Iron Rose Bleeding

Chapter 6

Anne Azel

To: Inga, Lisa, and Susan, thanks for your help.

The Anne Azel's World web site is now found at

Note To The Reader: All the information used in this story about trends and concerns on our planet is current and accurate data. In the next fifty years, our world will change completely.

These are the events as we know them.

We recorded them factually and objectively.

And now we report them to you.

Courtney Hunter had been raised in a series of foster homes after her parents had been killed in a car accident. Her parents had been free spirits - artists who traveled a lot and lived comfortably, but from day to day. Orphaned at twelve, there were no relatives or savings to support Courtney. Once she had worked through the pain and anger of the loss of her parents, she had made up her mind that she was going to find all the security she could in a steady career and remain unattached and independent. Never again was she going to be left alone and unprotected. This was how she explained her life later after the Geneva incident. Now she simply explained to Tap that she was trying to pay her student loan off as quickly as she could and had very little money.

She lived in a small apartment over a Middle East restaurant. Four cardboard boxes packed neatly but tightly took care of her belongings. Tap approved of her minimized life style. She was not surprised by the living conditions of her employee. Social stratification was something that Tap had read a good deal about and understood instinctively. If she felt anything at the struggle that Courtney had experienced to get where she was, it was respect that the young archivist had met her goals.

They left. Others arrived shortly after and carried through Tap's orders. The landlord was paid off. The apartment was emptied of all traces of Courtney's occupation and her meager and basic furniture taken and incinerated. Then the room was scrubbed from top to bottom with bleach and sprayed with a human blood agent. It would be virtually impossible now to isolate and identify Courtney Hunter's DNA or finger prints.

At the same time her bank accounts were transferred several times and then disappeared completely. Her name was deleted from government files, school, and university records and even her driver's licence, social security number and tax returns ceased to exist. No detail of Courtney Hunter's life was overlooked, right down to her membership with Amnesty International, her doctor and drug store records and her library card. By the time Courtney Hunter was spreading out their lunch at the park, she had creased to exist outside of her physical form.

This she did not know just as she did not know that she had been identified for termination or that she was now a subject which Tap studied. None of this she would know until much later. This would prove to be a problem.

Courtney smiled. "I asked in the kitchen what you prefer to eat so there will be no sniffing and turning up your nose."

Tap lay in the sun soaking up its warmth with enjoyment. Nearby Mallard ducks and swans swam on a lake. It was a pretty spot. The human race lived in small box warrens and yet built parks where they could be free. Their contradictory need for confinement and wish for freedom at the same time was a complex phenomenon.

Tap forced herself not to sniff her food even though she would have liked to. She would enjoy her food much better if she could smell it first. She was not sure why this bothered Courtney. It was one of the things she wished to understand. At least today the food was closer to her liking. She spooned some of the spicy grain porridge on to her plate and then dipped one of the raw vegetables in the mix and bit off a bite. To her surprise Courtney followed suit.

"You do not have to eat as I do."

"I didn't think I would like it but I do. A bit crunchy and rather hot but flavourful and certainly good for you. Do you always eat like this?"

"At my home, yes. Tell me what you learned from your reading."

Courtney frowned. "There seem to be disturbing patterns and trends. There is evidence that the polar caps are shifting if not thinning. The impact of this could be catastrophic in the years to come. The oceans rising only a few inches could flood many low elevation islands, coastal lowlands, and countries such as Bangladesh. Even island cities like New York and Montreal would be in great danger of flooding."

Tap said nothing. She was content to lie in the sun and listen to how much Courtney had absorbed and what bias she would put on the information.

"There is some geological evidence to support the hypothesis that the earth never really came out of the last glaciation. In fact, while the coastal regions of the polar caps seem to be melting the ice covering Antarctica has actually thickened. This period might simply be an inter glacial period of some two hundred thousand years that we are enjoying. If that is the case, what we should observe is a rise in ocean levels as the polar caps melt. This would result in greater evaporation rates and cloud cover. The clouds would hold the solar heat in, raising temperatures and causing the caps to melt quicker. It would start to snow more at the poles thickening the ice that would form new glaciers over time. These would inch forward over the land, lowering sea levels and temperature once again."

Tap shrugged. "This is nothing new and it is a slow process that planet Earth has gone through at least three times before."

Courtney stood and carried some apple slices down to feed to the ducks. "Air pollution and the damage to the ozone layer are speeding up the process. Some scientist believe that by the year 2025 we will be beyond the point of no return. Even if we stop all emissions today the material already in the air will continue to rise and eat away at the ozone layer for well over another hundred years. Some scientist believe that planet Earth is dying."

A smile almost made it to Tap's lips. She was pleased that Courtney has absorbed the basic information quickly and repeated it in a fair and objective manner.

Then Courtney surprised her. "It is pretty depressing reading. What do you mean to do?"


"Yes. You are gathering all this data. What do you mean to do with it? How can you help?"

Tap closed her eyes again and let the heat of the sun radiate through her. "I can not help. I simply observe and record."

"For whom? Your work seems pointless if you don't plan to use your data to help in long term planning."

"Do you understand chaos theory? In dealing with an infinite amount of possibilities, it is impossible to predict a pattern. Even the smallest element in combination with others can change the course of events."

Courtney frowned. She did understand chaos theory. It had grown out of early attempts to use satellites to track and predict weather. In the early sixties, scientists would brag that they would soon be able to accurately forecast the weather for weeks to come. What they learned was that they could only make educated guesses. Mother Nature was complex and therefore unpredictable. "If you have the information, you need to be making people aware of it so that they can work to change things for the better."

Tap sat up and looked at Courtney with serious eyes. "Societies, too, are huge systems that generate their own events chaotically. All the information I have on file is available to anyone with the education and knowledge to access it. Global warming is a concept known by most people but they are powerless to change all the things that would be necessary to change in order to make any impact. And then what impact would they make? Events that form the universe's fate are so complex as to appear random."

"That is a very pessimistic view. I am sure that there are people who are working with dedication to deal with these issues. The human race is resourceful."

Tap watched as Courtney threw bits of vegetables to the flock of ducks that now crowded near the shore.

"Oh yes, there is much going on. A new world order is just around the corner. I wish to record these events. There is much merit in keeping good records."

Tap stood and hesitantly she took some vegetables and fed them to the ducks that gathered around Courtney. A large swan with two young cygnets following her waddled up on shore, its graceful beauty now reduced by earthbound gravity. It was a huge bird. Tap threw it some scraps. It dropped its long neck and scooped up the offerings and waddled closer.

"Why did you enter the red zone without authority?"

Courtney turned to look at Tap. "I told you. You fascinate me. I want to know who I am working for and what you are up to."

"I fascinate you but this fascination is not of a sexual nature?" Tap enquired, as she absently dropped scraps to the birds around her. This was surprising. Tap was rarely unaware of what was going on around her. Things were changing just as unpredictably as chaos theory would indicate.

Courtney blushed. "What does that have to do with anything?" A question can be a tool for avoidance. Courtney was avoiding a topic she did not feel comfortable in pursuing.

It was at this point that Tap got between the swan and its cygnets. With a loud honk the massive bird spread its wings and came at the startled woman. "Tap, watch out!" Courtney warned, and pushed the taller woman out of harm's way. Courtney slipped and was aware as she fell of white wings and a pecking beak.

The next instant there was only the warm sensation of floating in a tranquil sea of energy. She was not floating. She had no form. She was not suspended in but part of the current around her.

It was a strange world of sensations and yet one that seemed distantly familiar. She was aware that she was not alone and yet she could not sense any form near her. What she could sense was a joining. A being a part of something that was separate and yet part of her.

The next instant, she felt herself suddenly confined and weighed down. She gasped for breath and found herself lying in Tap's arms on the grass. Her confinement was her own body and the weight the air that she breathed. "You are alright, Courtney Hunter?"

Courtney was anything but alright. She felt disorientated, queasy, and short of breath. The latter sensation had a lot to do with being cradled in the strong arms of Taylor Alexandria Punga. "I think so. What happened?"

"The swan attacked me and you leapt in front. Perhaps you were knocked out." There are so many ways to avoid truth. A suggestion can lead others away from enlightenment or towards it. Truth is rarely a tangible element but a slowly changing perspective.

Courtney shifted in Tap's arms, forcing her reluctant body to move away from the safe warm arms that held her so gently. She looked around. The ducks and swan were swimming a good distance off as they had been when they had first arrived. How long had she been unconscious?

"I'm okay now. I'm sorry I worried you."

"I was not worried," Tap responded. "Once again, you have come to my aid. I was not aware that swans could be so violent. Are you hurt?"

"No, I'm fine. I don't suppose the swan would have done much damage but swans and geese are very territorial and are strong enough to break bones if they are angry." Gingerly, Courtney got to her feet and looked around. The left over vegetables sat in a plastic container on the grass. Had they not thrown all the scraps to the birds? Her eyes wandered back to the ducks and swan swimming some distance away. Something just didn't feel right.

She turned to look at Tap who now stood watching her closely with interested eyes. "What really happened?"

Tap shook her head. "We must be getting back. I have much to do. I thank you for this picnic. It was most interesting."

For a minute, Courtney stood her ground looking with hard, cold eyes at Tap. Then she turned without a word and started to pack up the picnic remains. Tap did not help but stood quietly by, watching. She noted later that she had been deeply shaken by the events but had tried her best not to show any reaction. What had happened was totally out of her realm of knowledge and experience. What was important was keeping these events secret.

They walked together to the car in silence. It was only when Courtney had slung the knapsack into the back seat and got into the car that Tap spoke again. "I would appreciate it if you did not make any mention of the swan incident or your being unconscious. I do not want security to over react as they have a tendency to do."

"All right,"Courtney agreed, as the old car started with difficulty. Then she turned and looked Tap square in eye. "But I will expect to hear the truth about what happened here today as soon as possible."

They drove back to Tap's estate without any further talk, and Tap quickly excused herself and disappeared into her quarters.

What has happened?

We sense your distress.

Are you well?

"I am fine. Courtney Hunter is very unpredictable. This will prove to be a very interesting opportunity but one that will be stressful. Leave me." Alone Tap finally allowed the events of the day to impact on her completely. They shook her to the core of her being. She would have to be careful. She knew there was an informer in her organization.

Something has happened.

We must proceed with great caution.

There is an enemy in our midst.

Chapter 7

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