"The Universe Machine", страница 3
The New Zealand interior minister had a lot more to show the American environmental scientist! But given the sensitivity of the issue at hand, Donald Rek insisted on going to his private tent-quarters so that he could show Dr. Hill.
Before they left the rimmed area of the small crater, Peter went over to his team’s campsite and told head scientist Bianca where he was going. The little misunderstanding that she had earlier with Peter over his friend, the interior minister, about keeping secrets from the team was apparently forgotten since they had encountered the Object in person! She absent-mindedly nodded at Peter’s instructions and went back to her laptop of information while the other three scientists under her command didn’t even bother to look up, because they were so enthralled with the project! Dr. Hill and Minister Rek shared a smirk before walking off to his tent…
Peter found himself on a fancy, unfolded canvas chair inside Donald’s elite tent. It was equipped with pretty much most of the amenities one would find in a professional office of science. This suggested to Peter that Rek’s team had been at the Shard-site for quite some time…perhaps a couple of years, or so.
Donald offered Peter a beer and it looked as if he were going to get one out of his small refrigerator for himself as well, until Peter politely declined. New Zealanders had a reputation for being rugged, much like their counterparts in Australia and America. But even during a time of informalities, Donald knew the etiquettes of not taking a drink when your guest refused one. Peter was anxious to get to whatever it was that Donald wanted to show him, that much the interior minister could see. So without further niceties, Donald once again got out his computer tablet and swiped some commands on its surface and brought up an image of space—outer space.
Upon seeing the view on the tablet after Rek had given the computer to him, Peter frowned for lack of comprehension. He started to hand the computer back to his friend until the minister held up a hand.
“You'll need that to see why you and your team are here, Pete,” Donald said, his head tilted and his face having a knowing look about it.
Peter leaned back on his seat, saying nothing and letting Rek continue.
“What do you see there, Doctor Hill?”
“Well, space, of course,” he said with some impatience.
“Right...Space. Now,” Donald reached over and swiped several commands on the computer tablet, “filtering for radiation, selecting a wider band-width, and skipping normal naked eye indicators...”
...and there it was!
To Dr. Hill, it looked like one gigantic factory machine with gears and conduits, only subtle against the blackness of space, even with all the filters that Minister Rek had engaged into the application. The images that humans had known as cotton-like, swirling galaxies and solar systems were actually mere gears to a superstructure so immense that it was like looking at a car factory through the viewing lense of camara! And some of the stars appeared to be something like rivets to this structure—this Universe Machine.
“My god,” was all that Peter could say upon seeing the fantastic image.
“And that expression, my friend, is what the governments of the various nations you see here today are worried about,” Rek said quietly; his eyes yet on the image before him. “Peter, if the masses of planet Earth were to find out the truth to what the universe really is, to say there'll be chaos would be one of the biggest understatements in history! One camp will be convinced of Intelligent Design—given that, without a doubt, the universe is a machine! And according to their logic, therefore, their god that they believe in, hence, created the universe! But then you'll have the other faction; given that the universe is a machine, how can one say that it's some kind of god that created it and this machine is not in our holy books!”
“Utter, global war,” Peter said under his breath as he looked away and thought more on the implications of this revelation! “Global war, but not like the first two...no, this global war would be fought to the very last person on Earth is left!”
“Indeed,” Minister Rek stated, “if we're are to look at the conflicts in Israel, or in Syria with ISIS, and with past wars like the Crusades, those will all be a game of Monopoly in comparison!”
Peter seemed to snap out of his trance and looked at Donald with a determined face. “What do you want my team to do, Minister?”
Donald slightly nodded to himself, with the slightest of grins.
“Dr. Hill, we need you to help make sure that this knowledge of the Universe Machine stays a secret. As you've said so yourself, Doctor, we don't want the ultimate global war to break out because of this! We need you to sabotage the satellites of the private industries so they cannot start putting two and two together, and, finally, detain anyone—and we mean anyone—who may get close to the truth.”
Peter and Donald locked eyes. Peter was not sure if he heard what his long-time friend had just said to him. But there was no mistaking it.
“Just out of curiosity, Don...given that my team and I are all among those who have now seen the truth, what would happen to us if we refuse to comply?”
Minister Rek said nothing. Dr. Hill, the politician, knew exactly what that meant.
“I see...Will we be one of those mysterious deaths we've read about in history when someone's about to blow the whistle on some government conspiracy?”
Again, nothing from Minister Rek. Peter took one look at the tablet's image of the Universe Machine and blew out a sarcastic sigh while shaking his head for the incredulity of what he found himself in. He thought about trying to break a run for it, but where? They were on a big island controlled by a government that was hell-bent on keeping this a secret!
“So, Doctor Hill,” Minister Rek finally said, “what's it going to be?”
Peter got up from his seat and paced. He happened to look outside Rek's tent and saw two soldiers standing guard just outside. He had not noticed them there upon entering the tent earlier.
What was it going to be for Dr. Hill and his crew, indeed?