Thomas Kayne stared down at the mahogany conference table before he looked at me. He cleared his throat, adjusted his tie, stared into my eyes, and spoke, his voice low but confident.
“We’re down sixty percent of our calls. No one cares about the past anymore.”
I searched his eyes and waited, knowing what was coming next. He looked at me and shook his head before continuing.
“We need to change our name. In this day and age, they won’t call us because of it. Consider all the souls we could be saving if it weren’t for our name. How many people are depressed, lonely and afraid right now? Potential suicides, pro abortionists, and anyone living an alternative lifestyle won’t want to call the lines just because of the….” I shook my head no.
“But aren’t these the people that really need our help? Aren’t these the real ones in crisis…the ones who need to be saved? His voice was so convincing. He was being sincere. Still…
“I want you to watch and listen to just one ‘past call’. Just one…” I said.
“That’s your problem, Pete; you’re living in the past. We need to keep the lines open to the present, and the World Economy won’t support any organization whose name doesn’t appeal to ALL Mankind.
“No, that’s not true. They will.” He cut in,
“They won’t care about our unique technology in a few months, not the way things are going. Everyone is in a crisis of some kind now. We need to rename ourselves for the sake of the masses. Maybe something like, “World Wide Wisdom?”
“No.” I said again. He continued,
“It’s all about numbers; if our calls continue to drop, we lose funding and we will be shut own. I know that for sure.” I searched his eyes waiting for them to soften before I spoke. They didn’t.
“I said, no.”
“That’s three no’s, Peter. You can’t just keep denying the reality. He shook his head, his cold blue eyes softened a bit. Encouraged, I said,
“You’re wrong, Tom. If we forget about our name, we forget about where we came from, and we lose something essential. One call, that’s all I ask. If you don’t change your mind after that, I’ll concede. We’ll change the name.”
“Fine. One call. It won’t change a thing.” He pushed his chair away from the table, regarded me one more time and shook his head sadly. He got up quickly and left the conference room.
We had found a way to go back in time, into the air of a place and listen. It had taken us twenty years after we found a way to manipulate the worm holes. And it had taken more finances then there was a number for, for us to do it. But now people were losing interest in the past. The chaos of End Times was becoming more and more of a reality. The world economy continued to spiral down after the sins of Wall Street had been exposed, nature had begun her descent; dark clouds were covering the sky, and the moon had turned blood red. The Third World War was eminent. New diseases with no cures in sight were rampant. Famine was starting to spread across the world. People everywhere were becoming more and more dissatisfied with everything. But, I still had one call.
The Christ-is Lines, were the only 24 hour crisis phone lines that could communicate with people of the past. The wealth of the wicked had passed to the Righteous, true to The Word, and the knowledge of “witty inventions” in King James’ Proverbs had come to pass: We had developed worm- hole technology to the point where we could send the cell phones, miniature cameras with recording capabilities, and bio monitors into the past. We could see, hear and monitor the life-signs of people of the past as we talked to them. They could hear us through the phones, but they couldn’t see us.
We had found the exact moment, and pinpointed it. I would have a bird’s eye view of the entire event. The most important thing had been to get the eleven to understand that the strange looking black boxes could be used to call for help: another gift from the Father; in their eyes it would be on par with water into wine.
It had been a month since our conversation about changing our name. Thomas sat next to me looking at the monitors. He pushed his chair closer to mine. I looked at the massive projector screen, that tied me into the past, covering the wall on my right side. Thomas studied the eleven faces on the screen. “When are we?” He asked, trying to see past me. I had deliberately placed myself between him and the time indicators.
“Just watch, okay?” I said without looking at him. He shook his head, slid his chair back, and looked at the screens. “Fine.”
I turned my attention back to the screen and to the eleven faces; sad, tired, worn. Three days without sleep will do that. It had taken us time to find them and even more time to set up. To send the phones, the recording equipment, all the drawings with instructions into that room had taken time, effort and energy. All of it to get them to do three things: pick up the little boxes, flip them open and speak. I scanned their faces one more time and took a moment to take in the reality of what I was watching: it had been worth it all.
I turned my attention to the present and ran an audio and visual check of Counseling Room. I looked at the wall screen to my left. Eleven counselors and two techs were doing final checks of the phone lines. The counselors only had to consider the phones. They could only hear the callers. Only I had access to all the visuals. All power readings were strong, all audio and visual signals were reading “MAX.” The worm-hole readings showed solid; the tunnel into the past would hold. I picked up the microphone that connected my voice to the counseling room.
“Okay, people. This is it.” I scanned their faces as they took their seats. “Don’t pick up the phones until I tell you. Timing is everything. Let’s do this.” They nodded and adjusted their sitting positions and waited.
“O..k..kay,” I said. I took a breath to steady my voice. I clicked the visual and audio recording switches ‘ON.’
“Here we go.”
I looked at the Time Indicators and counted down: “Five….four….three…two..one..now…”
I stared as eleven pairs of hands shook and fumble for the cell phones, flip them open and cry into them. In the Counselor’s Room, the cell phone “switchboard” lit up like a Christmas tree. I scanned the faces of the crisis line operators. I looked to Thomas and then to the counselors.
Eleven heads and Tom’s nodded simultaneously.
“Go.” I said.
In one choreographed movement they picked up the phones and flipped them open. I listened to the jumbled cries through the walls of speakers plugged into the English translators as eleven desperate voices of the past cried out:
“help us…help… his body, stolen…they are going to find us…please get us out…got to get away…where is He now…should never have listened to Him…should never have followed Him…dead..help us…help us…they will find us..kill us…”
I turned my head to study the emotion indicators. The wall panel with eleven bright red lights indicated the fear, depression, and hopelessness of these desperate men. I scanned the faces; confused, lost helpless and afraid. I looked at the Time Indicator counting down. Just one more minute …but it stretched into eternity, 3…2…1…
Then it came, the sound of a soft wind blowing; a prelude to the one of the Upper Room. Every counselor raised the volume of their phones. One by one they looked at me from the screen.
“Just listen,” I said softly. The hair rose on the back of my neck, I could feel the beads of sweat on my forehead. A chill ran down my back, but it wasn’t from cold.
“Lower your volumes…all the way. You’ll still be able to hear. Trust me.” I couldn’t keep the shaking out of my voice. One quizzical look reflected in eleven faces stared at me.
“Do it,” I ordered.
They turned the volumes down.
“Listen.” I said.
A silence followed as the wind dissipated. I looked at Thomas. Tears streamed down his cheeks. He buried his face in his hands and sobbed. He knew. I smiled and whispered,
“Watch, Thomas. Watch and believe.”
We watched as His transparent form materialized in the middle of the room. The emotion lights went a deeper darker red, then to pink then white. The bio monitors detected the sharp increase in the apostles’ breathing patterns, blood flow and muscle tension (“What’s happening?? That…LIGHT!) Then peace, and the monitors indicated the sudden drop…down..down…calm..calmer. Then the voice like no other ever heard on the lines: melodic, softer than a whisper, a breeze so loving that filled the room; a voice more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
“Peace be unto you,” Jesus said to His disciples. Then He did another impossible thing. He gently took the cell phone from John and held it for a moment. We could see it clearly through the holes in His hands. His eyes slowly looked up, looked at me and then at Thomas. He smiled and spoke into the phone.
“And peace be to you too, Thomas.”
We had a recording of all of it; proof positive for a world that needed to see it to believe it. We kept the name of the line. Thomas had no doubts we would stay open.
A tie-in story from my Hotline experinces and my love for Science Fiction, and Jesus Christ.Authors comment
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Joseph Trance.
Published on e-Stories.org on 03/10/2009.
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