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“What are you talking about?” Steve silently mouthed.

“This cell is bugged,” Shelly silently mouthed to Steve.

Meanwhile, Lt. Lyric was in his office, listening to the conversation. The point of putting the humans in a cell was let them talk among themselves, in an attempt to gather evidence. While Lyric was listening to the humans’ conversation, he thought to himself that maybe the humans didn’t bomb the hotel. On the other hand, it couldn’t have been a coincidence that they’ve landed on Terra one day of the attack.

“If the humans blew up the hotel, why would they still be in there?” Lt. Lyric asked himself. “They’re not suicide bombers.”

As Lt, Lyric continued to listen to the humans’ conversation, he received an incoming message on his computer.

Hello,

This is Solomon, the manager of the Midnight Star Hotel. I was looking over my records and I’ve noticed that a few Country Dwellers checked into the hotel two days before somebody bombed the fourth floor. This could be a clue, but I’m not sure.

Best regards, Solomon.

Lt. Lyric was sure that the humans were innocent at that point. He realized that it was the Country Dwellers who bombed the hotel.

Meanwhile, The Crew were still in the cell.

“I’m so bored, I might start praying,” Sarah said.

“I had no idea you were religious,” Michael said.

“Yeah, my parents raised me as a Muslim.”

“Really.”

“Yeah, why?”

“Why would you be a part of a religion that commands you to kill all non-Muslims?”

“No, it doesn’t. That’s a stereotype people have of Muslims.”

“Do you have a copy of the Quran?”

“No.”

“That’s convenient.”
“What’s that supposed mean?”

“You’re religion commands you to kill people.”

“Christianity does the same thing.”

“Yes, but most Christians don’t kill in the name of God.”

“Most Muslims don’t kill in the name of Allah either.”

“But there are far too many that do. And it’s because of your holy book. That fact that you don’t see this makes you the problem.”

“Yeah, I’m the problem, even though I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“You are a part religion that commands you to kill innocent people.”

“Okay. Let’s assume I’m ‘the problem’. How are you going to solve it?”

“We ban that death cult you call a religion and kick all Muslim immigrants out of the country.”

“Brilliant! You want to ban a religion,which goes against the constitution.”

“Muslims are trying to replace our constitution with Sharia Law, anyway.”

“Some Muslims are. But don’t lump me in with those people.”

“How can I not? Muslim terrorists have killed far too many innocent people.”

“And far too many of those innocent people are Muslim!”

A brief, but tense silence filled the cell.

“Muslim terrorists murder innocent people in the name of Allah,” Sarah said. “They even use the Quran to justify it. But these terrorists have taken the Quran out of context for far too long. That doesn’t change the fact that most Muslims don’t condone terrorism, we condemn it. And like I said, terrorists kill Muslims and non-Muslims alike. But you don’t care about Muslims getting killed by terrorists, no. You only care about non-Muslims getting killed.

“Also, banning Islam and kicking Muslim immigrants out of Canada will not solve the problem. For one thing, people will still practice Islam in secret. And if we ban a religion and kick people out for being Muslim, Canada would be one step closer to becoming a totalitarian country. As for Sharia Law goes, like I said, not all Muslims want that. Canada’s constitution gives me the freedom to be an openly gay Muslim. Why would I want to give that up?”

Lt. Lyric opened the cell.
“You’re all free to go,” Lyric said.

“I thought you were going to question us,” Shelly said.

“I was. But my men found enough evidence that proves your innocence.”

“Well, thank you,” Angel said.

“What do we do now?” Melody said as she and everybody else walked out of the cell. “Sarah and I still want a wedding here.”

“You still can.”

“Okay. But where will we sleep?”

“The ship.”

“How can we get married when innocent people were just killed in a terrorist attack?” Sarah asked.

“About 10 people were killed, and 30 were injured,” Lt. Lyric said. “Those numbers are expected to rise.”

“There’s got to be something we can do.”

“Unfortunately, there isn’t.”

“I understand.”

The Crew returned to the ship.

“I wonder who attacked the hotel?” Sarah asked.

“I don’t know,” Angel said. “But we can use the reality engine to find out.”

The Crew headed to the bridge and Angel opened a door that nobody had noticed before. Behind that door, was the reality engine control room. Using the reality engine, they all saw two male Country Dwellers disguising themselves as City Dwellers. They checked into the hotel and they planted bombs in their rooms.

“If we turn back time, how do we stop this attack from happening?” Sarah asked.

“What if one of us pull the fire alarm before the attack happens?” Melody suggested.

“You’ll get caught on the security cameras and you’ll get into trouble,” Angel said. “And you can’t tell anyone we had foreknowledge of the attack.”

“What if we turn back time and try to stop these people from checking in?” Allison suggested.
“If we turn back time, to prevent the attack from happening, then we’ll have no reason to go back in time to prevent the attack from happening, since it never happened. Therefore, we’re back to square one,” Angel said. “But we could use the ship to travel back in time and stop these men from checking in. But we can’t go back to the same point in time twice.”

“Will it be safer if we go back earlier in time, like a week?” Shelly asked.

“Yes it would,” Angel said. “But it will still cause a grandfather paradox….I think.”

“Shouldn’t we know why they attacked the hotel before we do anything?” Allison asked.

“That’s a good idea,” Angel said.

Angel used the reality engine to see the two men before they checked into the hotel. They both lived on a farm.

“We will please Terra,” one of the men said.

“They’ve killed people because of religion,” Shelly said.

This reminded Sarah of her fight with Michael. “Maybe we should read their scriptures,” Sarah said. “That might help us somehow.”

“I doubt it,” Steve said.

“It might help. I’ll go back to the church and get a copy of their holy book.”

Sarah went back to the church to get a copy of their holy book, The Verum. When Sarah returned, Angel photocopied several more copies of the book for The Crew to read.

*****

In the beginning, there was Terra, who came from afar. She created two lesser gods: Selena, the goddess of the moon; and Sol, the god of the sun.

Together they’ve created a planet called Terra. Terra, Selena, and Sol also created life on the planet, which evolved over many aeons. Throughout the aeons, the gods saw the people of Terra commit many sins. So, they have written the Golden Code.

The Golden Code.

1. Let people live by their desires.

2. Do not harm anybody unless it’s self-defense or in defense of your loved ones.

3. Do not harm children. When it comes to children, do not confuse discipline with abuse.

4. Do not harm animals unless it’s for food or in self-defense.

5. Do not murder anybody.

6. Do not cheat.

7. Do not steal.

8. Do not rape.

9. Do not put yourself in equal footing with the deities.

10. Engage in right speech:no lying, no rude speech, no telling one person what another says about him.

11. Be faithful to the your lover. But if you can’t, then leave.

12. Honour your family members, unless they dishonour you.

13.When in another’s home, show respect or else leave.

14. Make contributions to society throughout your life.

15. All will suffer the consequences for their actions, either in this life, or the next. However, the consequences are only temporary.
The Crew spent several hours reading the Verum from cover to cover.

“This book has an interesting view of the afterlife,” Shelly said.

“Let me get this straight,” Sarah said. “Death is just like sleeping and the afterlife is like a dream?”

“Pretty much.”

“How can you dream if you’re dead?”

“Because according to the Verum,” Allison said, “your conscience manifest into its own entity, almost like a soul.”

“So, when you die, spend time in your own private heaven or hell,” Sarah said.

“I don’t understand,” Steve said.

“Why do people dream? Actually, here’s a better question: have you’ve ever had a nightmare because of a guilty conscience?”

“No.”

“Well, some people do. To me, that’s an example of being in your own private hell.”

“So, when you die, your conscience is still having a nightmare. But since you’re dead, it’s basically their own version of hell.”

“Pretty much.”

“I can only imagine what my dad’s personal hell will be like when he’s gone.”

“Don’t you think we should talk about the violence in the book?” Angel asked.

“Yeah, these gods gave the people rules to follow, but most of the don’t follow the rules,” Michael said. “They commit violent acts of violence in the name of the gods.”

“Violent acts of violence.”

“Right.”

“Speaking of violence, here’s what I don’t understand,” Steve said. “This book tells the stories of parents who abused their kids. These parents broke the 7th rule of The Golden Code, and yet they’ve never suffered the consequences for their actions.”

“They never suffered the consequences in this life,” Alex said. “But that doesn’t mean they haven’t suffered in the next life. The Verum never mentioned anything about their deaths.”

In addition to The Crew spending several hours reading The Verum, they’ve spent a couple of hours discussing the book as well.

“This was a total waste of time,” Michael said. “Although, the character, Selena is funny. She never shows her face because her beauty would cause people to explode. Am I the only one who finds this funny?”

“Yes,” Allison said.

“Oh, you don’t find anything funny.”

“No, you’re not funny. You never were and you never will be.”

“And to think we were getting along so well.”

“Shut-up.”

“What did you say to me? You started it.”

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