The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 38 -

"I hadn't realized," Rick said politely.
"Then you must begin to," Gilbert said quietly drawing
back. "Because it is that reality that we spread around the
world from here-that culture that we define as us, the
culture that enables us to run the world. It is our
paradigm, our hologram. And if you cannot understand how it
is constructed. You will never be able to sustain it beyond
the present."

"I'm sorry Lord Gilbert, history was never my strong
suit. I'm more of a hardware guy," Rick said, biting his

"There's a place for hardware." Gilbert said chuckling to
himself. "In fact where would we be without it. But as
guardians of the future, we must remember what we are here
to do with that hardware." Gilbert pointed across the river
to the huge five-hundred foot Millennium Ferris wheel
opposite the Houses of Parliament. "That's why we built that
Millennium Wheel on the opposite side of the Thames: "To
remind us of the first thousand years of that future and
open the door on the next."

"Which is why I'd like to get on with the day's
business," Rick said impatiently. "There's a full agenda."

"Of course." Gilbert said, his tone dripping with
sarcasm. "I thought perhaps if you saw it from my
perspective you could better assume the duties your job
description requires."

"Which duties are you referring to?" Rick asked,
chastened but curious.

"The book, man. I could see by your threats that you mean
to do business. Does he?"

"He's a difficult man, Lord Gilbert," Rick said, showing
the frustration of his meeting with Paul. "Whatever he
knows, he's not about to let go of it."