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Title: Shadows of Prediction Author: Blayne Scott (Ernie)

"This world's going to hell..." the old man commented. He sat in a cramped apartment kitchenette, at a small shabby table.

The woman across from him simply looked up from buttering her bread, and gave him a slightly disproving look.

"This world, he continued "is weighing its self down with corruption. Our country is falling apart. The riots continue to get worse and more violent. It's like the march for a one world government is a political juggernaut. It can't be stopped."

The woman continued buttering her bread, seemingly oblivious to her husbands banter.

"We've all tried to alter things. Politics, religion, but every time we turn to democracy, it is overridden by the old ideals. It's not quite like communism, but it's fast approaching a dictatorship. That one fellow on the news net last week... the Prime Minister had him arrested for protesting Bill C-114. It trounced all over his religion's rights, and he made a stand. Now, who knows what happened to him?"

The old man paused, and took a drink of water from a nearby glass.

"People idly stand by because they feel they can't do anything. There so accepting of new laws, new restrictions on their lives because it mimics government of years ago. But this new government is different Anne. And it seems only I, and those poor rioters can see it."

"Life's passing me by, dear."

The woman simply smiled, and set down her bread and butter knife. She began knitting.

"I feel like I'm in an oar-less boat with nothing but a piece of rope floating ahead of me in a stream. I have no control over my life, helpless to change anything in the world.

I see the way of things to come, but that brings me little hope."

Still holding the water within the glass, he watched as the dim light from the window played across the liquids surface.

"I remember those "Popular Science" magazines from long ago. I know, it was likely before your time, Anne. They made promises of flying cars every few years, and other empty statements. Their slow conversion from the print media to the digital was so gradual, so easy, the public never noticed. Not until they were all sitting in the subways reading sheets of fiber optic composite, each with it's own tracking system."

The old man put down the glass of water.

"That was the beginning of the end."

His wife froze at this statement.

"We can only accept the future if it disguises it's self as the past".

The image of Anne began to flicker, and then was gone.

It had been twelve years since his wife died. He had purchased the Holo projector one night on the Home Shopping Net, and used extrapolated modeling software to reconstruct her from photos and old video files.

The old man sighed, and looked out into the dark, starless night sky. Some men would give anything to live forever. There existed a disadvantage of immortality for Arther Frain. The reality of being forced to live onward into a dark, and uncertain future.

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