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Scientists Predict mRNA Experimental V Will Lead to NUMEROUS DEATHS MONTHS AFTER INJECTION

Professor Dolores Cahill explains how the “cytokine storm” is an antibody dependent response of the human body and how that explains the increase in deaths after taking the coronavirus vaccine.

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Chapter 18

“As for me, I will call upon God, And the Lord shall save me.”

–Psalm 55:16

“Get up.” She heard that familiar gruff voice taking her from dream state to waking. At first, she wasn’t sure where she was. Opening her eyes revealed the concrete prison cell.

“Get up, we’ve got work to do,” Gus prodded. Alexis felt very sad that Gus had come to get her, and though she knew her parents were furious with her, she thought they would have been worried about her and would really want to see her; she missed them. She sat up slowly and looked at Gus, not sure what was in store for her.

He didn’t look at her directly. “You’ve caused a lot of trouble, Missy. Follow me and keep your mouth shut,” he commanded her. She obeyed, glad to be leaving the tiny cell. A woman dressed in white gave her a plastic cup with a single orange pellet inside. Alexis stood holding the cup. Gus rushed her impatiently. “Take the pellet and let’s get outta here.”

She looked at him. How she yearned for a fresh papaya or sweet ripe apple banana to satisfy the rumbling in her stomach. The thought brought tears to her eyes. She knew she’d never forget the horrible destiny of her island family. She couldn’t believe it was only a short time ago that she had lived on pellets alone, never knowing about real, natural food. She was hungry. She picked up the pill and put it in her mouth and tried to swallow, but she couldn’t seem to get it down. Instead, she spit it back into her hand. “What is going on?” Gus boomed, wide-eyed and red-faced.

“I don’t know, Gus. I need a drink or something. I can’t swallow this,” she offered.

“This is preposterous! Let’s go. When you’re hungry enough, you’ll get it down. Come on.” He dismissed the attendant with a wave of his hand and led Alexis through the maze of cells and into the main corridor of Central Headquarters.

“Where are my parents?” Alexis asked him.

“You’ll see them soon enough,” he answered shortly.

“Don’t they miss me? Want to see me?” she pleaded.

“Alexis, you’ve greatly shamed your mother and father. They are very busy and your disappearance and disobedience has interfered with their mission–with the mission of our entire group. That is all I can say. I don’t know what their personal feelings are.”

Alexis felt so sad. She remembered the love and laughter she knew as a way of life on the island. People loved her and took care of her even when they didn’t even know who she was. And the more time they spent together, the more her heart swelled with happiness and joy. Now here she was back where she had spent almost her entire life and the two people that brought her into the world weren’t really even concerned about her. Now who in the world would love her with a real love, like she had learned about on the island? Nobody. She couldn’t see the point of going on living, and her heart felt so heavy and her stomach felt sick and her head pounded. Gus opened the door to the main terminal room and directed her to take a seat against the wall.

“Stay put,” he told her. Then he shut the door and left her alone. Alexis was despairing and miserable. She put her head in her hands and cried. She didn’t know what else to do.

“Oh God,” she cried softly. A few moments later she remembered something from the book of Romans. “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character and character, hope.” I definitely am suffering, she thought. She took some small comfort in the thought, and she sat trying to convince herself that she did have something to hope for. She remembered a conversation with Judd about everything being all a part of God’s plan. The battle is the Lord’s, she reminded herself. She sat staring at the massive computer terminals and huge screens in front of her, her mind swimming with all kinds of thoughts. What next? Would the New World Order succeed?

“Have a good trip?” Sid asked her sarcastically as he entered the room with Gus behind him. “You’ve returned with a mop on your head, I see.”

Lexy ignored his insult. “I learned about living.”

“And dying too, I understand,” Sid answered.

“Those people didn’t deserve to die. If you wanted to kill, why didn’t you just kill me? I’m the one who committed the writing crime,” Alexis said.

“They were all disobedient. They broke the law by not getting a CHIP. Crimes have consequences,” Sid told her coldly.

“But they weren’t harming anybody,” she said.

“That’s your opinion, Alexis. They were a threat to national security. Traitors and excommunicates, contributing nothing to society. As far as I’m concerned, they got what they deserved.”

“Well, why didn’t you just leave me there and kill me too?” asked Alexis. “My parents?”

“Don’t flatter yourself. Your parents are smart people. They wouldn’t put their personal concerns before the interest of this country, or this world. No, we would’ve wiped you out too, but you have something we need,” Sid told her.

“What could I possibly have that you would need?” she asked him.

“Your CHIP code.”

The CHIP. Such a tiny device caused such humongous pain and the senseless loss of her beautiful friends’ lives. “Why mine?”

“Sit down,” Gus ordered. “There’s work to be done.”

The door opened again and in filed Ed and Shelby Blitz followed by Lexy’s parents, Jerry and Cynthia. “Mom!” Alexis leapt from her chair and ran to embrace her mother, who ignored the others’ disapproving looks and hugged her daughter tightly. “I missed you Mom,” Alexis’ voice broke as she started to cry.

“Oh Alexis, darling, I thought I’d never see you again. It’s amazing you’re here. Honey, why did you run away? We could’ve talked… Your hair!”

“Cut it short Cynthia. There’s not time for this sentimental bullshit. Your daughter has already caused us severe delays and possible security breaches, and if you don’t get down to business and keep the personal stuff out of this room, you’ll be cited too,” Sid interrupted her. She quickly shut up. She and Lexy sat down holding hands side by side in front of the terminal with the rest of the group. Jerry didn’t so much as glance at his daughter, embarrassed as he was by her betrayal. And he never was one for emotion. He nodded curtly to Gus and Sid and sat down next to his wife.

“Okay people, this is the time we’ve been leading up to,” Sid began. “We’ll scan all of our codes to unlock the sealed files, then we’ll run the program. Within 30 minutes, NWO will be in effect. High frequency sound waves will destroy any living beings not protected by the CHIP, worldwide now. It’s time to enforce our plans. We’ll be in the highest positions of power because of our access to this information. He will run the world. Nobody will be able to make a move without us knowing about it and approving of it.” Sid spoke with excitement in his voice and Alexis shuddered to think of the evil man that would be controlling the world and calling the shots about what was and was not allowed.

“And what’ll the first order of business be?” Ed asked him.

“Send out a worldwide bulletin regarding religion, if anybody even practices that stuff at all anymore. Take out the remaining churches–they just take up valuable space needed for factories for our workforce, which every citizen must participate in. No religion; let’s worship work. More practical.

Then we’ll get people right on constructing factories and childcare centers. We want every man, woman and child to be productive citizens in our New World Order. We’ve been lenient with some mothers and small children, but there’s no place for that now. Get the mothers back in the workplace no later than seven days after giving birth. This also creates more jobs for other women to care for the newborns. By 4, we should have the kids doing something productive and useful–we’ll figure out exactly what. Three years should be enough time for fooling around for anybody. Any questions?”

Sid seemed so smug and sure of himself, thought Alexis. No churches? No religions? No mothers with their babies? No childhoods? A world all about work? She was scared and depressed and hopeless, though she prayed silently to God to intervene and stop this abomination of desolation. Would all of the people living in the wildernesses of the world be killed? she wondered silently. What was the sense? Alexis fought to hold back tears. Wasn’t there anything she could do?

“Files locked” flashed on the huge screen of the computer terminal. “Access restricted and secured” appeared beneath that.

“Request access.” Sid’s voice activated the computer.

“Scan codes,” the computer instructed.

“Everybody in position. Hold your wrists in front of the scanner,” Gus directed. Sid and Gus were sitting right in front of the scanner so they remained seated while Shelby, Ed, Jerry and Cynthia gathered behind them.

“C’mon Alexis,” her mother prodded, giving her a pleading look that said, “please don’t cause any more trouble, honey.” Alexis reluctantly stood in front of the scanner, her wrist facing forward.

“Scan CHIP codes,” Sid said.

“Scanning. Stand by,” replied the smooth-sounding computer. “Scanning complete. Access open,” said Murphy after about a minute, which seemed like an eternity to Alexis.

“Run New World Order, increase frequency and range,” Sid said.

“Frequency increasing,” answered the computer. “Range to expand to which area?” the computer asked.

After a slight pause, Sid answered, “All.”

“Expanding range. Expansion completed,” the computer announced.

“Sound frequencies,” Sid ordered.

“Sounding,” said the computer.

“Oh my God, are you guys really going to let this happen?” Alexis begged. “All those innocent people…”

“Shut up Alexis,” Gus told her. “No use trying to save the world. The ones that follow the rules will be spared, only the outlaws and scourge of society will be cleansed from the earth’s surface.”

Alexis looked at her mom and dad, who didn’t make eye contact. Shelby looked at the ground and Ed Blitz looked at her and said matter-of-factly, “It’s time to face facts, Alexis. The sooner you do that, the better. And just feel lucky that you’re one of us. Everybody had a chance to be protected by CHIP.”

“Yeah, but who made you, ‘us’ God to decide what the laws are and who should work and where and when? I don’t see…”

“Someday you’ll understand, Alexis,” said Shelby, piping up to support her husband. “When you’re in control, you’ll see it was for the good of the people.”

“You guys are sick,” she told them. “Can I leave now?”

“Feel free, but you better do some serious thinking about changing your attitude because you’re disposable now,” Gus told her. “And this time you won’t have no underground outlaw hermit to go crying to,” he added. That hurt–poor Wynn. Alexis felt all alone in a cruel, unfair world. She didn’t have the slightest idea what she would do or how she would survive in the cold world, all alone. Now that she had known real joy and real people, how could she operate among all these CHIP-controlled monkeys? She left the room, shutting the door quietly behind her and mourning for all the poor souls who were at this moment being wiped out by high frequency sound waves.

“Please save them Lord,” she prayed. As she walked outside of Central Headquarters, it was dark, although it was only 5 p.m. That’s odd, she thought. Then she noticed a crowd of people on the streets, staring off in the distance. She looked in their direction and saw an incredible sight. The sun, but without light. It was like a glowing black ember in the sky.

She kept walking down the sidewalk, not really sure where she was headed. Home didn’t feel like her home anymore, but she slowly headed in that direction, for lack of anywhere else to go. she thought for a minute about Isabella, but decided not to see her. She was totally, utterly alone. A half hour later she found herself at home. She sat down on the front steps, tired and dejected, hungry and feeling sick. About an hour later, Cynthia arrived home and sat down next to her daughter. “Honey,” she began.

“Why Mom? Why does the world have to be like this? Why does this have to happen?”

“I’ve always wondered the same thing, darling,” she answered. “But I’ve come to realize that we don’t have the answers and there’s really nothing I or you, or anyone, can do.”

“But didn’t you see all this coming? I mean, the people I met on the island said it was obvious the world was headed for disaster, with the required CHIP and everything, didn’t you ever think about getting away?” Cynthia looked ahead and sighed.

“I hoped we’d never have to talk about this, Alexis. I hoped life would just somehow work itself out, but it’s time to tell you a story. Just between you and me. Okay?” Alexis nodded, turning toward her mother, interested. “Many years ago, before you were born, I was married to a wonderful man….”

“You never told me you were married before,” Alexis interrupted her.

“I know. I was forbidden to talk about it with anybody, on penalty of death. So keep this talk a secret.” Alexis’ eyes widened. “So, we were married, and I was pregnant and Michael, that was his name, Michael was against CHIP implants, and he suggested to the wrong person that it could be a dangerous device for the human race. He spoke out, and then he always felt like people were following him, spying, he called it. He came home one night all secretive and wanted to go for a walk.

We were all the way up in the mountains, walking above the river when he finally let me in on his plan. He was convinced we had to leave the city, and if I would just trust him and say yes he would arrange everything immediately.” Her mom’s eyes sparkled at the memories she was reliving. “Of course, I agreed, I totally trusted Michael. So it was all set within a week and I was excited and scared. We weren’t supposed to say anything about it to anybody.” Cynthia stopped and seemed lost in her thoughts.

“So what happened, Mom?” Alexis asked after a minute, jogging her mother back to reality.

She sighed. “I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to my mother, and assuring her I would be okay with Michael. The night we were leaving, Michael took a load of our stuff to the boat. While he was gone, I snuck over to my mom’s to tell her I loved her and that I was going away for a little while and please not to tell anybody I’d come, but I told her I just wanted her to know I’d be safe with Michael. I didn’t want her to worry. My dad wasn’t home, and I begged her not to tell him because I knew he would never condone my leaving, especially for such reasons as escaping automation and fearing the NWO. He was one of the NWO masterminds. And he never liked Michael.

“She told me not to go, said I was crazy. I was crying when I left, but I had to go. I’d already been gone too long. I drove home as fast as I could, and I waited for Michael.”

“And then?” Alexis urged when her mother was silent.

Her mom didn’t answer right away. “I waited for him all night,” she started softly. “He never came home. His truck was found at the bottom of Taylor’s Cliff. I never saw him again.”

“What happened to him?” Alexis wanted to know.

“They never found his body, apparently it was consumed in the fire of the explosion when the truck crashed down the cliff,” Cynthia spoke between sobs. Alexis hugged her mother, shocked at this secret. Her mother had always been so proper. After a few minutes, Cynthia straightened up. She licked a salty tear off her lip and continued. “The next day my mother and father came to my room with a nurse. She gave me an injection, CHIP, it turned out to be. They told me it was to help with my stress. I was pregnant, remember. My mom kept telling me how sorry she was, like it was her fault or something.”

“What happened to the baby?”

“She’s grown into an amazing young woman, rebellious, like her father.”

Alexis swallowed hard. She tried to piece together what her mother had just told her. “But Dad….”

“I never thought you should feel the pain of the truth. It seemed easier Lexy, for everybody, that’s what all the doctors insisted; why traumatize the child? My father called the shots. He introduced me to my new husband, Jerry Roberts, and ordered me to accept my fate like an obedient girl and feel lucky to be alive.”

“Kind of like Gus did to me,” said Alexis. “Mom, I can’t believe I never knew they treated you like a prisoner. How could you love a man you were forced to marry?”

Cynthia shook her head. “I was in a kind of shock. I did what I was told. And Lexy honey, you were the only thing that kept me going. While I detested Jerry and my fate for a long time, I was pregnant, and I was lost without Michael. I didn’t have the strength to put up much of a fight. You were my hope, my joy, my only connection with Michael. I never meant for my life to end up like this, or yours either. I’m sorry honey.”

“I know Mom. I love you.” The two women hugged and cried.

“Sometimes I feel like I’ve made the wrong decisions. But we will never know, will we honey?”

“I think we might understand someday, Mom.” The she surprised herself by saying boldly, “If we believe, everything we ask for in prayer will be received.”

Cynthia looked at her daughter. “I don’t know what to believe. But your hope feels good.”

“I’m going to pray for us, Mom, and for everything to somehow be okay. I’ve learned nothing is impossible through prayer.” Alexis thought to herself how true that was; she had prayed for truth in her life and she had prayed for her parents while on the island.

“We should just trust God and know that the battle is the Lord’s, Judd told me that.”

“Judd?”

“Yes, my friend on the island, Judd Michael….” Lexy’s voice cracked. Cynthia looked like she’d seen a ghost. “Mom?”

“It’s nothing, Lex, just a strange coincidence.”

“Tell me. I believe coincidences are not just random events. I think they’re meaningful.”

“Well, Michael’s–your father’s–middle name was Judd. Michael Judd Adahmson. Strange, isn’t it?” Alexis felt the hairs raise on her arms. She thought about Judd’s binocular case, with ARA carved into it. She’d never questioned her real father, and she’d never known about her mother’s previous marriage. Her own initials would have been ARA if her mother had not married Jerry Roberts, making her ARR. She was blown away.

“Star light, start bright, first star I see tonight,” Alexis looked up at the sky. Her mother joined her and the two women finished the rhyme. “I wish I may, I wish I might, wish on the first star I see tonight.” They smiled at each other.

“He told me about Jesus too.” They both understood who he was. Judd Michael. Michael Judd. Father and husband. “We can have eternal life if we accept Jesus as our savior. Confess with our mouths, believe in our hearts and minds that he is Lord and we are saved by his blood.”

Cynthia looked surprised. “He said that?”

“Maybe it’s all a part of a plan, Mom. The only way you would believe it, by some miracle told through me from him to you! Hey look at the moon–you can barely see it–it’s there, but it’s dark. Are we having an eclipse?”

“Strange. Must be something to do with the increased range and high frequencies. It’s probably messing up the planets or something.”

“I don’t know.” A great roar drowned out their words, deafening them. Stars began shooting down from the sky, streaking trails of light behind them. “Look Mom!” Alexis screamed, pointing at the sky.

“What’s going on? A meteor shower?” The earth started to shake and rumble. Screams resounded from all directions and pipes burst, sending fountains of rushing water flooding into the streets. A huge explosion rocked the block, sending houses tumbling down and starting raging fires that quickly spread in every direction.

“Fire!” someone yelled, as people ran in panic, seeking high ground. In a matter of minutes, fires burned all around. The moon turned the color of blood.

“What’s happening?” yelled Cynthia as people ran, streaming out of their houses into the streets screaming and panicking, running, but not sure where to go.

“Oh my God, save us! Lord have mercy.” Alexis got down on her knees amidst the confusion and chaos and began praying to God. “Mighty God, have mercy on your children. Help us! Save us all. We know not what we do!”

“Oh Lord, please forgive me. Jesus Christ, have mercy on my soul. Dear God, save us! Lord help us!” Cynthia got down next to her daughter and started shouting too.

They heard a trumpet and then saw a glorious white light illuminating the clouds. A light too bright for Alexis to look at radiated and then seemed to swallow them. They were engulfed in white, pure energy. “He’s come!” Alexis rose with the light out of the commotion and found herself floating high on a cloud where she witnessed the disaster through thick fog below. Then she felt a warmth spread throughout her body and she slowly surrendered to the warm, loving embrace. She drifted out of consciousness and fell into a calming, serene sleep.

When she awoke, she felt rested and alive and full of joy as she looked into the smiling faces of her friends. One by one, they appeared before her as she looked around, grinning. “Victoria! Josiah! Wynn–you’re alive! We’re all alive! Mom! Oh Mommy!” she embraced her mother. Her father stood by. “Daddy! Judd Michael.” For hours, family and friends reunited and hugged praising God for his greatness and thanking him for fulfilling his promises of eternal life. They were well aware of the table beautifully set for a wedding supper.

“We made it,” Victoria told her.

“All God’s plan,” Judd said.

“Praise God,” they said to one another and then watched and listened to a beautiful chorus of angels and new beings, all familiar, singing in one accord, praises to a mighty God. Smiling, joyful, they themselves joined the angels singing praises to a mighty king. “Mighty is the Lord our God, mighty is the Lord our Go-ood. Mighty to deliver, mighty to set free. Mighty is the Lord our God.

The Lord is my strength, and my song… Amen.

And he, he has become, my salvation. Amen. And I will prepare my heart.

You are God, and we praise you, yes we praise you.

You are eternal father, all creation worships you; all creation worships you, amen.”

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create, for, behold, I create in Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days, for the child shall die an hundred years old, but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit, they shall not plant, and another eat. For as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain , nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock, and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,” saith the Lord. –Isaiah 65:17

The Beginning

“…and what will ye do in the end thereof?”

–Jeremiah 5:31

Return to Paradise, Part II: Chapter 11

11

“She didn’t tell me anything, really,” insisted Isabella in a pleading tone. Beads of sweat glistened against her dark skin.

Sid completed his tenth lap around the room, his shoes tapping in the silence. He walked to Isabella, who was sitting, hands in her lap, knees together on the hard metal chair. Sid knelt in front of her and looked at her face. “You have information. You will tell me what you know about this book,” he said menacingly. He had used the same words with Trevor and Dan just hours earlier. Both boys denied any knowledge but had both broken down and cried from Sid’s intense accusations. Isabella, too, started crying. She was obviously scared to death.

“Sid–” Cynthia started, having pity on the girl. “She doesn’t know anything; leave her alone.” Gus turned his head slowly toward Cynthia. His anger seemed to lash at her from his eyes.

“That will be all Cynthia,” he said evenly. “Start talking!” he yelled loudly in Isabella’s face.

“I don’t know! I swear!” Isabella was shaking.

“Come on Sly…” Shelby tried to intervene.

“Silence! Gus, escort the women out,” Sid demanded. Gus instantly stood up and ushered Cynthia and Shelby to the door. The only sound was Isabella’s sniffling, trying to hold back sobs.

“Murphy, activate deceit detector,” Sid spoke to his computer.

“Activated,” Murphy answered seconds later.

“Gus, scan the girl.” Gus roughly pulled Isabella out of her seat and placed her wrist on the scanner. “What have you heard about Alexis Roberts’ writing or book?” he asked Isabella sharply.

“I don’t know,” said the frightened girl, whose 5’10” frame seemed dwarfed by her surroundings. The computer flashed red.

“Murphy doesn’t lie!” Sid informed her. “If you don’t tell me what you know right now, I’ll put you in prison for life!” Sid barked at her heartlessly. Ed and Jerry held their breath, while Gus stood at attention, already relishing the prospect of taking Isabella to his personal kingdom.

“Okay,” sobbed Isabella. Ed whirled around, surprised at the breakthrough. Jerry, Gus, Ed and Sid looked at her intently, waiting.

“Go on,” Jerry urged her.

“I think I remember she said something about meeting a man, years ago.”

“Where!?” Sid interrogated.

“Somewhere in the country, her parents took her, a meeting. Oh, please don’t hurt her,” Isabella pleaded.

“It’s Graybeard!” Gus interjected, excitedly.

“Gotta be,” said Ed.

“Coastline,” Sid said. “Go get him.”

“On it,” Gus answered. He left the room in a flash, intent on his hunt.

“It’s time,” Sid announced to Ed Blitz and Jerry Roberts. “Wipe out the opposition. Let’s sound frequencies worldwide. We need every life under control. We’ve been too relaxed. If there are people out there, let’s get rid of them.”

“Time to step it up a few notches,” said Jerry.

“Let’s do it now,” Ed agreed.

 

Return to Paradise, Part II: Chapter 10

10

“Come on Lexy. I’m finally done. I want to show you something,” bubbled Judd, bringing Lexy back to Earth. She had been absorbed reading the Bible her friend had given to her.

“Okay, what is it?” she asked eagerly as she grabbed his outstretched hand.

“Follow me to the garden,” he said.

“Okay,” Alexis laughed, pleased to be getting so much attention. Her thoughts went briefly to the last time she had seen Dan. She thought about the door being slammed in her face. It hurt. But it seemed like another world already, a different life.

Lexy marveled as they rounded the corner to a beautiful place where an abundance of green plants were growing out of the ground. She followed Judd up and down the rows as he told her the names of each one. On closer inspection, she noticed colorful objects growing from the plants.

“What are these?” she asked, pointing to a yellow curved thing.

Judd smiled. “It’s called a banana. Look.” He pulled one off the branch and peeled the yellow from around it. Then he took a bite. “Here, try it.”

She did. “It’s good,” she said. She tried to remember all the names of the different vegetables he pointed out. There were so many different kinds.

She recognized Kenny bending over pulling a plant out of the ground. “Have you met Gregg?” he asked her, wiping his forehead.

“Hi,” said Gregg.

“You sang that song,” Alexis told him.

“That would be me,” Gregg answered. “And I’m not too sure if this,” he motioned to the ground in front of him, “is right where I should be right now,” he said, smiling.

“We’re on weed patrol,” Kenny told her. “We’re supposed to pull out all the weeds around the plants,” he explained, “so the plant can grow and produce fruit, not choked by all of these weeds.” He reached down and plucked a clump of long green grass and tossed it to the side. “There.”

“It looks like a lot of work,” Lexy told him.

“Worth it,” he replied. “Taste this.” He gave her a small white bulb. She looked at Gregg, and then at Judd.

“Go ahead, take a bite; they’re a little peppery, that’s all,” urged Gregg.

She took the white round veggie, looking unconvinced. She bit into it with a loud crunch.

“Now chew it,” said Judd.

“Not bad,” announced Lexy. “What is it called?”

“Turnip,” the boys answered in unison.

“Wow! This grows out of the dirt?!”

“In about 19 days–that’s all it takes,” Judd explained.

“That’s neat,” said Lexy, finishing the turnip. She walked around the garden in awe tasting orange carrots, green cucumbers, green beans and purple lettuce and admiring the beautiful flowers’ colors. Beautiful, she thought. “Why don’t we have these everywhere?” She wanted to know.

“Some questions just don’t have answers,” said Kenny. Feeling the warm sun on her face, Lexy couldn’t remember ever feeling so free. She laughed at the possibility that some things couldn’t be explained.

She saw two girls hiking down the path toward the garden. It was Victoria Rose and Hannah. Lexy waved to them. “Hi Lexy!” Vicky called. Hannah returned her wave before picking an orange, oval-shaped fruit from a tall tree.

“Trya papaya?” Hannah asked her, grinning as she walked up to the group. “Hi Daddy,” she said, giving Ken a peck on the cheek.

“Sure,” said Alexis, accepting a slice of orangey-pink fruit Judd had cut. “Mmmm,” she said. It was sweet and delicious. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” said Hannah.

“What are you guys doing?” asked Vicky.

“Showing Lexy the garden’s treats. You girls hiking?” Judd asked his niece Vicky.

“Yeah, we’re going to the River Side Cafe,” she laughed. “You wanna come with us?” she asked Alexis.

“What’s that?” Alexis asked.

“Come on, you’ll see. It’s not too far from here,” Hannah told her.

“You should go; it’s great!” Judd told her.

“Okay then, I’ll go,” said Lexy, feeling adventurous. “Thanks for the tour!” she told the guys enthusiastically.

“Okay!” said Gregg.

“See you later!” Kenny yelled.

“Bye, have fun,” added Judd.

“Bye,” Hannah and Vicky said together. They waved and the girls started up a well-worn trail up a sloping hill alongside the right of the garden. They hiked through the shades of green that made up the jungle a short way to a little river overlooking the ocean. Beautiful blue pools alternated with rapidly running water streaming over stones leading to the ocean.

“This is unbelievable!” marveled Alexis, taking in the beauty.

“Isn’t it?” agreed Vicky. “Let’s get in; it’s great!” she encouraged, as she stripped naked and jumped in. Hannah followed, tossing her colorful wrap onto a boulder.

“Come on in!” she called to Alexis.

Alexis was a little more cautious, choosing to keep her clothes on and starting by testing the water with her toe. She was hot. She eased her way into the cool water, sitting in the shallow pool letting the water rise up to her neck.

“Ahhh, this is niiii-ccce.” She couldn’t believe where she was. Beautiful pink ginger grew along the edge of the ponds and mountains rose up in the distance around them. Everything was lush, with thousands of shades of green coloring the myriad fauna.

“I knew you’d like it Alexis,” Vicky said after a little while.

“Yeah, it’s just so peaceful; it almost lulls you to sleep,” said Alexis.

“Nature’s lullaby,” Hannah nodded, understanding exactly what Alexis meant. “I’ve often been put to sleep lying here listening to the waterfall. It amazes me how it seems to be telling me life’s secrets. It’s like, have you ever noticed how life itself is just like this river flowing toward the ocean?”

Alexis looked at Hannah. “What do you mean?”

“Well, think of where this river begins, probably somewhere at the back of the valley, at the very top of these mountains, way up in the sky, water from a huge lake falls off the side of the cliff and spills into another lake thousands of feet below. The Fall.”

“O—kay,” said Alexis slowly.

“The water moves around in this pool for awhile, and then it starts flowing downstream toward the ocean, where it’ll pass through other pools like this one, still and cool, and then flow out of the pool and fall over rocks, like mini waterfalls a bunch of times on its way downstream,” she paused for a breath. “Do I still have you?” she asked them.

“I think so,” Alexis answered.

“Go on, I need to hear more to see if I get your point,” said Vicky.

“Okay, now look at that still, stagnant pool over there,” Hannah pointed down river toward a small pool at the river’s edge. “That water’s been sitting there for a long time and is almost stuck there in the little pool. It’ll take a big rainstorm to wash it all back into the mainstream. In the end, after it’s gone down many waterfalls, sat in lots of pools and maybe even gotten stuck in a few marshes, the water ends up in the ocean where it mixes with a huge body of a substance just like itself, only salty, and then after who knows how long with that body, it’s evaporated up into the atmosphere to live in the clouds and fall like rain, quenching the thirst of all these trees and plants, and people, nourishing life. It sort of reminds me of the Bible passage in Ephesians:

‘There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.’

It’s like the Lord calling us home and all the journeys we go through to get there. That’s what the water is like, rushing downstream toward the big ocean–it’s being pulled by the ocean as we are called by God. ‘Join me,’ it says.” She was quiet for a few seconds. When neither Alexis nor Vicky responded, Hannah asked, “Do you follow me or do you think I’m crazy?”

“I think it really makes sense, Hannah,” said Vicky with a smile.

“Me too,” Alexis said. “But what about this Bible? All of you keep talking about it.”

“God’s word,” Vicky told her. “Romans 1:16 tells us that God’s word, which is the Bible, is the ‘power of God unto salvation to every one that believes,'” she looked at Alexis.

“And what are we supposed to believe?” Alexis asked her, sounding doubtful.

“Well, you read the Bible and believe it, and you are saved from the evil of this world. You’re guaranteed eternal life when you leave this world,” explained Vicky.

“‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,'” Hannah said. “That’s from Acts, Chapter 16, I’m pretty sure,” she added.

“And who is Jesus?” Alexis asked them, more interested now, as she always wondered about life after death, and people had always told her it wasn’t something they should think about because nobody knew until they died. These girls seemed to know, and they had this book from which they seemed to be getting answers to her questions. Could it be true? Lexy wondered.

Vicky turned the pages in her Bible. “Okay, here it is. Jesus is the ‘way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by him,'” she read from John 14:6.

“And it also says ‘the son of man, who is Jesus, has come to seek and to save the lost.’ It’s in Luke, Chapter 19, Verse 11,” said Hannah.

“But how do you know that for sure?” Alexis pressed.

“Well, it says ‘the just shall live by faith,'” Hannah told her. “So you just believe it. Try reading the Bible. I have one I can give you.”

“Juli gave me one,” said Alexis. “I guess I’ll have to read it more,” she said, grateful again to Wynn for teaching her how to read.

“And if you read Romans 10:9, it will tell you that you should ‘confess with your mouth the love of Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, and you shall be saved,'” said Vicky.

“Okay, I’ll look at it,” said Alexis. “I just wonder why I never heard about it before.”

“Well, people used to read the Bible, but it says many times in the Bible that man will turn from God and that people will hear, but not understand, they will see, and not perceive, because their hearts are cold, their ears dull, and their eyes closed, ‘lest they should be converted, and I’, meaning Jesus, ‘should heal them,'” said Vicky.

“In Romans Chapter 1, Verse 25, it explains, ‘they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised,” Hannah told her.

“So they did know God before?” asked Alexis.

“I know people used to have Bibles and go to church–my mom told me,” said Vicky. “But then it became a bad thing because many of the people who believed in God would not accept the microchip implant because they believed it was the mark of the beast that is talked about in the Bible.”

“I remember J.J. reading about that,” said Alexis.

“So Jesus was sent from God, his Father, and our Father, to set us free from our sins and to reunite us with God,” Vicky went on. “‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die,'” she read. “This is John, Chapter 11, Verse 25.”

“So I just have to choose to believe in Jesus?” asked Alexis.

“‘You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you’ is what Jesus has told us in John, Chapter 15, Verse 16,” Hannah told her.

“That’s hard for me to believe,” said Alexis. “But I’ll read it.”

“Good,” said Hannah, climbing out of the pool and stretching out on the short green grass. “Just one more thing, in Matthew, it says to ‘ask and you shall find, for everyone that asks, receives,'” Hannah said.

“Okay, I’ll ask, Jesus, um, God, to help me,” agreed Alexis, joining her. “Ahh, that felt so good.” The girls were quiet, enjoying the sunshine.

“I’m going to head back now,” said Hannah after a few minutes. “I told my brother I’d help him harvest some flowers for mom’s birthday tomorrow.”

“Okay, ” said Vicky. “I feel like resting a little here. What about you, Alexis?”

“I’ll stay too,” she said.

“Alright, I’ll see you two soon,” called Hannah as she walked down the trail.

“Bye!” called Vicky and Lexy. Vicky stretched out and fell asleep. Alexis sat next to her thinking about Jesus and the river. It is the river of life, thought Lexy. She tried to decide where she was in her own journey. Probably just got washed out of a stagnant pool by a huge storm, she decided. Her thoughts drifted to the garden. She was still amazed that a tiny seed could be put into the ground and watered and would grow into something people could eat. Life was such a mystery. She realized that to her, a person’s life could also be compared to a garden. You need to be planted first, to grow, like a seed is planted in the ground and like a man’s seed is planted in a woman’s body or in a test tube, then you and the seed need to be nourished, fed and watered if you are to be kept alive. Your life, and the garden, can be full of rocks and weeds and a lot of thorny, dead stuff, or it can be well-tended and have fruits of all types to enjoy. Then what? Are you harvested? Lexy contemplated that thought and decided to talk to Victoria about it later. Her eyes closed and she slept, her soul soothed by the river’s sweet song.

Return to Paradise: Part II: Chapter 9

9

“It’s incredulous!” barked Sid, shaking his bald head. He tossed Lexy’s writing aside, rose from his high-backed chair and began pacing round the room. “How could this happen?!” he boomed, his face crimson. “We made it unnecessary to write or read–and now, a kid–and one of our own–has somehow done both!”

He looked sharply at Cynthia, her red, puffy eyes and tears that wouldn’t stop showed her distress. He spoke to a glum and uncomfortable-looking Jerry. “When could your daughter have learned about letters, much less found the materials to write? And where did she ever get this paper?” He grabbed the guilty sheets of paper and started reading. “‘It was a strange society.’ Hhmph.” He glowered at them. “I want some answers!” he roared.

“Really, Sid, I don’t see how she did this,” began Jerry. “She was schooled in our systems and…”

“Think!” he told him gruffly. “Have any of her friends been exposed to this?”

“Nobody we’re aware of,” said Cynthia.

“Not good enough. I want positive responses, not, ‘I don’t think so’… We’ve got to find out definitely. Bring in the friends for questioning, and everyone from her school block. I want names, Cynthia! Names! Now!” he demanded.

“I doubt she would have confided to her friends about this,” she began a little fearfully. “She never told me, and we’re… we were… close, I thought.”

“Kids are sneaky. Can’t trust ’em. What are the names, damn it!?” growled Sid. “Let’s get some answers. Now!”

“Okay,” Cynthia answered, though it was against her maternal instincts of wanting to protect her daughter. She was hurt by Alexis’ betrayal, but she could also understand it. Her daughter was like herself, only Alexis was fearless. And Cynthia feared for her. Still, she heard herself saying, “Isabel–you know, the Freemont’s daughter–she’s her best friend. Then there’s Dan, her boyfriend; Trevor Graham; Abby Morris.”

“That’s a start,” Sid said. “Get me those kids, jetzt nicht spat!” he yelled at Gus who immediately started speaking the names into the search computer and getting addresses.

“Got ’em Sly,” Gus told him.

“Send out an order for their appearance in one hour on penalty of a year in jail. I’ll show you how to command cooperation and obedience,” Sid demanded. Cynthia shuddered. No doubt, he would, and that was what she was afraid of.

Return to Paradise, Part II: Chapter 8

8

The next morning, Alexis sat on a log in the kitchen watching the breakfast preparations. Karen, Drew, Cyrus and Jazmin were in charge.

“At home, Mom just orders us food pellets and when I think about it, or she reminds me, I swallow them.” Alexis was telling the 19-year-old black-haired beauty named Jazmin. “Here you guys spend a lot of time cooking and eating,” she said. “And growing it in the garden too. Wynn showed me his garden. He didn’t eat pellets either, said they weren’t healthy.” They smiled at the mention of their friend.

“I bet he said that,” Karen laughed. “He always tells it like it is. And you’re sure making me feel my age,” Karen told Alexis. “But I have to say, sometimes the old ways are the best. As you can see, here food does take some time. But so what Lexy!? It’s all worth it. It’s easy, and it’s a gift from our maker,” Karen said.

“I think you’ll like this whole food/eating thing if you just give it a chance. You’ll feel better, look better,” said Cyrus, who at 17, had never experienced pellets. “You’ll wonder how you ever survived swallowing pills.”

“Okay Cyrus,” Alexis agreed, grinning at her new friend. “I’ll have to believe you, but this seems a little weird,” she said, looking at the breadfruit that Drew set in front of her. She supposed she’d adjust. Nobody was popping pellets here.

She tried some clear liquid called water. Not too much taste, but it was refreshing. Lexy sat and watched quietly while Drew blew in the fire, causing the flame to grow. By the time the sun was warming up the earth, the kitchen was aflutter with activity. Lexy felt okay. She wasn’t scared, but was relieved because she realized she had been right in feeling that something was wrong with her world. It was missing something. But here on the island, with these people she hardly knew, she felt safe and alive and full of a joy she had never known.

Return to Paradise, Part II: Chapter 7

7

They ate a delicious dinner of prawns sauteed in garlic and lilikoi, purple sweet potatoes and zucchini from the garden. Someone handed her a coconut full of orange liquid, squeezed from an orange ball that Lexy had watched Vicky pick off a nearby tree. “Mmmm,” somebody said.

“Great dinner everybody who helped,” thanked Kenny. There were several nods of agreement. The silence as people ate gave testimony to the delicious food. Lexy was one of the last ones to finish eating, as she was unfamiliar with the textures and foods, and she chewed more cautiously and slowly than the others.

Colette and Hannah got up and started cleaning up the kitchen area. Every family took turns with the chores, so nothing was ever too much for anyone to handle.

Alexis watched while Ken and Justin put out the fire. “How was your food?” Alivea Malia asked her, sitting down next to her on a tree stump.

“Really good!” answered Alexis, meaning it, although she’d taken her time and had been a little reluctant to eat all of the different foods. “It’s a lot different than pellets,” she told Alivea Malia.

Vicky shook her head. “I can’t believe people survive on them,” she said. “Why would they do that?”

“It’s easy,” Lexy answered immediately, as she cautiously tasted the orange-colored juice.

“But not as nutritious or tasty,” said Joshua, or was it Simon? Lexy couldn’t tell the twins apart yet. “From what I’ve been told,” he added.

“People had to eat pellets because everybody started getting sick from the food they cooked. It was mad cow disease, salmonella, and crazy viruses developed from eating meat of animals fed a certain type of genetically engineered food, which contained hormones that somehow caused a virus that was resistant to all medication and antibiotics. It got really scary and became too risky to eat any food, as it was all genetically modified in some way. So… here come these pellets made of food ground up into powder and pressed into capsules. The powder was sterilized to kill any virus and probably any vitamins too. It became the safer way to eat. And then the only way,” Judd explained in a windfull.

“Thank God my parents brought me here to live!” joked Ronnie.

“You wouldn’t be living if Mom and Dad hadn’t brought you here,” said a slender woman with shoulder-length dark hair.

“Why not?” Alexis asked her.

“Because,” Jenna answered, “when my mom got pregnant with Ronnie, they had population control. Each family could only have one child and mom wasn’t about to give up Ronnie, and right when she found out she was pregnant, she met John and Kira.” She paused. Alexis was waiting for her to go on. She looked puzzled. “So J.J., you know, John Justus, the pastor, and Kira were searching for a place to live peacefully, because martial law was being enacted everywhere in the fight against terrorism.”

“Then J.J. had this dream,” Ronnie added. “Hey J.J!” he called to the man with the big brown eyes, who kept his hair short. “Can you come over here?”

J.J. walked over. “Hi!” he smiled.

“We were just telling Alexis about your dream,” Jenna told him.

“The dream, yes,” J.J. began. “Psalms 91:1–I know it by heart now. While I slept, God showed me a Bible and it was open to Psalms 91:1. In the dream, I gave the Bible to my wife, Kira, who showed it to some friends. Every time I saw the Bible, it was open to this page. Psalms 91:1 was on the top. A pregnant lady with a little girl on her lap was crying. Then her daughter gave her a Bible, and of course,” he paused for dramatic effect, “it was opened to Psalms 91:1. So when I woke up I reached for my Bible and read the verse. It says,

‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I confidently trust!’

I knew I had to find the ‘secret place.’ I didn’t really understand what the dream meant, exactly. But I prayed about it.”

“The next day we met Gina and Paul,” said Kira who had sat down next to J.J.

“Gina and Paul are Ronnie’s and my parents,” explained Jenna to Alexis.

“Oh,” she said, nodding her head, hoping to hear more.

“And Gina was pregnant,” J.J. remembered. “It hit me really hard when I was introduced to them. She just showed up in my church out of the blue. I knew she was the pregnant woman I had dreamt about. And when I saw her little girl come out of Sunday school, it was confirmed to me that she was the woman in my dream.”

“This was about 2014 or so,” said Kira. “Population control had just been enacted, and we had a few members of our church and from other places who were planning on having a second child despite the new law against it. When J.J. told me about his dream, I felt it was my mission to find a place where we could help these families live in peace with their children.”

“Noah and Suzanne Martin had just told us about Suzanne’s brother Wynn who lived in California and had found a map their father had hidden of the Pacific Ocean. He wanted to take a voyage out to sea and find an island he believed his father had told him stories about when he’d been a kid,” explained J.J. “It all seemed to be coming together, all of the pieces of the dream. Maybe the island was the secret place–my mind was racing and I felt like I was being led by the grace of God to this place.”

“We ended up meeting Wynn and his wife, Lauren, and about 20 other people from our church–let’s see, Ken and Colette Joyes, Suzanne and Noah Martin, Drew’s parents: Jake and Debbie Williams, Cathy Cress and her mom and dad–they live in another part of the island now–well, we all took the journey and Wynn was right, the island was here and here we are,” Kira explained. “Through Wynn, who went back and forth a lot at first, many of us you see here today were able to come to this place and be saved.”

“Like me,” said Alexis. “That’s amazing how you had that dream,” she said to J.J., thinking about her own vivid dreams she’d been having.

“I know,” he said. “God is powerful and he has a plan.” She smiled at him.

“Do you ever miss being there?” she asked.

“In Florida?” J.J. asked. “Not me. I have everything I need right here. My son, Isaiah, and Suraya, my daughter, he pointed toward them where they were sitting with two others about their age. “My wife, my friends, clean air, good water, sun and good food.”

“I just miss the people I left behind,” said Judd sadly.

“Who?” Lexy asked him.

“It’s a sad story. I’ll tell you someday,” he told her. She sat in the quiet night, thinking about the stories she had heard, also missing her mom, her friends and Dan, and even her dad. They were silent. Alexis gazed up at the stars, awed by their numbers. Juli pointed out a few constellations.

“That’s the Big Dipper,” Juli said, pointing at the sky. “It’s like a big spoon.”

“I see it!” cried Alexis excitedly.

“Here, look with these.” Judd handed her a heavy black object with two circles at either end.

“What is it?” she asked him.

“This is the tool for seeing the eyes of the world.” He took the binoculars from Alexis and held them to his eyes, pointing them at the dark sky. “I believe, Alexis, that these stars are the eyes of every person in the world, in a spiritual sense. I imagine I’m looking for a certain set of eyes. Did you ever get the feeling of connection, just by looking into someone’s eyes?” he asked her.

“Not really, and most people wear eye protection at home, so you never really see their eyes exactly,” she told him.

“It’s a knowing, an instinct deeper than words could decipher,” he said, pausing to look at her with his dimpled smile. “I’m babbling, sorry,” he said sheepishly.

“I’m interested, really!” Alexis urged him to continue.

“Here, your turn.” He handed her the binoculars again and helped her align her eyes through the eyepieces. “See?”

“Wow!” She was awestruck. The millions of stars mesmerized her with the sheer vastness of the sky. She was touched as if by something higher than herself. Alexis had no words to express her feelings. She gazed at the stars for a long time before giving the binoculars back to Judd.

“Here you go,” she said. “Thanks for letting me use them.” She noticed the letters ARA carved into the top of the box he placed the binoculars into.

“What’s ‘ARA’?” she asked him.

“It’s the initials of one I left behind,” he said sadly. Alexis nodded, sharing his pain, without words.

 

 

Return to Paradise: Part II: Chapter 6

6

“I remember when the shift became obvious, because everything turned computer-dependent,” a guy about 45, with brown hair was explaining. Alexis heard someone call him Drew.

“You couldn’t operate without them,” added Adam, brushing a long strand of blond hair off his face. Alexis was fascinated by everybody’s hair. She touched her own smooth head. She suddenly felt self-conscious, but nobody seemed to notice that she didn’t have hair. She turned her attention to a woman with long streaming blonde hair who was talking.

“Yes, government programs like food stamps that used to use paper coupons started using plastic cards that subtracted the food purchase from the total food stamps they were given. This allowed everything to be traced, because it was all recorded somewhere on the computer cash register and also on the card. Theoretically, someone could push a button and find out exactly what you were eating,” the pretty woman called Cathy was saying.

“And what certain types of people ate,” Drew threw in.

“No anonymity,” Cathy said, pursing her lips.

“And if the system was down, the cards wouldn’t work, and there was nothing anybody could do about it,” added Allan, a tall handsome man who sat down next to his wife, Cathy, as he joined the group. ‘You just wouldn’t be buying food that day. It was all electronic, so if it malfunctioned, people didn’t eat.” Alexis nodded politely, having never experienced the growing pains of phasing out currency that led up to the microchip system.

“It also cut out the small farmers who were previously selling their produce for food stamps because now they needed to buy a scanning device,” remembered Ronnie with a laugh.

“And all the grocery chains started issuing plastic club cards that gave you discounts when you used it. People laughed at me when I told them I didn’t like someone having a record of how much I spent on groceries and what I bought. All very strange,” said a woman who looked about 40 or so named Colette.

“Mmhmmm,” several people agreed with her.

“Get people slowly used to an idea until the cards totally replace cash–wouldn’t it be nice to just bring your card? Can’t lose it like cash because it has a pin number,” Colette continued, obviously bothered by the situation.

“And no check books!” Judd said gleefully.

“Those annoying check-writers!” Karen, a dark-haired woman with exotic features joked.

“Talking about the card’s convenience made it hard for consumers to refuse,” Judd explained, getting serious.

“All they needed was just their card that would automatically subtract the discounts, too,” said Cathy.

“Exactly,” Allan agreed. “The stores made it hard not to use the technology. Pretty soon, they just had you walking into the store, getting your groceries and walking out without waiting in line for a cashier. The card, and then the CHIP just automatically scanned when you left the store!”

“I know, that’s the way…” Lexy started to say, but nobody heard her over Alivea Malia’s louder voice.

“And people thought this was great. So convenient!” Alivea Malia, a pretty young woman, about 45 or so remembered, her eyes flashing at the notion.

“And around the same time, the microchip in pets idea really caught on. Nobody wanted to lose their pets, so inserting a finder was the perfect solution. And now look, first it was a choice, today, it’s mandatory,” said Drew.

“My friend even had a Teletrack alarm system that he paid hundreds of dollars for in case someone stole his Ford Explorer, the alarm company could easily track it through the system,” Gregg recalled.

“Yeah, if the crook didn’t unhook it first,” Allan teased.

“Yeah,” Jennifer said. “The main idea is the same–prey on their fears–sales work that way. People fear they’re getting old, and they’re getting gray hair, so they use color to hide it.” Alexis wanted to ask about gray hair, but was too shy to speak up, not wanting to draw attention to her own bare head. Someone apparently read her mind. A blond guy looked at her. She thought she remembered him saying he was Wynn’s son.

“In the city, people just shave their heads–nobody has hair–it takes away your individuality,” Simon explained to her.

“Mine just never grew,” Alexis softly told them, touching her head.

“It’s the frequency of the CHIP–it causes the hair not to grow,” explained Drew. “Yours will probably grow soon.” She smiled.

“It’s unnatural–the CHIP,” Colette proclaimed. “And so were face lifts, boob jobs and liposuction.”

“But people could make a lot of money if we thought we needed such things. It’s a mega-millionaire industry,” explained Judd, looking at her.

“Selling people on what they don’t really need by subtly convincing them that they do,” Cathy said.

“Like the CHIP, you started hearing talk like, ‘if you can protect your pet, why not your kids?’ Microchips in the kids would certainly cut out kidnapping–any parents’ worst fear,” Judd said, looking reflective.

Will chimed in. “People believed they needed it to protect their families…”

“And if it could be used for other things too,” Juli picked up the thought.

“Like shopping,” said Karen, massaging Drew’s shoulders.

“Yeah, and anything and everything else. No more paperwork, which was good because there were no trees left to make paper from. Now, just store all the information on the CHIP,” said Judd.

“A perfect solution to the extinction of trees,” joked Juli.

“All of a sudden we shifted from being identified by our social security numbers, then by the national ID card we all had to carry with us everywhere we went, or risk being arrested,” Will tiraded.

“To needing a microchip for ID!” Gregg finished for him. Several people nodded their heads.

“Talk about a computer-dependent society,” Will added. Lots of people nodded. Everybody was quiet for a few moments.

“I started questioning what could happen with this technology,” Judd remembered. “Side effects of having this foreign device implanted in your body. It ran on a lithium battery, which we found out could break down and cause quite a sore in your body.” He made a face.

“And it was too early to tell what other problems it could cause over time,” said Colette.

“And the potential for abuse. Things aren’t always what they seem. I decided I would never get a CHIP and neither would my kids,” said Jennifer, hugging Gabriel, who at 29 years old was still her baby. “I knew we had to move because I didn’t want to accept the CHIP.”

“Most people don’t realize it, but it’s all been prophesied,” said John Justus, his brown eyes sparkling. “Look at Revelations 13:16.” He turned in his Bible to the right page. His wife Kira, daughter Suraya and son Isaiah sat next to him, listening for the umpteenth time as he read:

“‘And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bound to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast…or the number of his name.'”

J.J. looked at Alexis.

 “Wow! I can’t believe it says that!” said Victoria, looking at her mother for confirmation. Alivea Malia nodded.

“That’s in the Bible?” Alexis asked.

“It’s pretty explicit, huh?” J.J. said, looking at her with a smile.

“I’ll say,” Hannah spoke up.

“And it was written way before computers, yet warning of this time,” said Isaiah. “Right Dad?” J.J. nodded at him.

“It had to be inspired by God,” Cathy thought aloud. They were quiet again, remembering the old times. Alexis was slightly shocked, feeling very surreal and thinking this couldn’t possibly be happening to her. She looked around at all of these people, with hair on their heads and above their eyes. They were all so different from herself, but she felt at peace with them. She had a warm, full feeling in her chest. She remembered feeling like this a few times as a little kid when her mother and her laughed together as they ran around playing. She really liked it, but she felt like she should be doing something, and here, there was no school, no job–just beauty and rest. Judd Michael’s voice brought her out of her reverie. She looked at the dark-haired, gentle man. At 47, he was still very youthful and nice-looking.

“Microchips were supposed to save time, but they didn’t really speed things up like they said it would,” remembered Judd.

“Yeah, we just waited for different things. After people were scanned, it sometimes took a long time to get approvals,” said Will.

“You’d wait until the computer said it was okay to go,” David recalled.

“And how about when the computers went down?” Jennifer asked, leaning back against David’s lap.

“A mess!” Karen remembered.

“Nobody could buy anything. We just waited for the computer to come back,” David said. Allan nodded, as did others.

“And if you think that was a hassle, what about when the CHIPs malfunctioned? It took about a week to get a new one. If you weren’t stocked up on food, you’d be begging and borrowing groceries from everybody,” said Ken, a tall guy with a sweet smile.

“Unless you had a garden,” John V. said with conviction. He had been silent up until now, lightly strumming on his guitar.

“Foresight,” Allan put in.

There was silence as everybody thought about their conversation. They had gardens? Lexy thought. Where? She wanted to ask so many questions, but decided to wait as it had gotten so quiet, and she felt uncomfortable breaking the silence. John strummed his guitar a little louder. Lexy listened to the pretty sounds. They seemed to lift her mood, elevating her to a happier plane. They started singing.

“Cause we’re livin’ on the land-Foodland!”

The song was obviously an old favorite because everybody joined in singing the chorus. Alexis found herself humming and then singing with the rest of them. The words were easy to learn, and it was actually fun to sing!

“That made me hungry,” declared Ronnie as the song ended. People laughed. Jovial and rotund, Ronnie had the face of a cherub. He held what Vicky had said was a flute in his hand. “What’s for dinner?” Ronnie asked no one in particular.

Everybody laughed. Alexis didn’t get the joke. Ronnie crossed the circle to talk to her. “You’ll get to know me,” he told Alexis. “Eating makes me tired and sleeping makes me hungry, and so does singing,” he said, grinning at Lexy.

“And just about everything else!” Ken poked his head over her shoulder and smiled. Lexy returned his smile and nodded, overwhelmed by this preparation going on just to eat.

As people scurried to get water and gather guava branches to stoke the fire, Alexis found herself sitting alone with Vicky. Although she had only spent a few hours with her, she felt a connection. Victoria Rose, what a pretty name, Alexis thought. Vicky had a way of making her feel like she’d known her for a long time. And instinctively, she trusted her. When they talked earlier, Alexis had learned that she and Vicky were the same age, born just months apart. But Vicky had been born on the island because her mother, Alivea Malia, and uncle, Judd Michael, traveled there when her mother was pregnant. She had said something about her father being replaced by a clone. She had never known him, but her mother loved her enough for 10 fathers, Victoria Rose told Alexis.

Just then, Vicky looked up from her book, her light brown hair softly framing her face. She looked at Alexis expectantly as if she knew Alexis wanted to say something. She smiled. “How are you? I bet you’re exhausted, huh?”

Alexis nodded. “Yes, this is a big change. I haven’t ever really felt like this, but I’m somehow really awake. I was thinking about what someone said about damaged CHIPs. If they can get damaged and people couldn’t use them, maybe that’s what happened to my CHIP? When it wouldn’t fill up on the laser, or let me get food or get on the rail, maybe it’s broken?” she sort of pleaded.

Vicky’s heart went out to her. The poor girl didn’t want to accept she had been all but erased by her family. Turning off the CHIP made it so people couldn’t operate in society since it controlled everything: access to food (what they called food), transportation and communication. And then the high frequency soundings.

Eventually, if she somehow did survive a little while, the vibrations would’ve killed her as the CHIP screens out the high frequencies, but without the CHIP, the human body could not survive the attack. Vicky had learned all about the CHIP from her mother, Alivea Malia, who brought her to the island to protect her from it. But Vicky didn’t know if tonight was the time to enlighten Alexis. There would be time. Instead, she put her arm around Alexis’ shoulder. “Maybe you’re right. Anything’s possible. But whatever is the truth will be revealed in time. You can be sure of that because the Bible says so. Now, let’s go get some food,” she suggested. “I’m starving!”

 

 

 

 

Return to Paradise: Part II: Chapter 5

5

Exhausted, Alexis sat cross-legged on the ground in a circle of unfamiliar but friendly faces and looked around at them, one by one. She watched a little girl she heard called Aja chase a cute little boy with brown hair around the circle made by the group. Her gaze rested on the man who was singing and playing a wooden thing with strings on it. He had long black hair and a face that smiled even while he sang. She listened to the words he sang.

When Father Sun has done his day,

Mother Earth she tucks him in.

Then Sister Moon comes out to play

and Brother Joy laughs on the wind.

Days of bliss on distant shores, 

Mother’s kiss from valleys pure,

so I kicked right back ’cause I knew,

yes I knew, I was right where I should be….

I was dreaming of the light

under Heaven’s eyes so bright,

and angels through the night,

they touched my cheek.

Waves roll to a soft and sandy beach

drifting my ideas within reach.

Words of love are what I longed to hear,

so Brother Joy whispered a secret in my ear.

He said, “Trust me brother, you’ll get yours, 

just have faith, look to the stars, 

so I kicked right back ’cause I knew,

yes I knew, I was right where I should be….

Dreams came true that magic night 

under Heaven’s candlelight,

and an angel through the night,

she kissed my cheek.

And I knew, yes I knew,

I was right where I should be.

Yeah I knew, yes I knew, 

I was right where I should be.

Gregg ended the song looking right at Alexis and she couldn’t let go of his gaze, nor did he look away. He gave a slight nod as if to confirm, yes, the song was for her. In those few moments she tuned out the conversations around her and didn’t even hear the next few songs as she lost herself in her thoughts. Can this really be happening? I’m not dreaming, she told herself. She stared into the fire in the center of the circle and was mesmerized, remembering Wynn’s words–“a friendship maker.” Friends. She thought about her best friend Isabella and wondered if she’d ever see her again. And Dan. And Mom and Dad. Had it been just a few days ago? It seemed like a lifetime ago. Amazing how your reality can change so drastically just by being in a different place. Tears welled in Alexis’ eyes as she thought about her mom. What was she doing now? She wished she could tell her she was okay. Her mom probably thought she was dead. If only she could be here too. But Alexis knew it wasn’t possible.

“Are you okay?” Juli sat down next to Alexis. The music had stopped and people were getting up and saying goodnight.

“Yeah, I’m just thinking about my parents. My mom probably thinks I’m dead. I wish I could tell her I’m here,” said Lexy.

“I know. When I first left home, about 7 years ago, I couldn’t tell anybody where I was going. I just told my mom and dad that we had to get away from the city because something was going to happen soon. They thought I was a nut. ‘Give us your address, Juli,’ they told me. I told them that where I was going there would be no address, and that they should come with me. Of course, they wouldn’t.” Juli’s eyes filled with tears.

“And you left anyway?” asked Alexis.

“Yep,” Juli nodded her head. “With Will. Some friends told me about Wynn. They said they wished they had the courage to try and see if the rumors of the island were true. I decided to try. And I’m glad I did. But I miss them so much, and I wish I could’ve convinced them to come too,” said Juli.

“And you haven’t seen them since?” asked Lexy, incredulous.

“Well, Will and I do the mainland shuttle, so I did manage to sneak over to our old house and see them. But I couldn’t talk to them–it would’ve been too risky. It’s hard, but I’d be dead too now if I’d have stayed.”

“Dead?”

Juli’s voice shook as she told her story. “They were killed during the riots. Chaos broke out about two years after we left. From what I heard, a bunch of guys in uniform just started knocking on doors and shooting people. Went on a rampage–that was before martial law was enacted. I guess my parents were some of the unlucky ones who were home.”

“That’s unbelievable. I can’t believe that could happen. I’m so sorry, Juli,” Alexis said, forgetting her own troubles.

“I’m sorry too,” Juli nodded. “I only wish I would’ve tried harder to convince them to come with me. I knew it was going to happen.”

“You did?”

“Of course. The end result of all the commotion was that people embraced the protection from the military on their streets. They had so much fear. They felt they needed the security and protection that the military offered, never questioning just who they were being protected from. Control through chaos. Because of all the chaos, martial law and its strict controls were welcomed.” She was quiet and then she added, “I do thank God we’re here though.”

“God?” Lexy shook her head. “How could a god let that kind of thing happen?” she asked.

“You can’t blame God, Lexy,” Juli told her. “There is evil in the world. We all know that, but God gave us free will to get away from it. I hate to say it, but if my parents had been vigilant, they would have seen that danger was imminent and that they should get away like some of us did. But most people are just too complacent and won’t use their eyes to see or their heads to understand that their lifestyle can’t last forever. Eyes that are blind, ears that can’t hear…”

“I don’t know, Juli. You’re pretty forgiving,” said Lexy, doubtfully.

“It’s called faith, Alexis. Faith and the knowledge that God will save his children and take care of us.”

“I hope so.”

“Why do you think you’re here?”

“Well, I don’t really think it’s because of faith, as I can’t say I knew God, or believe in one,” Lexy countered.

“Well, God knows you. In fact, he set it up that you would come to know him, just as you are.”

“What? Why would you say that?” Lexy looked at Juli.

“‘By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone boast. He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will‘,” Juli read. “It’s in Ephesisans, Chapter 3. Want to hear more?” Lexy nodded, wondering if Juli knew what she was talking about. “Okay.” Juli turned the pages in her small book. “This is the Bible,” she said. “It’s God’s word and you’d be amazed if you sat down and read it sometime. Let’s see, okay, ‘in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in Heaven and which are on Earth, even in him. In who also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worked all things after the counsel of his own will… In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in who also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise… The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.'”

“Interesting. Not that I really understand it,” said Lexy. “Something about your purpose. Who wrote it?”

“Paul, a student of Christ, actually wrote this part. Different people wrote other books in the Bible, and it was all inspired by God.”

“How do you know it’s not just made up stuff, Juli?”

“Well, Lexy, because a lot of it has come true and I also have faith. See, there’s an Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament was written in a time before Jesus Christ was born. It starts with the beginning of the world, and it contains a lot of prophecies that came true by the time the New Testament was written.”

“Wow! I’ve always wondered about how the world started,” said Lexy.

“Here, take this. I have another one. Read it and learn,” said Juli, giving Lexy her Bible. “The New Testament was written after Jesus Christ was sent by God to save the sins of man and reunite people with God. ‘For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son.'”

 

Return to Paradise, Part II: Chapter 4

4

“Are we almost there Will?” she asked after the fifth day.

“Almost Alexis. The winds seem to be blowing with us, pushing us toward the island. We’ll be there soon.” They spent the day talking about themselves. Will told them about his job as a Navy captain. “That’s how I discovered the island, by accident actually,” he said remembering, “or as part of someone’s plan,” he added impishly. “Thank you God.”

“Tell me more about it,” begged Alexis.

“Well, it was 2018,” Will began in an announcer’s voice, making both girls giggle. “I was off-course and it was stormy. We were on a small vessel and somehow, it capsized. We all went overboard. I don’t even remember all the details, but it was as if I was carried in someone’s hand and put on land.” He paused, remembering. “I never saw my shipmates again. I woke up cold, but on a beach with the sun shining on my face. I walked around, and after a few days, I met some people. Wynn was there, and Lauren. Also John and Kira Justus and some other families. I was surprised to see them there. They were suspicious of me, but they saw I was in trouble and that I had no boat. They took care of me until I was strong enough to leave.”

“Why didn’t you just stay?” Juli asked him, even though she’d heard his story before.

“I guess I wasn’t ready. I had work to do. I was in the Navy. I was important. I used a large piece of the ship that had washed on the island as a raft and I navigated my way back to the mainland using the stars, something I learned from my grandmother years ago. Make a long story short, I ended up moving there two years later and became the shuttle boat captain.” The three talked into the evening. That night, Alexis dreamt vivid dreams and heard the voice again.

“Remember that voice I told you guys I’d heard when I was looking for Wynn” she asked them. They nodded. She went on excitedly. “I heard it again. It said, ‘Now you shall go forth out of the city and you shall dwell in the fields.'”