Last part of Chapter 14 from FutureLoop Fulfilling Potential: Life in Fast Forward (spoiler alert!)

“This is crazy, Blace can’t be sending a Zoom meeting invitation. He’s in the future,” Caleb commented.

“Well, click it! Let's find out!” Asher exclaimed eagerly, reaching forward and grabbing the mouse. In a moment the usual message had popped up that indicated they were connected and waiting for the host to let them into the meeting. Blace’s face soon filled the screen.

“Are you guys there?” he said. “It says you're on, but I don't see you!” Blace’s voice asked from the computer.

“The post-it note Caleb. You've got your computer camera covered!” Grace observed. “Good for you! You’ve been paying attention to the internet security concerns we learned about from CLEVER QUICK.”

“Oh, right, sorry,” Caleb blurted out, reaching forward and pulling the paper off while simultaneously clicking on the audio button.

“There you are! Good to see you and hear you!” Blace announced.

“Wait, how is this possible?” Asher asked. “Aren’t you still in the future?”

“Yes, I am. And I’m beginning to think all things tech are possible with my friend Mateo. We have him to thank. They've made some pretty dramatic developments through his new company ‘Blast to the Past Tech!’” Blace began. “When you send me a message it instantly appears in my server with a notification that it's been in my inbox for eight years. I have to make sure I've set my incoming message settings to ‘never expire’!”

“That's incredible!” Asher muttered. Caleb and Grace were just shaking their heads.

“The really tricky part is getting through to you on Zoom. It's a combination of me using some old tech we’ve set up in the lab here at the university, and special programs I installed on your computer. I hope you don't mind Caleb. I remembered all your passwords, so it wasn't difficult.”

“Uh no, fine, obviously,” Caleb whispered.

“So, I'm using a 2023 Apple computer loaded with 2023 programming to talk to you. It’s a bit frustrating, using a computer with less than 100 TB of memory. Things are so slow. In any case, just a few more points and then I'll let you pass on the information. I already have an idea about your concerns, so no rush on that! The Zoom message from this side is channeled through our server, directly into the Fibonacci Spiraling Waves using a sub band for data transmission. On your end, in your time, it spins wirelessly into an available server. Then a special command is sent out which detects the program I installed on your computer. The link looks great now, but it is not always stable for streaming, so it’s often better to be done in chunks. The screen may appear frozen from time to time. Just be patient. The messaging will soon restart and get caught up.”

“Well, not surprising Blace. After all, you are a few ‘time zones’ away!” Grace laughed.

“Very funny Grace!” Blace replied. It was now his turn to shake his head. “Now, on to your questions.” Information was shared and solutions were plotted. Blace said not to worry about Mr. Badyal and his comments. According to Blace there would soon be a visitor, and all would be cleared up. Apparently, Mr. Badyal had an important role to play in the future of CLEVER QUICK and in encouraging the pursuit of truth! Blace seemed to have all the angles covered and that had reassured them. It seemed that he had more to share, so they sat and patiently waited for him to continue.

“Glad you reached out to me,” he finally said. “I did want to talk to you about the CLEVER QUICK topic for this week. The ‘Q’ for ‘questioning sources’ is one of the most important of CLEVER QUICK!” Blace began. “The future actually does depend on everyone asking the right questions and listening to the truth, while ignoring the lies and falsehoods. Battling the forces of deception will be the main task for the people of earth for some time to come. With the abundant use of social media and people sharing so many things that aren't true, it’s become incredibly confusing. We've learned in the future to deal with this somewhat better, but it’s still not easy. It’s crazy to think that many folks who cry about ‘fake news’ are ironically the same ones who are using their comments to steer people away from the facts! Politics and attempts to fool people by spreading conspiracy theories dominate the current events in your time. We all have a job to do and that’s sorting truth from all the disinformation. You need to be able to fully utilize all the information that comes your way. Verify truthfulness, double check and cross-reference information, and don’t just believe what is presented, especially on the internet. Realize that with the increased sophistication and use of Artificial Intelligence, known as ‘AI’, it will become more and more difficult to sort the real from the fake. The world is entering a period of reckoning through the coming years. In the future the internet will be better controlled and lies will not be so easily distributed. The safeguards have not yet been set up in your time though, so you need to proceed with great care. Develop your curiosity and maintain skepticism. When confronting those that have made conclusions based on what look like untruths, learn to ask, ‘Why do you believe what you do?’ You're not going to be able to help everyone, but anyone with an open mind could be helped to realize they need to form their conclusions on information that is factual. As soon as you can, watch Video A14. You’ll recognize some of the points I’ve made here. That is, if you were listening!” That brought a chuckle from them all.

Blace went on, “Only share with others what you are sure is true. That advice is good for relationships and friendships as well,” Blace went on, pausing a moment and looking directly at each of them in turn. “Don’t immediately believe things you hear about people. Always seek the truth. Also, don't share things that you hear that may hurt someone, even if there is the possibility that some of it might be true. Before you share anything with others, ask yourself if the words are true, necessary and kind. Seek to raise people up and support others, not drag them down.”

They all sat quietly, reflecting on Blace’s words. They knew he was serious when he talked about how important the ‘Q’ part was going to be in how they went forward in life. It was a lot to take in. The weight of the message seemed to dampen the mood in the room. Soon, Blace changed the topic and went on to describe some new developments from the future.

“You’ll be happy to know that there have been improvements to how MAs, memory adjustments for the ghosting of selected memories, are conducted. I know that you were worried Caleb. They have now started using a flashing pen with mind penetrating light and sound waves. Actually, it was pretty funny. When the scientists came up with it, people couldn’t believe it because it was so much like the tool used in the old Men in Black movie series. You know, that’s probably where they got the idea!” Blace went on. While he was talking, Caleb, Grace and Asher noticed someone approaching Blace from behind. It was Dr. Emma Dazuki. Leaning over Blace’s shoulder, she spoke directly to them.

“Well, greetings to you all! Caleb has told me…,” Dr. Dazuki stopped as she noticed the startled looks. “I suppose I should call him Blace when you folks are around. I may forget though, so be patient. So, I’ll try again. Blace has told me so much about you all. It’s incredible to think about what an effect you are going to have on the world! Good for you. You should be proud.” As she was talking, a cat jumped up and blocked the camera briefly before settling onto a chair next to Blace. “Oh look, our lab cat Zuki has arrived to say hello.” It was at that point that the trio thought there was some audio interference. They leaned forward as they heard a series of meows and then what they thought were the words ‘hello’ and ‘who are you’. Blace’s lips were not moving though.

“I’ll explain later Zuki,” Blace had whispered, reaching over and dumping him off onto the floor. There were a few more meows and the garbled words ‘not fair’ and ‘don’t be so bossy.’ “Well, time to go for now. I’ll be back this coming weekend. Don’t forget to watch Video A14, and good luck with the events of this week. Don’t worry, everything will be fine.” With that, Blace’s face disappeared, and the screen went back to Caleb’s usual desktop.

Grace turned to Caleb and Asher, “Was I imagining things, or did that cat just speak?”

“Probably just static on the transmission. Cats can’t talk,” Asher declared.

“I wonder,” was all Caleb could manage. Blace had once spoken to him about animals talking. “I wonder,” he repeated, barely audibly.

The rest of the week was quite eventful. The earthquake happened, as predicted, and tragedy was averted across the region. With several days warning, all schools and workplaces had been able to make suitable arrangements.

Despite those that refused to believe the reported prediction, most schools and businesses made decisions with safety in mind and located people outside in stable areas away from buildings and other structures during the earthquake. In general, the whole population of the area followed suit. As a result, there had been no loss of life.

The only injuries were to a group who wanted to show that it was only fake news and government overreach that was forcing them to alter their plans for the day. Despite the verified truth of the information, they chose to ignore all the scientific evidence. They had been protesting next to an unreinforced brick wall during the anticipated earthquake time, supposedly to show how sure they were that it was a hoax. Most of them sustained only scrapes and bruises, but a few also had broken bones. The brick wall, predictably, had collapsed on them during the quake.

After watching Video A14, they had much to think about. Caleb, Asher and Grace agreed to meet at the park on Saturday morning to debrief the week and talk about what was coming next.