Unus_Mundus_TERGA_Control_Panel_WP_Small_N-Shea

Some echelons of humans are at war with the Psi potentials of
the human species – because those echelons have motivations they
would prefer never to be disclosed via Psi penetration.[i]

A great many people think they are thinking when
they are merely rearranging their prejudices.[ii]

Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe…
What we believe determines what we take to be true.[iii]

I would not live forever, because we should not live forever,
because, if we were supposed to live forever,
then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever,
which is why I would not live forever.[iv]

MI5, Leconfield House, London, December 21, 1959

Sims climbs the stairs in giant leaps. Tall and balding, with a probing nose and a high-domed forehead, he looks every bit the scientist. Despite his towering presence, he’s rather lanky and dishevelled, like a wilting plant that has mouldered in a basement room. His grimy lab coat is worn at the cuffs, with an ink blot on the breast pocket, where his fountain pen has leaked through the cloth. On reaching the sixth floor, he bursts into the office and cries:

Eureka!

Blyth looks up from his desk:

‘What is it Sims? Can’t you see I’m busy?’

Sims waves a brochure in the air:

‘But I’ve found it sir!’

‘Found what Sims?’

‘The instruction manual – for the TERGA machine.’

Blyth jumps to his feet:

‘Let me see that! Quick!

Sims hands over manual. Astonished, Blyth thumbs through the pages:

‘My god! Where did you get this?’ he asks.

‘It was hidden inside an issue of Vogue.’

‘Vogue?’

‘The magazines we confiscated from Jack Vallis.’

‘So, we found it at last. After three long years.’

‘Better late than never.’

‘How could we have missed something so important?’

‘A cock up in the evidence room at Scotland Yard. One of the boxes had the wrong address. It was only discovered this morning.’

‘Wrong address?’

‘Instead of Selborne Street, Liverpool, it was filed under Selborne Street, Bristol.’

‘Remind me to tar and feather the culprit…’

‘The Yard are blaming the GPO, and the GPO are blaming their new postcode system.’

‘No one takes responsibility for anything these days. This manual is a professional job. Full colour too. Expensive. Is the printer’s name anywhere?’

‘No sir.’

‘Pity. They usually keep the plates: they might have told us something – like the print number.’

‘It’s a one-off, I think.’

‘One-off?’

‘A printer’s proof. It’s still got the registration marks on each page.’

‘Just look at the control panel! Etheric Force, Pineal, Dimension, Monad Flux, Materialisation… Jack Vallis was right little wizard.’

‘Yes, it’s all very esoteric.’

Model 1000T Monads Telergic Amplifier. Does that mean anything to you, Sims?’

‘Well, monads is not a term I’ve come across before. At least, not as an electrical engineer. But according to the Chambers Dictionary, a monad is an ultimate unit of being – material or psychical; a spirit or a god; a hypothetical unit of life.’

‘Hypothetical no longer, it would seem. You’re obviously not familiar with the monads of Leibniz…’

‘You mean the mathematician?’

‘Yes. But Leibniz was also a metaphysician. Even as a scientist, he remained a philosophical theologian. Everything to him was part of an intelligible universe. In particular, he was interested in the Aristotelian “entelechy” – the active principle of wholeness in an individual thing. To Leibniz, the monad was a finite representation of the universe; each monad bore other monads, all existing in states of mutual correspondence. Leibniz declared the harmony of the monads to be preordained by God.’ [v]

‘Entelechy? I’m not sure I understand you, sir.’

‘Think of the monads primarily as self-existent mental lives, or worlds of ideas. Their material existence comes second. Entelechy is that vital principle that directs their realisation towards a certain end.’

‘Perhaps TERGA is some sort of joke, sir.’

‘Oh, it’s no joke, I can assure you of that… So what do you make of this machine? The electronics. Can you tell me anything?’

‘Well, not really. For a start, there’s no circuit diagram. Just a few instructions for the user. But the control panel looks vaguely familiar.’

‘From where?’

‘Well, not from anywhere. But it looks like a valve tester. Although it’s not a model I’ve come across before. It’s rather futuristic. Possibly continental. Perhaps Vallis customised another device; he took what was at hand, and adapted it for his own purposes.’

‘And what about our magnetron tube?’

‘I suspect it uses one of the exterior sockets. The magnetron that Vallis designed at Mullards would fit the central socket – that’s the one with twelve pins.’

‘I see. So without the magnetron, the thing won’t work?’

‘Well I don’t really know what the machine does, sir. Even if the magnetron fits that socket, it would need some sort of shielding. The device claims to be a telergic amplifier – whatever that is.’

‘According to Vallis, telergy is the force manifest during telekinesis.’

‘Well, that would explain the Cerebral Inputs.’

Frontal, Parietal, Temporal, Occipital.

‘Exactly. I presume they are biofeedback circuits for an EEG – that’s an electroencephalogram – a device to record brainwaves.’

‘Yes Sims, I know what an EEG is. And the other controls? This switch: Pineal. What might that do?’

‘To be honest sir, I have no idea. It looks like the work of a madman. Perhaps the machine amplifies brainwaves, or generates synchronous waveforms – via some sort of harmonic resonance. But how they target the pineal gland is a mystery.’

‘Fascinating. So Vallis was telling the truth after all.’

‘Truth?’

‘The meter in the top right: “Portal Stability”. Vallis claimed TERGA opened doorways to other worlds.’

‘Really? Surely it’s a hoax.’

‘Why go to all the trouble of faking something like this?’

‘Extortion. Vallis was part of a spirit circle. Perhaps he was conning people out of their savings. Trying to raise funds for a non-existent machine. Vallis was convicted for medical fraud, remember.’

‘The conviction was false.’

‘How do you know? Spiritualists are a most gullible sort.’

‘Normally, I would agree with you Sims. But not in this particular case. I believe TERGA is quite genuine.’

‘If you’re right, then TERGA would be an instrument of untold power.’

‘Providing one knows how to use it.’

‘Where is Vallis now? Can I speak with him?’

‘I’m afraid that’s not possible. We deemed Vallis too much of a threat.’

‘But why?’

‘He was close friends with Turing.’

‘I see. So Vallis is dead, I take it.’

‘Not exactly. He refused to play ball. So I gave him the obligatory psychotics and packed him off to an asylum. The manufacture of a lunatic is not difficult, especially with a subject whose mental powers have long been overwrought by isolation and persecution.’

Sims shakes his head in dismay:

‘I sometimes wonder if you have any conscience at all.’

Blyth remains silent and gazes at the street below. The traffic stalls in a morass of fog that clings to the buildings and creeps down the alleys like a noxious wraith. For a brief moment he seems convulsed with anguish and his eyes fill with tears. He quickly wipes them away, staring at the mist which presses against the window. Then his expression becomes impassive, hard as stone. He turns and says:

‘You think me cunning and cruel? I offered Vallis a choice. But he was more willing to join the ranks of human degenerates than serve his country. For the past three years he’s been rotting in a padded cell. A deranged imbecile who dresses in outsized baby clothes.’

‘It would have been kinder to shoot him.’

‘Yes. But I couldn’t do it.’

‘You planned on bringing him back?’

‘Eventually. I hoped that after a year, Vallis might return to the fold. But it’s too late for that now.’

‘Perhaps I could see Vallis. Show him the manual. Refresh his memory. Ask him about TERGA. What do you think?’

‘According to the doctors, Vallis has completely lost his marbles. First, he believes that he’s a woman trapped in man’s body; second, that faeries live at the bottom of the garden; and third, that Satan is about to destroy the world by fire. Vallis won’t be able to tell you anything at all. I doubt he even remembers building TERGA.’

‘What a pity. But couldn’t I see him all the same?’

‘No. I absolutely forbid it. We’re in the middle of an extended surveillance operation at the UDE. The Admiralty believe intelligence is being passed from Portland to Moscow. If that’s true, then the Russians have details of our entire arsenal of anti-submarine equipment: hydrophones, echo‑sounders, depth‑charges, mines – everything. That’s all the Soviets need to build a new generation of silent submarines…’

‘Jesus.’

‘—If “C” found out I was diverting resources from the navy’s Underwater Detection Establishment, to pursue my own private agenda, he’d skin me alive. I can’t put TERGA above defence of the realm.’

‘What about an unofficial visit? I could pose as a relative. Talk to Vallis in private. No one need ever know.’

‘You can’t keep a secret like that from “C”. Don’t be a fool. Stick to your soldering iron, Sparky. You belong in a lab. You’re not spook material.’

‘I could be a master of disguise for all you know.’

‘A master of disguise? You? Don’t make me laugh. The only disguise you’ve ever worn is the moustache from a Christmas cracker.’

‘I once played the rear end of a donkey.’

Blyth leers:

‘Did you put that on your CV when you joined the service?’

‘School panto, 1932.’

‘You’re serious aren’t you?’

‘I was only 13.’

‘I’d like to see you playing the giddy ass at Sunhill Asylum. They’d lock you up. A man who suffers from equine delusions.’

Blyth paws the manual, turning the pages one by one.

‘Sunhill Asylum?’ ponders Sims. ‘Where is that?’

‘Up north,’ replies Blyth, not looking up.

‘Where up north?’

‘Preston.’

‘It’s not such a bad idea when you come to think of it.’

‘Hmm?’

‘A donkey.’

‘Numbskull.’

‘It’s panto season. Imagine turning up on Christmas Day. All the staff would be stuffed with mince pies and brandy. We could trot in without anyone batting an eyelid.’

We? That’s got to be the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard.’

Sims looks around, as if to make sure no one is listening. Then he leans forward and grins:

‘I know an actress in the West End. She could get me a donkey costume, easy.’

‘I’m not remotely interested in your sex life.’

Deception. Camouflage. Diversion. That’s what we get paid for, isn’t it?’

‘If you want a career in panto, feel free to leave at any time. Now if you don’t mind, I’m trying to read the instructions…’

‘What ward is Vallis on?’

Blyth ignores him and scratches his head in puzzlement:

‘That’s odd. Vallis said TERGA had a screen.’

‘You mean, a cathode ray tube?’ asks Sims.

‘Yes, like a television set. But there’s nothing about one here.’

‘That’s because pages 5 to 15 are missing.’

‘Missing? Idiot! Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?’

‘I’m sorry sir.’

‘Find them!’

‘I’ve been through everything with a fine tooth comb. That’s all there is.’

‘Half a manual with ten pages missing. Not much of a find, is it?’

‘No sir.’

‘Not very clever after all, are you Sparky?’

‘Don’t call me that.’

‘I’ll call you what the hell I like.’

‘I wasn’t the one who packed Vallis off to the loony bin.’

‘Shut up, Sparky. I’m thinking.’

‘Don’t think too hard. You might blow a fuse.’

Blyth shakes his fist:

‘I could have you sacked for insubordination.’

‘Of course you could. How foolish of me to forget.’

‘You burst into my office crying Eureka, and present me with half a bloody manual. And despite your fat brains, you can’t figure out how TERGA works. You’re meant to be at the top of your game, Sparky.’

‘Well, like I said, there’s no schematic.’

‘You get paid to fill in the blanks. So fill them in.

‘That’s quite impossible, I’m afraid.’

‘You can surmise nothing at all?’

‘I’ve got absolutely nothing to go on, except that photo and a page from the appendix.’

‘What page? Show me.’

Sims reaches inside his pocket and produces a torn sheet of print. Blyth snatches it, squints through his spectacles, then tuts:

‘I need a bloody microscope to read this.’

He gives it back to Sims:

‘What does it say?’

‘It’s very tantalising, sir. But it doesn’t reveal much at all.’

‘Well don’t just stand there like a lemon. Read it out.’

‘All right then, read it out, yes… The page is entitled: Section B: Transmitting on Harmonic. And it reads as follows: It is assumed that the same crystal (3.755 mc/s) is to be used and that the signal is to be sent out on 7.510 mc/s which is the 2nd harmonic or double the crystal frequency. The transmitter is set up exactly as before except for the following details. (i) The tank coil used will now be L3A as given in the coil table. (ii) The “Crystal Selector” knob is now set to “Harmonic 3.6-4.6” since the crystal frequency falls between these two numbers. (iii) The “Wave Band” knob is now set to “7.9” since the harmonic (7.510) is between 7 and 9 mc/s. (iv) Everything else is done in the same order and the meter readings will be the same. The aerial is matched in the same way and the Anode tuning control adjusted to give the dip at between 325 and 350. The power radiated is the same on the harmonic as on the fundamental frequency. (v) Adjust the “Etheric Force” switch until the desired mental image appears on the screen. (vi) The “Monad Flux” may now be increased until the “Portal Stability” meter reads “Good”. (vii) On no account increase the “Dimension” until a resonant state has been established between Sender and Receiver. (viii) Be aware that once a resonant state is reached, the Portal remains open, even when the power is switched off. To close the Portal, the inverse settings must be used, as described in Section C…’

‘Bloody hell fire. So what do you make of that, Sparky?’

‘Well, transmitting on the harmonic sounds perfectly reasonable. It’s standard radio practice. In fact, we used exactly the same principal on our B2 spy receivers. But as for the other stuff, I haven’t got a clue. I got lost after “adjust the Etheric Force” and “increase the Monad Flux”…’

‘Hmm. Me too.’

‘I’d love to get my hands on that machine, believe me. If only to prove that it’s a complete hoax.’

‘Vallis gave it to the Freemasons.’

‘Freemasons?’

‘We’ve got moles in every masonic lodge in the country. But we haven’t heard a dicky bird in three years. Whoever took TERGA from Vallis kept it under wraps. It’s just a matter of time. Sooner or later, TERGA will surface. And when it does, we’ll swoop.’

‘What do the Freemasons want with TERGA?’

‘Your guess is as good as mine. The masonic fraternity is steeped in the occult. If anyone knows how to use TERGA, they do.’

‘But what for?’

‘That’s what bothers me Sparky, that’s what bothers me… As far as TERGA is concerned, we’re completely in the dark. TERGA has uses above and beyond any military or intelligence application. TERGA would prove highly advantageous to any covert organisation.’

‘But how?’

‘Christ knows. The mind boggles. TERGA amplifies the intuitive faculties of the seer. One might call it an interdimensional spy machine. Its employment in the occult operations of everyday life, as well as in the arts and sciences are without limit.’

Interdimensional spy machine? It must be a hoax, sir. The Russians are very good at this sort of mischief making.’

‘As far as the occult is concerned, it is moral cowardice and injurious not to admit our ignorance. The general populace are telepathically illiterate. That includes you and me. Even with a full schematic, we would be incapable of using TERGA. But the masons are probably teeming with psychics like Vallis.’

Blyth flips the manual and reads the words on the back cover:

By my instructions you shall learn medicines that are powerful to cure disease, and re-animate old age; you shall be able to calm the savage winds which lay waste the labours of the husbandman, and, when you will, shall send forth the tempest again; you shall cause the skies to be fair and serene, or once more shall draw down refreshing showers, re-animating the fruits of the earth; nay, you shall recall the strength of the dead man, when he has already become the victim of Pluto.’[vi]

‘Weather modification? Resurrection of the dead? Do you really believe all that sir?’

‘Whatever that machine does, you can be sure it goes far beyond the realm of our material experience. One thing I learnt from Vallis, is that the soul does not die with the body. He spoke to Patrick – my dead son.’

‘Perhaps he tricked you, sir.’

‘No. Vallis gave irrefutable proof. Patrick is alive. On the other side. In death there is no pain or bitterness. The soul is that eternal part of us that cannot be destroyed.’

‘You always told me you were an atheist.’

‘Until meeting Vallis, I was a devout atheist. But I now believe there are vistas of spirit that the living cannot see.’

‘And you think TERGA makes them visible?’

‘I suspect it does a whole lot more than that. Vallis claimed to leave his body consciously during sleep, or at any time he desired. His clairvoyance was a natural consequence. He’s been talking with spirits all his life. That was his motivation for building TERGA. To open spiritual doors. Remarkable, don’t you think?’

‘Well don’t look at me,’ jeers Sims. ‘I’m just an electrical engineer. I haven’t had enough religious instruction to answer questions like that.’

‘You must have some idea.’

‘What did Vallis tell you, exactly?’

‘Through TERGA, man would experience a spiritual reality so total and complete, that Death becomes meaningless and impossible. All the cumbersome limitations of the flesh that hold us in the lower material realms would vanish; and the soul could travel freely through the Universe at will.’

‘That’s insane.’

‘You would say that. But Jack Vallis could accurately describe colour slides viewed by another person in a remote room.’

‘What you’re implying is a perceptual channel for information transfer that exists beyond the physical brain.’

‘Exactly. Which means Man is a supersensible, superphysical being.’

‘It makes no sense at all. Psi phenomena are completely unaccounted for by physics.’

‘So are magnetism, memory and conscious experience. Consciousness is a mystery. The transformation of raw sensory data into consciousness is no less problematic for the neurologists of today than it was for the philosophers of ancient Greece. Imagine what it would be like, to dwell in a realm of pure consciousness, beyond physicality – beyond the laws of space and time.’

‘Since when did you become an occultist?’

‘The occult is full of people with visionary powers. Vallis believed psychic phenomena are inherently holistic, and no branch of orthodox science could adequately define them. That’s what was so wonderful about Vallis: he didn’t allow the dogmas of physics to define the bounds of legitimate enquiry. As a clairvoyant, he lived between two worlds – the material and the spiritual. And he built TERGA to dissolve the boundary between them. I believe he succeeded. That’s what TERGA represents: the integration of science and mysticism; the inter-diffusion of science with a spiritual creative Mind.’

‘You mean God?’

‘I mean what is says on the box: the Monads.’

Whatever they are.

‘Just keep an open mind, Sims. That’s all I ask.’

‘An open mind? You’ve lost all critical judgement.’

‘What are you implying?’

‘Even the most astute scientific minds can fall victim to fraud. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was duped by two girls who hoaxed the Cottingley faeries. Is it not possible that Vallis duped you?’

‘No. Jack Vallis opened my eyes.’

‘You had an epiphany after speaking to your dead son?’

‘Of sorts.’

‘I don’t want to disappoint you sir, but I think you’ve been taken for a ride.’

‘Shut it Sparky. You weren’t there. You don’t know what Vallis said.’

‘Well what did he say?’

‘Never mind. It’s personal.’

‘That’s how charlatans work: they pray on your emotions.’

Blyth returns to the window, lost in a stupor of despair. The sun gleams through the fog like a pewter disc, and his dismal thoughts seem to hang suspended in the mist. He mutters:

‘The whole earth is sunk in wickedness. The love of God has been entirely driven out of the world. Our technological prowess has only led to our doom. We stand on the brink of nuclear annihilation: the total collapse of civilization, and its consequent submergence. It is a complete betrayal of the human spirit. Vallis was right: only the Light Stream can save us.’

‘That sounds like a religious conversion. You see Jack Vallis as some sort of spiritual saviour.’

‘No I don’t.’

‘Did you know that Vallis has become a cult figure in Liverpool? Despite his conviction for fraud, they think he’s a prophet. People believe what they want to believe.’

‘Especially scientists like you.’

‘Like me?’

‘Science is supposed to make Truth the supreme object of human endeavour. But science is just a vigorous opponent of supernaturalism. Like the battle between Darwinism and the old religious orthodoxy. To deny the reality of Spirit is pure arrogance.’

‘Call me arrogant if you wish. But the scientific method is eminently more useful to mankind than spiritualism. Science works. But occult faculties, if they exist at all, are mostly useless. That’s why materialism will always rule the world.’

‘To pretend you know everything about the material world is humbug. At most, you can only speculate. Science itself is supernatural, when you dig deep enough. Scratch beneath the surface, and there are countless phenomena, unaccountable by physical laws.’

‘Granted. But such phenomena are so Protean and elusive as to defy definition.’

‘So are subatomic particles. But do you refute their existence?’

‘No. Because an atom is made visible by its spectra. Just as X-ray crystallography forms ripples patterns which infer atomic structure. But the photograph of a ghost does not infer reality of the soul. General scientific maxims cannot be applied by those who cling to comfortable illusions. How can spiritual phenomena be observed with any scientific precision? They can’t.’

‘Yes they can. With TERGA.’

TERGA is a hoax, sir.’

‘You want to believe it’s a hoax, because you’re a sceptic.’

‘Yes, I’m a sceptic, and proud of it. When I was twenty, I went to see a gypsy who read tea leaves. She told me that I’d marry a blonde and have two children – a boy and a girl. She said: “If you peel an apple wi’out breaking the peelin’, and fling it with your right hand over your left shoulder, it will fall to the ground in th’ shape of th’ first letter of the name you will marry.” I mean, if she was psychic, why couldn’t she just tell me the bloody name?’

‘And did you try it?’

‘Only for fun.’

‘And?

‘It fell in the shape of the letter D. The woman I married was indeed called Deborah. A self-fulfilling prophecy. But Deborah left me after five years because I couldn’t give her children. Our our love making days were all in vain. According to the doctor, I’m completely sterile. I’ve been shooting blanks all my adult life.’

‘Oh? I’m sorry to hear that, Sims.’

‘Don’t be. I’m not exactly family material. But that gypsy, she had me convinced. Two children – a boy and a girl. She said I had very strange irradiations of the soul. She talked about auric currents and astral bodies; flashes of vision and psychometrical illumination. She went on about crystal gazing, magic mirrors, astrology and divination with dice. It’s all hocus pocus.’

‘That’s what I said to Vallis. Until he proved me wrong. Your gypsy was a fraud. A bad egg. But your dismissal of the spirit world based on a single reading is hardly scientific. You would have to test hundreds of psychics before you reached a satisfactory conclusion.’

‘I’ve got more important things to do in life.’

‘More important? What could be more important than TERGA?’

TERGA is a spoof; a sham; a fable. Portals to other worlds? It can’t be real. It can’t be.’

Blyth kicks his chair in frustration; it careens across the room, knocking a cabinet, and a stack of cards flutter on the floor.

‘You’re a coward Sims. Just like the rest of them.’

‘Coward? Why?’

‘Prove to Science any vile fact extorted by vivisection, and they will enrol your name in the annals of the royal society. But offer to demonstrate that Man is a trinity of body, soul and spirit; and that his spirit can see without material eyes, and hear without material ears, and perceive the near and far, the past and future; attempt to prove that human sentience is bodiless and eternal, and can pass through matter as light passes through glass; attempt to demonstrate such truths as these, and they will lock you in the madhouse…’

‘But isn’t that exactly what you did to Vallis?’

‘Yes, I did. May god forgive me.’

Turning away, Blyth stares at the sun, now mystically veiled in a nebulous radiance. He mutters:

Patrick…

Sims draws beside him and clasps his shoulder with a reassuring squeeze:

‘Sir, you’ve been obsessed with TERGA for three whole years. And if you want my honest opinion, it’s an unhealthy obsession. The only reason you want TERGA is to contact your dead son.’

‘That’s not true.’

‘Isn’t it?’

‘You don’t understand Sims! TERGA is probably the most profound and important device ever conceived by man!’

‘But sir—’

‘How long have we known each other Sims?’

‘Well, it must be almost six years now.’

Seven. Seven years, Sims. And in all that time, have I ever given you false information? Have you ever had reason to doubt my word? Or regretted a single one of my instructions?’

‘No sir.’

‘Well I’m telling you the truth. Patrick is alive! The spirit world is real. We don’t die!’

II

Blyth stands at the window, his eyes blazing, his lips trembling, on the point of tears.

‘Are you quite all right, sir?’ asks Sims. ‘I’ve never seen you like this before.’

‘I know. I’m meant to be the hard man. The indestructible agent of mother state. The Grand Inquisitor. Ten years behind the iron curtain. Ten years loitering in seedy hotels. Ten years sleeping with cockroaches, dealing in the flotsam and jetsam of human life. Ten years of textbook assassinations. And when you can’t do it by the book, you improvise: a hat-pin here; a pencil there; spoons and forks; coat-hangers; a rolled up magazine… You soon learn the fragility of the human body. I’ve lost count of the people I’ve murdered: strychnine cocktails, concert garottings and bathtub electrocutions… Ten years of stabbing at the dark, playing the Devil’s advocate. All that killing – it’s a young man’s game. As you get older, you begin to question yourself. There comes a point when you feel your physical and mental conviction ebbing away.’

‘You had doubts?’

‘Of course I had doubts.’

‘What sort of doubts?’

‘That I was protecting freedom and the British way of life. That I was ridding the world of disreputable and dangerous people.’

‘As opposed to what?’

‘As opposed to innocents, who were wrongly perceived as enemies of the state.’

‘Wrongly perceived how?’

‘I’m talking about bad intel. Not to mention the failure of civil servants, whose ludicrous incompetence is only matched by their academic pride. Aspiring intellectuals, who all have a first class honours from Cambridge, but whose amoral tomfoolery and complete lack of common sense, results in a dire catalogue of human tragedy. Whereby perfectly innocuous individuals are falsely marked as neo-fascist, crypto-communist, KGB agents, double agents, left-wing idealists, disaffected right-wing terrorists, Nazi fugitives, anarchist insurgents, or any other treasonous rat you can think of. You would be horrified to learn how many innocent lives are destroyed by the dazzling caprice of small-minded bureaucrats, sitting behind desks at GCHQ. Not to mention the level of collateral damage judged to be expedient when dismantling a spy-ring.’

Sims arches his eyebrows with indifference and says:

‘That’s the job, isn’t it?’

‘Yes. That’s the job. And the most stringent requirement is a presumptuous vanity. Civil servants always believe they’re fighting for lofty ideals and worthy goals; but their methods are no different from bedlam and banditry. There are more pigheaded, obstinate and arrogant fools in GCHQ than in all the doss houses of London. Except they all wear three-piece suits, quote Locke over lunch, and talk with plums in their mouth. Most civil servants are abject failures with delusions of grandeur; idealists who draw false conclusions based on their own distempered imaginations. Those who can do, those who can’t join GCHQ.’

‘Charmed I’m sure. I started off in GCHQ, you know!’

‘I didn’t mean you Sims, old chap. I meant those full-grown fools who play Cluedo with other people’s lives. I accuse Miss Scarlet, in the conservatory, with the candlestick. As Compton Mackenzie said: the service consists of nothing but scores of under-employed generals surrounded by a dense cloud of intelligence officers all sleuthing each other.

‘That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?’

‘Not harsh enough. I soon learned that a good spy remains in a constant state of paranoia. You can’t do the job without being suspicious of another’s fidelity. Spies are like lovers: their mutual jealousies settle into the most inveterate hatreds.[vii] Everywhere you look there are betrayals and deceits. It’s very corrosive to the soul.’

‘So Fleming got it wrong then?’

‘Fleming?’

‘When you were out in the field, I always imagined you as James Bond fighting SMERSH in ‘From Russia, with Love.’[viii]

Blyth snorts with derision:

‘The spy game isn’t glamorous, Sims. It’s sordid – full of beastly, filthy little creeps. The bipolar global politic is a breeding ground for all kinds of criminal psychopaths: amoral pilfering rogues with spiteful hearts and vicious minds; conniving low-lifers with base, irregular and ignoble impulses; blackmailers, bribers and bullies, who kick down your door and smash up your wife. If they can’t intimidate or corrupt you, they destroy your reputation with shameful accusations. They’ll stop at nothing to pursue their political goals. Some are no better than serial killers. Like hyenas, they get a taste for human blood: the maulings; the gropings; the bodily assaults. You can smell that sort a mile off. They stink like swine. Then you realise you’re sunk in all their filth: chained to reprobates, miscreants and homicidal lunatics, all crawling with loathsome disease. As the years pass, you sink deeper and deeper. Then little by little, the scales are lifted from your eyes. You see that the human race is infested with demons: earthbound spirits, fettered by passions and vices… The Goblins of Naples, who torture for hire, stringing human entrails down the catacombs of San Gerrano. Mendicant gnomes, with fat fingers and liver spotted faces, trading orphans in the red lights of De Wallen. Guerrillas with cordite fuses, tearing mother and child limb from limb… I spent three years in the Café Wars – part of a counter-terrorist unit, working for the French government. My best friend got blown to kingdom come. She was a brilliant agent, fluent in seven languages – that’s four more than me. She was the brains, the real mastermind of the unit. They don’t make her kind any more. Ruth Paxton. Whenever I think of her, I have to say her name out loud: it keeps her memory alive.’

‘What happened?’ ask Sims.

‘She got unlucky that’s all. We were ducking and diving between the Algerian MNA and FLN. Both groups were hard core idealists, fighting for independence and control of the expatriate community. Like all terrorists, they blurred the line between military and civilian targets. In fact, they glorified the murder of innocents. Their aim was terror itself – to annihilate the enemy in colonial bloodbaths. Bullets make holes, but nothing beats the existential fear stoked by an exploding bomb… What happened? We’d been given a tip-off about a device set to detonate at noon. We had two hours left on the clock, so we decided to clear the street. Then I noticed a man in a balaclava, hiding on a balcony. The tip-off was just a trick to expose us. By the time I realised, it was too late. I was cowering behind a truck, but Ruth was standing right outside the café. I yelled at her to run. To get the hell out. She didn’t. Instead, she put herself between the blast and a young boy. Miraculously, the boy survived. But all they found of Ruth was her jaw bone and shoes. Ruth Paxton: polymath, linguist and guardian angel.’

‘I’m sorry,’ mutters Sims.

‘It should have been me blown to smithereens, not her. But like you said: that’s the job, isn’t it?’

‘I didn’t mean to be flippant.’

Blyth peers at the pavement below where pedestrians meander like sleepwalkers through the fog. His voice is soft and low:

‘It’s not just a café any more – it’s the whole world. The delicate balance of terror. The thermonuclear balance is supposed to make aggression irrational and insane.[ix] But the equilibrium is critical and precarious. Mutually Assured Destruction. It seems we are witnessing the suicide of civilization itself – each country doing its best to ensure the downfall of the other. How long before the gates of Hell are flung wide open?’

‘Our job is to make sure that never happens, sir.’

‘I sometimes wonder. Each day brings a new threat – another pathological narcissist with grandiose fantasies about their rightful place in the world, expecting their demands to be met with full compliance. Not just radicals and subversives. Half the world’s leaders are narcissistic psychopaths. They’ll do anything and everything to remain in power. They think they can win a nuclear war.’

‘Can I go now sir?’ asks Sims awkwardly. ‘I’ve got some work to finish before lunch.’

Astounded, Blyth turns to face him:

‘Lunch? How can you think of lunch? I’m talking about the Bomb… About the unexpected contamination of 7,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean by Castle/Bravo. It was meant to explode with an energy equivalent of about 8 million tons of TNT. But it produced almost twice that explosive power: 15 million tons of TNT! And what about the fallout? The coral, rock and sand, sucked up in the fireball. The islanders were smothered in radioactive dust! I’m thinking of the thyroid glands of Rongelapese children, contaminated with iodine 131. But that particular isotope only has a half-life of 8 days… Do you know about radio-activate isotopes, Sims? They get concentrated in the food chain. The most serious is caesium-137, a gamma emitter with a half-life of 30 years. Readily absorbed into the blood and tissue. And strontium-90, an electron emitter and bone seeker, with a half-life of 28 years. And Plutonium-239, which decays through emission of an alpha particle (a high energy helium nucleus), with a half-life of 24,000 years! Christ! I’m thinking of leukaemia and other insidious cancers; of genetic damage, birth defects, and degenerative diseases; the mental retardation of unborn infants… I’m thinking of the anarchists, who lurk under the Pont Saint-Ange, their muzzles raised at Gaullists in the Gard du Nord. Or the blackshirts, who deface government buildings, desecrate Jewish cemeteries and overturn heroic monuments. What if they get the Bomb? What then?’

‘It doesn’t bare thinking about, sir.’

‘Too damn right it doesn’t. And what about the Socialists? They pose an even greater threat. Christ! They think they can use science to promote morality. But scientific Socialism proceeds directly from Darwinism. All the machinery of social evolution has been reduced by Marxists to a struggle between the classes. They don’t just preach class consciousness, they preach class hatred. Survival of the fittest. Socialists believe they are on a higher ethical plane than individualists. Individuals exist, but only as part of the social aggregate. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. The theory of evolution doesn’t even stand the acid test of mathematical probability.’

‘Sir?’

‘Evolution, Sims. It’s utter twaddle. And it’s refuted by the Cambrian explosion. Darwin himself admitted: “In spite of all the efforts of trained observers, not one change of species into another is on record”[x].’

‘Is that true? Did he really say that?’

‘Everything Darwin postulates is wrapped up in vague probabilities and unproven assumptions. Impassible gulfs between dead matter and living cells; between vegetable and animal; between invertebrates and vertebrates; marines and amphibians; amphibians and reptiles; reptiles and birds; reptiles and mammals… But there is not a single scrap of evidence that these gulfs have ever been crossed. Any clear thinker who considers the growing body of evidence against evolution has to acknowledge that Darwinism needs throwing out the classroom…’

‘And what will you replace it with?’

‘The Monadic kingdom of Leibniz, what else? The Monadic essence of a cat cannot evolve into the Monadic essence of a dog. Cats and dogs are two completely different Monads – and whilst there are many different types of cats, just as there are many different types of dogs, no cat ever became a dog by random mutation. There are simply too many anatomical and physiological changes; all must happen simultaneously to accommodate them into the new organism; and all are supposed to be fortuitous accidents! It is patently absurd. The fossil record shows no evidence for intermediary stages between the major transitions. Just as Leibniz maintained that all the Souls, Entelechies or Monads, can neither spring up naturally nor perish. They were put in place by the Creator.’

‘I beg to differ.’

‘Then I beg to enlighten you,’ retorts Blyth. ‘Shortly after Jack Vallis arrived at Sunhill Asylum, he sent me a book.’

‘He remembered you? His interrogation?’

‘Hard to tell. Residual memories often remain after clearing, but subjects can rarely give them a meaningful context. Vallis simply addressed the package: “The Grand Inquisitor, MI5, London.” Naturally, I was surprised to receive the book, but I didn’t open it for a long time.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I thought it was beneath me. I still considered myself an atheist. It took all my strength of will to shut Jack Vallis out. I wasn’t ready to entertain the prospect of higher realities; or to change my beliefs according to the evidence. I didn’t want to believe in a world preordained by God – a Supernatural being, who exists eternally, infinitely, above all created Nature. I could not accept that God was the creator of the Universe, and that He alone is all that is necessary for its essence and activity. In short, I did not want to believe in the Monads, or the supernatural life of soul… But the world of Spirit kept knocking on the door. I kept dreaming of Patrick – intense dreams, more real than everyday life – as if my soul had left my body and gone to another world. It was a state of grace, where I was exempt from all the miseries of earthly existence. A state of repaired and restored Nature, where Death did not exist.’

‘A Beatific Vision? A nervous breakdown, perhaps.’

‘No Sims. When I awoke, I had the distinct sensation that Patrick was present in the room. It seemed that he impressed his thoughts on mine. And he was angry.’

‘Angry?’

‘That I couldn’t see or hear him. His thoughts seemed to be… It was like an impressionist picture… How stupid you are… You can’t understand… You don’t want to admit reality… Dying is really rather fun, you know. I am so much happier here. I am free to do lots and lots of things. You have no idea… You hurt Vallis… And now you won’t read his book…’

‘So what was the book?’

The Evolution of Man Scientifically Disproved. It was penned by Reverend William A. Williams in 1854.’

‘Another literal interpretation of Genesis, by a Christian fundamentalist, no doubt.’

‘Well, that’s what I thought, initially. But his arguments were quite convincing. One chapter in particular remains foremost in my mind, where the author endeavours to prove the mathematical impossibilty of Evolution. His calculations refer to the eight evolutionary gulfs I mentioned earlier – from inert matter, to cells, plants, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. I’m paraphrasing here, but if I remember correctly, his argument goes something like this…’

Blyth spins on his toes, grabs a piece of chalk, and starts scrawling on his blackboard:

‘Even if the probability of each transmutation is 10 percent, which is a generous assumption, then the probability that all these changes created Man is 0.1 raised to the 8th power, 0.00000001. Therefore, there is not more than one chance out of 100,000,000 that these 8 changes ever took place. And if you estimate the probability of each great change at 0.1 raised to the 3rd power, 0.001, which is doubtless still too high, the probability that man arrived by eight great steps of evolution is is one out of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or a million, million, million, million. [xi]

Putting down the chalk, Blyth rubs his hands and concludes:

‘No true hypothesis is built on such uncertain foundations. Can you imagine Newton’s theory of gravitation depending on so many ridiculous probabilities?’

‘That’s all very interesting sir,’ shrugs Sims, ‘but I fail to see what it has to do with Socialism and the Bomb.’

‘Why, everything Sims, everything! Don’t you see? The scientific interpretation of history, which is taught by naturalistic socialism, is a complete lie! The theory of evolution cannot endure rational analysis, yet is upheld as dogma in an age of science and reason! Darwinism is the main gospel of dialectic materialism. The materialist conception of life, and how it accidentally came into being, is chief tenet of scientific determinism. Yet the Darwinists don’t even adhere to the first principals of scientific method!’

‘You’re prejudicial. You believe Vallis spoke to your dead son. You became a Spiritualist and there’s nothing more to be said on the matter. Vallis has clouded your mind.’

‘Clouded my mind? It’s not my mind that’s clouded, but the Darwinists. Give me one synthetic chemist, who, by their own calculation, can show how easy it would be for a functional protein to build on its existing success, and become another different functional protein, purely by the mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection – then I might believe in Darwinism. You think all that can happen without intelligent guidance from an already existing cell?’

‘Intelligent guidance? How can a cell be intelligent?’

‘I’m taking about the processes within a cell – molecular machines of irreducible complexity – machines so ingenious, that they can only be the work of a supernatural engineer.’

‘You believe that a supernatural creator existed before the formation of atoms? I think you’re cherry picking information to suit your own polemic. You present me with lots of big unsubstantiated numbers. Life happened despite them. The math must be wrong.’

‘There’s nothing wrong with the math. I have it on good authority, that the odds of a functional protein getting from its current “existing success” to the next “existing success” is 1 chance in 10 raised to the 77th power. That is not a number which inspires my confidence.’

‘Who gave you that number? The pope?’

‘Funnily enough Sims, no, it wasn’t the pope.’

‘Who then?’

‘I came to that number after researching further into the matter. I read books. And I listened to what other scientists had to say about the mathematical improbabilities of evolution. Like Watson and Crick, who discovered DNA. Crick said “the origin of life seems almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which must be satisfied to get it going. The problem is that even the simplest living thing is already so stupendously complex that if such an entity were to be thrown together by chance, it would be a fluke of such magnitude as to be unlikely to happen twice in the observable universe.” You have to realise what’s involved at the molecular level – the chemistry required to create a functioning protein out of a pre-biotic soup. It’s a completely blind process; a protein does not know what specific function will be required of it in a future synthesis; it cannot evolve of its own accord; it has no conception of “purpose” or how to assemble the molecular code to achieve that purpose.’

‘Given enough time, anything is possible.’

‘Do you honestly believe that atoms talk to each other, and decide amongst themselves to create a complex universe with the miracle of Life? A rock will still be a rock, billions of years from now, if left to itself. The odds of mRNA forming on its own, outside of a pre-existing cell, via undirected chemical processes – even in a warm ocean of free-floating nucleotides – are impossible. There is simply not enough time in the Universe for it to happen… Darwin’s theory is unworkable for any organism. There is not one living thing that does not contain multiple parts of irreducible complexity. There’s not one bit of logical sense to it. Fish do not evolve into men. They remain fish. The Darwinian hypothesis is bunkum; and in a court of scientific scrutiny, it would not even pass the standard of being beyond reasonable doubt. Materialism is retarding the progress of science. The real heresy is that science points to intelligent design – to theism – to the Entelechy of the Monads – the vital principle that directs Creation towards a certain end.’

‘And you think TERGA will reveal this Monadic kingdom? A world preordained by God?’

‘I honestly don’t know Sims. I pray that it does. Because, as far as I can see, Darwinism is just a creation myth for atheists – and like all creation myths, it is best not to analyse it too closely.’

Sims bows his head and ponders the matter, pinching his lip between forefinger and thumb. At length, he says:

‘Supposing that you’re right – that TERGA proves the existence of this Monadic realm. What do you hope to achieve by it?’

‘I want to prove the Darwinists wrong. I am opposed to Darwinism for the same reason that I am opposed to Socialism: because of its inhumanity. Socialism dictates that individual freedoms must always give way to collective restraint and direction. But individualism, not collectivism, is Nature’s way.’

‘But how can that be true, if you believe in the theology of Leibniz – in the collective harmony of the Monads?’

‘You misunderstand. The harmony of the Monads is not collective in the way Socialists would infer. The monads form a hierarchy of Creation. But there is nothing equal in the strata of Nature. In general, the higher animals feed off the lower. Even within individual species, there are social orders resulting from biological imperatives, such as intelligence and physical attributes. People want to believe that all men are born equal. But that is a complete myth. A lie pedalled by politicians and statesmen. Notwithstanding social divides, genes favour some men more than others. I am an ugly bastard, blessed with a modicum of wits. My brother is a simpleton but makes a fine Hercules, and is very popular with the ladies. The struggle of the ignorant multitude against the elect is a continuous fact of history. Socialism sees itself as the great leveller. But it is a levelling down, not a levelling up. Socialism fights Nature. And to fight Nature is to die. That’s why socialism will destroy the human race. Vallis made things perfectly clear: only the Light Stream can save mankind.’

‘Light Stream? What is this Light Stream you keep talking of?’

It is the Light of Spirit! The light of the eternal soul! The very thing that socialists deny. But it’s real, Sims! Real!

‘Sir, I think it’s time you—’

‘…Marxists claim the Holy Bible is a book of lies; they assert the god of the Jews and the triune god of the Christians are solar myths. They say that lying Supernaturalism is going; robbing Capitalism is falling; saving Labourism is rising, and levelling Unionism is coming…[xii] They want to banish the gods from the skies, the capitalists from the Earth, and make the world safe for Industrial Communism. But the Marxist technocrats with their naive Utopian dream have been the death-warrant of Russia. Not to mention the German Democratic Republic. As if all industry could be possessed and managed by the state! As if the state would distribute all products equally amongst its citizens!’

Blyth paces up and down waving his arms in the air:

Christ! Christ! How happy would Khrushchev be, to see another Labour Government in England! He wants to prove the futility of Parliament to the British working man.[xiii] F‑Branch has infiltrated every left-wing organization in Britain, including the Labour Party, the trade unions, the peace movement and student unions. Believe me, Socialism is a cancer, choking the life out of this green and pleasant land. Before long, the Socialist ghouls will be taking up arms and wallowing up to their necks in the blood of the bourgeoisie!’

‘Ghouls,’ muses Sims. ‘I’ve never heard them called that before.’

Blyth stops in his tracks, glares over his spectacles, and declares grimly:

‘I met one in a cheese factory on the outskirts of Leipzig: a Polish informant who was passing intel to the Russians. Codenamed STIX, she was frequently accused of diabolical communication. So I slit her throat and drowned her in a curds vat. They said it was my finest hour. I had followed a paper trail right across Europe, all the way from Amsterdam to Warsaw, via Osnabrük, Halle, Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Lublin. I got extracted just before my cover was blown. A great operation, they said; a most significant counter-espionage success. The following winter they tried sending me back. But I was done with all that. After ten years, I knew I’d cheated the Grim Reaper far too often. According to the odds, I should have been hung, drawn and quartered, or worse, imprisoned in the Hohenschönhausen. It brings me out in a cold sweat just thinking of it. I was glad of the desk job. But I felt dirty inside. Despicable. Squalid. I wanted to be clean again, to wash all that filth away. I even contemplated baptism – to renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil. But I wasn’t the religious type. Then I met Vallis, and everything changed.’

‘Vallis turned you from atheist to theist overnight?’

‘Pretty much, yes. He’s an evidential medium after all.’

‘But was his evidence incontestable?’

‘He told me things he couldn’t possibly have known – like my wife’s name; where we got married; Patrick’s leukaemia; the date of his death; and the wooden racing car I made for his tenth birthday. He still plays with it in heaven… I know how that sounds. But Vallis said every material manifestation has its spiritual counterpart. I wanted to know more. After his interrogation, I returned to his cell with the doctor. I had so many questions, but Vallis refused to speak. Just before he was injected with the psychotic, he looked right through me and said: “Spies like you shouldn’t have children.” I felt devastated – as if Patrick’s death was somehow my fault – that I had cursed my own son. I got to thinking of all the undesirables I’d killed. I didn’t know who they were. Not really. I didn’t know the first thing about them – except what I’d been fed by my handler. I’m sure most were good, decent, morally upright individuals; diplomats, teachers, chemists, florists, clerks, butchers, mechanics, printers – three whores, two pimps. I even killed a nurse once – a pretty Parisian girl with a mole on her left breast, just below the armpit. The intimate details always haunt you the most. Despite her mild appearance, she fought like a Tasmanian devil. During the death struggle, she bit me six times in the neck. Not deep wounds, but enough to cause permanent numbness in my left hand.’

He pauses as her image swims before his eyes. Then he whispers:

‘Men of clay are but half-finished things – grubs who exist in darkness, only to produce the butterfly; when we leave these mortal coils, we must fly naked, to stand before the judgement seat of God.[xiv] That is the simple truth of the matter. You see, after meeting Vallis, I knew my victims were dwelling in another state, beyond this earthly realm. I sometimes think they’re waiting for me. And I fear my death because of it. The smell of cheese still makes me vomit. I meet STIX in my dreams. Her blood flows swiftly, in pulsing jets, and her eyes are full of pleading. I feel she knows me – that there is some profound message she wants me to understand. The agitator keeps combing through the vat, marbling her blood with the curds. It’s so ghastly, shocking and degrading. Yet I can’t look away. Then in my shame, I try to save her, stemming the flow with my hands. But she always dies before I wake…’

Blyth looks alone – adrift in a sea of fog and grey sunlight that glints on the parapets and heaves in turbid waves amid the throngs of Curzon Street. He’s a man out of place and time; a man once handsome, fearsome and proud, full of self-confidence and certain of life. But now broken, timid and contrite, lacking all former conviction. The atmosphere rips with a searing flash and huge drops of rain splatter the window. He starts at the thunder-crack, his soul almost jarred loose from his body. Sims grabs his arm and says:

‘You did what you had to do. You protected the state. You helped preserve the free world.’

‘But I’m not free. I’m tainted.’

‘You’re a good man. A brave man. Men like you will always be necessary, because men like me will always be unarmed and defenceless. Without men like you, there would only be anarchy, oppression and terror. You can’t be a pacifist and fight evil at the same time. You know that.’

‘Do I?’

‘You did it for the greater good.’

‘The greater good? It’s all treachery and subterfuge – a game of human life – a nefarious labyrinth of evil – contrived in the vain hope that some possible good might come of it. Perhaps mine is the lesser good.’

‘How can you think that?’

Blyth sniffs and his voice falters:

‘I want to make amends.’

‘Amends? How?’

‘I want to exonerate Vallis. Finish what he started. Listen to me Sims. Vallis was an engineer like you. He wasn’t a quack or fraud. He was a telepath with a brilliant mind. Don’t you see why TERGA is so important? It represents the convergence of two world views: the resolution of a materialist and spiritualist controversy; the fusion of mysticism, neurophysiology and consciousness research; the means by which all paranormal phenomena may finally be recognised and classified by science!’

‘And the Freemasons have it?’

‘Yes. I just wish I could see TERGA in action…’

‘How much would it mean to you?’

Everything.

‘Including your career? Your pension?’

‘What are you getting at, Sims?’

‘If I could speak with Vallis, I’m sure that I could build TERGA. In fact, I know I could. What if we could get Vallis to demonstrate TERGA in person?’

‘In person?’

‘Yes. I’ve never been to Preston. Have you?’

‘It’s grim up north. I get nervous beyond High Barnet.’

‘We could go together. In disguise.

‘What? As a pantomime donkey? You’re out of your mind.’

‘Oh no, I’m not.’

Oh yes, you are!

‘What’s the worst that can happen?’

‘We’d get sacked, Sims, that’s what.’

‘Not necessarily. Besides, you’re not that far-off retirement anyway.’

‘What about you? You’ve got a whole career ahead of you. What about your pension?’

‘I could go into teaching. Find myself an ivory tower at Harrow. Science teachers are always in demand. Have you thought about your retirement?’

‘Yes. I’ll become a writer. Publish my memoires under a pseudonym. A change of sex perhaps. Retired female agent reveals all – the shocking account of an MI6 operative during the post-war years. Combining gritty espionage with action-packed adventure, “Last Train to Osnabrük” is the thrilling debut novel of real life master spy… “I couldn’t put it down.” “A real page turner.” “The last chapter brought me to tears…” Etcetera, etcetera. They only publish shit these days… Rabelais and Tolstoy are far too over-rated. Don’t you think?’

Sims lets out a hearty laugh. It is a great sound. Blyth’s face broadens into a smile and his moist eyes sparkle behind his glasses. He hasn’t felt this good in years.

‘There’s no time to loose Sims. You’d better book two returns to Preston. Remember, the trains don’t run on Christmas Day.’

‘Very well sir. I’ll get on it right away.’

Sims turns toward the door.

‘Wait!’ cries Blyth. ‘On second thoughts, we’ll take my car instead. The less of a paper trail, the better… We’ll leave after the office party on Christmas Eve. Our absence from the celebrations would only arose suspicion.’

‘Right then. After the office party it is.’

‘We’ll drive through the night. Forgoing any mechanical breakdowns, we should arrive at Sunhill Asylum before the Queen’s speech. Bring a thermos flask and a blanket. And don’t forget the magnetron tube. Without that, you can’t build TERGA.’

Sims rubs his hand in glee:

‘I say, this is all rather exciting!’

‘The Lord moves in mysterious ways.’

‘How’s that sir?’

‘I feel the hand of fate in all of this, don’t you? When I awoke this morning, I had no idea that we’d be driving to Preston on Christmas Eve. And now we’re visiting a lunatic, who made a machine to commune with the dead.’

‘Don’t get your hopes up. You said so yourself: Vallis might not remember a thing about TERGA, let alone the modus operandi.

‘For some reason, I’m feeling optimistic. Something tells me that Jack Vallis is expecting us already.’

Sims grins like a schoolboy:

‘Clairvoyant or not, he won’t be expecting a donkey.’

Copyright © Nicholas Shea 1992-2021. All rights reserved.

i. ‘Penetration – The Question of Extraterrestrial and Human Telepathy’, Ingo Swann.

ii. David Bohm.

iii. Ibid.

iv. Miss Alabama, 1994.

v. ‘Theodicy: Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil’ by G. W. Leibniz.

vi. The words of Empedocles, Plinius, Lib. VII, c. 52. Laertius, c. 59.

vii. Curiosities of Literature, by Isaac Disraeli. Chapter 26: ‘Of Lenglet du Fresnoy’.

viii. ‘From Russia, with Love’. By Ian Fleming. Published by Jonathan Cape, 8th April 1957.

ix. ‘The Balance of Terror’ by Albert Wohlstetter. RAND. 1958.

x. ‘The Evolution Of Man Scientifically Disproved’ by Rev. William A. Williams 1854. In actual fact, I have been unable to find this quote by Darwin. However, in LETTER 124. TO F.W. HUTTON. Down, April 20th {1861}, Darwin writes: “I hope that you will permit me to thank you for sending me a copy of your paper in “The Geologist” (124/1. In a letter to Hooker (April 23rd?, 1861) Darwin refers to Hutton’s review as “very original,” and adds that Hutton is “one of the very few who see that the change of species cannot be directly proved…” (“Life and Letters,” II., page 362). The review appeared in “The Geologist” (afterwards known as “The Geological Magazine”) for 1861, pages 132-6 and 183-8. A letter on “Difficulties of Darwinism” is published in the same volume of “The Geologist,”page 286.), and at the same time to express my opinion that you have done the subject a real service by the highly original, striking, and condensed manner with which you have put the case. I am actually weary of telling people that I do not pretend to adduce direct evidence of one species changing into another, but that I believe that this view in the main is correct, because so many phenomena can be thus grouped together and explained. But it is generally of no use; I cannot make persons see this. I generally throw in their teeth the universally admitted theory of the undulation of light,—neither the undulation nor the very existence of ether being proved, yet admitted because the view explains so much. You are one of the very few who have seen this, and have now put it most forcibly and clearly. I am much pleased to see how carefully you have read my book, and, what is far more important, reflected on so many points with an independent spirit. As I am deeply interested in the subject (and I hope not exclusively under a personal point of view) I could not resist venturing to thank you for the right good service which you have done.” [See ‘More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol 2’]..

xi. ‘The Evolution Of Man Scientifically Disproved’ by Rev. William A. Williams 1854. I have plagiarised the entire paragraph almost in its entirety, as Blyth is quoting from the book he has mentioned previously. This is an old text, but is obviously the corner stone of many later mathematical objections to Darwinism. One of the more recent objections is given by Stephen C. Meyer who elucidates the mathematical problems of protein synthesis. For further information, see: “DNA by Design: An Inference To The Best Explanation For The Origin of Biological Information” by Stephen C. Meyer. [Section: Biological Information: Beyond the Reach of Chance].

xii. “Lying Supernaturalism is going; robbing Capitalism is falling; saving Labourism is rising, and levelling Unionism is coming…” From the frontispiece of ‘Communism and Christianism Analysed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View’ by Brown, William Montgomery, 1855-1937.

xiii. Bertrand Russel said of Lenin: “Lenin told me that he hopes to see a Labour Government in England, and would wish his supporters to work for it, but solely in order that the futility of Parliamentarism may be conclusively demonstrated to the British working man. Nothing will do any real good except the arming of the proletariat and the disarming of the bourgeoisie. Those who preach anything else are social traitors or deluded fools.” [‘The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism’ by Bertrand Russell].

xiv. Don’t you see that we are worms, whose insignificance lives but to form the angelic butterfly that flits to judgment naked of defence?” Dante, ‘The Divine Comedy’ Purgatory, Canto X, The Needle’s Eye, 123-124.

Image: Unus Mundus ‘Monads Telergic Amplifier’ Copyright © Nicholas Shea 1992-2021. All rights reserved.