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1 +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+--+-+--+-+ VOLUME TWO NUMBER ONE | | ========================================== +___________+ FFFFF SSS FFFFF N N EEEEE TTTTT | ++ | F S F NN N E T | ++ | FFF SSS FFF N N N EEE T | | F S F N NN E T |_________| F SSS F N N EEEEE T /___________\ ========================================== | | BITNET Fantasy-Science Fiction Fanzine ___|___________|___ X-Edited by 'Orny' Liscomb <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> CONTENTS Editorial Orny Narret Chronicles 6 Mari A. Paulson Featured Author: ROBERT ANTON WILSON Orny The Thrust Jim Owens Game Review: TWILIGHT:2000 Guy Garnett Island Murph <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Editorial Greetings, all! Well, first let me apologize for the lateness of this issue, but things have been going on mighty fast. Two-two will be out sooner, I promise! Well, this summer has a wonderful lineup of fantasy and science fiction films, and I heartily suggest that you keep your eyes open for them. Also, Terry Brooks' new Shannara book is out, as is a new book by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle about an alein invasion of Earth, called "Footfall". FSFnet is in need of some submissions (as always), and this is the first issue of volume two, which will last through the summer, and then volume three will begin in the fall. Now that summer is here, most people have gone home, and FSFnet needs both contributors and members! Be sure and recruit people who are into fantasy and SF for the zine, so we can continue to send it out. And if anyone has any neeto ideas about a special issue, by all means, speak to me! For those of you at VAX/VMS and MVS nodes, FSFnet is being sent out in a new manner which can send the file by CMS DISK DUMP or SENDFILE. I have taken the liberty of using sendfile for those nodes for which DISK DUMP is awkward; however, if you have trouble reading FSFnet in, just drop me a line, and I'll work on it. Aiming to please, you know... Well, have a great summer, all! And send in those reviews and so forth, and spread the word! Now on to the REAL stuff... Orny <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> The Narret Chronicles Book the Sixth Samo flew over the nighttime skies of North America, his mind reeling. "The largest urban centers will have the highest photon emissions." Samo said to himself. "Shock waves travel through this mainly nitrogen medium at lets see, exactly, yes, that should do it. Now all I've got to do is fly over a large metropolitan area such as that one on the east coast, veer upward at an angle of, yes and return from over the ocean at half that velocity. There. That should do quite nicely," Samo continued as he set the controls on a course for New York City. Samo broke the sound barrier as he flew over Kennedy International Airport, sending a sonic boom crashing through the city. "Did you see what I think I saw, Albright?" "I was just going to ask you the same question. I've never seen anything like that radar pattern in my twenty-three years in this tower!" "It looked rather like a ball, or a bubble. Say, do you think it could have been a weather balloon?" "No way. I've seen balloons before, and they're much smaller, besides that thing, whatever it was, had to be doing at least Mach 3, and SR-71's only reach Mach 2.2 at top cruising speeds! I'm calling Dover Control." "Hello, Operator? Please connect me with Dover Air Force Base's Control Tower, 301-716-2000, Person-to-person with Maj. Jeffries" "Maj. Jeffries, here." "Hi Bill, it's Jim Albright at JFK. Listen, we just got a bogie on two screens, simultaneously that had a pattern similar to a weather balloon only larger and it was doing about Mach 4. Are you boys testing a new toy, or is this thing a possible threat?" "Well Jim, I'll level with you. We've been monitoring it on the national scopes, and we don't know what it is either. It came out of nowhere, suddenly appeared over Chicago 15 minutes ago, Made a beeline for New York, headed out over the Atlantic, and now it's starting back for the midwest. As to Soviet threats, we've received no messages by diplomatic courier, and intelligence has made no reports about any new aircraft. The 71's we keep on 24 hour standby are being fueled, and we've got two of our best pilots suiting up for an intercept." "I hate to think of the possibilities if it is Soviet. A bird like that could bomb any American city and escape completely unscathed before we could even fire an anti-aircraft missile." "We know, and the President is being notified. Say Jim I'll need to ask a favor of you." "Anything--name it." "Make sure this stays under wraps for now. Inform your staff--anyone who saw that thing, not to talk about it, the last thing this country needs right now is a panic created by the press." "Sure, you got it, we didn't see anything." "Great, thanks. I've got to go now, but I'll let you know what develops..." "...Ah, NORAD, Seeker-1 here, this is Colonel Roberts, neither Captain Phillips nor I have seen the bogie. What is it's present position? Over." "Seeker-1, NORAD here, bogie heading 270 at 25,000 ft. slowed to Mach 2. Fly on heading 285 at 25,000 full-open to intercept in 2.45 minutes. Over." "NORAD, Seeker-1, proceeding 285 at Mach 2.2 . Roberts out ." "What do you think we'll find sir?" Phillips asked. "Your guess is as good as mine captain. But since you asked my opinion, I think that ever since the top brass closed the Bluebook Project a lot of weird things have happened." "What kind of things sir?" "Well it just seems to me that since the books have been closed on extra- terrestrial visitation research the number of bogie sightings hasn't really dropped. Now if most of the reported cases were hoaxes as the project's final report states, then why do people continue to report sightings with the same continuity as before. Even when they don't have the chance of our investigating their story to back them up. I don't know captain, I just don't know." "You're right sir that doesn't make sense. Now this...could the soviets-" "I know what you're thinking and the answer is doubtful. They couldn't even get to the test level without our intelligence finding out. Besides, at the briefing we were told the craft created a sonic boom at Mach 3 and the russians don't have the metallurgical technology to create an alloy malleable enough and heat resistant enough to prevent heat fatigue of the metal due to air friction. " "In other words your saying this bogie really could be extra-" "I'm saying no such thing, Captain. I'm merely pointing out the possibility that there is more out there than we are capable of understanding. and that's all. I make no allusions as to what those possibilities are. Listen Dave, I've given more than half my life to this Air Force, and there are a few things I've learned. One of them is that if you come across something you can't explain, and you're enjoying your career you don't ask questions. Most likely there's someone who doesn't want you to know something, and if you don't get curious, you'll be fine. I've lost more pilots for "Disturbances of an emotional nature," than anything else. Is any of this registering, captain? "Uh, yes sir, sort of." "'Uh, yes sir sort of.' What kind of cocka-maime answer is that son? Give me a big 'Yes Sir!' or 'No Sir!'" "Sir would you please look out your starboard window. It's the bogie, three o'clock low!" Mari A. Paulson Ed. Note: This work is a piece of fiction. All characters, places, and events portrayed in this work are fictitious. Any similarity with actual people, places, or events, are disclaimed by the author and this publication. "The Narret Chronicles" are copyrighted (C) 1985 by Mari A. Paulson <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Featured Author: ROBERT ANTON WILSON Robert Anton Wilson is a very interesting author. His works deal almost entirely with the Illuminati and other mystic horrors of the modern world. Wilson's life has been filled with strange probings into all forms of the occult, and he was a close friend with the late Professor Timothy Leary, a well-known occultist. Wilson's works began with the "Illuminatus!" series, originally written by Wilson and Robert Shea as a parody of modern mysticism, the Illuminati, and the U.S. government. "The Eye in the Pyramid", "The Golden Apple", and "Leviathan" were originally meant to be farcical, written in a style similar to that infamous style of James Joyce. The "Illuminatus!" series was reprinted recently by Dell. The better-known "Schrodinger's Cat" trilogy (the two other volumes being titled "The Trick Top Hat" and "The Homing Pigeons") is a master work of confusion and fear, and is perhaps Wilson's best work. "The Masks of the Illuminati" is a single volume work, describing the encounters one Sir John Babcock has with Albert Einstein and James Joyce, and the trick Aleister Crowley plays upon them all. "The Cosmic Trigger" is Wilson's attempt to explain the events of his life that have convinced him that there is something other than that which we know, and is very interesting and persuasive. All the previous are available from Pocket Books. Also available in hardcover only is "And the Earth Will Shake", a full-length novel by Wilson. Wilson's unique style cannot be adequately put into words. His writing often tries to shock the reader, sometimes becomes philosophical, and sometimes becomes disjointed, but his tales of the Illuminati are so absolutely bizarre, and yet, somehow, plausible, that his books often leave the modern reader horrified. Lovecraft and Chambers wrote of books that would drive one insane to read. Wilson has created the horror that these authors have written about. I once lent a copy of "Masks of the Illuminati" to a friend. She reported to me that when she finished it one evening, she pulled the sheets over her head and hoped she'd wake up sane in the morning. Wilson's writing is truly unique. Orny <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> The Thrust The forest stretched out as far as the eye could see, tall green pines and spruce trees. But here there were no trees, only charred stumps. A long wound had been made by the ship as it crashed. Now it lay, buried in dirt, inert. Yet it was not a wreck. A repair ship stood beside it. The repair robots had done a good job. The ship now had wings to replace those destroyed in the brief but violent landing. Those new wings flexed as repulsor fields lifted the ship into the air. "Take care. Remember, wait until you get to op temperature before going to full thrust. I'll take care of those bogeys." "Roger, Gabriel. Have fun." The ship's main engine came to life gently pushing the ship up into the afternoon sky. One hundred miles away two interceptors rammed through the atmosphere. The pilots watched in anger as the first ship slid across their radar scopes. Then the repair ship rose up to replace it, and the pilots gleefully armed their nuclear missiles when they saw that it was hovering. Greg, alias Gabriel, watched his own detector scope in quiet joy. On one side of the scope the blip representing the survey ship built up velocity. On the other side the interceptors closed rapidly. The survey ship was not going to be able to outrun the attacking craft before they could launch their missiles. Greg didn't worry for the survey ship, though. He touched a few controls, and the repair ship started to slide through the air at a right angle to the path of the other ships. The pilots of the interceptors considered. If they continued their pursuit of the far craft, they might still catch it. On the other hand, the closer craft was almost in range. They decided to take the closer, more sure victory. At a distance of twelve miles, the interceptors fired their missiles. They banked hard, and put as much distance as they could between themselves and the target as they could. In the repair ship, Greg smiled as the scope reported that the survey ship had reached operational temperature and had gone to full thrust. With it safely out of the way, Greg could now leave. He reached out and touched a button, just as the missiles fired their warheads. Twenty miles away, the interceptor pilots' stomaches clenched in thrilled excitement as they watched the blast through their flash goggles. Had they been one hundred miles further away, they might have seen something even more spectacular. In the instant before the nuclear explosion, a seemingly pencil- thin line of violet flame drew itself five hundred miles straight up. It then curved, as Greg punched in the command to go home. Jim Owens <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Game Review: TWILIGHT:2000 "Division commander to all units: Good Luck, You're on your own." So ends the player's introduction to "Escape form Kalisz", the starter scenario included in GDW's new Role-playing Game, Twilight:2000. Twilight:2000 is set in Europe in the year 2000, after a five year long world war. World-wide casualties are over 50%, and rising. The governments of most major countries (the US included) have been eliminated or fragmented. Wide-spread convertional warfare and liberal use of both tactical and strategic nuclear weapons has destroyed most communication and trade routes. The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) has run rampant, and lingers in some areas. Most major cities are radioactive ruins. The players are (or were) soldiers in the US Army, part of the last NATO drive into Poland. The primary objective of a Twilight:2000 player is to stay alive. If that gets boring, he can also try to strike a blow for freedom, democracy, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the de facto government of the United States). Twilight:2000 consists of 2 rulebooks, one for the players, which describes how to generate a character and conduct simple combat. The Play Manual (as GDW calls it) has plenty of illustrations and examples. The Referee's Manual covers many of the same topics as the Play Manual, but in greater depth. It also includes sections on experience, disease, and the campaign background. With the manuals are a set of tables, again divided into separate player's and referee's charts. In the way of campaign support, GDW has included a detailed price list and equipment descriptions separately from the rulebooks. There is an introductory adventure, "Escape form Kalisz", to start the campaign, and a map of Poland. Twilight:2000's strong points include: Randomly rolled attributes, but the player can select a character's skills. Character generation, while not extremely fast, is straightforward. The combat system is detailed, and covers all of the weapons in the game well. On the other hand, Twilight:2000 is plagued by typos. Most of them are easy to figure out (like switching from B for Back in the chartbook to R for Rear in the manual) but can be confusing when they are first encountered. Compounding this is the extensive use of abbreviations (all skill names are abbreviated to 3 letters), again easy to figure out, but confusing untill you are used to the system. The only serious problem with the design is the heavy use of charts. The referee really needs a copy of the Player's Manual, the Referee's Manual, and the Referee's Charts open in front of him at all times. The combat system is completely table-driven, which means that in combat the referee has to organize his time, or forever flip through the chartbook. All in all, Twilight:2000 may be the best new RPG released in the last year, my complaints above notwithstanding. (I have many more gripes about every other RPG I can think of) Twilight:2000 is complete all by itself, and well worth the $17 price tag. Guy 'WildStar' Garnett <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> 4/1/85 Island An island unto myself. Where I can sit and watch. I can look around and see all the beautiful things. The simple and the complex, the large and The small, the conspicuous and the not-so-conspicuous. I am in awe of it all, of them. And they, of me. For I am here to care for And protect them, to keep the balance. I am here to prevent what happened the last Time this project was attempted. Responsibility to One's position was not my predecessor's strong suit. It is so beautiful here. How could he have left His garden unattended for so long? It was so Unmanageable by the time he got back to it that it Had to be razed and left barren for a mere eternity. Well, it is beautiful now. And my task is to keep It this way, maintain the balance. Not necessarily An easy task, but an enjoyable one. Yes..., maintaining The beauty while balancing the evolution will not be Easy, but it will have its rewards. My garden will become Something infinitely more special than it is already. The sun is setting now for the sixth time. I shall rest tomorrow. Michael Murphy <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> XPAGE 1 +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+--+-+--+-+ VOLUME TWO NUMBER TWO | | ========================================== +___________+ FFFFF SSS FFFFF N N EEEEE TTTTT | ++ | F S F NN N E T | ++ | FFF SSS FFF N N N EEE T | | F S F N NN E T |_________| F SSS F N N EEEEE T /___________\ ========================================== | | BITNET Fantasy-Science Fiction Fanzine ___|___________|___ X-Edited by 'Orny' Liscomb <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> CONTENTS X-Editorial Orny Man's Best Friends Alex Williams All's Well that Ends. Well... Cliff Thayer Review: THE COLOUR OF MAGIC Orny Alas, Babble On Jim Owens Selection Orny <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> X-Editorial Well, greetings, all! Another issue of FSFnet has come, and I'm sure you'll find this one rather refreshing. Due to circumstances beyond our control, there is neither a featured author or a Narret Chronicles in this issue, although both will continue in issue 2-3, with Narret 5 and a column on Christopher Stasheff, author of 'The Warlock in Spite of Himself', 'The Warlock Unlocked', 'King Kobald Revived', and 'Escape Velocity'. But this issue contains some excellent works of fiction, including a wonderful poem by Jim Owens (a poem I sympathize with), and my own newest imaginings in 'Selection'. If anyone who receives this is still having problems with the sending format, please let me know. I'd also like to welcome those few people who have been added to the mailing list since May, and hope that they will continue to spread the word to interested parties. Well, enough of the propaganda... on with the show! Orny <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Man's Best Friends "You know John, the Telrani are man's best friends. And there is nothing you can say that will change my view of them." John Stevenson picked up his beer and resumed drinking it. He stared blankly at the ring of moisture it left on the bar. "I know that they have given us some good things...", he started. "Some good things?!? What about the De-armatron? That's more than good, John. That's the end of war. Flick the mother on and Zap! No weapons, even nukes, work! And what about Super-Wheat? The solution for world hunger. Grows anywhere. And the cures for all the diseases man has ever known. I just don't understand you, John." "I know what they've done, Dan. I just have a bad feeling about them. It's just too good. One day a hundred flying saucers come out of the sky, some aliens get out that look like Bigfoot, they say they are from Rigel and are here to help us, and Wham! all the world's problems are solved. I just have a funny feeling about it." Dan took a pull at his drink, set it down and continued. "And now they are offering trips to their home planet. What a deal!" So what if when we get back everyone who knows will be dead or at least a hundred years old, we're not married, so what do we care?" "Yea, but..." "No buts about it. I'm going. In fact I'm going in just a month. And get this, so are you!" John, who was drinking, suddenly sputtered and splashed beer all over the bar. "What?!?",he yelled,"How come you didn't ask me? How can we pay for it? I don't want to leave Earth forever!" "It isn't forever, only for 8 months, our time. It's free, and I didn't ask you because I know you'd say no. Anyway we're going, so it's settled." "No it isn't, but I have to go home, so we'll talk about it tomorrow." "See ya, John." "Later." "Hi Dan! Whatcha lookin so pale for? Are you sick? Hey bartender, get this man a drink!" "Dan, last night I decided that I might as well go to Rigel with you. Hey, I mean my 'funny feeling' is unfounded, and there's no reason why we shouldn't. Right, Dan?" Dan sat down, and stared straight ahead. "John, you know how I taught myself the Telranian language and alphabet, even though it's forbidden. Well I finally got a chance to use it. I found a Telrani handbook yesterday for sale at a bookstore, and I bought it." "But possesion of any Telrani text is illegal!" "I know that, but I bought it anyway, just to see if I could read it. And I could." "Well, what was the book about?" "The title was 'How to Serve Man', which they have been doing, right? The De-armatron, Super-wheat, free interstellar trips, stuff like that." "Yea, so what's wrong?" "Well, I read the first chapter, and I thought I must have read it wrong, so I read it again, and I found out I didn't." "And?" "It isn't a handbook on how to help us, Dear God John, it was a cook- book!!" Alex Williams <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> All's Well That Ends. Well,... The hall was dark, but the thief carried a torch, and could see rather well. He needed to see, but he also knew where to look, and so his job was made a little easier. He moved his hand across the wall. It slid quietly, and then fell into a recess. He edged his hand up and down what appeared to be a slot cut from the floor to the ceiling. Near the bottom he found it; a break in the slot, where the wall seemed uncut. He held the torch low. On the wall beside the break there was what seemed to be a rectangular metal inlay. The thief knew better. He set the torch into a wall bracket, and licked the palm of his hand well. He then placed his hand, palm first, against the metal. He then pulled his hand away suddenly. The inlay moved out just enough for him to get a grip on it. He slid it out, revealing it to be a square steel peg. He took it and ran it inside the top of the lower half of the slot. It caught, and he deftly slid it up and out of sight. It just as easily slid out of the hole when he pulled his hand away, however. He set it down, and took off his pack. Taking the tent out of it, he once more inserted the peg. He then tossed the tent onto the floor a short distance ahead. The floor sank perceptibly. The break in the slot also moved, trying to slide into the wall. The peg caught it, and it stopped. The thief crossed the drop-away floor, leaving behind his tent to hold the peg in place, for his escape. He had already crossed three such floors, evaded two patrols, crossed two revines, traversed endless dark halls, and even outwitted a maze. If his source was correct, he was now home free. His target was a small ceremonial table. It was gold, with gems set in each corner. Legend had it that it had never been touched since it had been set in its place eons ago. No one had even approached it, only gazed on it from a distance. Now he wanted to take it. He walked down the hall. His source had been a priest once, and had studied this temple. He knew how the traps worked, and what the walls and floors would look like when a trap was built in. The thief now recognized such a pattern in the walls. A low ceiling, with square pillar lining the walls. That meant that the roof would drop on him if he put weight on the center of the floor without putting weight first on sides near the walls. He accordingly edged along the wall, and was soon past. That was the last trap. He turned the corner, and there was the altar room. Rich furnishings lined the wall, but he had eyes only for the gold table on the far wall. He walked fearlessly forward. Nothing impeded him as he went to claim his prize. He lifted it off its stand, although not without some effort, as it was very heavy. He turned, and staggered down the steps. He reached the floor, took two steps, and, without warning, the floor collapsed under the unaccustomed weight. The thief fell down to the next floor, which happened to be the dining hall for all the novices. He escaped with his life, but, alas, without his prize, as the one thing he had not planned on was running with such a great weight. Cliff Thayer <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Review: THE COLOUR OF MAGIC Terry Pratchett is a British author of several SF short stories and a novel entitled 'Strata', available in a Signet edition. 'The Colour of Magic', printed in England in 1983, has recently been released in an american paperback edition by Signet, and has been a main selection of the Science Fiction Book Club. The book recounts the adventures shared by "Twoflower, a naive insurance salesman turned tourist" and his reluctant native guide, an inept wizard named Rincewind. The first of four short stories in the book tell of Twoflower's arrival in the corrupt city of Ankh-Morpork. After meeting Rincewind, Twoflower's adventures in the city, reminiscent of Aspirin's Sanctuary, culminate in the destruction of the city. The second book describes their awakening of an ancient horror in an abandoned temple. The third is an account of how Twoflower finally gets his wish to see a dragon, and the final story sends the two reluctant adventurers over the edge of the Discworld into space. Pratchett's style is very readable, and spotted with just the right touch of humor. At times 'The Colour of Magic' reminds one of Anthony's Xanth or Adams' Hitchhiker series, yet it always retains a new and unique frame of fantasy. An excellent book for those who are intrigued by the unusual, and the interaction of modern ideas and medieval technology. This book is thoroughly enjoyable light fantasy reading, and quite amusing as well. Orny <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Alas, Babble On. Here I sit, with page all plain, With nary an image in my brain. Not spaceship fast or slaughter gory, to be embellished into a story. So contrary to my charitable wish, I'll have no story in your next ish. And why is my mind all turned to rock? I'll tell you. I've got writer's block. Jim Owens <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Selection The air was stale, and he felt very little. His plastic environment suit made a crumpling noise as he turned to face her. "Lisa?" "Yes, Lloyd?" "What happened to us? I mean, we can't touch any more..." He left the sentence hanging, contemplating. Lisa knew what he wanted to say, and she shamefully looked at the floor a moment before answering. "I'm sorry, Lloyd. I know. But if we were to remove these suits, you know what would happen..." "Yes, the germs in the air would kill us, since our bodies have no natural defenses. So we have to live all our lives in these shells, in our own self- contained environment, but why? When did it all start?" Lisa was a mother, explaining a difficult and harsh reality to a child. "Well, it all started a long, long time ago, when mankind was first developing intelligence, and made houses to keep him safe and warm, so that he didn't have to face the elements. But it really got worse in the last hundred years, when we concentrated on welfare programs, health care, and started taking care of the physically or mentally deficient. We cheated natural selection. Because the weaker members of our society were protected, they survived, and because they survived, they bred. The weaker genes were not weeded out due to natural selection, and gradually the entire human species became weaker, until we became wholly dependant on our man-made artifices to cheat natural selection." Lloyd also looked thoughtfully downward. "And then there was the Great Plague? Is that why we have to wear these suits?" Lisa's eyes burned with tears. "Yes, love. The Great Plague came upon us not long ago. A sudden outbreak of disease became a worldwide horror, because our scientists couldn't find a cure for it fast enough. The disease spread quickly, and millions upon millions died, because they had no natural defenses left, and we couldn't even find the cause of the disease. Now we must remain isolated from the natural environment, or else we will die like they did." Lloyd mustered the courage to look into Lisa's deep brown eyes. "But it's unbearable! Is this what mankind has come to? What can we do about it?" Lisa broke the contact by averting her eyes. "Nothing, Lloyd, except live." Lloyd looked about him, through the clear plastic suit, at the antiseptic white walls, and the sterile linoleum floor. "If you can call this life." Orny <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>

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