Episode 18: The Other Programs…. for dead people.

(A word from Rachel.)

I expected to see my family one day. I knew that God was real and that heaven was real and most importantly that I had to decide where I was going after life was over. I did lead a pretty good life all things considered. I went into science and nursing and wound up working on a research project that was supposed to make a huge artificial lung that could purify the air and slow global warming.

By the time I was on the project, it had been failing. The lead doctors were about to lose their funding and called for any ideas, any at all, that they could try and maybe something would help convince the lenders to keep them funded until they found the answer to why the air being exhaled by the machine was carbon monoxide (which would just speed up global warming) instead of carbon dioxide (the desired result).

My kids were in their twenties and in college, so at that time I was working on a Ph. D. in respiratory science. I offered my thesis. They merged my idea with theirs and instead of slowing global warming, we wound up using the lung to force large pockets of air into deep water, showing that an air bubble underwater could be made and sustained once the glaciers melted and the oceans moved inland. That could at least save the larger cities while a canal system to channel the water back out was under construction.

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The floods came early. The poor people who couldn’t afford more moved into various mines in the mountains that had been reinforced and renovated. I actually took part in how the foundations were dug 20 storied deep like a sky scrapper and hollowed out into apartments and the upper mines were for the well to do people as always.

Our air bubble invention kept the water out of the lower mines and kept over 80,000 people alive while the wall around the mountain was built. It had to withstand whales bumping into it, giant squid trying to climb over, and yet be a hub for fishing and travel. I died at the ripe old age of 95 in the mine city I helped to build called Upland Heights in Southern California.

When I died and settled into heaven, I was told that due to my contribution to keeping people alive long enough to turn to God I would be given the chance to save a life that mattered to me. I knew instantly whose life that would be. My big sister. She didn’t die so to speak, but her life was ruined from a young age by a cousin who had been abused and because he was older began torturing her. She didn’t tell anyone until she was nearly thirty. The pain, trauma, and torment that she endured alone all of those years never fully left her, and although she really wanted a full life, she never felt like she could reach out and take it.

I checked the rules. I know this is heaven, but if I kill my cousin before my sister turns eleven I can save her. That’s when the torture started. He cut her, he made her step on broken glass at knife point, he made her burn herself with an iron. He even made her try to jump from a moving car saying he would slit my throat if she didn’t do it.

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I’m only two years younger than her. It could have easily been me. But, because I was the baby of the family and she was always trying to be more grown up so she wouldn’t be stuck in the same kid boat as me, my parents hovered over me more and I guess she was somehow more accessible. I still don’t know how this happened and we didn’t know all of that time. But, I distinctly remember my cousin almost being hit by a car when I was six and almost drowning when I was eight. Maybe instead of calling for help… I wonder.

The program works like this: You can relive any one day in your life to change the course of another person’s history. The problem of course is that before I knew about this, that cousin had three kids. If I kill him, I kill them too.

I should say that their lives are more important. I know that I should. Especially since the middle child grew up to be the only person who wouldn’t follow orders and push the button launching a nuclear strike. Her defiance stalled the attack long enough for the war to be abated. We still had to sneak her out of the country to a place with no extradition and the picking were slim with the world flooded, but we did it. Her life alone is worth the lives of some three billion people.

Yet, my cousin must die… so I can save my sister.