The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 29 -

I motioned toward Perry who'd resumed his personal
immersion into dreamland with Marilyn Monroe. "You call that
a life?"

As I stared at Perry the multiple screens that dotted the
building again flashed to white, blinking on and off like a
bank of bloodshot eyeballs. "Are you going to tell me what
that is?"

Rick mumbled in an unconvincing effort to hide his
concern. "The process is too new to be sure exactly. Quite
honestly Paul, we didn't expect to get so far, so fast.
Interference is getting in from somewhere. We thought at
first it might be someone trying to shut us down. But now we
know it's not that."

"So what is it?

Rick bit his lip. His nerves strained. "Some kind of
quantum aberration. A dimensional crossover? Maybe something
even mystical. You talked a lot about stuff like that
happening to you in Afghanistan."

"So that's why your Lord Gilbert wants my book."

"You did talk about the way the Holy Warriors could dream
their way into the Russians' camp. I think the Senate Select
Committee called it the mystical communications network?"

"And now somebody's dreaming their way into your
circuitry." I offered.

"We don't know that for sure."

"Did you really believe you could activate Afghan holy
warriors on the eve of the Apocalypse and keep it quiet?
Holy war isn't some freak show to put on your Web site and
advertise with Coca Cola. These men are empowered. They
close their eyes and do what your blinking machines do and
you can't make up for that with electronics. Their power is
mystical and it's real, just the way it was for the
Crusaders in 1099."