Authors: John Hulme
Tags: #ebook, #book
John Hulme and Michael Wexler
To Everyone Who Believed
DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS, THE SEEMS
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Ever since the beginning of Time, people have endeavored to understand what makes The World tick. How does it work? Where did it come from? And most of all, who built it in the first place?
Charles Darwin had a theory, which he called “evolution.” Plato told his students it was just a play of shadows on the wall. And Buddha said that life is suffering, so you might as well have fun.
Confucius, Galileo, Black Elk, Einstein, Jung, Al-Kindi— prophets and visionaries all—each of whom contributed to the greater understanding of The World we live in today.
Unfortunately, all of them were wrong.
Village of Covas, Minho, Portugal
The sun beat mercilessly on Alvarro Gutierrez as he reached down and let the parched earth slip through his fingers. All around him the soil was dry and lifeless, his crops browned and withering.
Dame la barra que adivina, Sancho.
” (Give me the divining rod, Sancho.)
Alvarro’s six-year-old son handed him the ancient twig that was naturally the shape of a fork. The farmer gripped the ends and held them close to his body, then extended the stem outward and performed the time-honored ritual of divination. He knew in his heart that the rumors of an underground spring were just that—rumors—but he had to try something. Or else . . .
“Nothing.” Alvarro tossed the stick aside in disgust. “There is nothing there.”
Sancho’s eyes fell to the ground.
“What are we going to do, Poppa?”
Alvarro gathered himself, for he knew it scared Sancho to see him so beaten. He still hoped to pass this land on to the boy someday, as his father had done to him, and his father before that. All told, this farm had been home to the Gutierrez family for nine generations, but if another harvest was lost, the shared dreams of his ancestors would come to an end with him.
“Don’t worry, Sancho. The rain will come.” Alvarro forced a smile. “You’ll see, the rain will come.”
But the sky was clear and blue.
Rain Tower, Department of Weather, The Seems
Becker Drane had barely stepped onto the roof of the skyscraper, when the Station Chief was already in his face.
“You’re late.” The supervisor’s tie was undone and sweat beaded off his brow. “Didn’t they tell you to get here ASAP?”
“I’m sorry—there was nothing I could do.”
This was the truth, but the details were too embarrassing to share. Becker had been stuck at Rachel Adler’s bat mitzvah at The Pines Manor and there was no way to get away without being spotted by a rabbi or chaperone. But that was no excuse, especially at a time like this.
“Is my Fixer here yet?”
“Already up top, with three of my best men.”
Becker glanced skyward. An elevator shaft led high into the air and ended at the top of a gigantic wooden water tower. Stenciled on the side in fading blue paint was the hallowed symbol of this department—clouds parting in front of a radiant sun.
“Hurry up, kid,” begged the Chief. “If we don’t get this back online, we’re gonna have another Gobi on our hands!”
Without a second thought, Becker was locking the cage of the rickety lift and pushing the lever toward “Up.” At twelve years, six months, and eleven days, he was the youngest Briefer on the Duty Roster, but that did not exempt him from the rigors of the job. Today, he had been called into Weather because a large amount of Rain Water earmarked for the Iberian Peninsula had failed to reach its destination, and the cause remained unknown. In situations such as these, a specialist was called in—a member of an elite corps, who could get the job done when no one else could.