The elevator descended. Down, down, down, until it slowly creaked to a stop. The doors opened and Bentley Linus stepped out into the computer control room of the underground bunker. “Good evening, Bentley,” the soft monotone voice echoed from the quad speakers, located in the bunker’s four corners. “Good evening, JACOB,” Bentley replied. In the center of a black monolithic memory tower, glowed a red cycloptic eye. The eye of JACOB!

Bentley slowly walked over to the center console. “How is everything going?” Bentley quietly asked. “Everything is going extremely well,” JACOB answered. “Good,” Bentley replied, “we’re moving the timeline for the project up. We’ll begin transmitting the worldwide broadcast tonight.” “Will Dr. Oldham be joining us?” JACOB asked. “Yes, he’ll be here soon,” Bentley answered. He looked over the console readouts. For several minutes, the only sound in the bunker was the low level hum of the island’s mysterious source, hundreds of feet further below the bunker, that was being tapped for the energy to power the supercomputer.

“Bentley,” JACOB said, the monotone voice finally breaking the silence. “Yes,” Bentley answered, using a tone one would use to address an annoying child. “May I ask you a question?” JACOB said. “What?” Bentley replied, as he moved over to another console. JACOB’S crimson cycloptic eye glowed slightly darker towards Bentley’s direction, as it followed his movement

“As you know, I have calculated all the probability factors for the success of this project,” JACOB stated. “Yes,” Bentley said, “and what about it?” “Well,” JACOB continued, “ there is one factor that you and Dr. Oldham may not have considered.” “And what would that be?” Bentley asked. “The fact that the program that is to be transmitted worldwide,” JACOB replied, “has an embedded mathematical code. This code, whose origin is unknown, gives me pause for concern.” “And what would that concern be?” Bentley asked, becoming more annoyed by the moment. “In quantum processing,” JACOB continued, “there is always the uncertainty principle.” “What are you implying?” Bentley asked. “That the outcome can never be truly assured,” JACOB answered. Bentley smiled, “Yes, but nothing is ever assured in life.” “But I am not addressing life,” JACOB replied, “I am addressing the fact that this program’s success or failure is centered on an unknown factor. This mysterious mathematical code!” Bentley was becoming more and more agitated.

“Yes, JACOB,” he began, “I am aware of this mathematical code. It has been a part of Dharma history.” “But,” JACOB continued, “its is still not ultimately understood! And is part of the uncertainty factor I was addressing!” Yes, I know!” Bentley irritatingly said, “I can’t believe I’m arguing with a glorified calculator! Yes, 4,8,15,16,23,42! Those are the numbers that are embedded within the structure of this program! Dharma and its associates have investigated the meaning of those numbers for decades! But it has been determined that, though not fully understood, they are the core values that will assure the success of this project!” Bentley was becoming angry!! “Listen, Jacob,” he began, “I am about to achieve something that no one in Dharma history has ever achieved! A worldwide peace! I’ve worked too hard for anyone or anything to get in my way!”

“It is just that I am concerned,” JACOB said, “that there is a chance this experiment will not bring the ultimate results you are expecting! Dharma history has proven that fact time and time again. Dharma’s former leaders and associates, such as the DeGroots, Hanso, Goodspeed, even your father, would have been the first to point that out to you!” Bentley was now raging, “So what about the DeGroots?! So what about Hanso?! So what about Goodspeed?! So what about my father, huh?! What about MY hard work?! What about MY leadership?! What about ME?!” Once again, there was a moment of silence. “What about you?!” JACOB finally replied. Next: Chap. 30 “Details”

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