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Observation Three

Changing Hearts

by Michael E. Lloyd

The story to date


Table of Contents

Observation One: Singing of Promises

March-April 2003

A vast electrical circuit closes.

The huge discharge focuses two rich radio beams down to a point not far above the surface of the Earth.

And there, in an unseen sphere, a holographic “Radimote” is born and glides to land in northern Spain — invisible still, but watching and listening and ready to roll.

Its Handlers, hovering undetected in their star-craft “Mater” in fixed orbit over Africa, rapidly learn the basic social niceties of the new world they have travelled far to study. So they are soon ready to endow their virtual missionary with a carefully selected, female human form.

Her first precious target is Toni Murano, a young music student. He haplessly follows the beautiful siren’s unspoken call, but very quickly loses sight of her and is instead entangled in the major security alert which she has unintentionally caused. He manages to slip through that ragged dragnet, only to end up instead on a very sharp hook: the mysterious visitor in the red silk scarf finally makes quite definite contact, he christens her “Carla,” and he is overwhelmingly embraced in the “Doman” mission of exploration...

Press-ganged on the spot into obedient service as an Illuminator for the visitors’ initial observations, Toni is soon once again the quarry of national police and security services, and is forced to take on a crisp new identity. Then, led by Carla and her senior officer “Quo” on a rapid chase round Europe, he helps the Domans to build their initial maps and models of the Earth, and to search in vain up the echelons of power for a political leader with apparently flawless integrity.

Despite repeated false starts and many unexpected hurdles, the visitors finally manage to complete that first phase of their mission, with rather disconcerting findings on the broad front of human integrity. But they have also met some true heroes, including Raymond, a brave American diplomat.

They need to move rapidly on to their delayed second stage of operations, for which they have just received some significant changes to their Orders. Toni’s particular talents seem unsuited to this next challenge, and he is sent back home with full Doman honours and a convincing cover story for the authorities.

Desperate to see his abandoned girlfriend Paula once again, he opens the letter awaiting him in his bedroom and discovers she has run out of patience and love, and has found a new playmate...

The full story of Toni, Carla and the Domans in Europe is told in Observation One: Singing of Promises.

Observation Two: Standing Divided

April-May 2003

The Doman visitors up on the Mater have completed their initial assessment of the integrity of humankind’s public figures and published data. And the Domans are not impressed.

Now under revised orders to establish a complete picture of the Earth’s natural resources, especially in several areas of great interest to their home world, they need a new, specialised guide and interpreter to help them scout out the true lay of the land.

Salvatore Pirone is that man, to start with at least, and he leads them from Venice to Copenhagen and then across to the rich promise of the USA. But he soon proves to be not fully up to the job, and the Domans choose to call again upon the services of their earlier, more reliable assistant Toni, and to recruit a promising new one — feisty songwriter Maelene Bay — who has crossed their path in South Carolina.

As the three young conscripts struggle with their own relationship challenges, on top of the demanding impositions of the Mater and the increasing interest of Homeland Security, the visitors make faltering but steady progress in pinpointing the raw materials they seek, and formulating imaginative trade proposals that can address the greatest resource shortfalls of both Earth and Dome.

And they are both dismayed and delighted when they discover a rather unattractive little racket blossoming secretly in California, involving some powerful people and a very special commodity which they are particularly keen to lay their hands on.

But reaching agreement on that narrow front alone is proving extremely hard — and they have barely started on their hugely ambitious, international business initiative. Meanwhile, the powers-that-be back at Dome are asking their patient, hard-pressed explorers for even more...

The full story of the early escapades of the Domans and their Illuminators in the USA is told in Observation Two: Standing Divided.

And now the visitors can move ahead with Observation Three...

Proceed to Chapter 1...

Copyright © 2008 by Michael E. Lloyd

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