination than the men, with the flowering of the time, such that they have accustomed themselves to walking upright. We are adapting now to breathe a different air mixture, whose component in growth, instead of the nitrogen, should be the carbon dioxide with traces of methane higher than the current ones.

The Hellenes could not bear that. Although the storage of air in the big factory under construction in Boadicea would guarantee twenty years of life, equivalent to eighty of the humans, could already count the time that was missing because it would disappear from the face of the Earth. Their instinct to exaggerate the slightest trace of rebellion that had remained in the intimate and that the adusbraline, formed in their body quite spontaneously, had silenced for centuries, forced them to think about how to solve this problem.

Already there were who, among the members of the Board of the Grand Jury, notwithstanding he would not express to anyone, was mulling that we must find the way to stop the crazy race to the pollution by the men. Opposed to vocation and predisposition of mind to violence, even before waiting for the obvious failure of the mission of Aeneas of Anchises, we had to stop the men with convincing arguments. Those are the same that only they understand. The violence. Nor unthinkable against people, but their possessions, certainly yes.

And then, the ultimate resolution. Not to destroy their means of communication and offence as they could cause the death of some men nor the processing systems for petroleum transformation and even neither the big ships that carried it all over the world. However, one thing they learned from the Iraqis during the Gulf War of 1991, yes. To destroy or better, to plug the sockets of crude oil in a manner that no drill, even the hardest with the points covered with rough diamonds, should be able to open the way to get to pump the oil trapped in the dark bowels of the Earth. A consistent casting of ruprice, which in Kallitala produced in abundance, should seal the pockets of crude oil forever. There is the manner, even if that great contraption that had dug the channels in the state-island until six hundred meters in depth had to transport to the outside world in several units, equal to the largest deposits of black gold and at the same time take the men unawares. There were more than enough cargo aviolobes and if even for that task and should employ the most availability of Kallitala, causing for a few days the slowing down of normal business activities of the island-nation, the operation could bring to its timely fulfilment. Yeah, happy was the right word, because conversely in which were sealed the oil reserves, the same aviolobes that should carry both the ruprice than the machines that should use it to seal the mouths of the oil fields should launch on the hospitals, factories, and mills, a set of solar panels so that, during the interval of the exhaustion of petroleum stocks, the humans, at last, should use them.

In this regard, given that the Archon did not want them to build them yet, even if the material came from China, they could do well more than a billion according to its configured time, it was necessary to recover those that the Chinese had hidden in the Gobi Desert. Therefore, the operation of sealing oil wells had to postpone that lap of time that gave the possibility to Aeneas, assisted by Melesigenes, to recover them, without thereby causing physical harm to the humans.

The plan projected in few seconds by Proteus foresaw the positioning of hundreds of cargos aviolobes on the sky of Gobi Desert, while the Sargasso stood at the edges of the Chinese territorial waters, to receive and stow the solar panels that recently it had transported with enthusiasm, unfortunately, misplaced.

The task resulted in being rather difficult, being there the men involved and, once again, Aeneas of Anchises became the most important piece of the operation. The thing that gave a certain tremor to the Archon and all the members of the Grand Council forecast exception, Pausanias, who reposed in the former human his unlimited confidence does, perhaps, more to a feeling of affection than to rationality of thought.

The means that penetrated in any terrain such it would be like the butter and which, once arrived at the destination should scatter the ruprice, were called magatau and were portentous. With two twisted horns like that one of a fighting bull that, at one time in motion turned to fifty thousand revolutions per minute, opened themselves a gap in any terrestrial material and the two short side arms, like towing, emitting jets of fire to a very high pressure transformed the rock into magma, which was not expelled but spread on the gallery in the manner to create a duct with an arched vault, with walls uniform and safe as if they would make of reinforced concrete. Once got to the destination, which meant about ten meters from the final diaphragm dividing the rock by the pocket of crude oil, to avoid a scary fire, the magatau scattered in its front a light coat of ruprice all around, making it waterproof. Then, in retreat,

the two horns, gradually, rather than in the sense of entry turned at the same speed, but backward, filled up again the passage with the magma that, cooling, set itself in basalt and plugged the hole completely. The access to the large deposit of crude oil became, for men, almost impossible. Hundreds of wells should no longer aspire to the crude oil, and even if the drills would continue to rotate, they should grip the magmatic rock.

And since the magataus were machines of a quite small shape compared to the enormous work, they had to do and could hold a lot of ruprice thanks to the inner casing in calotex, transported two at a time by the huge aviolobes cargo of the type of that had brought the boat of Henry Campbell from the Sargasso Sea down to the placid waters of Kallitala, in a single day, can block the production of an entire area, being the first choice fell on the Middle and the Far East. So, then Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Caucasian Georgia, Chechnya, and Russia. After should follow the deposits of Nigeria, North Africa, United States, and throughout Indonesia, while for those of Venezuela, Mexico, and the North Sea, owned the firsts to Venezuela and Mexico and the others of England and Norway, lying them down the sea, the operation should entrust to the magators, older brothers of magataus, more powerful than these latter and with diving equipment.

For other oil wells scattered across the entire planet, but little in crude oil production, Proteus planned to leave them productive for the reduced local employment, until exhausting the stocks of all derivatives of the black gold.

The firsts that should be in serious difficulties were the United States in which territory, however, should rain on the firsts solar panels taken away from the huge, then now useless deposits of China. From a legal standpoint, Aeneas should have every reason in the world to withdraw them, because the Chinese had expressed their intention not to comply with the agreements, the proof was that they had created the diplomatic pretext to suggest that those men who had stolen the three electric cars from the showroom were the same who had spotted themselves of the grave guilty of blowing up the Jumbo Cargo, although not causing the death of about twenty people, pulverized by the enormous heat in addition to the destruction of ten other cars. Falsehood, for the moment, accepted by all persons, but not by the analysis of the great chemo-processor of Kallitala that, by comparing the various elements, discovered the trick.

However, Aeneas, alias Henry Campbell, should not be able to prove if not discovering who was acting behind him, so it was necessary for a ‘pirate' operation. And who, if not a being who was human for thirty-two years, acquiring in addition to scientific knowledge, even the necessary cynicism to all men to survive in this polluted world now becomes a jungle? Precisely he, Henry, with the hope that the adusbraline that made him Hellene, would not too deeply inhibit his tribal instincts.


ΩΩΩ

 

"Engineer Henry Campbell, you are here again!" I said Kekou Shang, who said that the reason why wrecked the operation of presentation of the electric cars in Germany was staying in that hotel rather than at home. Henry had no time to reply because the disinhibited girl preceded him, adding, "You're like the Phoenix rising from the ashes."

The sentence was almost a remark, but she did forgive thanks to her sweet and provocative expression as she had said and further, those amazing eyes and that set of teeth in an open smile brighter than the Sun, disarmed her interlocutor, who should tell her to get herself out of the hell.

"The comparison does not fit me, kind Kekou. As you see, I enjoy excellent health. The Phoenix as you say regenerates from her ashes; it is true, but every time she loses something. My body is healthy and so is my mind, which makes me remember that Miss Kekou Shang should be elsewhere. What I know ... maybe to the service of the ineffable Xuahn Li?"

"He has made a career. He was promoted to another more prominent position, far away from Shanghai, though."

"And where?"

"Secret of the state. We cannot even ask for it " answered Kekou with a note of resignation.

Henry who, during a short flight from the Blue Ridge mountains until China after the repair of Hermes had been informed throughout the computer of the latest developments of the situation knew that Xuahn Li at that moment was in the Gobi Desert to inspect the underground storages of the Hellene solar panels changed the topic and with a manner that more than authoritarian was ironic, asked her, "And to you, dear Kekou, what promotion was given?"

The lower lip of the beautiful Chinese made a slight bend downwards to demonstrate her disappointment, in replying: "Mine, being a provisory task, now terminated. Consequently, I have been paid off."

"Well, it seems, considering that accommodation in the hotel is more expensive than in Shanghai."

"I live in my home. I have come here just to see you again," answered Kekou, with an expression in the lazy eyes almost begging that Henry would take her at his service.

However, the adusbraline was doing his duty. Aeneas, without even answering to she twirled himself around and seeing Melesigenes approaching, "Lloyd hurry up,'' said, "we have that appointment, and we are already late," and while his aide looked at the dumbfounded because they had no appointment, which did not escape the attention of the cunning woman, addressing to Kekou, dismissed her with: "I'm sorry, but I must leave. Do not will miss the opportunity to see each other again, I hope!"

She had to surrender. "I am sure that will happen soon," answered resigned looking at him straight in the eyes and, after a nod, walked away toward the arcade of shops.

"We must, however, that we will never meet her again," said Aeneas to Melesigenes in their language, convincing him that it was not of a game of seduction. The friend nodded just a grimace thinking that if anything one of them would subjugate by the charm of Kekou, that was almost Aeneas, as the original Hellenes could not suffer any influence by any human. Nevertheless, he thought it wise not to answer him, indeed, waited for his friend to tell him his plan of action. It was urgent, according to the instructions received by the Archon, to reach the deposits of the solar neutrino's panels and to follow the plan devised by Proteus.

"I think that the best thing is to reach Beijing and to claim by the Chinese government that the contract is respected in the terms in which it was signed," proposed Aeneas.

"And you think that those will accept?" I answered his friend confidently.

"Why not?" I said Aeneas. "We must have the certitude to be able to move."

"In you dwell too many human feelings, a friend Aeneas," said, this time with much calmness, Melesigenes. If it were up to him, the dose of injected adusbraline in ancient humans should be at least double. "I am at your service, so if you want to do such an action, well, let's go directly to Beijing."

This pliability by the witty companion gave Aeneas a boost that made him understand that his behaviour should be stupid. It was now clear that the Chinese, with the pretext of the subtraction of the three cars in Munich of Bavaria and of the attempt that had blasted on-air the Jumbo of China Airlines with the destruction of the other ten, felt entitled to use the solar panels only for themselves, at least until would find the perpetrators of the massacre that, according to the analysis of Proteus based on real facts resulted would be indeed them.

"Well, then," he said, but with a certain hesitation, "do we follow the plan Gobi, but before converging with the cargo aviolobes, let us realize the logistical situation. Who knows how many thousands of Chinese, armed to the teeth, will be guarding the deposits."

They hired a small boat and positioned themselves on a bend in the river at that time with enough lack of traffic, since a thousand vessels running through it, sailed in the centre or on the other curve, evidently safest places due to the depth in the water. By the two unpleasant experiences in Germany, in addition, to look themselves carefully around, albeit would know that at any moment the aviolobe of Praxiteles should lower on them, Melesigenes began even to observe closely the muddy waters from the river for fear that suddenly would come out of someone to kidnap them and Aeneas, instead, with the little can of Sapotran in hand ready for use if that eventuality would itself materializes.

Even so, nothing happened. The Americans or who on their behalf did not enjoy the same freedom they had in other countries.

The aviolobe Hermes, coming from the Sargasso, materialized as itself on time before their eyes, and the two Hellenes were 'sucked', in the two seats behind the pilot who closed the magnetic bubble forwarded northwards after greeting them.

"Welcome!" I said, Praxiteles. "I hope this is the right time, although this operation presented itself rather difficult."

"It's a great unknown factor. We have two negative elements, this time, with the Chinese, who will do everything not to give us back the panels and the difficulty once unearthed the deposits where they have hidden them, to transport them back to the Sargasso," said Aeneas.

"Not yet, a friend Aeneas," answered Praxiteles, while preparing himself to reduce the aviolobe speed because they had already arrived in the area. "As soon as you find the entrances to the hiding places of the panels and only when we shall get them back, will be issued the order to all the transport aviolobes to transfer the magataus and the magators to seal the crude oil pockets."

"I guess it will take an enormous amount of time. And we, what we will do in the meantime in the desert?" asked, with a voice slightly altered, Aeneas

"Here on board, there is a supply of food and water of Kallitala, plus two air cylinders for Melesigenes, that you may survive there for more than a month," and, to the raising of the eyebrows of Aeneas, "of that human, of course!"


10 -   OPERATIONGOBI

 

They were only three but, to the appearance, vast deposits. It was guessed by the massive dunes that covered them, which did not follow the trend of the land where the expanse of the terrain where the sand interrupted by outcrops of sharp rocks and small dunes formed by the wind. Those three, however, approximately one hundred and fifty meters long each, could deceive any reconnaissance from the height in this case only by the satellites since it was forbidden to fly over them in any aircraft

- but not by an expert eye as that of the Hellenes. Praxiteles had noticed it as the first and for that, after having indicated it to his two passengers, that he would bring them down to about three kilometres far away. He could not do otherwise. In the zone, as it was evident, there could be the expanse of water so that the only place where to land Aeneas and Melesigenes with two containers of calotex, could just be a natural platform of basaltic rocks, quite far from the sand that, raised by the turbulence formed by the magnetic ball which made them invisible as well as to support the aviolobe, should not suck by the delicate devices of the plane.

The first thing that Henry made while Melesigene trying to find a ravine where to hide more than anything else to shelter himself from the scorching sun, whose rays as in Kallitala were filtered or rejected as the dangerous UVA, in addition to the torrid heat was to mount on a solar panel the mirillinis and with that computer to keep in constant contact, through the antennas of the Sargasso, with Proteus.

It did not take a long time for Melesigenes to find a roofed ravine with an inclination inverse to the ground by more than ten degrees, twenty meters extended and equal in depth. It seemed made just for them. Under that shelter, they should wait for the sunset, eat at the usual time and. With the nightfall, they should on reconnaissance to realize how many men were put to guard the deposit. From outside it seemed there was nobody, but the detectors at pulse's cheriosmatic had highlighted several heartbeats, a sign of the presence of many humans.

The distance was not a problem for them. Thanks to cheriosmate, they could walk the three kilometres that separated them from the deposits in a few seconds, and with the canisters of Sapotran inserted in each shoulder they wear in the special calotex suit, it should be, for each of the two, to rout twenty men at the time.

The reconnaissance done with the aviolobe had given the assurance that there were no soldiers to guard outside, but everything had been arranged by the Chinese to believe that those 'dunes which hid the underground storages, would be natural. However, the Hellenes knew that inside of them, there could be dozens of well-armed soldiers, if not even some hundreds, given China's policy based on the size of the military, which had vast reserves.

The task, therefore, was not of the easiest for the two Hellenes alone, although equipped with some fittings of especially useful technology and unknown to humans. Moreover, as soon as it started the operation 'uselessness of crude oil wells, the two aviolobes of the Sargasso and that one piloted by the couple Praxiteles-Paris should immediately intervene to render harmless to the Chinese soldiers with targeted jets of Sapotran. This time both Aeneas and Melesigenes had in dotation a tiny breathing apparatus, like a surgical mask, but much more efficient, which should free them to suffer the consequences.

Their most immediate tasks were to discover the entrances to the deposits and make sure of the numeric consistency of those involved in their surveillance. However, first, given that was already late afternoon, there was to prepare the shelter with the material that each had the case in calotex, as the equipment, the emergency air for Melesigenes, the food, and, above all, the water. The hot-dry climate of the Gobi Desert did soon dehydrate a body of a living being and especially that of a Hellene, sensitive to any variation of the climate. In this case, also that one of Aeneas, since the adusbraline that if for some biological mechanisms had cancelled some human instincts, was concerned, even though the acclimatization had made him the same as any other Hellene. Therefore, the first thing that the two did was to quench their thirst from the water of Kallitala and as the Sun began to take its downturn behind the sharp peaks of the mountains of Xinjiang, to feed themselves.

Immediately after, a good rest for both. There was no necessity that each of them to guard while the other was sleeping. Melesigenes had mounted an apparatus able to wake them at the slightest variation that would not be natural to that zone, as the approaching of a breathing animal or the next arrival on them of a body that had more than the texture of the air, like a stone or any bullet. Ulysses that was his name in memory of when the Homeric hero masked himself as a swineherd to enter his palace invaded by the suitors should make any noise, but he should wake up giving them both at the same time, the real situation so that they would immediately ward off the imminent danger.

It did not happen, however, nothing of that and the first to wake up was Melesigenes at about two o'clock in the morning, making himself ready soon in preparing the material and to drink the daily dose of water. Aeneas opened their eyes ten minutes later. The two Hellenes, in complete silence, put up their equipment, including the night glasses that gave them the possibility to see like during the day, albeit with a sight of the colouring of a bit shaded grey.

Thanks to the cheriosmate, they went to stand in a few seconds into the latter parts of the first dune and, hidden in the ravines, carefully watched every possible variation around. It did not take a long time because Aeneas, who was on the side that drew to the east, would hear a slight chatter coming from below. Through its low-frequency transmitter, he sent the message to Melesigenes so would join him. In two, they had the certitude that just from that part, at a few meters below the ground level, was placed the entrance to the big deposit, it seemed to them. Moreover, the Chinese Night Sentinel would be formed by no more than three soldiers. While Aeneas was going toward the second dune, Melesigenes, exploring carefully the first one, discovered the air inlets.

Once gathered with Aeneas, they had to exchange themselves with just a whisper of their opinion on that thing.

"All the entrances are positioned to the east," said Aeneas. "I should not doubt." "And in the mid-dune," reported Melesigenes, "I discovered the air inlets.

It is not easy to see them as they are well disguised."

"So, like the entrances, even the air inlets are at the same point in all the three dunes," answered Aeneas.

"I think so, a friend of Aeneas."

"How many people do you say are there?"

"Through the main air inlet - I think it is because it was the largest - I listened carefully to the breaths of the sleepers and roughly calculated that there are no less than twenty men."

"So, our task is simplified." "What's means, please?"

"Do go to our shelter, contact Proteus and communicate that we have discovered the deposits of the panels. That is to immediately implement the operation Gobi Desert." "Do you not come with me?" did Melesigene's intrigue.

"There are already four o'clock and in a brief time under there they will begin to rise from the camp beds. The wake-up for the military usually plays at five. If I walk away from me; I will lose the ability to send some jets of Sapotran and make them sleep enough to act undisturbed," answered Aeneas, entirely taken to make sure of his mental calculations. "Do make you aware of the times, such as calculating the dose of gas to send through the air inlets."

Just ten minutes later, Melesigenes reported to Aeneas that had begun the operation of the sealing of the crude oil wells. Estimated time: an hour and a half for the transport to Kallitala of the magataus and magators and another hour as the cargo aviolobes could take their position in the Chinese deposits. For more safety, the dose of Sapotran had to be adjusted to zeroing eleven of intensity, which guaranteed the decommissioning of all the Chinese staff for at least four hours, margin wide enough to complete the removal of all the solar panels and their subsequent loading on the Sargasso.


ΩΩΩ

 

 The operation ‘obstruction oil wells,' known in the jargon as 'Gobi 2' took place as planned, except for a not contemplated problem. Although the Hellenes would know of the human incontinence being and warlike vocation of the men, they had not even imagined that the war in the United States and Iraq would lead to a fierce, bloody guerrilla. It is true that more than a year before there had been that one in Afghanistan, which indeed could be considered more a high-style police operation rather than an armed conflict against an entire nation, which should have been supposed to teach the Americans how to ward off the terrorist attempts. It was enough to chase away those bloody and murderous fanatics whom the fear of people reduced to extremes had brought them to power. However, that one against Iraq the afterwards Saddam Hussein was a war declared against a nation. At least on the paper. Precisely that same print media in which some gabber journalists reported the forces into the field that, at least for what concerned the numbers of fighters, saw the Iraqis superiors, and seemed well, even more motivated.

It was impossible. Therefore, to obstruct the oil fields of the north-east zone and that much lower in the south, of Basra, if not making his way to the fighting forces and risk killing even only a man. That was not compatible with the few valid laws for the inhabitants of Kallitala as well as for their deontology. It would be an absurd thing to kill his mother. So that advanced itself a lame operation since the oil fields throughout the country during the conflict were among the most famous in the world.

However, persuasive of the fact that the war operations should prevent for a few months the suction of the crude oil or, at most, should reduce it a lot, not to blow it upstream and see to worsen the overall situation, the Archon did transmit the order to Aeneas to proceed immediately to the recovery of the solar panels. 

ΩΩΩ


When the order came from Kallitala, the Sun was rising on the flat plains and his grazing rays put special emphasis on the three long humps of sandy soil, making them more impressive than ever. The land had cooled itself during the night, but soon it should be itself red-hot. The unfiltered rays should elude the weak defences of Melesigenes, making him unsuitable to work in a brief time.

They had to hurry, so that each posted himself to the air inlets, to put onto the right dose of Sapotran. Melesigenes wore the distinctive helmet with the visor screened that should protect him in part from the blinding rays. His sensitive skin was protected by the suit in calotex, but the Hellene had limited autonomy, so much so that Hermes was ready on the vertical of their shelter to pick him up and transport him boarding the Sargasso.

I entered the gas in the first two, Aeneas nodded his companion to reach the refuge to leave himself away while he proceeded to do the same thing to the third. And just when he was pressing the button that conveyed the Sapotran into the air inlets, saw the initial men coming out from the two underground deposits already 'treated' and stood for a moment dismayed.

Those humans were. Instead, they had the gas mask and were heading towards him with intentions that seemed not at all very peaceful since some of them shouldered the machine gun and stood menacingly pointing it!

He gave a quick impulse to his cheriosmate and managed to dodge the first volley of bullets, finding himself alongside Melesigenes that at that, the moment was about to be 'sucked in' by Hermes, the aviolobe piloted by Praxiteles and Paris. He should climb him too but could not leave to the men all the material hidden in the rocky ravine. Those already had discovered the secret of the Sapotran, so much so that they were protected themselves with the masks and, further to that, realized that he and his partner should try to recover the panels.

He was ordered to stay within the area and not to embark on himself by Proteus, on its return, on the rescue aviolobe, which had already left toward the Sargasso. The Chinese did not know where he would hide nor imagined that he would maintain the position at three kilometres far from the deposits. If Aeneas did not achieve his goal, nothing remained but to blow the deposits of solar panels, creating three fireballs so enormous that they would burn in two seconds all the oxygen in the range of thirty kilometres, causing the extinction of any living thing in that zone, including the men. Unless Aeneas remembered to have seen them well. They wore the mask, and on the shoulder, they had a kind of bottle. Of course, a cylinder of air to breathe.

So that meant that they knew the effect of the Hellene gas, but feared that it could overcome the carbon filters of the masks, so they supplied themselves with a proper quantity of air. Lasting an hour, perhaps, or even more, given that the cylinder extended from the neck to the hips. The explosion of the panels should burn the oxygen, creating a vacuum in the atmosphere for a dozen minutes, then the return to the pressure, in the form of high wind, should again fill the gap and after the big cloud of dust that should pave all which had produced the explosion and, therefore, every sandy aspect, as well as the camouflage of the deposits that should uncap.

No form of animal and plant life should survive the fire. The wind that should result from that should go to shut itself in the Chinese Sea, not without before having caused severe damages in its path. Perhaps, given the orientation, it should invest in some great city. Beijing or Shanghai. It has not known which of the two, but surely one of them.

He confidently expected to receive orders from Proteus, sure that the Archon should never give the order to blow up the panels. It was contrary to the Hellene soul to cause physical harm to any being terrestrial living and in that waiting time, he tried to study as a man, given that had done in his whole life, what should be the solution more optimal.

And he found it. He thought back several times and gradually then optimized until that, once contacted Proteus, he translated it straight to him. It was strange; the response was late in coming. Then Henry knew the reason for that. Proteus was undergoing his idea to the full Grand Jury, and they all were waiting for the decision of the Archon. He considered this expectation of good auspiciousness, because to the great, chemo-processor should be enough few seconds to give him the opinion.

The answer arrived an hour later, just at that moment that the plain below was covered by an unspecified number of military vehicles, including several tanks. The Chinese were looking for him and Melesigenes, but, fortunately, did not shoot toward the only possible refuge across the whole desert plain. That one, precisely, where Henry hid, but they were approaching there. Luckily, he was ready to flee away with all the material placed inside the containers in calotex, except the computer with the mirillinis that had to give him the answer long-awaited.

The first military, already coming down from two trucks, were preparing themselves to climb down the rock where he had hidden. Henry calculated that they

should struggle a bit, given the very rough nature of the mound formed by terraced basaltic layers jutting themselves of several meters. A terrible thing for the Chinese soldiers, who had to be expert climbers equipped with the proper ropes to climb them one at a time, all. There was a dozen.

With his powered senses, he foresaw, in general, 's uniform, Xuahn Li, who gave orders, one of which he liked very much, was that of not to shoot even a gunshot. The cunning Chinese knew that Henry Campbell and Lloyd Clovell had taken refuge themselves in that place, and he wanted to make them without causing any harm.

Moreover, in his opinion, they were not guilty of any crime against the Chinese government their curiosity about the storage of the solar panels was more than legitimate, albeit would feed some serious doubts on the utilization of the gas that had slept half of his men. Not too bad, since he knew that its effect should last no more than a few hours and infused his soldiers more energy after a healthy rest.

"Friend Aeneas of Anchises," the voice of the Archon was clear and determined, "We weighed thoroughly your idea and believed that it was tailored to the Human peculiarities. Since we cannot allow ourselves the destruction of such a large quantity of solar panels, the damage resulting in the explosion against the beings living within the range of that area, we have decided to continue until its completion the operation 'Gobi 2.' Let us see how they will behave like the Chinese, especially now that the Americans and the British have begun the war against Iraq and what reaction the entire world for the next shortage of crude oil. If by traders who they were by thousands of years, or by warmongers, as some of them, fortunately, a minority, should like. I gave the alarm to Hermes to pick you up in two minutes."

"Friend Archon, I should prefer a quarter to an hour. They are trying to trap me here but do not shoot, so I should make myself a better account, by, the way, what will they do in extra time. I am convinced that, if they do not use the weapons against me, we have the hope that they will commercialize the solar panels, although we must fear that a part of them will be used for their means of war."

"Do wait as long as you want, but for the safety of Kallitala, Praxiteles and Paris have the orders to place Hermes above you in a minute the stop you requested. Save all the material. My best wishes, a friend Aeneas of Anchises."


11 -   INTERLUDE WAR

  

The war was raging in Iraq, and it was not difficult for the Anglo-American troops to rout the Iraqis fleeing from already the early signs, so many lives were spared. And while the winners advancing troops keeping their eye on, as far as they could, the valuable oil fields for fear that the Iraqis, as they had before done in the past in Kuwait, would burn them, they were aided in this task, but without knowing it, by some aviolobes which are positioned on all extractive fields, not just it saw to approach themselves some potential saboteurs created a temporary magnetic bubble that prevented access to anyone.

However, human wickedness knew no bounds in the conflict, either from one to another side during the conflict. Part of the defeated Iraqis on the field, make themselves to the covert war, certainly not by the name of an idea of the homeland, but brought by their nature of murderers and plunderers and the same thing did the Americans who used the barbaric system of torture to compel the prisoners to confess.

This fact disgusted the Archon and the Grand Jury, who settled not to make aware of these atrocities the peaceful inhabitants of the sunny island.

Involved at war that should see them defeated on the moral plan and all attentive in the internal controls for fear of more terrorist attempts, the Americans had loosened the intelligence services directed out of the terrorist camp could not themselves realize that the Chinese possessed such a quantity of the solar to transform themselves, in a brief time, in the most significant world power. Of those, the same panels as their CIA agents had managed to steal during the showing room across the hall of the great car industry in Munich of Bavaria, after dismantling them from the three cars. I discarded the cars immediately for the electric motor for its technological level of the conception antediluvian, then for the chassis, a worthy descendant of the first steam carriage. They knew of the panel because they did not escape themselves the fact that the film shot of the United Nations building and had studied it with their greatest attention. Then they tried to take possession themselves doing the hunting to the emissary who had introduced to offer it in hundreds of millions of specimens to the entire world, but the matter had resolved itself in a real failure with the disappearance of the engineer Henry Campbell in the Caribbean Sea. Reappeared, a year after in China, he had been recaptured by their agents three times indeed, but they had never been able to hold him for such a long time that should serve to make him reveal those unfathomable mysteries.

Owing to the Middle East war, the Chinese government reckoned itself entitled to consider the Americans as imperialists, consequently, authorized to use as soon as possible the solar panels, especially to adapt them to a new type of aircraft that should have unlimited autonomy. Excellent defence weapons in case of an attack against their closest allies - North Korea and Vietnam, as has already happened in two persuasive historical precedents - also could be able to cause more damage than possible in the US territory, in the case of an armed conflict. Because the Americans, who had virtually fought all the wars beyond their borders, considered sacred in all senses, had never suffered any warlike offence in their territory, except the Civil War fought, however, between their compatriots. The consequences of the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and to the Pentagon in Washington, which caused the death of about three thousand people, they had revealed, although would pass two hundred years, which had remained in their mind as the first pioneers: other than executioners. If at the time of the Far West they hung a thief guilty only of the stealing a horse, after the suffering attempts, had unleashed two wars against as many countries, Afghanistan, and Iraq, not even knowing, for this latter country, how it should finish.

And this was what made most worry the Archon and, from what he had learned to find himself closely for three months with Henry Campbell alias Aeneas of Anchises, Pausanias, the 'optimist,' too.

It ought to find a solution, as soon as possible. Proteus, the great and powerful chemo processor, had always given a precise answer to every question. However, now it is handling the human mind, whose reactions were illogical and unpredictable, does not want to pronounce itself. So, everything remained in the hands of Aeneas. Who, at that moment was trying to save himself with the aviolobe Hermes.

Unless that...

ΩΩΩ

 

He had lingered too long to be 'sucked on' by Hermes that had just swallowed the container in calotex where Aeneas had placed all the material. Something, preceded by a loud hiss, wrapped him tightly. He did not have the presence of mind to tear off the thin line that was wrapping around his body, fast as a spool is driven by a sewing machine, arriving to immobilize him completely, not letting him any possibility to move even the tip of his fingers. Despite being endowed with superhuman strength and having inhaled a large amount of air to inflate his chest at most, he only managed to break two or three windings, but he had become just like a spool with all that string wrapped around the top body, from the shoulders to the basin. Not left to him to rely on the common sense of Xuahn Li. Aeneas tried to persuade him to release the wealth among the Chinese people, in default of that - and here succeeded for a moment the typical reasoning of every human being – he should blow everything up without any precautions for each living thing that was in the range of the massive explosion. It was enough that he should only press his chin on his left shoulder to operate the emergency device, so that one of the millions of solar panels hidden in the fallout shelters, would disintegrate after itself and act as tinder to all others. He should die like the first Aeneas, but at least solve the problem of concealment of any secret about Kallitala where the Hellenes should survive for at least eighty years and in that long lap of time, they should find another solution to save the planet from the senseless pollution caused by human activities.

It seemed that the cunning Xuahn Li would read with his mind because ordered his subordinates to stand still where they were and to lower the weapons. He began by showing energy and some impressive gymnastic ability, in climbing, ridge to ridge, to arrive in less than half an hour in front of Aeneas.

"Engineer Campbell," he said obsequiously, despite, he would drip to sweat like a little fountain, "I do not think it is the first time that you compel someone to use undiplomatic manners to confer with you." And, to the arching of the eyebrows of Henry, he specified: "Following the example of others, you forced me to do it, but, while he is looking at him straight in the eyes. Where could not see any change in the mood if not an Olympian calm, began to touch him to make sure the wrapping of those dense silk threads would hold well. "Major Kai Du. The helicopter, quick!"

Immediately, to a nod of the Major, from one of the three huge dunes opened itself the hatch that unloaded the sand that covered them, and to Henry's eyes opened wide a hangar close to the air inlets in which he had sprayed a healthy dose of Sapotran. The blades of a small helicopter began to emit the characteristic hissing sound to become, with the increasing engine speed, a mighty roar, and the aircraft came out from the vast underground hangar. Then, like for a prearranged plan, in less than two minutes, it positioned itself vertically above the shelter where they were Henry and Xuahn Li, who later, took in midair the hook with the sling, wrapped in the American, giving the immediate order to hoist.

"I'm coming with you," said the general. "We never know that in the short flight to land, you do not play one of your usual jokes."

"Ah, then! So, you should be one of my captors," snapped Henry, who had now decided to desist from blowing up everything, eager, for the moment, to see how it should end the matter.

"Only in Munich of Bavaria, but only as a precaution," answered seraphic Xuahn Li. "You had put us in agitation going to eat in a restaurant downtown. And then, at last, just in a hotel frequented by Americans!"

He nodded the pilot to proceed and, in fact, as soon as the helicopter had raised Henry by about twenty centimetres, Xuahn Li grabbed himself at Henry's shoulders and ordered that would land them. Where were the soldiers?

"Major Du Kai, do put the chains on his wrists and ankles, before cutting the threads that bind him, and you empty personally the pockets of his coveralls and give me everything you will find."

It was such the fear of Xuanh Li that Henry Campbell would manage to escape, although they would find themselves in deserted place hundreds of kilometres far away from an inhabitant centre, that during all the operations to render the prisoner harmless, he is not detached from himself even by a step by him.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

"Well then, they would take him as a prisoner, for now. Perhaps in that condition, Aeneas will convince them, even more, to utilize the solar panels for their marketing around the world, so that as soon as should the motion the hundred million is expected."

"No longer will be possible for the atom's fission" confirmed the Archon to a Pausanias frightened by the recklessness shown by the Chinese. "If that came true for itself, we should solve the more serious problem because missing to the men the primary sources of energy that we have temporarily sealed and not yet having available for a viable alternative if not the atomic power, will not use it for civilian purposes, but to induce the Chinese to release most of the solar panels that they unduly are holding."

"Not unreasonably, friend Archon," said Telamon in a whisper. "Were we to give them the panels?"

"It was an idea of Aeneas, who naively believed that the Chinese should sell them to all countries around the world so that each would assemble them on the cars of their making," answered the Archon.

"He had made an error of judgment," interjected Pausanias, "believing that the Chinese technology was the same as that of the Western world and so is in the styling.

And, instead, the Chinese have had the presumption to present in the international market some automobiles with an electric motor of old concepts, mounted on a disagreeable bodywork."

"We intended that they would give proof to all people about the particular capabilities of the solar panel that should be the 'fuel' of their future. They have been presumptuous and too greedy of money and power and for that reason, they will be punished."

"And how?" asked Pausanias and Telamon, followed by all other members of the Grand Jury.

"Before convening this meeting, I heard the opinion of Proteus. It had suggested to me a plan to destroy all the panels in the hands of the Chinese, not just as Aeneas of Anchises would be brought to undergo the ritual interrogation in Beijing."

"But all the soldiers guarding the three underground deposits!"

"Aeneas, an hour before the explosion, will convince the Chinese to drive them apart at least fifty kilometres."

"There should be more available panels, and then," said Pausanias. "It's not that should you provide them with our atomic engines?"

"It would be madness, and I think that I should not have the power to do that. Proteus as first and you after should dismiss me. No, I should build as many thanks as possible to the Chinese supplies of those materials that we were beginning to lack."

"And start over, thus, the same 'old solfa'?

" I said Pausanias, with a lowering of tone in the last words.

"Same 'old sofa,' you say?" answered with a frown Archon. *

"Yes, I wanted to signify that..."

"I know what you mean, a friend of Pausanias," replied good-naturedly the Archon. "I see that the frequentation with Aeneas has paid off." Then he muttered almost to himself: "Old story alias ‘solfa' is a typical human expression. Ridiculous. "Then taking back control and clearing his throat, he said:" This time we will hurl to them the panels, and you will see how they will compete with themselves to take them. On each panel, we will print the instructions in their use and the warnings not to do explode them. Since they will miss the crude oil, you will see how they will fit themselves into the new situation. For now, they are working to drill the ground with the diamond points but will not be able to go down even a centimetre beyond the layer of rocroase. Immediately after they do their best to make prompt use of the hydrogen, but not knowing what basic physical principles to adopt to do it at their best, they will need some energy to make it to the pure being.

"They will no longer have that. Then you will see, friend's counsellors, how they will interest themselves to have our panels!"

"But if we throw to them scattering the groups in the territory of each country, which will raise the hustle and bustle and will be many dead," said Pausanias in whose mind, since he had attended Henry Campbell, have succeeded an affection for humankind.

"There is not this danger, Pausanias. Our cargo aviolobes will drop them inside the factories of automobiles, aeroplanes, and any other self-propelled vehicle. Proteus has already compiled the list and the necessity of the triple of their current production so that they can replace all vehicles and engines of all types in use. We have expected that this operation should last no more than six months, those being the oil reserves in the United States, while, for the other super industrialized countries, that period will be just from ten to fifteen weeks."

"It remains the problem of the panels in the hands of the Chinese, then," ventured himself to repeat Pausanias, to whom pressed the fate of Aeneas.

"It is no longer a problem, a friend Pausanias," countered the Archon with a mild reprimand. "We cannot allow the Chinese to utilize our panels for their armaments and even if, inevitably, will do the other countries as well, but at least will safeguard the world balance. I should remind all of you that our primary purpose - and urgent - is to arrest as soon as possible the cycle of air pollution. Now, if we do not destroy the contingent of the solar panels which holds China, given that this country does not want to respect the signed agreements, we will be responsible for a severe lack of balance, which will lead to a world war. This time surely atomic, if before there should not be a motion at least, the hundred million panels needed to deactivate the atom fission forever."

"However, if I'm not mistaking," interjected Pausanias, "we have just to temporize, in consideration that we have not yet the second tranche of panels. In the meantime, then?"

"Proteus had already feared such a thing and in order not to alarm you; I have given the order that they would begin to build them. They have hitherto produced a hundred million needed, and within two weeks, we will get the billion prearranged. Now I must submit to you a project that, as Pausanias had already said Pausanias to me about the men, should solve the problem. If you agree, I should start to distribute three hundred million panels in as many areas, quite different among them, with this subdivision: hundred and fifty million to the United States, fifty million to the United Kingdom, and the remaining hundred to Japan." "And why not in France, Germany, and Italy?"

"They will fit after the first experiment. For the moment, the three countries I mentioned, are the most disliked to the Chinese so that, being aware that also they have the same solar panels and well knowing that thanks to their highly advanced technology will use them, even if only in part, in the war propellers, particularly the flying ones will come to more mild advice."

"Perhaps, friend Archon?" let himself flee Telamon.

"I am convinced that they will agree on the respect of our contract and, before being beaten by their competition, to commercialize the panels probably without mounting on those ugly cars that were presented on the motor show in Munich in Bavaria." "Brilliant idea. Proteus is unmatched!" I exclaimed Pausanias.

"Instead, my dear friend, this is just my idea. I had not considered questioning the chemo-processor," replied to the Archon with a picked air.

"I beg for your pardon; friend Archon," answered Pausanias, a bit embarrassed.

"My warmest congratulations to you." "But ...hum!" I was hesitant, Telamon. "Friend Telamon, please tell as well."

"I refer to the mission of Aeneas of Anchises. Now he finds himself in severe danger. What could we do for him?"

"Surely, he does risk doing the same end of his original double, at least I hope," interjected Pausanias, who now considered himself his tutor.

"No, danger. On his behalf, we are studying with Thales, Anaximander, and Persephone and with the outside and very technical help of Proteus, but only regarding the statistical data, a concrete plan that I am sure will take him away by any embarrassment. I see already by the expression on the face of Pausanias the desire to know what it is. Well, now I cannot reveal it because all the four, better, five if we also count Proteus, we would like to have the possibility to change it according to the evolution of the events that happen out of our territory."


12   -   THE MOST COWARDLY GUERRILLA : 

            THE TERRORISM

  

The common people expected itself, drop the tyrannical regime that had committed many crimes against humanity with thousands of murdered after unspeakable torture, which the entire population of Iraq would adapt itself to an adequate system of government as was the democracy that, although imperfect, was the one that guaranteed more freedom. Instead, it was completely the opposite. Those same people who had fled before the most technological armed of the Americans-British, after the initial shock, were organized into some bands of murderers, thieves, robbers, and rapists, and, above all, cowards as, indeed, it was not difficult for them, because they had not done anything for generations than that. In the meanwhile, the scientists of Kallitala had created the adusbraline to modify the ancestral genes, in the DNA of the terrorists remained predominant that one of wickedness and cowardice. To kill unarmed men and, even worse, people of both sexes bound and unable to defend themselves, was the work of devils. To arrive then, to cut the neck like a man, sawing it with a knife was the maximum of the cruelty. More pitiful the wild beasts who kill in an instant the prey to eat itself of it.

The Americans were confused about that, neither needed them a strategy nor tactics of war, but only that same murderous capacity of their enemies. The thing that they did not possess and even if any of them would have it, the world opinion should not approve their work so that the transactions dragged wearily with dead and wounded on both sides, in a steady, dripping that made fat just the newspapers. There was talk of nothing else but were only diarrhoea news broadcasts and a wide choice of pages of printed paper have wasted the inferences, the false pietism, and the taste to tell of the massacres of human beings.

All this news was recorded at Kallitala and stored by Proteus that was reworked to be sweet then, in concert with the Grand Jury and, as a seal, the last definitive confirmation expressed by the Archon, before making them public.

Nevertheless, among all the inhabitants of the happy island, by a bit of time hovered between an air of discontent and disgust that was received by the rulers, who promoted a referendum city to city, each of which, except for the time of the Boadicea Valley, where it should soon create another, was the capital of each geographic department.

The delegates asked for an end to these massacres, although there would be several in the history of humans, the last one during World War II. But at least, they fought the enemies revealing themselves as such, except in rare exceptions, on the battlefield. Now it was the hour of cowardice, first examples were the Palestinian suicide bombers who killed thousands of innocent civilians. Although this example came from Japan, the Japanese kamikazes sacrificed themselves onboard their aircraft only against the enemy battleships, while the 'keffiyeh' did not for an act of high patriotic nobility but against civilian targets and so mischievous cruelty, they put in, to charge the bombs of splinters and bolts to spread more death and suffering possible. Poor deluded to whom did believe that after the offensive end they faced, they should go up in the Koranic empyrean where they should expect seventy beautiful, innocent girls, who waited to join themselves with that torn flesh, once animated by a buggy brain!

The pragmatic philosophy of the Hellenes, being these evolved people forward to the human at least of thousand years, had made clear that there is only nothingness after death. The soul extinguished itself with the arrest of the functioning within the body. He showed it ‘posterior even the great chemo- computer produced by the sophisticated technology of the last two decades. There was any transmigration of souls, but only the memory that remained fixed in the mind of who had loved or known the deceased on the Earth and his oeuvres, if worthy of being included within the history of Kallitala. Then, nothing. The fire that was burning in the bowels of the great Mount Taygetos should reduce to a handful of magma whose dead body is sterilizing the air by the stench which should pour out from that if, instead, it would leave to rot in the cold ground. However, at last, life almost guaranteed lasting sixty years of the Hellenes, two hundred and forty of the time marked by the men should be more than enough to make use of every one of the goods that nature offers us, especially if, in the flowing of the years. The adult body would ever maintain healthily and in the approaching of old age, it would not suffer some damage at the time but would denote the seniority only in the form of the greying of hair and small substantive changes within the body, especially in the face that kept the opaque brightness of the middle age.

And now, the fault of the senselessness of humankind, everything was going to end. A suspect of rebellion left in the mind of the Hellenes though tempered by the passing through the centuries when the first courageous settlers had discovered the wonderful island on which they had settled. Already someone of the most frantic, because we must consider that although the Hellenes did not want to count themselves among the men, men they surely were, had in the embryo expressed the opinion that if the humans did not accept the solar panels donated them to his people and continued senselessly to burn the hydrocarbons, further, to do each other the war to guarantee that supply, it might as well, then give them a salutary lesson.

And, given that did not exist in Kallitala an offensive weapon, some authoritative voices raised themselves to demand that the Archon and the whole Grand Council would consider the possibility of creating an active force to induce the human civilization to change his modus vivendi.

Sensitive to the needs of his compatriots, these lamentations gave due to consideration by the Archon, who, consequently, asked Proteus what measure would schedule for such an eventuality, and the great chemo-processor immediately listed the workable solutions. That should be catastrophic for mankind.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

 Aeneas this time was real without any resources. Alone and without the possibility of using the small can of Sapotran, since they emptied the pockets of the overalls let to him, fortunately, still wearing. He could use the cheriosmate, but it seemed that the astute Chinese by the meteoric career because being even young was already general, would know the secret of that and held him to the chain like a beast. Maybe if Aeneas did it, it should have the strength to break the chains that kept captivated both the ankles than the wrists, but the cheriosmate should not have certainly the energy needed to move him with the soldier who was holding him. Not even to try it, he had to think, because Xuahn Li, once noticed of that, should be so cynical to make an incision through the skin with a knife to see. Where would be hidden that small chemical-technological device?

He agreed that it would be more judicious to do nothing that could irritate the general, trusting in his sense of honour and fair play, that the Chinese official had always shown.

They boarded him in a truck that covered three kilometres and spent quite a long-time giving way to other military vehicles to overtake and follow it. They brought him down in front of the entrance to one of three underground deposits and Xhuan Li, who, until then had not uttered a word, maybe now that he felt himself safer, in making a gesture with the hand indicating the open door, he said: "Do follow me, engineer Campbell. At present, I will show you the place where we have sheltered your solar panels and that, I think, you wanted to recover somehow."

"It's the fault of your government that has no intention to respect the agreements signed."

"Thing not proven, engineer Campbell. Given what happened in Germany, we even thought of finding a shelter to hide them. Those same pirates who have stolen our cars could make the same operation in the deposits of the Whang Rong Automobiles, and I seem that you, or whoever on your behalf, would not at all agree. Isn't it?"

"I do not believe a single word, dear general," replied Henry. "Here we are some thousand kilometres from the factories that should assemble the panels on the new cars, and it does not seem very convenient to carry a load at a time, so in the open air. I am sure that you have any intention to distribute them around the world but, on the contrary, you want to keep them all yourselves, maybe using them to enhance your weapons of offence," and seeing that from the eyes of the Chinese shone through some wonder, he added: "It's not that you'll want to unleash an imperialist war for world domination?"

"What thing should that serve us?" I replied to Xuahn Li with a smile. "Our country is big enough and is experiencing rapid development. We need many energy sources, and solar panels are real manna for us. They will be just enough for our necessities. Sure, I must admit that... well, given the bursting of the American war strength. We must consider the possibility of strengthening our defence weapons. And if the Americans, as they have already shown, would take the solar panels, how should we do otherwise?"

"Yeah!" agreed on Henry. "But it depends on your actions accordingly if they came to such a thing."

"They are imperialists and warmongers. You saw what they can do in Afghanistan and now in Iraq. All that only because they have suffered some attempt."

"General!" I exclaimed Henry at the height of indignation. "They were massacred around the world and, twice, even at their home. The last, then, was the most disruptive attempt that may exist. Over three thousand deaths and destruction for billions of dollars."

"And agreeing to you, Mr Engineer Campbell, there was the necessity to invade two countries causing hundreds of thousands of deaths?"

"Maybe not," answered Henry more quietly, in the dark of his heart, he had left something of an American. "But in front of the Chinese danger, now that you dispose of hundreds of millions of solar panels, and with all the energy sources derived from the hydrocarbons temporarily occluded, I am sure that you'll fear a war intervention."

Despite the critical statement of Henry, the interest of Xuahn Li was attracted by that news. "What should mean 'occluded'?" he did with some dismay. "What have you done you and, yet but yes, of course! You and those who have sent you with those panels, I do not want to tell me to what organization you belong to and what are, at last, your goals?" "No comment," answered Henry. "One thing indeed, I can tell you. All the most famous oil wells were occluded with a unique material not trimming. The reason is that our planet cannot take longer to bear the enormous pollution caused by using oil propellants. The reserves of all the industrialized countries do not come to exceed three months, five at the most if will stop the private vehicle traffic stops. The only country which has stocks of more than a year, even for just military operations, is the United States that, given that now they know all or nearly all the solar panels, soon discover that you have got to distribute them to the entire world, they included and, instead, you are not doing it."

"Well? So then, what?"

"Don't you make me doubtful of your intelligence, General!" I recalled him to order, Henry. "You know very well what the consequences are in case you will be will refuse to give them the part due and so to those of all others."

"They will start war operations against us. Well, that has already been provided by the government committee and we are preparing ourselves. We should dispose of some weapons and some particular types of aircraft, that..."

"Which does not combine anything good, on the contrary, you will not even have the time to use them."

"Why?"

"They will leash against your country such a shower of hydrogen bombs, that you do not even imagine."

"But we have, too, a nuclear weapon."

"Listen well and follow my advice. Respect the contract signed, otherwise, you will not even have the time to start the countdown to launch one of your key bowlers, because your whole country will burn like a torch, and hundreds of millions of people will die."

"Should I have at least the time to visit one of our shelters?" It said Xuahn Li, changing the topic. "You will realize yourself, engineer, that our technology has nothing to envy to that of the Westerners."

Aeneas should want to replicate that time was running out and that, in the face of a future nuclear war, there was any technology that could thwart it, but preferred to follow with meekness the invitation of the Chinese. He had read till his eyes something undefined that sent him a faint hope.

It should not be at all easy if, with Melesigenes and, perhaps, assisted by some other Hellene. They would try to recover the panels, admitted, and not granted that there would be nobody to guard the shelters. The deposits had more or not the same structure of load plans of the Sargasso. They came down in the bowels of the earth for ten floors and to the eleventh one, which Xuahn Li made him visit, there was an anti-atomic shelter, with all the amenities to make it survive at least a hundred people for over six months. Quite comfortable since the single-family cells are equipped with toilets and running water fed by an underground spring from the mountain range of the Altaj. Some enormous freezers contained the perishable food while the rice was stored in some capable silos that were emptied and refilled every eight months. Some power generators could ensure the supply of electricity for at least a year, but now that they had the panels of Kallitala, could count on an unlimited autonomy not only, but if they had run at least a hundred million at one time, should cancel the nuclear reaction and destroyed the consequent radiations.

However, they did not know. At least, for the moment, since Xuahn Li proved him to have discovered some more secrets than expected of the people Hellene. 'But will also know the others?' wondered Aeneas. 'Or, given his behaviour, he wants to take advantage of my capture for his sole benefit?'

He had the confirmation that during the visit all the floors were crammed with solar panels.

"You see, engineer Campbell," began to say the young new general, regardless of being heard by the two companions who had presented him before entering the deposit, the first as Colonel Xu Jingyang and the other of similar degree Zhang Daoling, "at the first view it seems impossible to transfer the panels from this place to the industries which have used and, instead," he nodded to Colonel Xu Jingyang, a forty-year tall man with jet-black hair and a thin moustache, fashioned in the twenty years and, above all, by very mobile and intelligent eyes that, once pulled out of his jacket's pocket a remote control and pressed a button that sets in motion the mechanism that opened the door to the first floor. The shelves that contained the panels began getting out on the flat ground. "Do, you see?" he said to Aeneas with the hand pointed in the direction of the initial vehicles that were coming out. "Downloaded the initial floor, the second mount up to the first, and so on until the complete discharge of the ten levels. All that in less than half an hour, so that to bring them all to the open-air should take us roughly no more than two hours. This system has been studied for the purpose that the panels will recharge themselves of neutrinos and not lose anything of their capacity."

"Very ingenious, indeed. And, in such little time, " said Aeneas, admired by the abilities of the Chinese. 'Maybe if we used their learning ability in building the cars with a more modern electric engine, the operation of 'solar panels' should be lucky and instead,' he had to reflect with discouragement.

"I should have another solution; however, engineer Campbell," continued like in a whisper, Xuahn Li, glancing at the two colonels and making sure that the soldiers did not understand what he was saying in The English language.

"Oh, indeed?" interjected Henry intrigued, who was immediately invited by a flashing look to the general who signified to be more reserved.

"Gentlemen, I beg you to follow me, please," he said, and with a final gesture made clear to Colonel Zhang Daoling to postpone the troop to his regular commitments. There was no more need for their assistance.

They went down to the second floor that had not been yet opened and there, without turning off the cameras that controlled the two entrances and the elevation and openness mechanisms, taken Henry apart, he said almost in a whisper: "I should agree to honour your contract engineer Campbell, " he proposed him, "but with a little variation," Henry replied to him with an encouraging glance.

"You or someone on your behalf, perhaps a secret organization, have come hither to bring the solar panels away. I understood this very well. Well, then, I, that is we three. We could grant you this chance, as I am sure that you will find the manner to make belief to that outside, and my government that you have had the skills. After all, people like you who build these portentous panels, who move from one continent to another with impressive ease, and, above all, who could download so many hundred million panels in a noticeably brief time, may find credible proof to your aggression overwhelming us."

"The conditions?" I did laconically Henry, who, if he were not an ancient human, should not understand immediately where the Chinese would signify.

"A billion dollars in a numbered account in Switzerland and before you start the operation, the secret transfer of the three of us in San Francisco's Chinatown. Do you think that is possible?"

Aeneas foresaw the resolution for the problems of the Hellenes. He imagined himself that after making unusable the outlets of the crude oil unusable in the entire world, the second movement of the Archon should be to cause a catastrophe for millions of men. The demands of the three Chinese were some stupid nonsenses for the management of Kallitala, where was in abundance the American money, and although they would not be accustomed to pouring it into a bank in the Western world, Proteus should find the best way to do it. Further, about the transfer of the three Chinese in San Francisco, there was only the disadvantage of not discovering what type of aircraft they should arrive there. He asked them that would return the knife and once received it, Colonel Xia Jingyang, who had pulled the gun from his holster said: "Do not be afraid. I do not use it as a weapon of offence, but for another thing," and turning to Xuahn Li, he assured him:" To give you the answer, I should make a quick operation without being seen and heard by you."

"All right," conceded the Chinese general, with a tone of voice that denoted disappointment, indeed. "Do you lock up in that control box but, for heaven's sake, do not touch anything on the console?"

Aeneas got himself in communication with Hermes at his command was Praxiteles and Paris, who, come back to the area with a 'reloaded' Melesigenes to try to free him, before even listening to what he had to say them, they made him understand that they had received the green light to sleep on all the Chinese, including himself, by several jets of Sapotran.

"No," Aeneas told them. "They are willing to cooperate with us. Send down Melesigenes with the computer."

"All right," answered Paris, who was of the three the only one more anxious about the fate of Aeneas. "Commander says that he can land in the same spot where you quartered. Make sure that the soldiers do not impede the operation."

Henry asked Xuahn Li to remove the soldiers from the place where Melesigenes should land with his cheriosmate; that is right outside the entrance of the shelter.

"Colonel Zhang Daoling will go there to receive him as soon as he arrives."

"Do send him immediately. As the Colonel will find himself in the open air, my partner will reach him behind."

So that happened, and Colonel Zhang Daoling, not surprised at all to see the companion of Henry materializes as himself close to him. The Colonel greeted him with a martial nod with the head and accompanied him downstairs.

"We already know, isn't General Xuahn Li?" I said Henry, while Melesigene handed him the briefcase in calotex.

"Sure," said the Chinese and to Melesigenes, as if he would tease him: "How are you, Mr Clovell? Have you made a good trip?"

Melesigenes was of few words, and if he spent someone was just to talk with his compatriots. That Chinese careerist then, he did like not at all, so he merely assented by himself with the head followed by a slight grunt.

Aeneas burrowed back himself into the command box and, once mounted on the solar panel the mirillinis, got in touch with Proteus exposing the demands of the three Chinese. The chemo-processor asked ten minutes to hear the final opinion of the Archon, after which came to the approval, but with a slight variation. The Hellenes were not in a condition to make the payment of dollars in a numbered account in Switzerland. If their technology had reached an extraordinary summit for mankind, and indeed it should not stop, the people of Kallitala had never reckoned these remote banking operations. Furthermore, the three high Chinese officials should travel on Hermes only after being asleep with the Sapotran. During the flight to San Francisco, the aviolobe of Praxiteles should make an intermediate stop at Poseidon to embark on a briefcase in calotex filled with the money, that at the appropriate, time should be emptied by the co-pilot, while Aeneas and Melesigenes should remain in place to coordinate the operations for the recovery of all the solar panels. It should send fifty cargo aviolobes to serve as a shutter with the Sargasso, such to complete the transfer operation in two hours at most. The indispensable condition was that no Chinese military would be in the area. Unless...

Unless to protect all human life, would be all drugged with a massive dose of Sapotran, in such a manner giving the possibility to the aviolobes to load the panels and instead to pour them on the Sargasso, to each aircraft would carry the mission to place the panels in some large industrial cities in each country in the globe. In the meanwhile, given time to the Chinese authorities to ensure that a well-armed garrison put to guard the three enormous deposits was overwhelmed. And their commanders, both the chief, General Xuahn Li than the two colonels, his assistants, probably kidnapped or killed.


13  -   GLOBAL EMERGENCY

 

At first, it seemed that the suspension of the extraction of crude oil was due to a kind of boycott by the countries of the Middle East, but then some alarming news came from all over the world and even the rich deposits of the United States, Mexico, and Venezuela, the last to have been 'treated' by the Hellenes, gave confirmation that the drills could not penetrate further and all the wells, even those which the individuals had in the garden in front of their homes, especially in Baja California, not pumping anything than air and consume unnecessary power.

It was a foreshadowing of a global catastrophe. The first thing that did the United States and the Countries that with them were helping to democratize both Iraq and Afghanistan was to call home all their troops, repeating in that manner what they did in Vietnam a few decades before, leaving the good part of the population to suffer further unspeakable pains due to the disappearance of their loved ones, even suffering the lack of food, also subjected to the torture's harassment by those tormentor's blood and money thirsty, who defined themselves euphemistically 'fighters for freedom.' All the nations came to be in an imbalance, indeed. Some that could count on atomic energy should continue to produce it for emergencies, although for the private cars, finishing the fuel would force them to stop themselves. However, at least, for what concerned the moves within the country, the trains ran at perfect rhythm and the electric current, albeit curtailed, was supplied to the families. So, it was of the essential services such as the hospitals to which. However, the sick should come with horse-drawn carriages. Worse was for those Countries that had renounced nuclear energy, which was to find themselves in an awful situation.

Alone in the number of the most industrialized countries around the world, Italy, where the people had always believed and still believe in miracles. Very strange people for which the best job was to exercise the politician trade not so much for idealism than to ensure themselves a well-remunerated place. It was enough to know which way the wind blew and put himself to lie like a sailboat in the sea during a storm. So, we can understand why a patchwork of communities that in the past had expressed men of genius who invented everything and created extensive works of art, since it has given a Republican democracy, gave only birth to genes of the chair. Where they remained seated amazingly comfortable for generations unless someone who, unpopular with the power or too greedy to bribe, were not forced to leave before his physical disappearance.

Well, the first loud lamentations came from there in the period, then, which coincided with the sacred August holidays and, of course, we're regularly recorded by the sophisticated by the listening equipment of Kallitala and summarized in a very synthesized report, which still yields well the idea, when Proteus vomited it from one of his service fissures, summed up in a sheet of paper, which was immediately handed to the Archon who, despite the situation of extreme emergency, allowed himself a big laugh and after that, turning to the only Councilor, who at that time was in his office, said: "Pausanias, what do you think about that?"

"That we must immediately go into action, friend Archon," answered the sage, Hellene. "The men are so accustomed to their comfort that if we still delay, they will arrive to unleash a war that will involve the entire world."

"Delay, Pausanias?" I replied to good-naturally, the Archon. "We've just received the good news by Aeneas of Anchises, that the Chinese are doing themselves 'stealing' our panels, and I have already decreed that this operation has undergone beginning. Indeed, I have issued instructions to ensure that the aviolobes immediately place themselves at the forefront."

"But that's not outlawed, Archon?" It complained to Pausanias. "The Chinese government, when it realizes itself to be duped, will react, I am mannered, I should say...I should say..."

"Do forget about the reaction from the Chinese government. That they are will not be at all," answered the Archon. "How do you say, men? Who makes it, aspect himself the same. They did not want to keep all the panels, and even use them for their armament? Well, now they will be the last to equip of them, and I assure you, by not an adequate measure."

"But even if the panels are few, they will use them for tanks or those planes that they should not be able to build."

"Bravo. Let they use them for the useless tanks."

"But the others too, as soon they will be equipped with our panels, will do the same thing, Archon," said Pausanias with a sad note to his voice.

"But let them do so! The forces on the fields will balance themselves. Moreover, the men under the pretext of defending the sacred soil of the homeland, have done nothing other than another thing in their history. Arm and arm themselves to the teeth. The important thing for us is that..."

"That should utilize at the same time the hundred million of our panels," came to Archon spontaneously to answer to Pausanias, who recovered himself, "Excuse my interference, friend Archon," he said humbly.

"More than legitimate, Pausanias."

Then the Archon pressed a button on the large console of his desk and the sweet and soft voice of Proteus, on which had been set up precisely that one of Phaedra, answered that, as requested, the general assembly of the Grand Jury was convened in a half an hour and which all its members had already been alerted.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

While all the Countries remained without the primary energy resources, folded on themselves and tried to exploit the alternatives like the solar panels of human conception that could capture the millionth part of neutrinos of those Hellenes or that one developed by the wind by installing everywhere some unsightly windmills, beginning to study those coming by waves, by sea currents or tides, in the territory of the largest energy consumer in the world, the United States, the great strategist's stars and stripes studied, instead, the possibility to invade China to bring Hellene's solar panels, once a time so disdainfully rejected. Because the scientists who around the clock tried in vain to learn the secrets of the concrete three panels stolen in Munich of Bavaria, could not manage to grasp how a small square picture sized like a seventeen-inch monitor could produce as much energy. To crown in all, also, one of these three, given that someone had tried to open it, had exploded, killing two people, and causing severe burns on the other four.

A good third of the US warships both of surface and underwater disposed of the nuclear-power units, particularly, three modern aircraft carriers capable of reaching a cruising speed of forty knots per hour. One little trick to reach the coasts of China from the largest naval base in San Diego, California, in a few days. On which were loaded double stocks of fuel in the aircraft, including three big invisible to radar bombers who, although in the greatest secrecy, were hidden in the good belly as many hydrogen bombs. It would be the last chance if China opposed too much resistance to releasing the panels or would themselves, by chance, also dare to use the nuclear weapon.

The information on the CIA which from the disaster of the Twin Towers had lost considerable credibility stated assure that the Easterner country possessed some tactical weapons which could launch with a rough precision, about ten thousand kilometres far away, so that, in California and beyond, until in the heart of the Midwest.

While the American vessels, to which were themselves joined by the English ones, headed toward the Chinese Sea, began the exchange transaction with General Xuahn Li and his two acolytes for the restitution of the panels. Despite the excellent efficiency within the Hellene organization, there was a notable delay for what concerned the collection of the American money. Given that these were things, which were outside the ordinary the course of the life to Kallitala and that one billion dollars had been used by Aeneas to subsidize the Chinese factories, for its finding were employed two days, equivalent to eight of those humans, just long that the American ships would position at about forty miles from the Chinese coasts, particularly in the direction of the great cities of Shanghai, Fuzhou, and Hong Kong.

Intercepted by the Chinese radars, even though the fleets were in extraterritorial waters, the aircraft carriers and the submarines were kept quite far away from the warships of China and the Chinese government made himself immediately consult the American ambassador in Beijing, to know the reasons for this encirclement.

Mr David Lyndons, incidentally, just newly appointed because he came from the embassy to the United Nations, although made aware by the US presidential administration, as well as having attended the trials of the Hellene solar panel held by the first Aeneas of Anchises died prematurely in action in the Caribbean Sea, began to implement the trappings of his demanding job and his natural propensities to prevaricate, hoping in his heart that the American demands would spell out directly by the President or failing that, by one of the several four stars admirals embarked on units of the nuclear-powered fleet, ready to launch the thermonuclear warheads if China opposed a strict ban.

Dr Hu Shi, the secretary of the President was appointed by him, given that he spoke fluent American, to act as an interpreter in the telephone conversation between the chief executive of his country and which one of the United States and, at last, came out the catch. Not that the US President, in his polite request for a good fifty per cent of the solar panels would use the threat even the force, but Hu Shi understood very well and with a long roundabout, sentences made it clear to his chief that the ships, the aircraft, and the submarines which were facing the Chinese coast, we're ready to use, but only if forced the military power. Conventional, though. Nobody had mentioned the dozen nuclear bombs ready to drop from the air and, after them, as many warheads launched from underwater.

"What should it mean?" I snapped angrily at the Chinese President. "Should they like, by chance, to take them by force? We will make sure to see them as we evict them from where they are." And, almost in a whisper, he asked into the ear of his secretary: "Are the panels well sheltered?"

"Of course, Mr President. I received just last night the report of General Xuahn Li, who told me that everything was under control, and no stranger approached the three deposits."

"So, let's give them a lesson," the President. "But how, honourable excellence?" I asked Hu Shi, scared.

"Nothing transcendental. Only a small test of strength. We send, also to those that are already there, other dozens of battleships and let us take off fifteen flights of planes, which fly over at low altitude the American and the British vessels. When they see more than two hundred aircraft on the head and will be surrounded by nearly a hundred warships, you will also agree that they ought to come to more mild advice."

"But there will be significant fuel consumption, excellence. With the shortage that exists."

"Meanwhile, we dispose of large reserves that we have recently accumulated, making us believe that our industries turned at full speed and then, do we not possess, by chance, hundreds of millions of solar panels delivered up together with a billion dollars to install them on our defence vehicles?"

"Yes, your excellency."

"By the way, to what extent are the tests to make flying our Mig 31 planes with those portentous panels?"

"I was informed that within a month, two at most, the prototype will be able to fly."

"We cannot hold off the invaders for so long. Do give provisions so that the heads of those useless technicians convene in the meeting of the Council this evening. I want to make sure that they are skills. Otherwise, I will call the Russian technicians."

"But, Your Excellency, it will come to the Russian aeronautical engineers, they should notice the panels."

"Why, do they not already know? The important thing is that they do not discover how many we have and were hidden. To this regard, do give the order to transport a few thousands of them to be distributed at our large factories, in such a manner we will believe to our comrades that they should be the only contingent we had had by that American engineer. However, what's his name?"

"Campbell, Excellence, Henry Campbell, and the other, if I well remember, Lloyd Clovell."

"Ah, yes! What some strange characters. Nevertheless, where are they coming from?"

"It seems to be some American dissidents."

"Who disposes of those portentous solar panels and then also of all that money. Even so, you have given precise instructions to our intelligence to ascertain who they are indeed and the reason they act in this way and, finally, what's their real purpose?"

"At the time incredibly careful investigations, Excellency, which lasted long. Our agents Xuahn Li and Kekou Shang have practically lived in close contact with the two Americans, realizing that they had no other purpose than to save the Earth from pollution derived from the use of hydrocarbons and, under this point of view, we could not blame them."

"But this Kekou Shang, Dr Hu Shi, who, by what had told me, is a real beauty, has she managed to circumvent the engineer, Campbell?"

"She tried several times but was always rejected. Indeed, Xuahn Li said in his report, after the events of Munich of Bavaria, that to have no contact with her, Mr Campbell had gone to poke himself in severe trouble, from which she, in the company of Xuahn Li, assisted by our agents, have taken him away just in time."


14  -    IN THE ISLAND-STATE OF KALLITALA

  

Worrying themselves was not included in the temperament of the Hellenes. However, Phaedra suffered from a slight apprehension, exacerbated by the fact that the mission of her Aeneas in the human world was prolonging itself more than had expected. And, to render worse the fact, there was not even her brother Paris to whom confide her pains. Pains of love, of course, since Phaedra was very much in love, happily reciprocated by Henry Campbell, who had been baptized into the name of the big hero of Kallitala.

Going to disturb Pausanias, permanently summoned by the Archon to the palace to follow the various phases of the operation 'solar panels and all that went with it was not the case. The good Senior Counselor, a candidate to become Archon after the expiry of the mandate of the current one, was very fond of Aeneas to consider him, given that the former human could not rely on a relationship at Kallitala, his godson and, therefore, to also count Phaedra, his future wife, as such.

On the sunny island, everyone was free to do what he also wanted in the sex matter, but when the two young men had promised themselves, it was as they would already be the unit in marriage. And to Phaedra and Aeneas, because their marriage would officially sanction, missed only the ceremony.

More than several times, the beautiful girl went walking on the beach of their meeting, evoking their first approach romantically, coming to her mind the attitudes of curious amazement of the American 'captured' by the sea hogs. As would he not realize to find himself in an unknown world but, at the same time, fascinated by everything he saw and at last, amazed by the car on which he was travelling to reach the house of her parents in Anticyra. How would he not lose sight of any internal and external and his strange definition of the land vehicles in 'astromobile'. Such was for him that the standard mean of locomotion, unthinkable in the world from which he had come.

And now she risked losing him forever. A vague presentiment infused that into her soul. The latest news from the world of humans is not invited indeed to the optimism. It was running a brutal war, and that was worse, a widespread terrorist who did some massacres of unarmed men, and often also of children. At Kallitala, there was no difference between adult males and females. Everyone had rights and duties, and the female was never considered a being to protect, then less than the male. However, the children had the right to any, and all respect for the adults. They were sacred, and nobody in the whole territory of the peaceful country had never dared to go beyond a mere reprimand for a simple prank. Whereas in the western world, the children sometimes were considered as a bargaining chip, the adults made them work when was their time to play and, indeed, were armed to fight and to kill his similar, without that those 'tabula rasa' minds would know to cause the evil.

Phaedra thought she could generate children if Aeneas, that in her heart always called Henry, proud to be in part the author of his transformation in a Hellene, but with some character's human yet, that had fascinated her enough to fall in love with him at first sight.

She sighed and looking at the bare pier to which for several days moored the boat of his beloved, she thought to the mini-cruise on her brother's yacht when Henry had naively tried to flee.

Then, when the Sun was at three-quarters of his path and about to gild the sharp peaks of the mountains, purples for the distance, she walked toward the grove beyond the beach. Where left the car. Her parents were waiting for the evening dining. Perhaps Alcinous, but much more her Mother Hecuba, they should infuse into her the security of that she felt so much need.

ΩΩΩ

 

At several thousand kilometres from her, even Aeneas, during the pause while waiting for that would arrive from Proteus the confirmation that the payment of a billion of dollars on behalf of Xuanh Li and his accomplices would do, had the same reflections of his beloved Phaedra and, not at all regretting to have been a man in his world that steady henceforth not believed ever such, given what was happening among some wars and various killings, relived his romantic encounter with the woman from his dreams and still felt in his ears her warm and persuasive voice saw her move, supple with the elegant gait and gesticulating with her winning manners. He is reliving the surprise she had done to him when she had hidden in the yacht of Paris in the day when he had foolishly decided to escape from Kallitala. That idea gave him the shivers. Assuming, nevertheless, that it would be impossible, that he would realize, now he should be the unhappiest of the men after having committed the same error of those who, finding a big precious stone, would mistake for a rock, at best to launch as far away as possible.

He was subjecting himself to action, ignoble for the Hellenes: that one to give the 'bribe' to Xuahn Li and do flee away with his acolytes. For that reason, he was called to Kallitala since no Hellene could do such a thing. However, he was disgusted with that. The only manner, even though, to recover the panels without causing harm to anyone and distribute them equally among all the peoples of the Earth, without exception, sure that if those were not enough, the Archon should give an order that should build another huge quantity. Moreover, he had handsomely paid the Chinese government in exchange for those raw materials that in Kallitala were beginning to lack.

Already he saw the world in peace and with a convincing primary reason for not to thwart each other. There should be no more oil-producing countries that should impose a price cartel and, with the gross income, financed indirectly and perhaps, without even meaning to, the subversive groups who wanted to impose their exaggerated sense of religious chiromancy.

'If they knew,' said himself, 'that stupid, that up there is just no one and humankind, like all living things originated from a molecular combination, perhaps they should endeavour to become loyal to each other. To some of these blind men not being satisfied enough with the enormous richness amassed, that although not giving happiness, help only to live better. Instead, to be happy about that, especially comparing themselves to those who suffer both the hunger and the thirst, they enjoy seeing the men killing each other just for an extreme inferiority complex.'

Only he could hear the beep of the small computer and on the display appeared the venerable face of the Archon. It was the first time since he was on a mission that he revealed himself. It had to be something important. Aeneas had the certitude of that when, with excessive severity, the chief among the people of Kallitala, said: "The money had collected, but you tell them that it transferred to a numbered account in a Swiss bank and did invent a codename. You have my approval that the three Chinese moved to the desired location, provided. They have the authority to remove all troops of at least a hundred kilometres. The operation ‘recovering panels' is cancelled. At soon as you will stay alone with Melesigenes will receive other provisions."

Aeneas did not leak his dismay and approached himself to Xuahn Li as if everything would be in the rules.

"The payment was made. Do write the reference I am going to give you," he said without any crack in his voice so that the Chinese general could not impede himself a smile of satisfaction.

"The number code is 145234 Kla at U.B.S. of Zurich. Do I repeat it? You to be unregistered it well in mind?"

"No need," answered Xuahn with a slight note of triumph. "Kla 145234. One billion, right?"

"A billion," confirmed Henry Campbell. "Of dollars?"

"Yes. However, there is one condition. Before you and your colonels were transported to the desired location, you must remove all the soldiers for at least one hundred kilometres from this area."

"Why that?"

"Do not argue, General Xuahn Li," replied with a frown that was going to handle for the last time in the name of Henry Campbell. "It's handling of an ideal condition. Otherwise, everything goes awry."

Xuahn Li thought that if he dared not follow the terms, should be a serious misstep. He could no longer hold himself back. His leaders should suspect the catch and the best that should happen to him, once captured, should be that to rot for his whole life in one of the worst prisons in China, because the gunshot in the head, intended for criminals of the lowest rank, for him, should be a liberation.

He gave peremptory orders to the two colonels who would send all the soldiers to the cantonments in Yinchuan, far more than four hundred kilometres, saying to Colonel Xu Jingyang, to make it more credible, to accompany the troops until Wuhai and from there to turn himself back.

When he knew that they should cover the road between them and Wuhai and back in less than four hours once received the approval from Proteus, Aeneas gave his assent, calling backwards for such that time the aviolobe which should lead the three Chinese in San Francisco, with a secret stopover on the boundaries of the magnetic dome of Kallitala, for the delivery of the money.

Melesigenes went to ascertain himself everywhere if for chance would let someone around on the departure of the soldiers. Thanks to his cheriosmate he inspected the area for a range of hundred kilometres and checked himself that the last truckload of soldiers would exceed that circle of safety, then he returned close to Aeneas, with the latent fear that the two Chinese, rethinking in it, could overwhelm his protégé, as far as he had left him with the promise which in case of suspicion, he would use the small can of Sapotran.

However, there was not any necessity. Indeed, when returning, he read in the stirred faces of the general than the colonel, severe anxiety. The time, for them, was flowing slowly and gradually that the minutes passed, increased in them the fear that someone of the battalion in the 'forced' travel to Yinchuan would suspect something and would warn the general command.

The thing that happened on time as soon as the trucks halted for the first stop in Wuhai and Colonel Xia Jingyang handed over the responsibilities to the Lieutenant Colonel Chen Tang, who had suspected during the entire journey that his superiors would plot, what exactly he could not manage to know, but without a doubt something against the interests of his country. Consequently, as soon as the jeep carrying the colonel, driven by himself and protected by a machine gun ready to use, was at an appropriate distance, instead of resuming their journey to the barracks of Yinchuan, he made himself in radio contact with the general command in Beijing and after an unnerving, waiting lasted more than an hour for the discharging of responsibility among an official to another before reaching the personality with whom he must do his report, the excited voice asked him to repeat what he thought exactly could happen at the underground shelters in the Gobi Desert.

That voice was of Hu Shi, the direct superior of General Xuahn Li, who understood very well that his subordinate, risen to the rank of public thanks to his intercession, was betraying him, he gets himself dragged into a highly dangerous situation.

 

ΩΩΩ

 

"From the human world always arrives here hard news," began to say the Archon, who had convened an extraordinary meeting of the Grand Jury. His deep voice echoed in the large hall where hovered between such a quiet silence to perceive the breaths of those Counselors who, older than the others, panting a little with the emotion. To the memory of each Hellene was the first time that convened such an important meeting. "But that one, dear friends are undoubtedly the most severe and devastatingly affects us, since the victims of such human brutality, are mainly children of their tenderer age, including those who have saved their lives, but they will have engraved in their heart and brain those scary scenes. The explosion of a terrorist bomb or the planes that hit the Twin Towers in New York, although causing the death of many innocent civilians, is a consequence not preordained. Yes, it is true. It handles their attempts to kill and to destroy, but the same attackers did not know what quality and quantity result they could obtain. Nevertheless, in Beslan in North Ossetia, in Russia, they knew it, and how! They had before them those little trembling beings of fear after two days, and two nights lived in the more abject terror. And, as a condemnation artfully delayed, they killed them and even before some of them, also raped. I am shocked, and if you agree, I should not do understand to our fellow citizens. If they knew that, many of them should react unexpectedly, and we will be obliged to provide that would inoculate them with a healthy dose of adusbraline to bring them back to reason. Of course, I am dreading an opportunity not real because a true Hellene never loses his cool. Six hundred dead, most of them were children and hundreds more in the hospital, who's much dying, who certainly will die in a few days. We could also save them with our medicines. But what should resolve that? They are destined to live an unhappy life, so might as well that the oblivion encloses them in his pitiful arms. Enough, enough, enough!" The last word was shouted by the Archon, causing a general murmur of disapproval. "Why to help the human beings by giving them our neutrino's solar panels, when they are showing that, worse than for the crude oil, now to have them, they should dispose to unleash a global war?"

"But friend Archon," interjected Pausanias to whom had permitted to speak as soon raised his hand, "they should trigger a nuclear war that would mean the end of us."

"And their lives, too, a friend Pausanias," replied to the Archon. "They will not do such a thing and consequently, we can rest assured."

"But and the air?"

"In a bit lap of time, the factory of Boadicea will operate. In this waiting, our engineers have designed special filtering by the great hold on Mount Dicea. I have convoked this assembly. However, for two decisions that I should take after having consulted, for the purely technical question, our chemo-computer Proteus."

The twenty counsellors became more careful but, more than all. Pausanias had a premonition that startled him. In that short lapse of time, he thought irrationally to an eventual sacrifice of the new Aeneas of Anchises. He was a bit too fond of that young man and not having children; he considered as such him, as well as his betrothed, Phaedra. He had dreamed so much that the two young people would marry themselves, sure that they should not disregard him in his long middle age. He felt the necessity of that since he had missed the occasion to put on, in his turn, a family. A thwarted love his own, that one of the youths whereas for an exaggerated sense of honour and order, he sacrificed his private life to that one public, becoming a prominent figure, and perhaps most an important official of Kallitala. Not that he would be ambitious since such no Hellene was, but only satisfied to have contributed to increasing, with all his dedication and capacity of the great Atlantic Island. Besides, many others like him did that in the former times, devoting with all his willingness and ability to reach that considerable degree of technology such as to shelter their beloved state-island from the severe interferences by the human world. Highlighted, particularly, in recent times with the mass motorization and all the comforts that modern life could offer, excluding, of course, several billions of human beings who lacked even the essentials to survive, their condition also aggravated by the worse situation from the air that they breathed.

The Archon, realizing that the dean of the Counselors was sailing in his thoughts did not intentionally regain his speech but caught the glance of Pausanias, who understood immediately that mute reproach addressed to his superior an expression of humility.

"I was saying, friend's counsellors," regained the Archon, "that two are two the solutions that should take to solve our problems most urgent."

The Archon looked at all the Counselors carefully to discover even the slightest hint of contrast but, except for Pausanias, even an eyebrow arched itself.

"Friend Pausanias, have you something to the contrary?"

"I do not see. How could I, Archon since you have not yet formulated the content of the two decisions announced," he replied, but with a bit of conviction?

The Archon knew that Pausanias already informed, albeit not yet in the details, what should be these decisions, but he did not want to interfere especially not to irritate the other counsellors who were not yet aware.

"Given and, unfortunately, ascertained that the human's beings have proven to be so foolish to consider our panels more as a means to increase their military power with a consequent greater power in comparison to the others and that, in the end, thanks to the technology of our products, they will arrive, even at the cost of living, to discover the secret of which and to revolutionize their technology with, maybe, the discovery of our island and the subsequent destruction to our people, by the suggestion of Proteus, and provided that you will agree, I should decide to destroy the billions of solar panels currently in the process of exchange between Aeneas and those corrupt Chinese headed by that reckless of General Xuahn Li. The place where meanwhile are the boards is quite sure not to do any harm to human beings, although there could be the danger of killing that tenacious wildlife that manages to survive notwithstanding in the driest desert. Nevertheless, anyhow, absolute perfection is not of our world and throughout this, the operation should be the minor damage. After the destruction of the panels, we will spend almost sufficiently the time that the reserves of petroleum products were exhausted themselves in the developed countries. It was calculated in three months, long enough so that our engineers should draw up the largest air filter above the Mount Dicea, such to manage to shelter ourselves from the miasma of the human production just satisfactorily to finish the construction at the factory of the cylinders of the compressed air. In the meanwhile, our aviolobes will carry, for the last time, the magatau and the magators to reopen all the oil wells currently sealed with the rocroase and ruprice. The human world will resume its unusual activity, its small wars, and the crazy race to the welfare of the few at the expense of many. Who keep it well in mind, friend's counsellors will come to organize and rebel against themselves and will happen a thing unlikely in these times. A French revolution multiplied by thousand. A bloodbath that his scroll on the Earth will go to replenish the fertility to the ground. Even so, we, at that time, will be well sheltered and because will have a lot of fresh air necessary for our survival for nearly a century of human years because our technology will develop the painful, but not an impossible project to produce our air, purifying and recycling that one we have. And, at that point, humans will destroy well by themselves. And, at last, who will not die a violent death, will end his days in agony in a hospital bed corroded and destroyed by cancer or by some vascular disease."

The usual hand of the standard interlocutor. Pausanias asked the word and the Archon, with a hint of a slight smile, granted it to him.

"Friend Archon," did Pausanias, "maybe you have not considered a thing. The only danger that in this situation should hang upon us. Atomic energy is produced by humans. If, as you assert, there will be a world revolution, someone will think well to press those damn red buttons to unleash a nuclear war!"

"They will not have the time, a friend Pausanias," answered the Archon, on his face the expression of a smile much sharper than the first. "The famous hundred million of panels will put in motion by us in disparate remote places on the Earth where the man will never guess to know where they are."

"And where, it is admitted to knowing, since there's no place on Earth, except the course our island-continent, where man has not set the foot?"

"Yes, what you say is true. However, happy to have 'conquered' that place, the man will look good himself to come back as the Himalaya chain, on the peaks of the Andes, in the Tierra Del Fuego, at the centre of Antarctica, the North Pole, in the heart of the desert fierier and, in a place that we even did not take the sea. Of course, under the surface in the sea will travel across some rare unmatchable fishes by the nets of the men or by their harpoons, which will continually circle the planet, and possibly, only in rather choppy waters."

"You said unmatchable?"

"Of course!" I stated firmly the Archon. "A very sophisticated radar system developed by Persephone will avoid that even one of these artificial fishes can approach the man and brought in his nets in less than five miles. Distance is more than enough not to discover by visual means. Furthermore, the same principle that hides we will make them transparent to their radar and sonar, so that the hundred million of panels will be in motion simultaneously, making ineffective in all senses of the atomic reaction invented by the humans."

"One more reason to use in massive manner energy derived from the hydrocarbons," said with an unhappily air Pausanias, followed by the consent murmur of all the other members of the Board, none of which, so far, had uttered a word.

"I should say you are right, friend's Counselors," pointed out the Archon in a steady way, as if he would expect himself such a comment. "But do you realize that the men know, even if roughly, that oil is an exhaustible resource in a few years, and they will work to find an alternative?"

"The solar panel," did all in unison.

"To get to invent a solar panel like ours, they should be a revolution all the physical principles of their knowledge. It should, for them, the invention of the century, and you know very well that a new device, based on the principles of physics and chemistry, is still not at the disposal of the men. Who, so far, have imitated what happens in nature, see the electricity and the magnetic waves. However, they could get to take advantage of the energy unleashed in the thunderstorms, to contain the lightning or harness that of sea storms or the impetuosity of the wind. Only then they will begin to do without the petroleum but will flow several dozens of years if we too find the way to lock ourselves in our shell, producing just the air that we will need to survive when which one of the outside so contaminated than a Hellene could not live there even an hour."


14-  ALARM

  

Once left Xuahn Li along with the two colonels, poorly dressed as attendants, with the aviolobe that after the stopover for picking the money, in less than another half hour placed in an internal channel to San Francisco's Chinatown, Aeneas, and Melesigenes began to coordinate the work of the other's heavy cargo aviolobes so that all the solar panels, except for hundred million of them, as by the orders received at the last minutes, that had to go back in Kallitala, would be amassed in the same location, so that their destruction could be unique and not at a chain system, deposit to deposit, with the purpose of not causing more damage. Once roofless the big deposits, the powerful cargo aviolobes began to pile up the pallets of panels, which contained thousand each, on a large forecourt in front of the deposit number two, so that with their explosion, the very sharp depression that should result, would point up avoiding, in this way, the destruction of any and every inhabited centre would be itself found in its range. Finished emptying the first deposit, they were more than at the second, when the pilot of the control aviolobe signalled the approaching of a massive military column, including, in addition to the trucks transporting the troops, even a dozen tanks and as many self-propelled means armed with Katyusha rocket batteries.

If Melesigenes was dumbfounded at that news, the reaction of Aeneas, alias Henry Campbell, was quite different. Perhaps for the last time during his life, he had the insight to act like a man. To avoid being overwhelmed by the small army approaching at a decent speed and at the same time not causing the death of some human beings, he gave orders to the commander of the aviolobe which at that time was lifting a pallet of thousand panels, to position itself in front of the Chinese, dropping his load to create a barrier of fire at about five hundred meters from the head on the column. Then, as the last warning, he should tell them in a loud voice from the mound on which they had chosen their first shelter, together with Melesigenes, that if they approached themselves by even a single step, he should blow up that pile of solar panels.

He did not listen and, immediately Aeneas gave orders to the aviolobe overlying at an altitude of about three a thousand meters, to send the electronic trigger for the explosion.

An enormous barrier of fire stepped between the deposits where the aviolobes continued to do their job of gathering and the Chinese military column. One impressive thing though lasted a few seconds and that, fortunately, did not cause any casualties, except a dozen frontline soldiers who fainted for fear.

And the dread had been remarkable enough to retract the entire column of at least half a kilometre, despite that the turrets of the tanks would orient towards the pile of the solar panels that was becoming impressive. Aeneas, with his senses sharpened, heard well the passing of the ferrules pointing the guns and the putting the bullets in the barrels.

"Stop!" he shouted in his lungs. "If you advanced yet, I would blow upon the head so many panels to unsubscribe you from the face of the Earth!"

The small army did not move off a centimetre. Moreover, the dread has been so high that no battalion commander - in all, there were four, nor the general Whu Cheng, who rushed from the military cantonments of Yinchuan, who now was commanding the whole army. They had the feeling of ordering the advance. Four cargo aviolobes were already on their heads, ready to drop the load of panels that, having exploded by Aeneas - the only one who could do that because he was a former human – it should fully annihilate them.

There was the urge to buy more time possible for the transfer of the hundred million panels from the Gobi Desert to the Sargasso, stationed at the edge of the Chinese territorial waters, however, thanks to its sophisticated technical equipment, it had not been reported by any warship. The first twenty loads have already been made. It lacked. However, still eighty, so everything depended on the persuasiveness of the engineer Henry Campbell and his assistant Lloyd Clovell. In their capacity, they stood before general Whu Cheng in neutral territory. The two opposing parties have asked to parley far away from the four armoured divisions, but also from the deposits that continually emptied. The Chinese command was revealing concern over some solar panels coming down from the sky and was placed gently on the ground and that, growing visibly, had already formed a beautiful mountain without. However, some observers could identify with which means they would act at that.

"Engineer Campbell," began to say General Whu Cheng with a wanted polite tone, stretching a smile that found in him a set of teeth blackened by the smoke, "we do not see why you have decided to recover the panels that before, so generously, you have given to us."

"It's simple, general Whu Cheng," answered Henry, but very seriously, Henry. "Your government has not complied with the agreements signed with a formal contract."

He had to delay for which, contrary to his nature, must be necessary to give the floodgate to an eloquence more talkative as he could. Within an hour at most, the hundreds of involved aviolobes should take the job, especially that of the recovery of solar panels that are needed, once put into them in motion, to prevent the trigger of the nuclear reaction.

"To my knowledge, the distinguished engineer Campbell," said the general. "The Whang Rong Automobiles is working at full capacity to produce new electric motors according to the plan that you gave us, and within..."

"General Whu Cheng," Henry interrupted him. "That's true. Nevertheless, it is also veritable that you are studying the manner to apply the panels to the war equipment, especially in certain types of aircraft that you should want to fly all the time all over the world, armed with missiles and, also, have as well suspended the marketing of the cars."

"We are at this point only because they are testing the new electric motor, engineer Campbell. I assure you," answered the general with conviction.

He had not been made aware of the real intentions of his government on that issue, and his heartfelt peroration was demonstrating that.

Henry realized that. However, to earn some time, insisted on the subject so that the general had no choice but to change the topic, asking him: "Let me talk to my colleague Xuahn Li." Even so, looking at himself around to see him, "I hope you should not hold him prisoner, isn't it?" I said indignantly.

"The general Xuahn Li and the two colonels who assisted him are, in effect, at our disposal until the operation in removing the solar panels will not complete," answered Henry promptly.

"And what should you do with them?" "Of what?"

"But of the panels, heck!" I said a bit exasperated General Wu Cheng.

"Ah, I thought you cared about the fate of your colleague and the other two," said Henry, with a note of sarcasm.

"I'm not interested in the fate of the three commanders, rather than opposing their troops at your work, preferring the comfortable situation to get your prisoners."

Henry must procrastinate, so he tried to stretch the conversation to the general. All that not to get a conflict with the Chinese troops who, oblivious already of the explosion of the thousand panels right before the first armed units, they were putting themselves in place to sweep out the two insistent men who were feeling the ears of their general unnecessarily. Indeed, the lieutenant Colonel Chen Tang, who assisted him, was discreetly urging him to break off the negotiations.

"So, you were referring to the panels, right?" did Henry to tease him.

"Exactly. They are of the property within the Chinese state and indeed inalienable. You do not have any right."

"And how, if we have it, honourable general," answered Henry, making him bow as well. "Not only have we given you the panels to distribute around the world, but also a billionaire in US dollars to build the electric motors. And, instead of that, what have you done with it? For what concerned the panels, you have hidden them in the remotest desert in the world to use them in your manner. That is, to make the war and the money you have used among other things, perhaps to build other merciless war mechanisms? And no, my dear general! That was not in our intentions."

"Your or whose?" I asked general Wu Cheng.

"But indeed, are you interested in that?" answered with a polemical tone, Henry. "Well, yes, that's handled of a humanitarian organization whose aims are to save the world by the premature end due to the use of petroleum products that are polluting the air. Air that we all breathe, including you, Mr General, and your family. Do you have some children, aren't you?"

The diversion of Henry was doing its effect, while the invisible aviolobes were doing their job and, once finished loading the panels on board of the Sargasso, piled the remaining in the open-air space indicated by Henry, pile that was already a small mountain, causing the dismay of the General, who, however, taken by his feeling for the family, answered: "Three males and one female. The last, who now is twelve years old."

"Should you see them die of asthma or, in the worst cases, of cancer to the respiratory tract?"

"Of course, not," exclaimed the general who, although prodded by the lieutenant colonel, uttered, modulating his voice to a soothing tone: "I assure you, engineer Campbell and to you, Mr Lloyd Clovell, in your capacity as an essential witness, that I guarantee myself to my government to ensure the respect for the covenant between you." At last, falling of tone:" I only commanded."

Once received the signal of the completion of the load on the board of the Sargasso, Henry nodded to Melesigenes to head to their first shelter to boarding Hermes. With his other embarkation to the Sargasso, the great submarine should take the way home. The matter was quite urgent because they had at their disposal less than a week to get in motion the hundred million panels and thus avoid the explosion of the nuclear conflict. Massive American and British attack forces are gathering themselves more decisive than ever in front of the cost of China. By now, everyone knew the whereabouts of the billion panels that, if it had remained on the hands of the Chinese, would represent, by the Westerner standards, a severe danger for all. Subjected to all possible and imagined tests, the three solar panels stolen in the showroom in Munich of Bavaria and the other three confiscated to Aeneas on the pond, the Americans, at last, had realized themselves of their strategic importance and despite would execrate for not having accepted the generous offer made to them under the auspices of the United Nations, now wanted that would restore at least the terms of the original proposal. In a few words, the billions of solar panels would be distributed to all for their civil utilization, considering that it was presenting an unprecedented energy crisis. The largest oil fields around the world, including - alas! Even those of Texas and California gave no more petroleum, and the stocks were visibly running out. The private traffic had been blocked for several weeks, and that one essential-have curtailed. The civilian aircraft could take off only when full of passengers and at most those of the new generation with low-consumption engines. Principal Countries such as those that formed United Europe, except for Great Britain, had blocked all the industrial and commercial activities for lack of fuel. They could barely maintain the hospitals and provide for simply two hours each night some electricity at a low amperage that was used only for lighting with base energy light bulbs. So, no television or newspapers, though it was good to regenerate the neurons within the brain of the masses, so far kept in the freezer by the storm of information and comments of the usual hacks write and wide open their mouths. For the incipient, winter was presenting a tragedy, because not all homes should have to heat, and already there were around bands who amassed the timber to sell it on the black market or keep it for its use. Given that the small deposits not considered by Proteus, in Italy, had circumscribed that area of the Po plain that the environmentalists had wanted would be closed for not polluting with his stench the nearby places and enhance the extraction work in Lucania, where insisted some separate pockets of black gold. The committees of the greens and the environmentalists, those more fanatical with others and never with themselves had transformed their ecological action in a political scramble to win more seats in Parliament where possible we talked a lot, but above all, they pocketed even more in the form of rich salaries and beautiful, wealthy benefices, now they shouted to redevelop the Trino Vercellese, Montalto di Castro and Caorso power stations, in nuclear ones and resume the program to build a dozen urgently to give the country that' propulsive energy that had come suddenly to lack. The only energy sources that the Hellenes had not 'sailed', were the pockets of methane gas, whose utilization in any branch did not produce any pollution, so that those countries that were rich in it courted before and not wanting to accept their pseudo-religious and lifestyle impositions because the Western world had already lowered too much to welcome hordes of not realized Bedouins, they threatened it. And with what weapons, if lacking the fuel to transport them? Darn it! However, by that atomics. A threat that for some who had, they became irresistible. We came to find out, then, that the nations counted as openly defending the nuclear weapons was only half of the positive action. Despite the sharp-eyed controls by the involved agencies in this delicate task, different countries managed to keep a secret from the construction of nuclear weapons far more sophisticated and powerful than the conventional ones. And, of course, out of control, not having signed any prior agreement that would restrict the use. In short, chaos is looming in the future of humanity. Also, of the Hellenes because, although they would not consider like humans, after all, they too were part of mankind and given their delicate structure turned into thousands of years of scientific advances under the protective shadow of unspoiled nature should be the firsts to disappear from the face of the Earth and their fantastic country once discovered and occupied by the men, inevitably spoiled.

While Aeneas was trying to gain some time with General Whu Cheng, the special receiver was telling him in the Hellene the language that was necessary to convince the Chinese commander to send far away from his troops at least fifty kilometres from the place where they had amassed the solar panels. Once persuaded by the army's chief, Aeneas too will move himself using his cheriosmate on the heights chosen as a first refuge. In just half an hour, the aviolobe Hermes should come to bring him home. The mission, from that moment, could be considered finished. No adverse comments now, except to make the necessary considerations once back in Kallitala.

"General Whu Cheng," said Henry, "I must ask you to remove far away from your troops at least fifty, better sixty kilometres from here. It decided that this huge mountain of solar panels was destroyed, making it, and we should not want to harm anyone."

"What? How?" exclaimed General Whu Cheng enraged. "You're crazy, engineer Campbell! It's something."

"You are saying 'unprecedented,' isn't?" Henry interrupted him. "I cannot do anything, General. I must trigger the automatic system that will blow up the panels within an hour, just long enough so that your motorized divisions could manage to repair themselves in an area of security. From here and within a range of fifty, kilometres will be a true hell of fire."

"Are you out of your mind, you're insane!" I cried. Then, hearing the supportive comments of the battalion's commanders who so far had assisted him in the negotiations, he consolidated himself in his belief and added, but with a tone of forced calm: "Honorable Engineer Campbell, do be reasonable. I could give orders to my soldiers to arrest you. You are alone with thousands of men. Let me fulfil my mission. You will return with us and be generously rewarded by my government. Do think, to be regarded as the first citizen of China with imperial honours and a lot of sinecures to no end. You'll have everything you want and live like a wealthy Mandarin of days gone by."

 

ΩΩΩ

 

The unique filter system, albeit provisional, since it was unthinkable even for the engineers of Kallitala to create one that would last more than a month of them was finally being installed on Mount Dicea. That should result in just three hours working, as many as were enough to unseal all the oil fields in the world. An operation that the magatau and the magators are doing after being brought on these sites by the aviolobes that had completed the transport of solar panels on the board of the Sargasso, currently sailing in the Indian Ocean. And then, to heap all the others near the three antinuclear deposits in the Gobi Desert. We expected the starting signal by Aeneas of Anchises, who was losing more time than anticipated to parley with the commander of the small army focused there. However, the most massive part of the operation already was accomplished. All the staff charged once installed the fine filter should regain the work for making in motion the compressed air factory.

The Archon was quite satisfied and finding himself to converse with Pausanias - by the ancient tradition was an established practice that the dolphin of an Archon is his preferential interlocutor – would express it to him although still would harbour some doubts about an unexpected move of the human beings and the fear, almost panic, which they could trigger in a noticeably brief time a nuclear conflagration.

"They are afraid," he began the conversation with the careful Pausanias, "and buy an animal instinct, for the moment. They are showing teeth and nails, but not immediately getting some consistent signs of existing agreements, which will attack anyone in sight. First, the Chinese unreasonably believed their most bitter enemies."

"It will start, and then, a long and painful war," agreed Pausanias, from his real nature.

"No, a friend Pausanias," had to replicate the Archon. "It will be very brief. A blitzkrieg, as the Germans defined it. The Chinese are exterminated people, distributed in such territory so great that, to go beyond the human conception of tactics and, to make matters worse for the matters. Each is such a tenacious fighter to the end, nourishing himself with a handful of rice a day. For that reason, ..."

"So, friend Archon?"

"The Americans let loose on them the nuclear weapon. Off the coasts of China, there are already twelve nuclear submarines and as many B52 armed with nuclear warheads, ready to start from the base of Diego Garcia and get on enemy territory in less than six hours of flying. A catastrophe that, unfortunately, even if not immediately, should touch us, too."

"Let us send them the message that all the wells have reopened."

"They should check the wells one by one, and that should imply a long time. It is a crucial thing for the major powers. Therefore, to take possession of our solar panels."

"We made a mistake, dear friend Archon," said Pausanias resigned. "That's to bet again on human justice so that all people would divide themselves equally among the panels."

"The human justice," answered the Archon disconsolately, "what do they know of the Justice. Everyone interprets that as he wishes. In humans, the world is the money to do them justice, the power, and, in some cases, the friendships, the kinships, and, less often, the sympathy. Have you noticed? They say that all men are equal regardless of the skin colour or race of their affiliation and then apply tougher penalties against those who outwardly appear to be inferior to the white race or in any case different from the dominant one. No, I committed the mistake by myself, although my judgment influenced and distracted me from the data that Proteus gave to me. It is a great chemo-computer that thinks of millions of human brains, however, is in any case always a machine, lacking imagination and feeling. I think, dear friends, Pausanias, that if we can overcome this crisis, I will resign and spend my assignment to you."

"Do not say that even like it would be a joke, my friend Alceo!" said Pausanias with dismay. It was the first time since he had become Archon, who called him by his name. "We will succeed, and you should discover as our Aeneas will be successful and equally all the Kallitala engineers, who have already prepared the cars that will be moving around the planet to activate the hundred million of the solar panels that the Sargasso is reporting in our seas."

"I thank you for the trust, dear Pausanias," said the Archon, placing his hands on the shoulders of the Wise Counselor. "We have no time. The Sargasso will not arrive here until a day, which makes four of those humans, and who knows what will be able to combine them in this lap of time."

"They will lose, and how, of the time!" answered by a note of triumph, Pausanias. "They know what the risks are they are coming towards and will try to parley. Usually, they take a week or more, even though the Chinese did not arrive at some agreements. You will see what delightful surprises will reserve for them. The first one to obtain back all the active oil wells, indeed, as I learned from Proteus, we will find him to discover some others, but in countries that do not have energy resources, especially in Europe. The second who if just barely any of them, would try to press the red button to detonate any atomic, even small bomb, that one does will not explode, and the very sophisticated safety equipment will respond with a weak click like a sneer and the third, ah. The third thing will be that one which will lead them to reflect: the destruction of nine hundred million of our panels, there in the Gobi Desert, in an immense fireball that for a moment will be as if the Sun would collide with the Earth, provoked by a slight pressure of the Aeneas's finger. Aeneas! Aeneas of Anchises! How should I be Aeneas of Pausanias! My friend Archon, from the first moment, I met him. I cherished that he would be my son."

"Out of sentimentalists, Pausanias!" the Archon recalled him benevolently to reality. "The current situation does not grant those to us. We are still in danger that the great submarine is within our waters. "And then, taking leave from his future successor, he made the gesture of turning the index finger at his right temple and almost muttered to himself, added:" These men are indeed insane in mind!"


15 - THE FATE OF HUMANITY…

 

I had foreseen Pausanias, the Western armed forces deliberately deployed off the coasts of China, showing claws and teeth and snarling as well as exercises with conventional warhead's missile launches and overflying of the Stealth Aircraft, even at low altitudes. Meanwhile, however, began feverish diplomatic consultations to obtain the fair share of the solar panels. And, as the ancient history of the Chinese handed down us when with them, there were ongoing negotiations, those had exceptionally long times though if instead of an Empress, on the most famous bench of the government sat a companion opened to the ideas of the modernism, but limited by the Communist ideology that, contrary to the evolution of the technology is immutable at the time.

A good reason because the Archon and with him the whole Council and, consequently, all the Hellenes of Kallitala drew a sigh of relief. The Sargasso should promptly anchor close to the coasts of the sunny island and the technicians should have the required time required that the recovered panels would mount on some individual motioning vehicles, to avoid the atomic reaction.

The works in the Boadicea's Valley are hectic day and night. The large factory near the flatted upper mountain was already built, and the technicians were installing in the massive machinery that would compress the air in three hundred million cylinders.

The works, however, for the construction of the laboratory near the river were not even begun as had been anticipated in a quick meeting with the Grand Council.

The question which was put on was that if, as suggested by Pausanias, we would avoid that the humans could use the nuclear reaction, there was no reason in inoculating on each of them the right dose of the adusbraline to make them calmer and reasonable. Not appreciating them, in fact, the beauties of nature, the animal life, or the weighted philosophical reflections, regarding the reasons for their existence on the planet Earth, should make them unhappy. Because, ultimately, what gives vitality to the human being is precisely the competition of one against the other to prove their level of superiority. Each man was to highlight his neighbour to be happy. What is better in arousing envy, the mother of all evils and the worst of all, hate? And then down to no end wars to conquer the territory that naively everyone believes was giving the happiness, while the adusbralina should him understands that the joy of the thinking being is his most intimate thought to come understanding the mystery of life and the world which generated him.

Nature, in any guise, presents itself, is a hymn to want to appreciate and to enjoy it, generous of providence. It should not be enough to adapt them to the climate and overcome the harsh winters and the hot summers, the most impetuous winds, and the heavy rains, and all the phenomena of a provident world, but also ruthless. It needed, in addition, to unleash the wars that kill each other in the name above the wrong idea of the existence of a Creator who, in the last analysis, is of the same nature.


ΩΩΩ

 

Phaedra, taken by enchantment while provisionally free from the work commitments, walking on the beach of Anticyra, retraced in her mind, for the umpteenth time, the arrival of Henry with the sailing boat conducted by the sea hogs. She sighed in dismay. I albeit would be assured by her parents, by Paris, and by the most honest opinion of Pausanias, that her future husband should soon come back, something in her heart told her that not everything could work correctly. With what had happened with the men, whom she did not know before the arrival of Henry, there is to expect everything for Hellene, who would contact them. Once the problem was solved at last, as established by the Archon, formerly the Hellenes closed themselves in an ivory tower as it always had been, thanks to the no longer existing problem of the breathing air. Nevertheless, that his beloved, first, ought to return to Kallitala.

'For what reason,' she asked herself, 'to leave him alone to deal with the men. Why not send a patrol of aviolobes to reject the Chinese army that keeps him hovering between to remain a prisoner of them or risk roasting them all with the explosion of the panels? Why did they wait to do such a thing?'

What a different resolution for a Hellene being, female for more. How it is true that women are more graceful when they are touched in their innermost feelings could become cruel. Phaedra was ashamed to have even such a thing and at last, realized why Aeneas would choose for this mission that only he could deal with the men, being a human transformed into a Hellene and if forced, for the salvation of Kallitala, he should cause their death.

And then, in her infinite goodness, she thought that was selfish to expect him to arrive at any moment, if until he did not complete his mission as Hellene and not by man or such earlier. Who should see in his homeland so happy as a being by conscience as white as those of the Hellenes? With the reputation as a killer of the men, he could not access to highest levels within the hierarchy of the Hellene government and herself. It should put the issue of whether to keep the promise to marry him. Although hailed to his happy return as a hero, on the conscience of every Hellene should weigh than the ancient human had caused the deaths of many men. In this case, given that every inhabitant of Kallitala thanks to the prodigious Proteus, was aware in real-time of what was taking place in the world as the men, although not in the details filtered by the chemo-processor not to impress them too, as a minimum, the annihilation of the small Chinese army made of four divisions entirely commanded by a general. At least eight thousand men, mostly young.

And if there were some living beings that the Hellenes respected above all other things, those were the young people: the promise for the future, imagining that even in the human world, this principle was valid.

However, thinking there better and thanks also to the assurances given her by the sage Pausanias, Aeneas had at his disposal some technological means to prevent the burning of the mountain of solar panels would kill any human being. At his best, it should cause some collateral damage, such as the disappearance of all animal life within fifty kilometres. Even so, given the upheaval in motion in that arid zone of the Gobi Desert, the fastest small animals had already by the long time gone far away. Those remained hidden below the surface. And, staying there scared as they were, they should not suffer any damage by the panel's explosion because the fire produced should spread upwards in such a fleeting time to have the invasive possibility of burning the soil.

She drove away these unpleasant thoughts and stroked in her mind the image of his beloved with such passion that from the mouth came out of these precise words while with her graceful stride, she walked the winding shoreline of the golden sand beach: "My Aeneas will return soon, and these worries will end. Here in Kallitala, we will return to living the ordinary life of every day and, at last, we will get married. How do I love him!"

She thought of the house that they could build on the estate of Anticyra, much closer to the beach than that one of her parents. Her mother had asked her, to have them more intimate, not to go to reside in Poseidon and she and Aeneas had accepted the gift that her father Alcinous had given them with a large plot of land not yet cultivated near the border of the beach. 

ΩΩΩ

 

At the same moment, thousands of kilometres away, even Aeneas was dreaming about the equivalent things and should, instead, have to think more carefully to come out of the situation in which he found himself.

Quite unreasonably, both General Whu Cheng and the two colonels who cooperated with him were pointing the guns to him and Aeneas, startled, heard the general saying: "It is enough with the chats, engineer Campbell. The panels are ours, and if you insist on your insane project, I will be forced to take you as a prisoner."

Aeneas touched his shoulder lightly, just. Where was the mechanism that interacted with the cheriosmate, but something warm penetrated at that place, and when he pulled out his hand, he saw it soaked in the blood. The gunshot of Colonel Ziang Daoling had to reach that point and, quite fortuitously, also hurt him lightly. It did not destroy the delicate electrochemical implantation.

Terrified by this move, which had only for a hundredth of a second displaced him, since he had already sent a message of distress when he heard that an aviolobe was approaching, another bullet went through his body. This time in the stomach. The automatic dose of Stetopan inserted into the suit, penetrated in his blood not making him feel any pain but did not prevent that there would slowly from a pool of blood that began to widen in the affected area, with the satisfaction of the three Chinese, who, guns are drawn, were watching him carefully. He imagined that his movements should no longer be fluent as before, such as to get aspirated by the aviolobe, invisible to the bystanders, although at that, the moment was placing itself above him.

His thought ran back to the earthly paradise of Kallitala that he saw with his mind already clouded by the blows of the gunshot received as if he was floating on a hazy horizon, from where came out a quick figurine that gradually was approaching materialized as itself in the robes of Phaedra, his love. Too heavily, now. He did also make the move to embrace her but did not insist. The adusbralina commanded him to use the latest, weak forces that remained him to do two operations that, despite his abilities, were obfuscating; he did quite automatically. The first to command the aviolobe to move away and the second, ten seconds later, to touch his sternum, exactly ten centimetres above the mortal wound to the stomach. Another bullet fired from the gun of the general went to strike the delicate mechanism that he had under the skin, by starting a spark, just a spark, and it seemed that the time stopped itself. Even the further three shots fired in unison from pistols of the Chinese officials appeared to stop their run and in fact, did not have time to torture the poor body of Henry Campbell and not despite Aeneas o Anchises, because the spark, that one instead arrived at the destination, triggered a small explosion. The first Hellene solar panel deflagrated alone doing a flare like a ball and, as the magic baton of a conductor, gave the ‘la' to a big orchestra, which played a score of hell.

Before his eyes shut themselves, Henry Campbell saw to disappear from the three senior Chinese officials and the immense fireball becoming a magnificent Sun that swallowed everything around, including himself.

The four military divisions even realized themselves of what was happening, nor had time to an interjection, but disappeared in the new Sun, since the neutrinos imprisoned in the millions of panels unleashed such a power to burn billions of cubic meters of oxygen and who not dead by the enormous heat, lost his life to the lack of air and the same small animals that were protected themselves in the underground holes remained imprisoned in their dens. The immense fire had melted everything that was under his action and formed as a crystal crust of indefinite colour, with reddish-yellow streaks, formed by the quartz sand and by the bodies of living things pulverized.

Then as it started, so ended without any trace of dust or consequences as we are used to seeing when the Sunsets behind the flat horizon like the sea. As if we have switched on a bottom, so the immense light went out, and everything returned as before, or better, for a range of fifty kilometres, there was not in the world of that time a desert more desert than that one. Not a blade of grass and neither a living being would be it the most microscopic, except those which had sheltered themselves in their dens underground and that was working tirelessly, such as seals under the Polar ice cap, in the attempt to open themselves, with teeth and claws, an unlikely hole to surface to the air.

And most disquieting of all, there was the silence. Not of this world, because even the acridest land produces it. And then, in comparison with what had been a few seconds before with the movement among the troops and the clattering of tracked and wheeled vehicles, especially afterwards, by the acute little voice of General Whu Cheng who never stopped threatening Henry Campbell alias of Aeneas of Anchises, that area looked like a piece of the Moon. Only after a few seconds, to revive the ghostly landscape, there was the overflight of an aviolobe, which became itself visible, now, given that it could not be identified by anyone. He made a daring manoeuvre with an overflight at such a low altitude so that skirted the crust on the ground formed by the explosion and, at last, always skimming close to the ground, went away until disappearing over the desert crested at the horizon and there stopped itself.

Perhaps also, the two Hellenes of the crew had not trusted to go down to the site of the explosion or with that vehicle flying skimmer, they would realize that all the panels would burn and would remain any trace of the men, although could not nourish the hope of finding alive to the heroic Aeneas nor to know what he would stop himself to do in that distant place, certainly well beyond of the action's range of the fireball produced by the explosion of nine hundred million solar panels. A mystery that only Proteus could clarify and know it, we must be at Kallitala.


… AND THAT ONE OF HELLENES

 

 

When Proteus gave the news that the operation destruction panels had occurred, none of the twenty members of the Grand Council exulted. Almost less the excellent Pausanias, who was the first to mourn for all those dead but, even more, despaired of the end of Aeneas, his beloved godson.

"We have paid a too high price, friend Archon," he said grieved, once the Council was loose and as usual, the two friends had come to find themselves alone in the great meeting hall.

"We could not do otherwise, a friend Pausanias," answered the Archon with a sad voice. "What else could Aeneas do against the guns pointed at his chest? Also, at close range. I have been the Chinese military to operate the emergency device to detonate, setting alight our panels?"

"Thinking to save himself, first. Was he not protected by the nice suit? "

"True," approved the Archon. "They're also the device that gushes from every hole caused by bullets, the blood-like substance to induce his shooters to believe he is mortally wounded. Now we must determine whether..."

"If, what?" did apprehensive Pausanias, in whose soul was coming out a faint hope.

The thing that the Archon fed on purpose.

"If the blows received, though not lethal, did not have lifted for a moment, the reasoning or the possibility of..."

"Of... of what?" Pausanias interrupted him, to who was mounting that little excitement permitted to a Hellene.

"But heck! To operate the individual cheriosmate put on his left shoulder!" I exclaimed the Archon.

"So, he saved himself! I cannot believe that Aeneas, so good, there "

"Be quiet, Pausanias. It is not yet confirmed. We still await the report of Hermes, if Praxiteles and Paris by chance managed to emerge unscathed by the huge fireball.

Do you know that for an instant that overshadowed even the Sun?" "What?" did Pausanias, now completely in confusion?

"But the fireball generated by the explosion of nine hundred million of our panels. Do think that has stopped all the satellite broadcasting and. Consequently, also those of Hermes, the aviolobe sent to attempt in saving Aeneas."

"Then it is not sure that my, that is, the body of Aeneas has not recovered."

"We must wait more than an hour until the earth's atmosphere can absorb the void caused by the explosion. Fortunately, the oxygen failed only in the higher layers and that any aircraft would fly over the Gobi Desert unless a Russian Iljuscin which was due to land in an emergency at the airport of Yumen."

 

ΩΩΩ

 

More distressed than ever, Phaedra if this term ought to be interpreted in a Hellene manner sensed that something serious had happened to Aeneas, given that he had not yet returned. By now, the entire population was aware that the operation of solar panels had been successful and that, thanks to the motion of the large, compressed air power station of Boadicea. The future of their beautiful island was secured for many generations to come. All the Hellenes were expecting the arrival of the hero to glorify. In life and not as the first Aeneas, who fell in action for the high purpose of not revealing the secret of the existence of their paradise island.

It should be the first time. The Hellene people had lived peacefully for thousands of years, and there had been no occasion that one of his sons would test his courage, sacrificing himself for the homeland. It was only in these times of the high 'human civilization' that some complications that have disturbed the quiet life in the state of Kallitala. The unique diaphragm that held them together in the larger world outside was air to breathe that for millennia had remained unaltered, but that in the last two centuries, the men had severely damaged digging, first with the fumes of their chimneys snorting ashes as they could for the bad combustion of the wood than of the coal but, recently, much more seriously with such a quantity of harmful emissions derived from the burning of the oil and its derivatives that, without active intervention, should primarily cause the extinction of the Hellene people and a good second, the disappearance of all men from the face of the Earth. Just as happened with the dinosaurs, in that situation. However, thanks to a good combination, who could never imagine the planet Earth inhabited only by those evil beings, whose destitute intelligence should forever relegate them to a life barely higher than vegetative.

And if, by chance, with the extinction of the human beings, it would be in the cosmic scheme of things the opening on the way to the progress of another smarter living being, whose physical conformation should grant him not to breathe at all and, in addition, to maintain himself in life with a minimum intake of calories, so that with the time, the universal one, of course, that should fade even the Hellene one, not only he should civilize in his way the dried-up Earth but, for that reason, should push himself to colonize all the planets of the Solar system?

It could never be their fate? The confused mind of the young woman, because the pain of the return failure of her beloved obscured at that moment her Hellene reasoning, made her predict some planetary catastrophes. She imagined herself that everything would necessarily collimate with her future, of the family that she wanted to create with Aeneas and of the two, sons granted them, that her mother's instinct made her so much yearns to procreate. And then, in a jump of mental balance, she managed to drive out those imaginative digressions and she said to herself that if anything that imagined future would indeed come true. It should be in such a long time for the human mind that she and her children and the children's children, until to the thousandth generation of Hellenes by the lifelong four times that of the men, should not concern her either her loved ones.

'But Aeneas' she had to doubt with just slight dismay, 'he shall return? Because if that happened... I do not know if...'

But could be a fine being, for more by her peaceful and gentle nature, to conceive a rage or a mere protest in the case if that arrived? And she did not even pray, because that thing in Kallitala was inconceivable. Praying who, where, when?

There was only one thing to do, rather than walking without any meaning on the beach, and that thing was coming back to Poseidon and asking permission to enter the building of the Grand Council and there to be reassured by her friend Pausanias. They had proven himself, especially since Henry had arrived on the island, particularly fond of him and, consequently, of their promise to marry, to consider himself as their second father.

It seemed that the serious upheavals that we are modifying, at least in part, the life with the men, would not worry the inhabitants of Kallitala, indeed, even affecting them, because both the newspapers than the telemetric information relegated such news in the last stage after those, already themselves uninteresting, of the trivial news of the various cities on the island. That soothed her and, after obtaining the permission to enter inside of the vast palace of the government, Phaedra, driven by the force against the will as happened long before to Aeneas, climbed three floors with the elevator and crossed through several halls, exceeding the threshold of the private practice of her protector, whose doors were open from themselves automatically. Once crossed that threshold, she had the pleasure to greet with affection by the venerable Pausanias, who embraced her like a found lost daughter, since from the last time they were seen themselves having passed an extended time.

"I am convinced to guess because of this visit," said Pausanias after having invited her to sit in a chair at his office. "If perhaps we have not yet some sure good news, in consideration to the resources of Aeneas, he would then get away himself when the panels have exploded."

"Oh, Pausanias!" implored Phaedra who is afraid of the disaster that had crowded her mind while travelling, those uncertain words concentrated in a bit of mild distress. "Neither you nor Proteus, I guess, know if my Aeneas saved himself! I'm afraid."

"Nothing of sure to worry about, daughter," snapped a Pausanias, strangely frowning. "With the means at his disposal and of the more sophisticated aviolobe that we have made available to him, led by the best pilots we have, Praxiteles and your brother Paris, he can surely rescue himself and, perhaps, he is already on the way to home."

"Friend Pausanias, you are sagacious, but it is not in your habitude to use the expression 'perhaps.' And so far, you have spoken that twice. If, as you assert, the aviolobe Hermes would have onboard Aeneas, it should already land at Poseidon and instead... "

"Two hours and you assume only for this reason that has happened a disgrace. Do not be silly, delicious Phaedra. You know that an aviolobe, to charge a person on board, needs a very flat surface, possibly liquid. Most likely, they will have lost some time to find a suitable one for this purpose."


 

ΩΩΩ

 

To be the truth was not at all that way. Aeneas, after being hit by extremely hard bullets of the senior Chinese officials, notwithstanding being protected by a special suit who had prevented the bullets from penetrating his body had suffered a strong stunning that, fortunately, had not prevented him from operating the unique system of the cheriosmate. However, his reaction owed to the lancinating pain had been rather exaggerated, so that the impulse was given to the prodigious physical-chemical implantation had been heavier than they do because he had kept his finger more than requested, going to place himself well beyond the place where was waiting for the aviolobe, Hermes. Exactly nearly two thousand kilometres far away, in the middle of the Siberian countryside in the neighbours of the city of Krasnoyarsk, crossed by the River Mana. And, incidentally, just in the middle of a party of peasants who noticed him immediately pointing him among them as a being between the mysterious and the ridicule. Strange, because he had appeared suddenly, and was ridiculed for wearing a spacesuit that made him look like an astronaut rained from heaven and, most importantly, bleeding.

Aeneas could free himself of the suit - by the way, of a yellowish-green colour that should attract the attention also of a half-blind man - but mindful of gunshots received, of those people who were approaching from all sides like he would be a circus attraction could be that a thoughtless would shoot him again. And without the separate suit, it should be indeed the end to his adventures among his former friends. In consideration of whom, he surely annoyed himself. The Hellenes had to reason to distrust them and stayed as far away as possible. Now, with the elimination of the nine hundred million solar panels and the utilization of the other hundred that should impede any atomic reaction around the planet to the imaginary boundary between the Earth and the Moon, the Hellenes, and he with them, should live peacefully.

And again, while rough men and shouting women, a crude and incomprehensible language approached themselves. His thoughts flew to Phaedra, his beloved. Now oblivious of Liza and with her of about all his experiences of former human ashamed himself indeed not to remember neither his parents pleading, like would be a Madonna, her help, although momentarily forgetting, given his mental confusion, to have an efficient apparatus to make him in contact, through the Sargasso, with Kallitala. Perhaps, launching a distress signal, even Hermes, which for sure was looking for him, should identify him.

When the men, before the women, were being menacingly reached with the clear intention to capture him to deliver him to the police, Aeneas bent down to the soil and took the egg position. He did not want to show that was extracting the individual knife, like that one Melesigenes had used to escape from the prison in Germany so that people do not mistake his gesture as hostile and would overwhelm him, killing him. That strange position made to reflect the men, who stopped themselves and stood to look around and guess what would do the odd man rained on Earth and that indecision gave all the time to Aeneas to convey the message in code and store the knife in his shelter without that anyone present would identify that improper weapon.

Then, as if by enchantment, the eyes of Aeneas fixed themselves on those of a man seemingly peaceful and sighted there something that tranquillized him.

In effect, the human being made a gesture to stop his fellow peers and began approaching himself to Aeneas with a calm do albeit cautiously and when he was less than two meters before him, greeted him and said in excellent English: "Hello, man rained-by-heaven! Can I do something for you?"

"I have thought that" muttered Aeneas, almost to himself.

"We are friends," replied that man. "A bit too hasty and intrusive, it's true. Nevertheless, that is due to curiosity." He sent him a quizzical look and asked:" Maybe we were too many to rush towards you, and if we didn't do you some fear, at least, I have to admit that, in short, we did not just have a friendly look."

"In fact," stammered still Aeneas, who could not believe that man could help him.

"You're a foreigner," did the Russian, "and we ought to bring you to the police

unless you are a tourist with proper permission, although with that clothing..." "The river!" exclaimed, albeit feebly, Aeneas. "There's a river here?"

"Sure," said the Russian. "It cuts in half the city of Krasnoyarsk but is far more than four versts."

"Those are twenty kilometres?"

"Roughly,” said nodding the Russian and, always with the head pointed in which direction.

"Thanks, friend," answered Aeneas, who pressed, this time, but only for a moment, his finger on the shoulder. Where the cheriosmate was installed, he stayed on a barge in motion, at that time just below the vertical of the aviolobe, which sucked him. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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