U T E R O - N A U T




Part II

The Argonaut

Amidst millions, and more millions, of rivals, the germ root of Jason battled its way through to the objective instinctively sensed lay somewhere in the darkness. There was a kind of joy in the struggle, though only one germ could be used ultimately for the purpose of creation. The epic struggle was a first voyage, with many other voyagers determined with all their might to reach the same objective, each one struggling to be first. Jason's germ root, wriggling with an added vigor, managed with sustained effort to surpass the others around him at the end of the journey, though he didn't know just when and how that race would end. The sense of suspense, though unthought, grew in him. He gave all his strength to the effort to sail forward, always forward, passing the others who were striving with him to reach the same unknown goal.

How did he knew this was just the Beginning for him--once he reached it! Would he be first? Somehow he understood he had to be first--or lose everything! He could not bear that sense--and fought to move all the more rapidly forward. At last, at last, at the very peak of his energy, just before it would turn and wane, depriving him of his forward motive power, he reached the Objective with a last violent thrust and promptly lost his tail as he passed into a huge dark warm embrace of something that somehow knew he was there the instant he appeared.

Instantly, the doors of the Objective slammed, as it were, and Jason was left safe inside, and everything else was shut outside forever. He would have no twin, since he was alone there.

Yet at no moment was he alone. Jason's destiny found him in the darkness, enveloped him, and transformed him--launching him as a unique and wonderful human being who could change the great outer world vastly for the better. Here FC was waiting for him--having foreordained him to arrive her since before the foundation of the universe. Like a potter with clay, the FC personally molded the almost microscopic human being, all of whose elements were present, together with the FC's blueprint. LIFE gave life and personhood to what would have been a bit of algae that would have looked human but would never have been human.

For a brief, powerful time he grew, multiplying his size and complexity every second to grow to the size and maturity he needed to survive on the "outside"--whatever lay beyond his present world. His whole being knew this, and there was nothing he wanted more than to achieve full development--just as, while a spermonaut, he had strained every fiber to reach his hidden but real objective, the Master Potter's plan for his life.

One week passed, though he did not count as yet. Counting within his cells, another clocked ticked off the moments and the stages he reached as time passed. It was a rapid ascent, with all his booster rockets thrusting full-force against the darkness and the vast distance he had just left behind him. What lay ahead? Seemingly, there was no limit to his growth, expansion, and the extent to which he would grow as he hurtled forward according to destiny and its ticking clock.

At some point he grew aware of himself, then sensed the world around him more acutely, to the point that he felt there was a Person carrying him. This Person was the bearer and nurturer of his growing life, he realized. He felt the love of the Person grow for him, then was confused as the love seemed to withdraw--withdraw--and then turn to coldness. Why? What had happened? Jason began to be troubled, and turned and twisted. His hands reached out (for he had hands and feet), trying to grasp the receding Person who was bearing his life.

His mind, however, continued to expand greatly. He could not see, yet he could sense every movement of the Person, along with her (he sensed a "her") feelings. She had many feelings, which washed over him, one after the other. Some were good, but increasingly they were cold. It almost stopped his desire to grow--but he could not make that decision to stop--his desire to live was so strong as yet. There appeared so many things for his mind to grasp, that he could not think them all through--and so he continued growing in order to allow his expanding mind the space it needed as it also filled the space where he was becoming himself.

He began hearing words, then they grouped in his mind, and the sense came to him from what was being "spoken," for he could tell music from speech now. He first identified his Person's speech, then identified the different other speakers around her. His First Person, she who bore his rapid transit system and its single passenger, had the words and voice that most appealed to him, of course. The others were colder to him than her voice ever was--and he sensed their hatred, whereas she was only withdrawn, turning warm and cold toward him at varying times.

When his Person lay asleep and still, Jason (for he knew his name) sensed that she really did not hate him, from the way her heart beat against his own dark sphere surrounding him as he travelled and grew at the same time.

His thoughts were now, as two months passed, immeasurable and far more advanced. He was ranging far beyond the Person carrying him, and was now understanding the world in which she moved, spoke, slept, ate, and performed many other actions.

Jason classified everything he learned, from early on. He had a special gift, to be able to group what he learned, then to use his own calculus to explain and identify and further classify the outside world.

Having learned names, he knew his "First Person" as a "mother," as the outside world called her. But she did not like the term, he learned. She was being advised not to accept it. How could she not? he wondered, amazed. She was a mother, for he existed, almost fully grown in every part, and his mind active and able to engage the outside world in which she lived and moved together with others.

He was so happy now, knowing what he knew, and wanting to share it with his mother once he had the chance to speak to her. He had tried, but so far the barriers were to strong for him, and he could only move, trying to tell him with his movements that he was there and that he knew her, that she was his mother.

In response, her feelings told him that she knew too--but, after a brief surge of warm feeling, the coldness came, separating them just at the moment he felt there would be a great joining between them.

This crushed the unfolding rosebud that was Jason, almost killing him, yet as he had done before, he fought and battled, struggling against the impossible odds of uncountable rivals and contenders for the one place available on the Great Mother Ship that Shawnta Placentia was--for he had learned her name.

Terrible things now became known to him as well. He learned the cause of her coldness toward his appearing, his birth into the outside world where she lived with others like her--her family and friends. He could not blame her for the coldness--it was not like her--it came from others, he understood. She had accepted it, but not without a struggle. Her heart beat for him--despite the coldness and hate of others against him--but, beat by beat, a distance came, and in time he felt her heart beat move further and further away into the distance.

But this wasn't the time to leave him! he wanted to shout to her. "Come back!" he tried to say to her, which of course was not possible, in the position he was. He tried ways to communicate with her, beyond his body movements. Could he connect his thoughts and feeling with hers? He explored every avenue of communication known to him--but his huge intellectual capacity was yet unable to create the means--as yet--for he did not give up hope as each experiment failed.

At the same time he had matured in body, his intellect surpassed everything else. He knew the problems and challenges now that threatened the very existence of the outside world and all its myriads of human beings and plants and animals--and one by one he devised medical cures for various diseases, and knew they would work, as he had the calculus to prove and demonstrate his theories.

He constructed, mentally, solutions for a whole range of global-sized problems such as famine due to drought and weather changes. He invented new means of transportation, that would connect food stocks and supplies to the places and people who needed them with the least loss of food and expended energy.

He envisioned a way to reach the stars at the speed, and beyond, of light.

He felt this was just the beginning of his discoveries. He had so much more in him to formulate and then communicate and share with the outside world.

Generating the data and power of computation of Cray supercomputers, with vast knowledge and science that would revolutionize the world beyond and even reach the stars, Jason was unstoppable--there was no limit to the amount and cope of the good he would accomplish for the benefit of all people on earth. These were the very things the world dreamed of, but he knew what they were in detail and could describe them.

By the time his mother entered the killing field of the abortion clinic in her neighborhood, Jason felt he was on the verge of a break-through in communication skills. He had bridged a path to her own thoughts--if not her feelings. He had the calculated means of speaking to her, mind to mind--and only needed a hour or two more, he estimated, to do it.

Along with his means to mind-speak, he devised a way to "thought kill"-- shut down another person's mind, by stunning it. By paralyzing it with conflicting thoughts in various vital centers, he could bring the person to the verge of death, even killing the individual, if he kept applying the deadly conflict of signals to the critical neural centers in the target person's brain.

He had identified the killer, the doctor at the clinic, and considered the way to stop him. It wouldn't be easy to save his life and stop him. He could easily stop him, but it was going to fatal. That was the higher probability. Since he could do it, he knew he had to do it to save his own life, since he could tell his mother was going to go through with the "procedure" of killing him.

What did it matter if he killed the person who was going to kill him? What did it matter? Yet the person had not killed him--how then could he kill him? This thought gave him pause, and he had second thoughts. If he struck the doctor down, what was he doing? He would enter the outside world a murderer, a killer. He knew his mother's ethics, morals, and faith in God--for she believed in God. He himself believed in the FC who had created all things, including human beings. He knew much about God by this time. He knew God would be displeased, to say the least, if he attacked and killed the doctor with his great mind weapon.

But what about saving himself? Who else could? No one! His own mother had given him up! She had betrayed his life to this cruel doctor and his cruel and heartless helpers! She was his enemy, was she not?

As the doctor began work on his mother, the pressure to stop the doctor grew in Jason until it was unbearable. Yet he could not accept one thing--that his mother was his enemy. Yes, the others were--they all wanted to wipe his existence out as if he had never been--and profit and benefit from his extinction--but she--no--she was not of the same mind. She was so moved by them that she was doing what they wanted, not what she really wanted. He knew it, and so she could not be his enemy, even though she had turned him over to the forces of death.

"But I've just begun--I've just begun--'sic semper tyrannis'!--and I have so much to share with you all!" he wanted to say to them, the doctor included.

"God, my Creator, make me strong, able to bear what they are going to do to me! Into Your hands, I commit my life, my very being!"

The doctor was wrapping up the procedure, meanwhile, as Jason struggled against his despair and fear and the anger that boiled inside him, tempting him to use the mind weapon and save himself at the cost of his enemy's life.

Suddenly, he felt his Creator's response to his crisis. He felt arms reaching out, reaching and wrapping round him, where he lay shrinking back from the probing instuments.

"Mother, I love you!" he cried, succeeding at last in reaching her mind and thoughts and even her heart, where her mind also lay.

No response. She was too drugged.

Jason then turned back to God his Creator. The Creator's own love filled him, and Jason said: "Forgive them, please forgive them, Father of All, they don't know what they are doing! They think I am a bit of algae, not a masterpiece formed to fulfil Your master plan!"

The doctor was finishing at that moment.

The things the doctor did to him were unthinkable, but he did them anyway. He used a metal foreseps, then a scizzors, and finished the job with a vacuum.

Yet the Arms that reached out for Jason had something to give beyond love and assurance. They held a golden Destiny, to replace the one that had been stolen from him and the outside world. Jason, at the moment of a scizzored brain death, was transported into another dimension, a glorious new life of great adventure and mighty exploits challenging all his gifts, powers, strengths, vision and intellect.

Unknown to Jason now but fully in view of the FC who was present in the room, observing and recording every detail, the doctor and his staff continued their grisly work. Jason's various body parts were excellent and were bagged in zip-locked bags for immediate shipment and sale. The business that managed this clinic and hundreds of others earned hundreds of millions of dollars yearly, nearly a billion, in fact. Body parts from the infants were highly lucrative items. Money is the greatest power in the outside world, and continued despite all opposition, until there were forty millions processed just like Jason Placentia.

For Jason, there was a new beginning, despite everything the clinic had done to stop him. The people who had done this to him would have to bear the results--a lesser, darker world, where there was so much sickness, crime, hunger, and turmoil--most of it unnecessary and avoidable. But where money and power ruled, it did not pay in the short-term to rid the world of its ills and troubles. Too many people benefited from the things that were destroying the world. They refused to give up the deadly game they were playing. Yet they could never win it--would they ever realize that? Jason won--he was on his way to a new future--despite his mother's mistake and the sins of her boyfriend and Shawnta's own mother. He was on his way! They could never stop him now! He had been launched, as an Argonaut!

The world was cruel beyond words to express it, but everyone in it was cruel. And some suffered regret. They began seeking a means of some kind to express it. A rough-hewn rock was set up by some anonymous person by the Potomac River, and the mothers who regretted what they had done began to make pilgrimages there, to make contact if they could with ?--it was heart-breaking, not knowing. Sometimes the unofficial memorial was vandalized, but no one could stop the grieving women and girls from going there with flowers and helpless tears. Someday Shawnta would go there, when she began to face the pain and sense of loss that lay hidden and denied inside her heart and soul.

One day, however, things would change for her in a radical way. She would be sitting at her laptop during a break from her job working as an aide for Senator Kantwell when a "bungled address" turned up a website she had never seen before. Here she saw something that interested in, and after a few clicks she was in. Her bagel with the sprouts, cream cheese, and bacon droppd from her hand, and she didn't know it. Who could have known her to put such an account on the Internet site? It was herself! herself! She was being described. She could scarcely see the screen after a few moments spend on the page--and was still on it when the Senator walked in after showing a special lobbyist to the door (a particular courtesy shown only the biggest donors to her on-going campaign to remain in office).

Shawnta, her eyes streaming, saw the mess she was, and scooped the bagel up from the carpet and stuffed it in her desk drawer along with lobbyist demand letters that needed replies (they had hundreds backlogged that couldn't be shunted the usual thank you garbage).

Shawnta managed a smile, the kind that was supposed to say, "No problem, I am handling it, Senator!" when it really, unknown to her, said, "Get me outa here! This is no place for me--"

Later, as she rushed to her car, her personals in a bag, a letter of resignation on the Senator's desk beneath a couple covering lobbyist "recommendations" for this or that favor, Jason's mother could not get home fast enough, so she could finish the Internet pages. There she scrolled to the end, where she discovered there was a future after all. In it she saw her own, not just Jason's, revealed. At the same time, she realized she--after what she had chosen--still had a place in the Master Plan created just for her, and when she was through with the site, she rose to her feet, determined as Jason ever was, to reach her objective, to search out and find that Golden Fleece, now that she knew for certain it existed and was waiting for her to come for it.

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