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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 97: Hastings 163
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 96: Beam 26
Doctor Conway did not come the next day, nor the day after. Early on the afternoon of the third day, Lauren asked one of her caregivers about it. He seemed hesitant to respond.
“I believe,” he said, “your case is under review?”
“Under review? What’s that mean? Under review by who?”
“The Committee for Public Safety.”
Lauren raised one eyebrow and stared. “Public safety? What have I got to do with public safety?”
“You believe in life after death.”
Lauren laughed. “Of course I do. Quite apart from the fact that Jesus died and rose again, I’ve died several times and am alive again.”
“Doctor Conway has been arguing that that’s just part of your complex delusional construct, that you believe you died and have lived in other worlds. As long as it’s just something you think, you can be classed a harmless mental patient. But you’ve been trying to get people to believe in life after death.”
“Well, everyone knows that’s against the law. Something like, ‘promulgation of dangerous ideas incorporating supernaturalism.’”
“So then, what? Are they going to fine me or something?”
He turned away, and shook his head. “I’ve probably said too much already. It might be nothing at all, if Doctor Conway persuades them you’re just harmlessly deluded.”
“I can’t say, really,” he said. “My grandfather use to tell stories of mass executions of religious cultists, but I don’t think there have been any in my lifetime. Everyone knows that there’s no life after death, no supernatural world. It’s very much against the law to suggest otherwise.”
She smirked. “Of course, just because it’s against the law to say it doesn’t mean it isn’t true,” she said. “I mean, think about it: if it were really a harmless delusion, why would it be illegal?”
“I can’t really talk with you about this,” he said. “I’ll have the orderlies come escort you to the bathroom in a few minutes.”
She tried to continue the conversation, but he left the room in something of a rush.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twelve other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #310: Versers Mobilize. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: