There Ain't No Justice Number 031

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO oOOOO OOOO. OOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" .OOOOOO OOOOOo OOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOO oOOOOOOO OOOOOOO. OOOO oOOOO OOOO .OOOO OOOO OOOOOOOOo OOOO OOOO" OOOO oOOOO OOOO OOOO "OOOO. OOOO OOOOo .OOOO' OOOO .OOOO" OOOO OOOO OOOOoOOOO "OOOO. oOOOO OOOO oOOOOOOO..OOOO OOOO "OOOOOOO OOOOoOOOO" OOOO .OOOO"""OOOOOOOO OOOO OOOOOO "OOOOOOO' OOOO oOOOO ""OOOO OOOO "OOOO OOOOOO |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| | | | There Ain't No Justice | | | | #31 | | | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| - Through the Darkling Night - by Spartacus A Sequel to "God Save the Children" Martin awoke in the realm of spirits. Its whole being ached. Its mind felt like a raw wound as it watched the flies begin to gather around the tiny naked body it had last inhabited. A lone rat which had been munching on the tender afterbirth was joined by another, which turned its attention to the baby's corpse. "Too soon, too soon..." it thought, and each thought brought a stab of fresh pain. Fusion had just been completed and the new bonds had not been able to loosen with age and advancing intellect. It had not hurt like this since the last time it had died as a dog. Martin was drifting slowly, ever so slowly, in the pure bright light. It did not know at all where its karma was taking it. As it recovered, it began to wonder. Its weaving course soon brought it near the brightly glowing sphere of another spirit. That spirit, amazingly, moved toward it. They communed. The exchange they had was far from mere words, including pictures and emotions, and some things not within the realm of human perception. But it went more or less like this: Martin: Greetings. I can see that you are far advanced upon the Path. Other : Yes, I have learned enough to have some power of free motion within the bonds of my karma. Martin: I presume you have come to give me aid or instruction. Other : That is correct. What do you call yourself now? Martin: Martin. Other : I know myself as Chee. I have watched you. If I may ask, in a recent physical life have you banned abortion in the United States? Martin: Yes, I have. Chee : I see the cause of your pain, Martin. There is something you must learn about karma. Karma brings souls the results of their own deeds, be they good, or bad. If one presumes to force change upon thousands or millions of physical lives, one must pay the price. The price is to experience a sampling of any suffering you may have caused. It is a way of instruction. One usually experiences a sampling of the goodness as well. But this is not always so. For one who does this in the name of a god, it is usually the suffering only that is received. One must know that one is God, that all are God, and God is in all of us, and that we are the authors of our own destiny by the laws of karma. And one must learn that the most good comes by the gentlest way. In your future lives, you must learn to convince, rather than coerce. Martin: But how much longer must I pay this price? Chee: One or two more lifetimes, I think. But my movement is still limited. I must leave you now. Farewell, Martin. Martin: Farewell, Chee. And Chee wafted quickly away, borne on the winds of destiny. Martin's journey was nearly complete. The trailing tendrils of its being, not quite healed, caught painfully on another single cell. It noticed, before being drawn in, that it was in a dingy inner city housing project. It noticed its mother was about twenty-five, maybe thirty, with a tired look on her face that seemed permanent, almost etched into the skin and bones and muscles. Then it was in. Helen Davis released a frustrated curse as she saw the tip of the indicator rod turn pink. She was almost ready to cry. She had thought she was beyond that. John was almost the only comfort in her miserable existence. Now he had gotten her pregnant. She had had a terrible premonition that this would happen, as she felt the condom break inside her. It just fit the pattern of her life. Lady Luck had never been a friend to her, and in fact seemed to take sadistic pleasure in inflicting misfortune upon her at every turn. There was no way Helen could support another child. The first one had forced her from school, put her on welfare. Though she loved him dearly, his very existence had destroyed her life. And no increase would be made in her monthly checks upon the birth of a second one. There was only one course open to her. If only she could do it despite the law, if only she could find a way... Martin brooded within itself, pulling away from the embryo as much as possible. It thought of how it had gone wrong in that previous life, how it wished it had all been different. The body grew, its thinking became less clear as it was drawn into the brain. It was not surprised when, in the third month, the safety of the womb was invaded. A long thick metal wire came in, scraped the walls of the uterus, questing. At last it found the embryo. Martin was enough part of it to feel the pain as the coat hangar severed the arm of the unborn child. The next stroke was fatal. The womb clouded with blood. Martin did not lose consciousness this time. It did not hurt as much as the last time. But still it tried not to remember its last moments in this latest life. It wished fervently it could at least have died painlessly. Helen was soon admitted to the hospital. She had a punctured uterine wall and was suffering terribly from an infection. Dr. Hedrick, upon examination, found that it might well be too late for her. She must have delayed seeking treatment for a long time. He could hardly blame her. He knew that even if she did live, the law would not go easy on her. Presently Martin's delicate feelers caught on yet another incipient human life. This one was located inside a black woman, about thirty years old, in a middle class home. It wondered if this one, too, was doomed to die. In the third month, still no attempt was made to dislodge the embryo. Two more months passed. Nothing. Time went on, the fusion progressed. Thought became infrequent, then ceased entirely. Still it lived. This time, it was male. Martin's last conscious thought before birth was, "I hope I don't get tossed in a dumpster again this time." *** On July 27, in St. John's Hospital, Malcolm John Brown was born. In his early years, he was taken good care of by an attentive mother, who took an extended leave of absence from work for him, then changed to a part-time job. His father also helped, when he was home. At least one of them needed a full- time job, or they would not be able to afford to pay the bills. Malcolm had a fairly happy early life as an only child, until he was three. Then his mother became pregnant again. "Mrs. Brown," explained the doctor, "I don't really know how to say this. But I've looked at the results of the genetic tests, and this child will almost certainly develop a form of muscular dystrophy. He will live four, maybe five years, getting weaker and weaker, until some vital muscle stops working. There is no known cure. If this happened five years ago, I would have recommended considering abortion. But now..." The child, Jacob Jamal Brown, was born nine months later. As he grew, he soon began to get weaker instead of stronger. Medical expenses for his treatment were appalling. Mrs. Brown could not return to a full-time job, as at least one parent constantly needed to be around to take care of Jacob. Malcolm wondered why his little brother was always sick. He never got any new toys anymore, or much attention. He felt sorry for Jacob, and loved the boy, but part of him also hated his brother for being born. The elder Browns were under constant emotional strain, both because of Jacob's illness and Malcolm's constant bad moods and pleas for attention. Malcolm became a troublemaker at school, and they had to deal with that, too. Jacob was constantly getting worse. In time, Jacob died. The funeral was small and simple, involving only Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Malcolm, and a few close friends and relatives. Not many people had ever known Jacob. After the death of their youngest son, the Browns found themselves nearly bankrupt. They had to sell their house, and lived with relatives. Malcolm never did get many new toys, or luxuries, and the entire family bore the emotional scars of living with, and for the parents, raising, a terminally ill child. As the boy Malcolm grew to manhood, he began to be interested in politics. It was something he had a gift for discussing. He formed a set of political views that would remain with him for life. One of these was drawn from the bitterest experience of his short, but all to eventful life. He favored the legalization once more of abortion. He really had loved his brother, and hated to see him die slowly and in agony. He developed his skill for rhetoric further, becoming the most valuable member of his high school's debate team. He was elected Senior Class President. At hearing the news of this, he said to himself, "Who knows? Maybe I will get involved with real politics one day. And then just think what could happen." As he went through that last year of high school, one thing really bothered him. There was student, an immigrant from China, Chee-Ling Hsee, who usually had a faraway look on her face, as if she were seeing other worlds. She looked vaguely familiar to him, but he could not place her face anywhere. And she always watched his debates. And smiled both mysteriously and knowingly. *** Chief Justice Malcolm John Brown was making his resignation speech. He thought back over his career as he recited his carefully rehearsed words with much feeling, and little intellectual concentration. His early legal career, his decision to follow his dream in politics, becoming a judge, entering the State, then Federal Supreme Court. His debating and speaking skills had served him well, first in gaining public support, then in swaying the opinion of his fellow Justices. Surely the most important case during his time as Chief Justice had been the State of Arkansas vs. Samuels. Elise Samuels had had an illegal abortion when she found out her child would be afflicted by the same incurable disease as his own brother. His emotionally charged appeal, including an account of his own experiences, had made possible a unanimous decision to once more declare the laws that forbade abortion unconstitutional. Even that old Republican codger Smythe had agreed. It was the highlight of both his career and his life. He was nearly finished with his speech. There she was, in the crowd. As always. Chee-Ling had attended every public speech he had given in his career. Yet she never spoke to him. Just sat in the audience, looking vaguely familiar and smiling in that puzzling way. She always showed up just on time, and when his speech was over, applauded, then quickly left. He had occasionally considered filing a complaint for harrassment, because he felt as if she were somehow stalking him. But she had never done anything but listen to him speak. As he left, beginning his first day in retirement, his first day out of politics in forty years, he saw her. This time she hadn't left. He turned from his course toward his chauffeured limo and approached her, almost as if he had been called. He noticed that, although he knew that she was about his age, she looked to be only in her mid-thirties. He spoke first. "You have been following me for fifty years, Chee-Ling. Watching me. Why? Who exactly are you?" "Please, call me Chee. I am a friend. That is all I can tell you at this time. I have been watching you to keep track of your progress. Of what kind of person you have become. I must say you have done well." "I hardly know any more now than I did before." "But it is a start. If you would be so kind as to meet me for lunch next Friday, there are things we must speak of. Important things." "All right. Friday it is." "Call me at 555-1342. I will talk to you then. Farewell, Malcolm." "Farewell, Chee." [>> Phoenix Modernz Inc. :908/830-TANJ <<] [>> Modern Textfiles Inc. The Matrix BBS:908/905-6691 <<] [>> The Lawless Society Inc. CyberChat BBS:908/506-7637 <<] [>> -also- <<] [>> Terrapin Biscuit Circuit:908/506-6651 <<]

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