There is no pain you are receding

A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.

You are only coming through in waves.

Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.

When I was a child

I caught a fleeting glimpse

Out of the corner of my eye.

I turned to look but it was gone

I cannot put my finger on it now

The child is grown,

The dream is gone.

And I have become comfortably numb.

Gilmour & Waters/Pink Floyd/Comfortably Numb

On Even Ground

This fine politician grows up and has a child who grows up to be a scientist, this scientist has a little boy who grows up to be an astronaut and takes the first flight to another star and settles there. All's well that ends well, right? Well, no because this astronaut has a child that develops a way to purify the earths waters, air, ground. Brilliant is too small of a word to describe this guy and as you know I don't give out compliments very easily. Not only does this guy figure out how to clean up the earth, he also is the first person to discover… ready for this?… that there is life after death! Of all things for someone to figure out, FINALLY. So with these inventions and this knowledge the earth becomes a place of peace, a place where all peoples get together for the good of humanity and the planet they live on. The knowledge spreads to other parts of the galaxy to places that are having the same problems. They accept his findings and now, EVERYONE is one big happy universe!!! In effect, this young man saves humanity and all living things in every corner of the cosmos. All because one little lady had one little boy who had one little girl who… well, you get the picture." Phil was enraptured by what Simon was saying. He had no reason to doubt him, Simon had no reason to lie, especially now. "Oh and Phil, three guesses as to who the daddy of this first fine politician?"

Phil didn't need three guesses, it all started to fit together like some horrible puzzle.

"Now 'young one'," Simon said with disgust, "You may have been the one to deliver the seed but she was the one to birth the bastard which is one of the reasons why we chose her over you. She was also much easier to lead astray, you pegged us out to quickly. Oh, and like I said before, it was a lot of fun having her pretty pussy nightly to do with as I felt." Simon stood and listened with a sixth sense. Phil heard it too. Screams from above, the cries of mothers and fathers as they watched their children disappear, the cries of the children as they faded away in pain. The sound of glass breaking, buildings burning, total havoc. "Soon the Middle Lands will be ours and we will seal the light doors forever and let nature run its course. It may take a long long time for the Earth to fall, but fall it will. And when it does we will come down and feed off the souls left behind. The Earth will be ours. Oh and Phil, the first people I am going to have for lunch when that happens are your kids Sean and Birgen. Sweet tender things, I bet Birgen would be a lot of fun to play with" Simon put his hand on Phil's chest, "Now just hold still and it will be over in a minute." Phil felt a horrible sensation coursing through his body, worse than any stab wound, his soul was being drawn out of him into Simon's hand. "I want to thank you, Simon," Phil said in a stronger voice than he thought he was capable of. "Oh, don't mention it buddy, I'll put you out of your misery in a moment. Just a few seconds more." Phil laughed. Simon stared at him, confused. What he was doing to him was the most painful experience known to the dead and yet this one was laughing! "No, Simon, I want to thank you for giving me a reason for living." He grabbed Simon's wrist with both hands and, with a strength born of a new conviction, he pried it off of his body. He bent his wrist back until Simon was on the floor next to him. Phil managed to turn over and grabbed him around the throat. "This is how it is going to work," he growled at him, "you and your merry men are going to go back into that hole you crawled out of and not come out again, because if you do I personally will see to it that you regret it. You've killed the only woman I loved, you've threatened my children and all children, and you have beaten me down but I will NOT yield to you in this existence or any other. I don't know how, but I will find a way to get rid of you once and for all, but not before you pay for what you have done. You see, I have nothing left to lose so I am not afraid of you anymore."

Phil's blood was falling on Simon's body, and everywhere it touched, smoke arose. Simon did not feel invincible anymore. He had met his match, and for the first time in all of his existence, he felt fear. Phil stood up, he didn't know how he could but he did, and he dragged Simon to his feet. Simon shoved him back and Phil stumbled over the steps. He prepared himself for Simon to attack but instead he watched him disappear into a dark hole that had suddenly appeared behind him. As he stepped through the hole it closed behind him, leaving nothing but Phil and his new found determination alone in the room.

Part 30