Chapter 1 Gabriel
Gabriel sat in his leather chair behind his big desk, with his feet up on his desk. He had alligator shoes on and was admiring them. The fire was burning in the oversized fireplace, and the windows surrounding his office showed a skyline of high rise buildings glowing like pink crystals in the sunset. He took a cigar from a metal case and rolled it in his hands for a few minutes holding it up to his nose and smelling it occasionally. It smelled sweet with a musky scent that lingered. He took a glass and a bottle from his desk and poured himself a drink. He swiveled the drink in his glass and put it up to his nose to enjoy the fragrance. He took a sip and enjoyed the aftertaste left in his mouth. He lit his cigar and took a drag inhaling the smoke deep and keeping it in for a while. He let the smoke slowly out through his nostrils and took a swig from his glass. Then he sighed a sigh of utter contentment as if he was high up in heaven. He was the newly appointed CEO of the most profitable company in the history of mankind, Heaven Inc. sitting in the penthouse office on the 666th floor.
Garbriel looked in the mirror. He had a white shirt with an open collar unbuttoned to reveal his black hairy chest and his thick black suspenders. He had a face as black as his hat over his bleached white curly hair. And his walking cane made him look like a pantomime artist mimicking Charlie Chaplin.
Gabriel was a bachelor playboy who before he became CEO was a top manager in the company he helped found 4000 years ago. He was the one that started the brilliant idea of encouraging everyone to have as many children as they could afford, promising that Heaven Inc. would take care of them forever. Even when they were autistic which all of them were.
Gabriel was a very rich and important person and had close contacts with the politicians. He asked for a very special session of the World Council to consider a very special favor.
The most influential people were present. The event was televised on all the planets with tours. As the people arrived, they were greeted by cameras recording their every move for all to see. A red carpet covered the walk from the entrance where people got out of their cars, going up the steps thru the tall brass doors of the magnificent hall. When all arrived and were in their seats, a bell rang to signal silence.
Gabriel was sitting up on the stage and when the hall became so silent that you could hear a pin drop he stood up, walked up to the podium, tapped on his microphone to test it and said.
“Something must be done to stop this inhumanity. We all hold life as sacred and to reflect this and be consistent, people should be encouraged in having as many children as they can. Death whether of normal man or of autistic children are intolerable and totally unacceptable and need to be outlawed.” He paused taking a deep breath of air and swung his head up and down showing approval of what he just said. Then he let loose, slow at first and speeding up with each word.
“Having children is one of the best thing a man can have” He said to a roar of applause.
“Making children is one of the most pleasurable things a man can do” He said to another roar of applause.
“Taking care of children is one of the worthiest things man can do” . The applause continued.
“And we at Heaven Inc. since over 4000 years have been proud to provide a secure home to brains, no matter whether autistic or not, whether loony or not, whether he ….mmmm ..he couldn`t find the words so he used body language and made a face of a crazy man and circled the side of his head with his fingers, as if he was mixing up his brain by rolling it around.
There was a cheer of approval from the cabinet and a Gabriel breathed a sigh of relief.
New laws were passed in the next parliamentary session. Autistic children had to be treated like normal people and they had to be baptized with immortal robot bodies, and had to have non terminatable accounts with Heaven Inc., just like normal people.
Gabriel was nominated for many prizes and won most of them. He had accumulated many humanitarian awards in recognition for his dedication to the RTLFA or “right to life for all” movement which he founded. This year he was awarded the best businessman cup of the year.
Heaven Inc., had increasing accounts and made record profits.
When Gabriel`s boss, the founder and CEO of Heaven Inc. Dr Joe Ova was charged and found guilty of killing his own son, he was convicted for murder and executed. Gabriel, one of the founders of Heaven Inc. took over as interim CEO. Dr. Ova, was soon after referred to as Crazy Joe. Most were convinced that his insanity had to do with an exploration trip he made back to his old universe. His first words on his return were suspicious to many right from the beginning.
“I have good news for all of you. I have good news for mankind, I bring news of salvation. We have been on the wrong road going the wrong way for the past 4000 years. We have deceived everyone for the past 4000 years, but it is not too late to repent. Repent and terminate all accounts. You have to die to have true everlasting life.”
It made absolutely no sense, especially coming from the CEO of Heaven Inc., the company offering immortality for the last 4000 years.
At the beginning, Gabriel was elated for his promotion to the top of the most profitable company in the existence of mankind. But a few years later, he was very troubled. For the first time in 4000 years, Heaven Inc was experiencing something never experienced before; termination of accounts. Terminating your account in Heaven Inc. or having it terminated once you signed the contract and paid the entrance fees and the life membership fees was not possible. Except when sentenced to death for murder and executed, which had never happened before. Following the lead from Dr Joe Ova, people started to kill their own children and pleaded guilty to murder demanding the death sentence, their only loophole to terminate their accounts with Heaven Inc.
Hibernation was offered as an option for termination for those who could pay the hefty hibernating fees. You were then put into a dreamless coma for as long period as you could afford. People bored with their lives hibernated longer than they actually lived, waking up each century for a year or so to experience 100 years’ worth of progress and to work and save enough for another century up hibernating. Prices for hibernation were drastically cut to try to appease the dissatisfied customers who wanted to terminate their accounts.
Lucy Fer, the destitute mother and wife suddenly having lost both son and husband started a movement that claimed and accused Heaven Inc. of being a fraud and its guarantees to immortality and heaven on earth as being deceptions. The movement believed that killing your own child before they were baptized with a robot body actually saved them from an immortal immoral life and freed them for an eternal moral one. These convicted murderers of their own children took their punishment for their crimes as escapes and rewards of an eternal life in the true heaven. So they killed their children before they were securely locked into locked accounts with Heaven Inc. The parents were then charged and convicted of murder and disgracefully disconnected forever.
Gabriel was a very rich and important person and had close contacts with the politicians.
The most influential people were present. The event was televised to all planets with tourists on them. As the people arrived, they were greeted by cameras recording their every move for all to see. How they dressed, the color of their shoes and hairstyles were scrutinized and discussed by commentators. A red carpet covered the walk from the entrance where people got out of their cars and walked up the steps thru the tall brass doors into a magnificent hall. When all arrived and were in their seats, a bell rang to signal silence.
Gabriel was sitting up on the stage and when the hall became so silent that you could hear a pin drop, he stood up, walked up to the podium, tapped on his microphone to test it and said.
“Something must be done to stop this suicide wave.” The head of the World Order of elected officials started clapping and soon everyone followed. “We hold life as sacred and to reflect this and be consistent, the death penalty needs to be outlawed. We need to reduce the trend in killings, both of innocent victims, as well as of convicted murderers.” He paused taking a deep breath of air and swung his head from side to side in disapproval. Then he let loose slow at first and speeding up with each word.
“Those trying to ruin this paradise on earth that we have for the last 4000 years should be punished to deter others inclined to be converted or brainwashed into this lunatic religious sect that claims they are saving people by killing them.” There was a cheer of approval from the cabinet and a sigh of relief from Gabriel.
Capital punishment for murder was outlawed in the next parliamentary session. A jail brain bank called Hell was conceived and established for those convicted of murder. To isolate inmates as best as they could from the security workers, it was decided that the Hell would be built as far away as possible, in another universe, the only other universe immortal man knew, the universe from which they came from.