A Surprising Revelation
Bishop Leber escorted Tim through an unmarked door in the side of the Sanctuary. They entered a well lighted corridor which seemed to parallel the side of the room they had just left, yet seemed to slope slightly downward. It continued for what seemed to Tim an impossible distance, much further than the length of the room where the Archbishop had questioned him.
After what seemed to Tim to be at least one thousand meters they stopped and the Bishop turned to what looked like a blank wall. After looking both ways he reached into his flowing robes and brought out a small device about three centimeters in circumference. Placing it against the wall he gave it one quarter turn first one way then the other.
To Tim’s amazement, the wall seemed to simply disappear.An opening sufficient for a man to walk through developed. The Bishop urged Tim to step through into darkness. After the Bishop followed Tim through the opening it closed as quietly as it had opened. It was then that Tim noticed a row of lights in the floor leading off into the distance.
They had been walking in silence since Bishop Leber had dismissed Tim’s guards. He now spoke to Tim but his voice was totally different than before. No longer did he use the harsh, demanding tone directed to the guards. His speech was soft, almost melodic, and friendly.
“We are always on the lookout for people like you. Those who are not afraid to stand up to those who try to oppress them, those who are certain of their own belief, those will not let anyone, even an Archbishop, sway them from that belief. We have carefully checked your background and know you have been falsely accused. You will be tested further. If you pass you will become a member of our organization. If you fail, no one will ever know what happened to you.”
Tim’s senses were reeling. He suspected this was some type of trick to get him to commit an act that would truly be heresy. In his malnourished state his brain simply could not comprehend what the Bishop had just said. “What did you say?”
“To keep it as simple as possible,” said the Bishop “I am recruiting you to assist in overthrowing the tyranny we have all lived under for way too long.”
“B – b – but, Bishop, that’s treason!”
“No Tim, it’s not treason. It’s fighting to return this Country to what it is supposed to be: A land where we are free, free to worship as God truly wants us to worship. We are working to restore the right to worship, and yes, to not worship, as we truly believe, without the fear of someone reporting us to the tyrants who want nothing more than to seize our possessions and thus further enrich the Church, and in so doing also enrich themselves far beyond what is reasonable.”
The Bishop paused and placed a hand gently on Tim’s shoulder. “The Church leaders have distorted God’s Word. They have tainted the political process so that it is impossible for someone who is not a ranking member of the Church to be elected to any office. They have restricted the study of history to the point where people no longer know how this Country was for over two and a half centuries. We are working to restore the rights that the original Constitution of the United States of America guaranteed. And don’t call me Bishop! My name is Ron.”
“I have to admit, I’m confused. I’m afraid this is just a trick to get me to confess to something I’ve never done.”
“No trick, Tim, but I must warn you, you know enough now that unless you are fully with us we cannot allow you any opportunity to expose us. For now though, let’s get some decent food in your belly, get you a good night’s sleep, and get you some clean clothes. You have a lot to learn. I sincerely hope you make the grade. We need all the strong, intelligent, truly moral, people we can find. And we really specifically need YOU.”
They had continued walking while Ron was speaking. Now they stopped before another set of doors. Ron once again produced his device that had activated the secret door and held it against a small depression in the wall. The doors opened to reveal a small room. Tim was shocked when it felt like the floor dropped beneath his feet. He could tell they were descending rapidly, but he had no idea how far they dropped. When the fall stopped the door opened to a completely different view. Stepping out of the small roomTim found a table with a meal already prepared and ready for them.
The meal far surpassed his expectations. There was a real steak, real vegetables, and even some freshly baked bread. Items he could not have afforded even before he had been pulled from home in the middle of the night to be brought before Archbishop Rand. After the meal he was shown a room with an extremely comfortable bed. Tim was sound asleep within seconds.
When Tim awoke he found he had been provided with clean clothes. To his surprise, they were the correct size to fit him. The room also had toilet facilities, a shower, a mirror, and a wash basin with shaving supplies.
Cleaned and groomed he tried the door, expecting to find it locked. To his amazement it opened easily and he stepped through to find several people sitting at a table having breakfast.
Ron was one of those present, but Tim didn’t recognize him without his Bishop’s robe until Ron called out, “Welcome to the land of the living. Sit down and load up.”
Conversation during the meal was lively. Topics ranged from history, to politics, to economics, and even religion. Opinions were presented forcefully, but without malice. No one seemed to get upset when someone disagreed with them. All seemed to be having a good time. Tim was completely confused and baffled. Such conversation in public around his home would have resulted in the entire group being hauled before the Archbishop.
During a lull in the conversation Ron spoke up, “Friends, let me introduce you to Tim. He has a lot to learn and you,” he looked around at those present, “are going to be his teachers.”
“But first,” he looked directly at Tim, “I know you are wondering just where we are. We are in a secret bunker constructed in the early part of the 21st century by a group of extremely wealthy business men. They were sometimes referred to as the ‘1 percenters.’ Their income was substantially higher than the other 99 per cent of the population. In fact they controlled more than 95 percent of the entire wealth of the nation.
“At that time the world situation was looking very grim. You’ll learn more about that in your history lessons. With their great wealth they were able to secretly construct this bunker, and many others, to provide protection in case of an all out war. Power is provided by uniquely designed nuclear power plants that use the energy produced to operate cooling systems that do not rely on flowing water. This means the entire complex is totally self sufficient with no need for any input from outside sources.”
“Everything in here is manufactured or grown from raw materials extracted from the rocks as the system is being continually enlarged. Even this process is done automatically and controlled by computer systems.”
Tim interrupted “You mean to say that wasn’t really a steak I ate before I fell asleep?”
“Oh, it was a real steak alright. We just don’t have to grow a whole cow in order to grow a steak. But to continue, the expected war never came, so this project was abandoned and, once the Church gained total control, forgotten. However, since it was designed to be totally self contained it was being constantly maintained and enlarged. Without any human intervention it should last at least another 500 years or more.”
By this time Tim was wondering if this was all a dream. Was he actually back in his cell and going crazy? Could this all be real? The idea of a rebellion seemed impossible. How could this small group ever hope to get enough power to rise against the Church? Could he trust these people? These and many other questions chased each other around in his mind almost convincing him that he really was insane.
Sensing Tim’s confusion Ron said, “I know this is a lot to comprehend right now. It will all become clearer as you learn about our plans.” Reaching into his pocket and pulling out a flat disc about four cm in diameter he handed it to Tim. “You are free to explore this area as much as you like, but you will not be able to operate any of the openings that lead to the outside. The passage ways and rooms get rather confusing. This will always lead you back here. Just hold it in front of you and follow the arrow.
“And this,” he said handing Tim what looked like a rolled up piece of paper “will start your education. It’s the latest thing in information technology. It’s a complete computer with access to all the currently available data stored in our systems.”