Dr Carlyle walked slowly into the lab and sank heavily into the chair at her desk. Elbows on the desk, her hands clutching her head, she said, "People, we are in trouble so deep we may never see the sun again."

Heads nodded around the room.

"Anyone have any ideas on damage control?"

There was no possible response. The scientists had done it this time, and they knew it. Not only was it "scientists" in general, but it was the scientists in this very lab who had managed to get all the pre-Change publicity. Faces on television; book contracts; promotions; pop science articles in big name magazines; their names, faces, and history were all over the internet internationally. There had been talk about a shared Nobel Prize. They had gone viral in every sense of the word.

The common cold, annoying scourge of humankind for as long as anyone knew, was such a tempting target. When the scientists had mapped the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, a primitive understanding of the cells involved) well enough to be sure they'd identified the right switches and worked out the incredibly precise process necessary to change them, they realized that they had a potential cure on their hands — if only they could get it into the cells.

Then, when they discovered they could "tailor" a virus to carry the altered DNA into the cells, the excitement was tremendous. And the opportunity irresistible. What harm could it possibly do? And after all, there was no law against experimenting a little, just on themselves...

Unfortunately, the virus somehow mutated slightly (as viruses sometimes do) in the process and got away from them, and a mild plague swept the world, rearranging everyone's DNA. It even included all mammals. No one had another cold, and colds in progress abruptly disappeared. To their surprise, some of the more deadly types of pneumonia and flu also vanished, but they happily took the credit for that as well. That was when the group of scientists announced having caused what people had started calling The Change and all that now-regrettable publicity had happened.

At that time, people began to realize that something else had changed. Without the scientists at all understanding how it could have happened, people could suddenly levitate. Oops! And they could teleport. A few people could almost read minds. Or at least, some nascent sense was coming into play there, though at first no one was quite certain just what it was. It was unreliable enough to call it impossible.

The stock market went insane. Big Oil stocks hit bottom with a resounding thud that was heard around the world. Airlines and railways had nothing but freight to haul — and that only until someone discovered how to teleport inanimate objects. No one needed cars, except as a way to keep the family together while teleporting but holding hands did just as well. The roads were empty, and borders were irrelevant. People simply went wherever they had always wanted to go. It was as easy and natural as throwing and catching a ball. It was as if everyone had always done it.

Localized and virtually unknown diseases suddenly spread world-wide. Martha Jackson, an epidemiologist, and her colleagues were working frantically, while all of the people like Robert March, the customs inspector, Sally Mays, the stewardess, and Dan Jones, a top engineer in the car industry, were hopelessly unemployed.

Homeland Security and the plethora of incestuous agencies under it quickly sank under the weight of their bureaucracies without a trace along with all customs and immigration controls worldwide. Trumps wall rusted and rare butterflies lived in peace.

The use of DNA therapy for anything was forbidden by almost every rich government and its oligarchy. The poorer ones seemed to feel they hadn't anything much to complain about, once they got rid of their dictators.

Time passed.

It took a while, but people found more appropriate ways of earning money — ways that were kinder to Earthmama and to each other. Of course, there were still diseases, poverty, and other problems, but life was definitely improved overall. Both the air and the water had immediately begun cleansing themselves. It would take a while, but the worsening climate change was slowly turning around.

As time went on, things began to settle down again, and of course, a few medical people started whispering to each other, "But... it worked, didn't it? We got rid of a major disease that no one wanted. What about things like diabetes and heart disease? And we were just a small step away from knowing how to prevent cancer!"

You can guess what happened, yes? This time they were very careful in their planning and testing. Someone found the root cause of all cancers and with the environment becoming less toxic, the carefully chosen and secret team was quite certain they could deal with this without another extraordinary side effect. But... they didn't allow for one minor tweak in the virus that had two side effects — one of causing it to remain infectious long after the mild symptoms disappeared and the other, well... this was very quickly noticed.

As all kinds of cancer mysteriously disappeared, the people who had been almost able to read minds, suddenly could. And those who hadn't been able to so began slowly developing a specialized sense that allowed them to become fully aware of any lies spoken in their presence. Slowly (and it was fortunate that this process was slow because the social adjustments were tremendous), all people could tell real truth when they heard it, and knew when information given was incomplete, even when the speaker believed it true. In time, people even knew when their own words were not actually factual and their thinking had been in error. Resist as they might, they couldn't help but know.

It seemed that the malformations in the DNA that had enabled these diseases also held back certain skills. Who knew?

The effects on business multiplied. Churches, the stock market, and most sales organizations closed. High executives went to jail, but of course they just teleported out. However, once free again they found that there was nowhere for them to go. Big banking, the Media, and Big Pharma collapsed. The CEOs and other executives tried to unite with old-style politicians and some preachers to set up their own "privileged" and isolated societies — they had to be isolated because no one else wanted them around. Besides, compulsive lying was no fun at all when no one was ever fooled. The ones who simply couldn't give up the greed, corruption, and lies wound up in small, defensive groups. Normal people worried about this for a while, but in time realized that such groups were shrinking from natural aging and would simply vanish in due course.

The institution of marriage nearly disappeared in a sea of unavoidable awareness and truth. This too seemed a problem for a bit, but the natural parenting instinct present in many people gradually solved that problem as well, and children began to grow up healthy and free of abuse. Birth control became a matter of mutual conscious choice and very few children were born who were unwanted by their parents.

Another half century of adjustment again found medical scientists looking thoughtful and muttering to themselves. They had reached a point of being able to do very subtle things with telekinesis, which opened up many new possibilities. And this time they were certain they could control the hitherto indiscriminate way their adjustments spread. They would, they told each other, only try it on a few of themselves in strict isolation. And they were quite certain there would be no strange side effects at all.

They had checked, double checked, and triple checked, and although they weren't exactly clear on what had caused the astonishing talents to appear, they were absolutely certain that it wouldn't happen again. And anyway, if something happened, all the results had been beneficial once people had made the necessary social and mental adjustments. Really, it had all worked out for the best in the long run, hadn't it?

This time they focused their attention on heart disease, after finding to their surprise that there was a single root cause to all problems with blood, heart, veins, arteries, and all the rest of the circulatory system. In one fell swoop, they could get all of it sorted out and healthy.

Again, the process took some time, which was just as well. As people Changed and became more heart-whole, they found that heart-whole meant more than just physically and had something to do with loving kindness. They also began to sense shadowy figures around. Long-mourned loves began to reappear — parents, lovers, lost children, beloved pets, and others missed had returned. So had those who had mysteriously disappeared — the lost at sea, the runaways never found, and even the murdered. This didn't cause the huge social turmoil one might have expected — and of course, the spirit people had already known what really had happened. Knowing the truth had already sorted a lot of it out and given most of the dead a much better understanding of both forgiveness and compassion and that helped the living to heal as well.

The scientists took a deep breath of relief because no one was seriously outraged this time. Compared to the terrible tribulations they had managed to eliminate, what remained didn't seem too bad. Even dying didn't seem such a big problem when you knew you'd get to stick around ever after.

There were still some mental illnesses around, especially those that were physically based. Knowing truth had pretty well banished illusion and the kinds of crippling misunderstandings that used to be rife. Things like malaria and bubonic plague nearly disappeared due to better education and prevention. But various diseases still remained, and a few perfectionists still wanted to cure everything that ailed humankind. They didn't want to settle for "almost" and kept in close communication with each other, which was easy with teleportation and telepathy.

Oddly enough, the Ultimate DNA switches were found buried in the subtle energy forms of what the ancients had called the chakra system — a subtle energy body within and around each creature that regulated the function of body, mind, and soul and kept everything in balance. (There weren't any more arguments about "souls" now what with everyone's great-great grandparents strolling around.) At first the scientists were puzzled about these energy bodies, but then one remembered the ancient legends about "enlightenment" and the "mystical experience" which scientists had always been considered a primitive and... well... unenlightened superstition. However, it turned out to be literal truth and an essential part of all living things.

The science group had to consult some people they didn't quite approve of, but they managed to work out what needed to change in these energy bodies interlocked with the physical — and most importantly, they thought they'd dismissed all of the mumbo jumbo and got down to the basics of what was real. They were quite positive that they would get exactly the results they wanted regardless of the results of previous scientists. This time they had it.

There are things in people that typically don't change easily. The methods of "scientific thought" tend to lead in certain directions and produce certain kinds of thinking. One unwritten assumption was that all knowledge is good, and therefore all curiosity must be satisfied. A bit of basic logic might have made them question that, but logic was old-fashioned and not a "hard science." Another assumption is that other modes of thinking are not up to par and can't be trusted, so in any argument the scientific thinker will be always right. Q.E.D.

But when the dust began to settle this time. and everyone could fully understand that "All is One, and that One is God" wasn't just something a few deluded people said but instead was the exact and literal truth. God, of course, was not what was recognized by any religion but something beyond comprehension — the All That Is. Lesser gods, saints, and buddhas truly roamed the world, hitherto mostly unseen. It became evident that miracles were everyday things — some small, some large. Some of the oldest gods were quite hard to tell from the aliens — who were also One with us. It didn't take people long to discover that they could teleport to Neptune and upon arrival they could instantly, almost automatically become a Neptunian and feel quite at home.

The people who found this the most difficult to adjust to were the ones who had been so certain that they and they alone understood the existence (or absence) and the nature of god — the All That Is.

People, even scientists, also learned that just because you could, it didn't necessarily mean you should do something. That was one of the littlest things they learned. All this advanced knowledge had been crammed into a a generation or two instead of a million or so years. Talk about culture shock? Still they had no excuse to linger in that state, but were expected, cosmically speaking, to become good galactic citizens. After all, somewhere out there, other galaxies were spinning around and no one yet knew what the rules there might be — except god/dess and god/dess wasn't saying although some advanced mystics said they felt a sense of infinite merriment.

Would it give you more or less hope for the future if all of this turned out to be true? Enjoy your day! Tomorrow is always new.

Copyright ©2019 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

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