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Copyright 2011 by Robert Reid

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Cover design by Robert Eisenberg Illustration

"Almighty God! Thou who holdest in Thy hand the minds of men, deliver us from the fatal arts and sciences of our forefathers; give back ignorance, innocence and poverty, which alone can make us happy and are precious in Thy sight." J. J. Rousseau, Discourses on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences. 1750


The machines are hidden in secret places deep in the earth to protect them from human ego and ambition. Through their sensors and robots they observe everything that occurs; the births and deaths of humans along with the cycles of the biosphere. They provide for human needs as they control all of Earth, but the very fact of their existence attests to a desperate historic event. Since the time of that cataclysm, their mission has been to keep the world from disintegrating once again into chaos or disappearing forever into the black hole of totalitarianism, a knife-edge balancing act that requires their utmost attention in this unstable, hyper-technological world. Everything on Earth that is allowed to happen is measured by that mission.

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