Constituent Assemblage

Chapter 1

Lunar Science Base

Lunar Science Base personnel were shocked when they discovered their two leading scientists, Will and Leslie Berrigan, had been hunted through base corridors and almost killed by security forces. A subsequent investigation revealed that base security had been taken over almost entirely by operatives from the USE military.

Unarmed scientific crews had been unable to resist the combined power of top down corporatist system enforced by military guards and main stream media. These two forces controlled the lunar base. Self preservation kicked in, everyone at the lunar science base did exactly as they were told. Until, finally, the situation on Earth became so chaotic that nobody there had time to think about the lunar science base. Scientists and support staff, who greatly outnumbered the security forces, had then simply surrounded and disarmed individual or small military enforcement groups. Security team members who were committed to actual base security emerged from slavery and helped round up the remaining USE infiltrators. Normal base security took control and guarded those who were confined to quarters awaiting trial and likely deportation back to earth.

While the lunar base offered a superb low-gravity spaceport with spaceship maintenance facilities, it would never have become a major player in the struggles back on Mother Earth without the recent discovery of vast quantities of water. Geological teams had encountered deep frozen lakes and slow moving glacial rivers which slowly boiled into space as they approached the surface. This discovery vaulted the moon into the ranks of life supporting heavenly bodies. Water had been the limiting factor on the moon just as the shortage of unpolluted water was becoming a major driver of nuclear war on earth.

More people were suddenly arriving at the lunar science base than were leaving. Most new arrivals were from the United States of Earth; they tended to be bright, energetic people who realized the USE system allowed them no chance for anything but dead-end, low-paying sales associate jobs. The moon was becoming a USE brain-drain as its population rapidly approached what it was before the pioneers had left. Astonishing advantages of low-gravity precision beckoned new arrivals with a manufacturing future beyond their wildest dreams. Though the lunar brain-drain had not yet been noticed at USE's higher government levels, it was already adding to President Bushleeg's monumental headaches.

Far, far from both moon and earth, Eddy and Spring left the fabric of spacetime and splashed into the ocean of Planet Pacifica. They were less than two kilometers from the pioneer's harbor entrance.

"Right on target," Eddy thought proudly as he stood relaxed and confident with his fingertips to Spring's dorsal-tip. Eddy was hoping Fleet Commander Walker would have some ideas about how to use the lunar base, President Bushleeg's headaches did not enter into his thoughts.

This is a noticeably clean ocean," Spring said. "Are we really on a different planet?"

"Yep," said Eddy. "You're the first orca ever to be here. You'll be able to see the dock as soon as we pass through the harbor entrance."

"Will you be hurt if I tell you I'm much more interested to explore the ocean than see a pier?" Spring asked with a low humming chuckle.

"Oh, no." Eddy responded as they turned into the harbor. "There are many delfinians who I'm sure will enjoy exploring with you."

"What was that flash on the pier?" Spring asked growing slightly apprehensive.

"I didn't see it... no, wait... there it is again!" Eddy exclaimed. "Someone's looking at us with binoculars and the sun is glinting from the lenses."

"More land people are running out onto the pier," Spring observed.

"You're right," said Eddy. "I imagine we present quite a sight cruising into the harbor like this. You better make quick friends with some delfinians and go exploring, otherwise you'll probably spend the rest of your time here riding humans around on your back."

"Sounds like fun, maybe we can find some good surfing spots," said Spring, turning to look at a delfinian who had just surfaced next to them.

"Hi," said the delfinian. "I'm Ophelia. Did you just arrive from Earth on a star song?"

"I guess you could say that; something like that, anyway," Eddy answered, as he watched the pier rapidly filling to capacity.

"Are you a whale?" Ophelia asked Spring, who couldn't understand the question, and didn't try to answer.

"He's from the Orca Family of cetaceans, who call themselves Ocean People," Eddy said taking off his translation collar and tossing it to Ophelia. "It didn't take long for the the delfinians on earth to learn how to talk with ocean people in their language."

Spring stopped when they were about twenty meters from the end of the pier. Eddy held the tip of his dorsal fin like he was holding hands with a person. He stood on Spring and watched the crowd grow until it filled the pier and began stretching along the beach in both directions.

Eddy was a hero that nobody had had the chance to welcome home from battle with Doom Cloud. His pure white hair had grown to almost shoulder length, it flashed against his tropical tan skin. He was taller and his shoulders had grown broad from working on Earth Base One. Not quite twenty, Eddy had come home riding an Orca. He knew the cheering and waving pioneers as brave warriors in a never ending struggle against the malevolent force which had sent Doom Cloud, still, this tumultuous reception made him shy and tongue-tied.

Eddy didn't say anything for a long time. A lot of people were looking straight into his eyes, searching to glimpse his story. He wasn't sure where to begin or what to say. The long silence was broken, silently, by a quick dorsal quiver. Spring was a very social and fun-loving ocean person, in his mind the time had come to speak. Eddy took a deep breath and stood tall, then his mind became clear and he knew how to start.

"Greetings, Pioneers, I wish to introduce you to Spring. He didn't plan on it but chose to come meet you as soon as the opportunity presented itself."

Eddy squeezed Spring's dorsal a little tighter before continuing. "Spring is from the Orca Family of Earth's Ocean People. He is an amiable person who you will find interesting to talk with. Delfinian translation collars work perfectly between Humans, Delfinians, and Ocean People," Eddy said, glancing to see that Ophelia was telling Spring what he was saying.

Eddy then dropped to his knees and hugged Spring's back. Spring responded by jumping forward five meters and gently settling into a soft splash. He said afterward that it was his version of what he hoped humans would take as a bow, which Eddy clearly did after Spring landed. Eddy straightened from his deep bow and acknowledged the now silent faces of the assembled pioneers before resuming his totally unforeseen speech.

"We come needing the concentrated assistance of the entire pioneer colony. Though we defeated Doom Cloud, the same dark and ugly force of greed has completely taken over the United States of Earth. Now Life on Earth is in danger."

Spring, listening to Ophelia translate what Eddy was saying, and acting the perfect master of ceremonies, gave a little jerk to signal enough had been said. He swam Eddy to the pier, where a ladder reached down to the water. Eddy rode the short distance silently and then climbed into the helping arms of the waiting pioneers.

"I wish to speak with Fleet Commander Walker," he said as soon he stood on the pier.

The crowded pioneers squeezed themselves a little tighter and opened a pathway, much like the dolphins had done for Dasaye and Sudor during their search for orcas. Eddy walked the length of the pier, smiling eyes were everywhere about him. Walker caught his arm as he left the pier, they walked a short distance and found an open space to sit in the sand and talk. The pioneers turned their attention to Spring and began shouting words of welcome and encouragement, he guessed at the gist of what they were saying and was happily shouting back orca pleasantries.

"Spring seems to be a very friendly guy," Walker chuckled.

"Orcas are totally cool," Eddy agreed. “Times would be much different on Earth if we hadn't linked up with Ocean People."

"So what's happening now?" Walker leaned forward and looked into Eddy's eyes.

"Your eyes have changed, Eddy, they've somehow become mysterious, though that doesn't exactly describe what I'm trying to say. You've seen and learned things nobody else has, and I can tell you're tired, too. Tell me about it, then you should go to my place for rest."

"Will you understand the melodian language?" Eddy asked.

"Try me," Walker said. He laid back in the sand, leaning on one elbow, tracing little marks with one finger, listening.

Eddy closed his eyes and visualized vastness populated by stars who smiled with light and warmth. He listened to their song and sang with them. His melody played across conscious spacetime, it swelled in complexity until its weave was revealed, exactly as human an delfinian scientists would eventually discover.

He sang of the terrible suffering ocean people had endured from the whaling ships, and how the dolphins still watched in horror as their children and friends were caught and drowned in tuna fishing nets. He told how cetaceans had befriended Star Song, who assured them, "The meek shall inherit the Earth."

His song painted a whale-like holographic vision of a vast desert, multicolored bluffs lined up one after another, marching to the horizon. Native american braves were clearly seen hurling exploding bolos with spring loaded flingers, holographic figures stared intently at their targets. His projected vision hung above them like a cloud, it contained all the minute details of the rumbling HUNTA counter attack, and the braves escape.

Eddy had been shy to speak earlier in front of so many people, but now all the pain and suffering he'd seen poured from him in quickening melodian song. The image he painted turned dark and dirty when he described austerity. Resources laboriously brought from mines and processed at great expense were submerged by the rising sea, entire cities had become homes for fish rather than people. The United States of Earth was rigidly committed to ever increasing consumption; it had sold itself into the addiction of growing faster and faster, forever.

USE was about to unleash nuclear war because its resources were scarce and supply lines were broken. The class system had become so corrupt and money hungry the United States would never change by itself, though many were frightened and hoped a better way could be found before Mother Earth herself became lifeless and bare.

Eddy's song softened though remained urgent as he approached the end. He told of an evening around the campfire with Glafco. How he still hoped to work with Glafco someday, if life ever returned to normal.

Glafco's shadowed face, lit by flickering firelight, floated above the sea and spoke to Walker and the awed Pioneers. "There's only one possible way to buy a few hundred years of peace," Glafco's voice rolled as pealing thunder toward them. "Money is power and power corrupts. Therefore, government must be separated from money. Separation of Money and State is the only way out of this mess. It's as simple as that. Money handlers must be thrown out of the temple - off the planet." Eddy let Glafco's conclusion finish his song, he was too exhausted to continue.

Walker lay quietly in the sand, he was still leaning on one elbow, tracing doodles in the sand with one finger. "That money part, separation of Money and State," Walker mused, shaking his head as sat up and stretched the stiffness from his back and shoulder. "That's the way we do it here, and Nation Pacifica has the same system."

"Not quite," Eddy replied. “Here the money is mostly a publicly printed measuring device. Nation Pacifica still prints the money to balance private debt created money.“"

"Oh. I see, like us here, Glafco means complete separation of Money and State" Walker said. "The United States will fight to the bitter end over that one." He sighed a deep breath then abruptly changed the subject.

"I'm not going to send the entire pioneer space fleet back to Earth with you, Eddy. Delfinian spaceships are strong but we should keep at least twenty of our own heavy ships and their fighters here."

"So that leaves thirty-eight. The Admiral wants all the spaceships you can send deployed for Earth's defense upon arrival, he's leaving it up to you. Do you think that many would fit on a delfinian transport ship?" Eddy asked excitedly.

Walker figured the Admiral wouldn't want him to leave Planet Pacifica and Humanity's only deep space colony without a defending Fleet Commander, though he could see that this hadn't occurred to Eddy, yet.

"Hmm," he mused, rubbing his temples thoughtfully. "You've gone a long way without rest. I'll start readying the fleet, it's time for you to go back to my place for some rest."

Eddy started to object and then realized Walker was right. "Where's your place?" He asked, suddenly feeling overwhelmed with weariness.

Walker stood quickly and then extended his hand to pull Eddy to his feet. He aimed Eddy toward home and told him where to sleep. Then he slowly turned to the quietly assembled pioneers.

"I'm guessing most everybody here has attended enough melodian study groups to get the gist of Eddy's song," he said. He was fairly confident that everyone present had shared in the powerful group consciousness which had made it possible for himself to understand Eddy's song so vividly. He waited until a murmuring wave of agreement swept over them and then subsided.

"All pilots and crews report for duty immediately, spread the word. We have thirty-eight spaceships and over two hundred fighters to prepare for action. All who work for the fleet leave for your usual jobs now. Everybody else finish up their settlement duties and then report to assembly points for further instructions. There's more to do in the next few days than space fleet personnel can handle alone. I'll go talk with the delfinians and then return to fleet headquarters."

Walker watched the last of the pioneers quickly leave for their jobs. He could barely contain his excitement as he turned and trotted to the end of the pier.

"Would I be rude to ask for a ride out to the delfinian spaceship anchorage?" he asked Spring, with a wide grin on his face.

Spring saw Walker's smile and immediately figured out what he had on his mind. He quickly swam to the pier ladder.

Walker, still grinning, bent over and took off his shoes before climbing down the ladder and onto Spring's back. Ophelia tossed him the translation collar and off they went.

"Like this?" Walker asked, placing his fingertips on Spring's dorsal-tip.

"That's it," Spring responded, feeling Walker's athletically confident feet and accelerating slightly.

Walker then let go touching Spring's dorsal fin, bent down, and rolled up his pants.

"Are you tired?" he asked Spring.

"Not a bit," Spring answered. "Would you like to swim like orcas do?"

"Let's ride," Walker responded with a hoot. He put his fingertips back to Spring's dorsal fin and wiggled his feet to a solid stance as Spring leaped forward.

At least one hundred delfinians and twenty or thirty pioneers were in the right place at the right time to see Walker ride wildly to the delfinian spaceship. Some of the pioneers even claimed they could hear the Commander. "He was hooting and hollering like a teenage surfer," they said, afterward.

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