Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)
TITLE: The Last Act of Abel Graham
By Joe Moreland
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That something momentous was missing was no longer refutable. He had his doubts in the beginning, to be sure; but history was like anything else - if you remove a sizable chunk you are going to leave a noticeable gap. No matter how much you try to cover it up, the fact that it is missing will be evidence to the discerning eye.
Abel had first noticed the anomaly while reading an extremely boring late 20th century New York City manifest on crowd control. He was reading about a rather spontaneous gathering of nearly 6,000 New Yorkers, who were apparently attempting to catch a glimpse of someone called the “Pope” when he suddenly emerged from his vehicle and went on a walk. The crowd surged forward trying desperately to get a glimpse or simply touch the “holy man”.
Who the heck was the “Pope”? Able was a professor of world history and he had never heard of any such religious leader. Even though the incident had happened nearly 300 years ago, he would have expected there to be a record of someone who was so charismatic as to be able to attract 6,000 people to an unorganized event.
Abel had searched the rest of the document and found no other references to the Pope. So he had widened his search to include other articles from 1995, when the incident occurred. He had searched newspaper and magazine stories - none mentioned the mysterious visitor. Next Abel had expanded his search to worldwide news for the twenty-five years prior to that date. Still nothing. Except that the nothing was starting to reveal an anomaly.
There were stories about the fall of the Berlin wall, quelling peace in Poland and an assassination attempt in St. Petersburg and hundreds of other articles where an unnamed religious leader was involved. In some cases the name of the leader and the religion were blatantly redacted from the text. It was as if this religion had simply been purged from history.
So Abel expanded his search again - this time focusing on all religions that existed prior to the Faith Unification in 2075. He noticed that the same anomaly of missing leaders and the names of their faiths was a widespread phenomenon. He was able to glean a few names here and there as he widened his search to cover a broader range of years, names that meant nothing to him; Billy Graham, John Wesley, and Martin Luther.
At last Abel had come to the realization that he was never going to be able to learn anything significant unless he could find some actual hard copies of articles or books from sometime prior to the Unification. That was not going to be easy. Nothing had been printed on actual paper since practically everything had been converted to digital in the early 21st century. This was what had made it so easy to censor out an entire religion (for Abel was by now positive that was what he had inadvertently discovered).
His desperate need to know, is what finally brought him cross of the law. Not long after he made some inquiries about paper manuscripts, a government agent showed up at his door. A man from the Bureau of Unification informed Abel that if he were to continue his pursuit of obtaining prohibited materials, he would face dire consequences - namely charges of treason.
But nothing could stop the fairly insignificant professor who was about to change history - back. In a side alley one dark night, Abel met up with a man who gave him a copy of something that had not seen the light of day in more than 200 years. After reading it thoroughly, Abel Graham was a changed man who knew what had to be done.
As armed gunmen stormed his house, where he had barricaded himself in, Abel used his WLT (wireless light transmitter) to beam the entire contents of the New Testament Bible into the void where it would become part of uncountable bits of information that made up the Worldwide Knowledge Base. They could try to extract it, but it would already be on so many systems within minutes that it would be forever available to anyone with access to modern technology. Pushing “send” was the last thing Abel Graham ever did.
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