These are my Credentials Episode 3 Military Tales of the Unexpected (These are my CredentialsI)
But otherwise it does not matter if he be orthodox, heterodox or universal. The Murshid, by guiding with proper practices opens up the inner eye to kashf and shahud. Yet as it appears you may be coming here, inshallah, you will be absolved of all Khalifa functions unless you feel you have time and inclination—this until your return to Pakistan. This book has also been shown to Dr.
Mawlawi, the descendent of Maulana Roum but will not be loaned until after the interview with Dr. Betrand on your behalf on Wednesday. On Tuesday another visit to the University of California with copy of you book on Urdu and preliminary inquiry as to the possibility of your teaching here. But I know beforehand they will need you credentials. This has been placed on file.
I think it will become an important adjunct to your perspective theses. I think this is a very important sign. He equivocated but in the meanwhile and important professor introduced himself to me. Inshallah, I shall telephone him Monday. Positional people are great on speeches, short on deeds. This may mean something for the University of Islamabad and other matters. Rumor is that some young men are seeking me for Sufis studies. As the common people here are more concerned with glamour than discipline, there will be caution.
The way has been made misty rather than mystical but well known persons who try to get a following and wealth and then mislead the multitudes. But this has been always. It is like the Biblical Jacob wrestling with the angel before he became Israel. This comes from selecting a single passage of the Hadith and meditating on it day and night. Now I have the choice of either sending a few such passages or waiting until you come and explaining the whole Irfan. Accidents, Illnesses. It started out that on the same day you had your accident so did my friend Major Sadiq in Pakistan.
He was preparing to come here on a spiritual healing and also on an agricultural mission. Then it seems people around me were falling like ninepins, especially heart-attacks and some of these to non-smokers. It is certain that if the Major comes soon he will have his work cut out for him. Buddhist Complexes. I was very uncertain here and when Kristine got into a problem I refused to intercede.
She has since been here and heard Dr. Fung at the Universal Buddha Church. This man preaches respect to elders and some of the new advocates of what they call Buddhism have no respect for anybody. I told Kristine that she was my elder sister and did not have to justify herself to me. Actually I was an ear- and eyewitness at the every beginning and if there was an original misunderstanding it was not here fault.
Now when we started out at the Universal Buddha Church we had 30 workers and a big debt. The church is a magnificent structure, and out of debt today. This shows faith, insight and operative wisdom. Many of the Chinese who are against the Fungs backed Too Lung. He was going to demonstrate more faith, more insight and more wisdom.
It was up to him and when he assented to Kristine both she and I thought he had the insight—not necessary the money, to make a promise to her. It is certain that the Universal Church demonstrated and it equally certain that the other people did not. So both from a person point of view and a legal one, and then on top of it from the dharmic point of view she is entirely justified. A colleague came up from Ojai. He has been battling against the same forces of ignorance as I have and was delighted with the Soto Zen and Universal Churches. Kristine also likes them. I introduced him to the Roshi and we meditated there too.
He left quite satisfied with condition of Dharma here despite the ignoramuses with whom Kristine had words. So here again she has become justified. My friend has been battling against Krishnamurti for years and his position in Ojai is harder than mine because of the psychic atmosphere. Here today I have too many cooperative persons among Buddhists to bother about the successors to Alan Watts who have college degrees, ignorance and egos.
Islamics: Sufism. My long war against the European Professors of Oriental Philosophy is drawing to a successful close. Robert Grave has written a foreword and I believe he collaborated too on a work called The Sufism. It is very simple. The Sufis are and he and his colleague pointed out a lot of facts that contradict the excellent, well-worked and noble non-existent types described in the authoritative works of the day. It is just like the official book on Buddhism by Prof.
Ward—honest, zealous, without prejudice and excellent historical material that says nothing about people. My God-Daughter. Three letters in one month reporting successes, and we are planning for her coming here unless suddenly she goes to Iran. But this would interfere with my plans. It is really wonderful what has been happening here.
But this person who has met perhaps half a million Asians and who has spoken in many universities, too, cannot be by-passed. Speaker Unruh spoke the other day on education in the Orient, what they want, what they need and what can be done. Must have been republicans. He hemmed and hawed and came up with a part-answer. But he will have to do better. I did get some leads from Unruh and start tomorrow on the Berkeley campus, but without assurance.
The Chancellor his still to explain to me that every time I call on a scientist he doubles the time of our meeting and every time I call on non-scientist it proves that Snow is correct. My statements about myself continue: I am not that good and not that bad. Arab Conference takes place next month.
I shall put on regalia. Then people will listen. Without it I am a nobody. Clothes more than make the man. I know this is contrary to both Zen and Sufism, but sometimes you have to act that way. I feel very good about it. Sorry I misplace your last and this may still find you at Edwards. I shall be glad when you are well. Plan to come south about March It is probable also that some of these lessons will be sent to my god-son in Rawalpindi who is a very close associate of major Sadiq and now spiritual step-brother also, begun with Sadiq so there is a close relationship all around.
And although there is peacefulness within, there is not exact assurance of outer behavior. On the first occasion a notable was speaking on education in Asia and I challenged him that neither universities nor the State Foreign Affairs Department answered inquiries of any sort. This shows how much we work, or must work with inshallah and that there is always the divine guidance. After going to post I go to a bookstore to pick up a work on Ibn Sima for Khalifa. It contains a good deal on Miraj and in a sense Miraj is the central theme of my personal is there such a thing?
This book, The Sufis, recently published has much to say about Khwaja Khizr and Data Sahib and this will be of great value to me personally. There is an awkward situation because both Muslims and non-Muslims place the glory of Din in the past, and do not see that Allah is operating every moment, every breath. Our Zikrs are too much of history, too little of Allah. There is no compulsion in Islam and yet to me religion should be inshallah as far as possible. You have expressed desires and wishes inward and outward and one is certain that these desires and wishes may also be inshallah.
And it may still be the divine Will that this be done. However in recent letters your Murshid has concluded that Allah also wishes you to be in California. And in the letter attached written to Pir Sahib of Salarwala, you find two incidents mentioned, which would indicate this is so.
Also I was told to call on Prof. And as Allah willed he was in his office and we had a fine visit. The policy of the University is that you have a year residence before teaching and to me this is the best. But as regards to Urdu this is entirely in Prof. So your Murshid is seeing him Monday, inshallah, by appointment and there will be another letter in this regard. Also on account of Prof. Metcalf whose office is close to that of Prof. Gompertz there was no visit to the other departments which are quite distant—on the same campus.
Or again the fact that there is also the book on Avicenna as well as the one on the Sufis mentioned and other things which would help if you came here. Your Murshid is not satisfied with most literature which shows a wonderful Islam of another time. Nobody acts as if there was any Glory of Allah any more, and yet in Cairo I had some miracles in regards to subhan Allah. There is much more for both Sufi Sahib and yourself but this is just one person working alone in a vast country. Patience is therefore needed above all things. Pressures of all types have prevented me from keeping up with correspondence and I am not sure having misplaced certain letters whether this will catch you at Edwards or be forwarded or what.
But among other things I saw Renee last week and while it is curious we seem to be working in very harmonious fields, we also seem to be undergoing the same sorts of pressures, hazards and blessings, and top it off with gaining the same type of friendships. On March 7 there will be a conference here an Arab culture and I shall come out in public as a Sufi. Having had enough rebuffs I am taking the chance.
Now if anybody thinks I am in the slightest paranoiac, they should hear this story:. He lives in England. He has had the experiences and has written a manuscript about his experiences as a Sufi. They are mostly linguists who can tell you exactly how much Persian and how much Arabic is in a famous manuscripts and that equips them to explain present day Islamic culture to a T. The Sheikh heard about Robert Graves and went down to Mallorca and after some consultation Graves, convinced of the objective honesty of the writer, made a special trip to England and got him a publisher.
And it is going to be some pumpkins that Grave has come out and said a spade is a spade and not an artifact and done so unequivocally what the reactions is going to be. Anyhow the philosophical correspondence has been set up and I shall hear later on what he says about my poetry. It is a wonderful guide book to wonderland, but it will not help you in Sudan. In the meanwhile somebody gave me a book on Taoism and the last chapter is a Taoist view of present day American international policy.
I am copying talks—for the Chinese. I am going to make a vague effort at reach some Americans, and know I can touch Asia Foundation. Well Lottie and I have seen each other and she has dedicated her home to Soyen and her library either to Soyen or yours truly. Well I took out my credentials which have been rejected by every American and European but Ambassador Reischauer and as I used to write Alan Watts, it is remarkable how easy you can fool a real Zen monk. He believed everything on my credentials. The meeting concluded:. Who do you think owns this Zendo I am offering you?
Spent some time at the Universal Buddha Church setting up their Bazaar and dismantling it. At last Dr. Paul Fung who is both President of the Sangha and Vice President of the World Buddhist Federation let me speak and he is in full accord and more about the Epoops as above. In the last mail I got more of this cross-current of egos claiming to represent Buddhism. Also received from Taiwan two volumes of Buddhist texts in Chinese and English. They are the best thing since Goddard but include a debate between a Buddhist and Christian which very debate negates what Lord Buddha stood for.
It has been necessary to write many letters recently warning the recipient that in all cases he must hold to the Salaam and not to the content of any communication. This is particularly true of a Murshid that he must try to guide without disturbing anybody yet one must explain a truth which is hard to understand if we consider man real.
There is a great danger without being a danger at all of overestimating a Murshid and finding also he is very human. The grandeur of the Seal did not prevent the loss of Ohod. And in the midst of a number of disturbances a young man applied for Bayat. And when your Murshid sat down with him your Murshid discovered that he was not a Murshid, he was not even a man, he was a Vehicle, a Voice that used his mind and body and out of it poured nothing but Wisdom, with no thought even. So from the standpoint of logic and common sense all around seems very bad and yet the news is of a very different nature.
In the last report it was that there is a Professor in the Library of Congress that will undoubtedly want to see your films, or get copies of them on the Holy Places. This is one door. Things got so bad for your Murshid that he was ill Tuesday night, and it was undoubtedly psychic if one believes in such things. The stars were in the worst position he has known.
Yet the next day he was in an office and a man named Malik came in and he was from Teheran. You look just like the Sufis in Teheran my home town. There are a lot of Dervishes there and they look just like you and you look just like them. So you see that Allah has his wisdom and inshallah, your Murshid may be cooperating with this man—there is much unfinished business. You are going to be of the greatest help to Major Sadiq. He cannot be here studying what you are studying, but what you are doing is going to be of utmost help to him.
And this illustrates the truth of Spiritual Brotherhood; also of Kashf for your Murshid did not know before why he was doing some things. So the Divine Wisdom operates in and through man even when he is not aware of it. When you come to this country, inshallah, I shall show you come more teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan which are scattered through his books and by these one can understand the above experiences. But now I am sending copy of another lesson in Naqshibandi, which is also really a lesson in Murakkabah, that as one concentrates on these symbols and holds them in what we call the mind, their real nature impresses itself on the person.
For man is not the nufs and is not a fixed entity or beings. Only Allah is permanent, or in man, ruh. Also the commentary is enclosed, written some years ago which is not perfect but will no doubt help you to understand more. For symbols are like mummies, only living, encased in words and forms and art, and yet the blue-prints of life itself. Also I have written to Prof. Gumpers asking for an appointment and there are other matters. And after you receive these ten lessons will your please check back all you have received as you can be sure of having the whole complete series I of the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Then, excepting for special materials such as the commentaries on Naqshibandi nothing more will be sent until you geography is settled, such as when you will be coming to the United States. The news about Memsahib is not so clear. Shams-dud-din Ahmed is preparing for Bayat and he will have to learn that although letters may be shared up to a point, lessons are not shared at all.
If the signs be correct, there will be nuclei of mureeds both in San Francisco and in you country, but one knows that Allah has something more in store. It is not easy to be involved in international matters. The representatives of each country lack candor, and all alike forget that we live and move and have our being in Allah, the Omnipresent. It is like a huge, integrated, happy family.
But I would rather you read her memorial which I could lend you. The fact that there is a single woman on earth like this is something. Saadia Khawar is my god-daughter, and became my disciple. It was attraction at first sight. Her uncle must have noticed it. Her mother must have been very spiritual and her father neglected her. It is against Islamic principles for women to be without protection so any man can adopt an unmarried girl-orphan as daughter and a married girl-orphan as sister.
Age has nothing to do with it. I knew soon she was to be my disciple—this involves some others. I went to the great Sufi and his disciples objected. I insisted and when I called on Sufi Barkat Ali he was ill. It worked suddenly and miraculously. But none proposed as they regard her as being superior. Khawar was a full professor at 26, has won many degrees and plaudits and wishes to come here. I hope this can be done but it is not easy. It was only before I left I found she is not poor. And there is another strange element here—she owns the former home of Gandhi in Lahore which is for all purposes my home and I carry the torch of Gandhi in the Universal Religion regardless of the refusals here or elsewhere—which have nothing to do with it.
Now I had a lady-pupil and there was a relation which is fictional-like. In later times I could be her, which might seem strange and awkward. I would tell you, but not write, the strange complex in her. I felt her in a most unusual way, which comes from the real soul and not a jumble of emotions. When our lives broke—which ended the possibility of a marriage, the spiritual relation was transferred to Khawar and the Universe of God told me I was not to be punished where I had not sinned.
But as I have tried to indicate in Sufism teacher and pupil are as one, and not symbolically but actually in a way the dualistic people cannot understand. Therefore I am waiting for my associate, Major Sadiq, or for Khawar to come and then explanations will not be necessary. Magana Baptiste is my spiritual daughter in another sense but with Magana and to a certain extent Walt I do something I do not do to another woman—lean on her, give her weights, tell her my problems which are of a different order.
Both she and Walt understand my true position and true work in this world. It is not because the dancing is better—it is because the dancing is prayer. Magana resembles Rihani above and Ruth St. Denis as being the Oracle type. We play that I am a hierophant in Egypt and she a Priestess of Isis but both of these and some others believe this was so. The influence of Nefertiti is great in Magana and she has the most beautiful of bodies but along with remarkably developed heart and mind and she is fulfilling her motherhoods too.
But I thank God there are such people. And this is not the end of the story…. There is no end…. They go on noticed or not noticed publicly and it does not matter. I am writing in my long neglected diary. The event Sunday illustrates a high point in both externalities and in the use of the Buddha-meditation to solve problems.
And while it is bad enough to find the whole world suffering because of attachment to selves, it is horrible and horrifying to find this in Sanghas and one unfortunately still finds them in Sanghas. I do not know what the reactions to either the speaker or myself were but I ran into the same things Tuesday and may run it today too. Tuesday a military official spoke on S. Asia and I thought his language was good and most of his statement clear.
But they did not fit into the confounded dialectical dualistic popular American views. So he was challenged all over. After the meeting, to my surprise, the speaker, a Pentagon colonel, sought me out and thanked me for my contribution. But many Americans are not interested in truth; they just want their opinions substantiated. Today I shall hear a Persian but here the rapport has already been established. I am hoping more people will at least listen to facts, if not accept them. This has been a period of great pain and joy. Fritzi Armstrong read my horoscope previously and saying there was death in it and Friday that I would have a sudden move.
Saturday I met my old landlady at Clementina St. So it looks as if Fritzi was right on both counts. I shall therefore probably be returning to the rooms where Gavin Arthur put the stars on the ceiling. Well, yesterday I got a strong feeling to call on George Fields and when that feeling is strong something nice always happens. He greeted me and showed me a new book on Chinese Buddhism and the next thing I bought it.
When I returned home I fund there is a school of Chinese Buddhism that teaches exactly as I have explained to my friend, Rev. Eugene Wagner, about Sariputra Sharishi. I now have a complete literary background on Sariputra with the Psalms of the Early Buddhists, some scriptures and now this School-explanation. There is another explanation from Tibet into which one need not go here. The next thing is that he wants books on Sufism so I have written to my friends, Mohammed Ashraf, in Lahore, asking that he become their American outlet. In between times I have been acting in a method which illustrates the Nirmanakaya.
There is no permanent behavior-pattern and one is at the some from one incident to the next. Thus I had a rollicking argument with a young woman who is a gourmet that the stomach is as spiritual as the heart while Miss Gourmet argued that the heart is superior to the stomach. We argued strenuously for just that pattern of life which the other follows.
This is something Dale Carnegie never thought about. The American missionaries are being removed from Sudan. What do the people in Sudan believe?. May not see you Sunday but am not sure—trying to contact the aforesaid Rev. Wagner for several reasons. Although most of my letters express pessimism, there is something in me which stimulates optimism in answer to your letter of the 19th.
At the moment only the eyes age and I have faith enough in my friend, Major Sadiq that when he comes he will take care of them. And the fact that there is regeneration and the fact that this body is constantly confusing critics stands out regardless. Yesterday I was thinking about calling on my friends, the Atlas Fish Emulsion people, when your letter arrived and I went off on what proved to be an unusual day.
My assumption is that you will be growing more garden vegetables than flowers or trees but I said you had some trees. The program is somewhat different and in any event we tend to use fertilizers too heavily. The ground must warm up first but if you plant seeds or cuttings, a weak solution may be used at that time, as a stimulator. If you have chickens the use of chicken manure can be integrated with the fertilizer program and I can give details from my own experiences.
In general leaf vegetables require more then root vegetables. But one must not be lavish with Tomatoes as they will show big vines but not so much fruit. I have been pretty low at times but went into the meditation and got some interesting answers which have much to do with the practical life. In any event I seem to have more answers to big problems but also more difficultly in communication. Behind all these are water problems. I met him in the offices of the American Friends of the Middle East. From the spiritual point of view these is even a more remarkable occurrence.
The meditative answer to the problems of Mrs. The Major should be here about the end of May. He has a round-the-world air ticket.
- Frozen Fruit Salad Recipes.
- The Chosen: Part One - Domination of the Faiths (Domination of the Faiths...).
We shall cross the country, perhaps together. I hope he will pay for my fare with him. But there are so many details to take up first. The appearance of The Sufis by Sheikh Idries Shah has stimulated interest here and for the first time I am acting as go-between to get literature on the market. I appeared in public for the first time on March 7 as a Sufi. It was supposed to be an Arabic cultural conference. I found more intelligence among the audience then I have ever met anywhere in these parts.
But the usual procedure, the audience is kept silent listening to humbugs. Fortunately the last speaker was an American from Washington who knew his subject and captivated the audience. Among them are his instructions to Rabia which were never used and only these scraps which Mrs. Duce returned to me. How much was thrown away by Etta the world will never know. But now I have a grand compendium, both of Sufic and non-Sufic esoteric methods, the quantity of which so far outstrips anything in books, it would require volumes. And yet it is only now I am even getting inquiries. I am very anxious to have the Major come to Cleveland to do healing work.
This will be beneficial on all sides. True, POM used many Orienta1 terms but these seem largely confined to his most esoteric work. Actually one can find all these teachings in Scriptures. If what you say is true of Vilayat he did not learn much. Pir-o-Murshid was a very advanced soul. When he stood before an audience he became attuned to the audience. Consequently he could only give what could be received. Actually this is true of all his work with mureeds also. He waited until people were ready before bringing in the Sufi words but he did explain that the Sufi words were Sufi words.
Many have no equivalents at all in English. If you read some of the puzzles in our crossword books you will see how many foreign words get into our language. The first work the Major and I would at Cleveland is visiting all the sick people or the bedridden. There are quite a lot besides Fred and Catherine. We would get them well. Then to arrange with Eleanor or somebody to see others. We would want a list of about 12 people to visit for this purpose before any lectures.
Then if Catherine or others are impressed to start the spiritual-work with them. As for the mureeds. I think each of us is today advanced enough to give them proper esoteric exercises. But we do not have all of Pir-o-Murshid papers. Fortunately I have enough papers to give out a multitude of the same and, with copies of some other writings from the Orient to keep mureeds busy on the intellectual, mystical and esoteric sides for many years. Besides this we are also formulating a new type of Sufism. This is very, very simple.
It begins with the walk and possibly with the walk the stance; after that the breath. The age of mental aptitude of the person would not count, anybody could learn, even down to a little child. More come to me from Saints in the Orient, etc. But now I know enough to give simple teachings and my body is a testimonial, that even people who are not attracted to the person cannot account for vitality.
And last night for the first time I tried this with a young man and succeeded, although it was just a speculative trial. I think even Paul would like it. And I could give it to your children and grand children and everybody. As to the Bible I can show anybody even in the common English versions—which are being discarded for better translations, there are whole sections which nobody studies, much less understands, And I am not going to argue about anybody with regard the Moon.
We are not the eye, and the main thing, as you state, is, to know more Love and kindness and Good-will. Claire believes in her brother and Etta believed in her mother and this has nothing to do with Sufism. Flesh and blood do not inherit any kingdom of heaven or earth or anything. Claire does not know the Bayat and both of them look upon people as clay to be moulded; I may look upon them more as trees to be properly shaped, which already have their form. I doubt whether I shall ever complete all Pir-o-Murshid asked but this is what gives life and zest. The only reason I can see for my being in San Francisco is that here I can learn things.
In The Unity of Religious Ideals there are portions which hint about floods, wars, everything. The whole universe is inside us. Take each line and use it, and then each name and use it as meditative subject for one month: or skip around:. Use any Name or Phrase. Or do it one week only. The Salat is full of germs. And I could write a whole book on Nimaz but not now. I am back to my old trick of writing a letter and keeping the carbon for my diary.
And it seems at long last that the world does move and today I feel more encouraged than ever before. True I am still up against the indifference if not opposition of politicos, social scientists, etc. But I do have some interviews coming up with one Prof. Seymour Farber of U. Hospital who claims to be the big-wig; part of this is in opposition to Unruh who, being a politico was trapped when I asked him a very simple question. And when I reported this read-block, instead of it being presented in Pakistan I was promoted to the Board of Directors of the Islamabad University. Malik of Teheran who spends about half his time in Iran and half here.
He invented a type of adobe using petroleum waste material instead of dung—releasing the dung for better purposes. He proved that this abode would withstand both earthquakes and rainstorms and has sold it to the Shah of Iran. He left and I gave him introductions that would do him good in the Arab world, but it left the door open for me elsewhere. When I ran this thing down I found that the University of California has continued the research but you can bet that nobody in Berkeley knows about it among the sociologists, social scientists and everybody who is trying to make a better world out of their private subjective ideas.
So this is now up to me. And I can take it up with Guy Atcheson, who, not being politicians and sociologists have to face the housing problems or else. There was a Dr. Ward there who is all hot up in water-problems and then I did one thing that you approve of people doing if you could ever find them doing it—which is rare: I thought. You see, Harry, Los Angeles and Arizona are dividing the billions of acre-feet of water which the Feather River dam will not proved, and while Eureka is burning they are going to sue each other and everybody else.
I would even divert—though this borders on treason—some of the money for space-research into salt-water conversion research. Or, in letting the world know what has already been accomplish which is more treason today than giving away atomic secrets. So I am out for salt-water conversion. In the meanwhile Mexico may object that they will be getting more salinity and less irrigation water from the Colorado, and again the lawyers are sharpening their axes. Nationally, we serve a little over 5 in 10 kids. In Nebraska, we serve 4 in 10, placing us 48th in the nation. However, around 17 districts in our state are hitting or exceeding the national benchmark including Bayard Public Schools.
Do Not Waiver. Ralph Kellogg joined our team as the Human Resources Director. Ralph also works as an Adjunct Instructor at Bellevue University where he teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate level human resources classes. He has an extensive background in strategic planning, training, corporate communications, and human labor union management. Seeds of Justice: Legal Aid of Nebraska On October 10, Nebraska Appleseed is celebrating the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations who have stood up for justice and opportunity for all the Good Apple Awards.
The U. You can help us fight against this proposal by commenting to protect our neighbors by Monday, September She is a two-time Husker alumni, graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with her undergraduate degree with highest distinction in Sociology and International Studies and her J. Edgar Reynaga joined our team as the Development Associate in the Spring. Communities are stronger when we all belong and the contributions of all are welcome.
Welcoming Week takes place September with events and activities happening across the country. Every Nebraskan deserves affordable medicine to maintain a healthy life This afternoon, Nebraska Appleseed is joining the People Over Pharma Profits National Day of Action by delivering letters from impacted Nebraskans and health care advocates. At some point, everyone gets sick and may need prescription medicine to feel better. Magdalena Cazarez, also known as Maggie, has been leading our communications work since joining Appleseed in April.
She has experience in branding, marketing, graphic design, and digital communications. Immigrants bring vibrancy and resiliency to our communities Once again, hatred and violence devastate communities across our country As we mourn the devastating attacks that occurred this weekend in El Paso,TX and Dayton, OH, we stand with these vibrant and resilient communities.
Inhumane and violent actions toward our neighbors do not reflect our core values as a country.
Note: This is a guest post from Denise Dickeson, Lincoln resident and volunteer. If I could, I would work, but my condition does not allow me to have a stable job. She soon discovered how much she loved Lincoln and been here ever since! Medicaid turns 54! For decades, Medicaid has provided stable coverage for millions of Americans, including thousands of Nebraskans. Proposed SNAP rule would cut benefits for 3. Children and families should have the chance to seek safety and rebuild their lives All people have the right to escape violent situations under international asylum law.
Children and families flee their homes due to violence and persecution to seek safe haven in another country. Can you imagine your child being caged without access to critical care and treatment? This is what children and their families are facing while seeking safety. As children and their families are fleeing violence and instability, U.
Last Friday, the Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die until January. Small victories for children and families and low-income community members were made during this legislative session. However, there is still more work to be done and Appleseed continues engaging with state policymakers on a variety of issues impacting Nebraskans throughout the interim.
We believe in keeping families together and fighting for a bright future for youth. We also believe the foster care system should support all children and families without discrimination by advocating to strengthen our child welfare system. As Foster Care Awareness Month wraps up, we want to make sure foster parents, caregivers, and young people in foster care are aware of an opportunity in Nebraska to make your voice heard in court. My biggest fear is failure. I use that fear to fuel the drive in myself everyday.
That never used to be a fear, until I entered the foster care system. S citizenship are getting longer Recent headlines have focused on the numerous attacks on asylum seekers and refugees, program terminations for certain immigrant groups, and a call to build one large wall at the southern border of the United States and Mexico. A multicultural celebration welcoming cultures and vibrancy to Lincoln Dance, Food, and Entertainment!
This month, there are two great opportunities to support Appleseed and advance the fight for justice for all in Nebraska. When you give to Appleseed for Omaha Gives, your donation will go even further! The recent flooding in Nebraska has been devastating for many communities. For those that need food, or have lost food due to the flooding, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP , formerly food stamps, may be able to help.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services CMS released their final enrollment report for the open enrollment period this week. Enrollment data tables by state, county, and zip code were released as well. From this data, we can see that, indeed, the Health Insurance Marketplace is still a functional and vital resource for Nebraskans and the United States.
Kate Bolz that would make a profound difference for Nebraska children and families. Nebraska is a state where we strive to take care of our young people and want them to have a real opportunity to live productive and healthy lives, supporting them as they transition into adulthood. A new report form the Annie E.
We are nearly one-third of the way into the Nebraska Legislative Session. With bill hearings well under way, Appleseed staff, partners, and friends are maintaining a strong presence at the Capitol to advocate for a number of measures that would open doors to greater opportunity for Nebraskans. Congress has passed an agreement to fund the government, averting a second government shutdown in the new year. Unfortunately, this bill provides over 1 billion dollars for unnecessary border fencing that the public does not support and increases ICE funding to continue detaining children and families in prison-like settings.
Working hard and taking care of each other are foundational Nebraska values. Our state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and one of the highest rates of parents participating in the workforce. Yet, many of our friends and families are struggling to get ahead despite their hard work. I sent the email with a dash of hope — a hope that something had changed. In just a few days, a small group of dedicated school nutrition directors from Central Nebraska will be convening around a shared goal: getting more students to participate in school breakfast.
The longest government shutdown in history has caused serious harm to families, communities, and workers across the country. Services for nutrition programs, Native American health care, rental housing, and public health and safety are increasingly threatened.
Offers meager protections in exchange for unproductive, harmful wall the public does not support Today, during the Dr. Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend, President Trump is offering meager protections that would keep hardworking youth and families in a continued state of uncertainty and second-class status in exchange for unproductive and wasteful border wall funding. Tonight, President Trump stated that the government shutdown will continue.
This decision is detrimental to families and communities across the country. Kate has personally seen how changes to the GED program in Nebraska have hurt accessibility and completion in Nebraska. We believe that no family should have to suffer a harsh Nebraska winter without heat to keep their families warm and safe. Immigrant Nebraskans — our friends, our family members — and local communities are living in a constant state of alert.
Yet across Nebraska, incarcerated people are subjected to severe human rights violations in our prison system. After 6 years, we finally did it — Nebraskans voted to expand Medicaid to 90, of our friends and neighbors. The last couple of years have seen destructive policies coming from Washington, D. You did it! On Election Day, Nebraska voters approved Initiative , which will help many of our hard-working, uninsured friends and neighbors finally get the health coverage they need. We are so grateful for and humbled by your support. Families seeking safety and asylum at our southern border are currently being separated.
While that is horrible enough, the White House is seeking to implement an even-worse plan. The Trump Administration is currently attempting to replace a family-separation policy rejected nationwide with indefinite child and family detention, which would subject children to further trauma and abuse. Take Action! Here are a few ways you can help leading up to November 6. We have seen national outcry since the Trump Administration announced earlier this month that it would cut refugee admissions next year from an already-low 45, to 30, It is the lowest ceiling on refugee admissions in the nearly 40 years since the U.
Refugee Admissions Program began. Blog written by Katie Hile, U. On October 11, we will celebrate the outstanding contributions of Nebraskans who have stood up for justice and opportunity for all at the Good Apple Awards in Omaha. In the days leading up to the Good Apple Awards, we are proud to introduce you to the honorees we are recognizing this year.
Nebraska Appleseed is proud to recognize advocates who have made outstanding contributions to the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the Good Apple Awards on October 11th in Omaha. The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award recognizes a Nebraskan who has made significant contributions to justice for all throughout her career.
This month, towns in Nebraska and nationwide celebrate how our communities are strongest when everyone feels welcome during the 7th annual National Welcoming Week September In , there were more than events around the country. Health Care for Every Nebraskan You astounded us. Some big news came out from the Nebraska Supreme Court last week that we hope leads to more young Nebraskans staying in safe and permanent family situations.
In the case In re Guardianship of Carlos D. A short program at pm, followed by a post-program social hour. Recently, we were proud to welcome three new members to our staff. Every Nebraska child should have a safe and loving family. But right now, Nebraska kids who are in need of these safe, loving homes are being threatened by discrimination that our state has already rejected. As the last of the fireworks were going off on the Fourth of July, we began to finally get the full picture of the amazing thing you all helped accomplish. The fish that he didn't immediately eat he would eat as hunger came on him through the day.
From years of practice he had discovered that it was a simple, effective means of traveling quickly across cold, high country. He assumed that this mysterious military team would bear the standard forty pounds of survival gear necessary for Arctic survival. In general, that included a load-bearing vest, or LBV, probably armored with Kevlar. Then they would have a small backpack that held individual water purifiers, cold-weather tents, Arctic sleeping bags, extra clothes and socks, dehydrated food, propane ovens, field radios and microphones, night-vision equipment, teargas, and flares, as well as bionic listening devices — either those worn as earphones or the laser-guided sort for pinpointing distant disturbance.
In addition to that, they would be heavily armed with a variety of weapons from M's to Benelli shotguns and MH cylindrical grenade launchers. And, doubtless, they would rely upon the Magellan Global Positioning System for orientation — a fist-sized device that triangulated off satellites to provide exact location, accurate to within six feet. It was standard equipment for maneuvers. Hunter was familiar with the technology and had used it himself. But it was still a machine, and machines could break down in primitive conditions.
So he preferred to rely upon a map and compass and had cultivated his skills at dead reckoning so that he could accurately navigate using only the sun and stars, or nothing at all. But Hunter knew that the most essential ingredient for survival in this land wasn't something so simple as equipment: it was mindset. For it was all too easy to panic when disaster struck and there was no one to rely upon for assistance.
He had learned long ago, mostly by necessity, to be supremely self-reliant under any circumstance. And up here there would be no substitute for a lack of strength or willpower. He remembered a conversation he had with a grizzled old trapper during his first trip to Alaska. As he was preparing to venture into the mountains, he asked the old man if it was possible to survive a winter in the mountains with only a knife and rifle. Experienced with the lethal brutality of the wilderness, the trapper had taken a surprisingly long time to reply. You'd have to be an animal.
Damn sure ain't. I break camp late and set up early, and I don't break at all if it looks like a hard cold might be settin in. The old man nodded slowly and pointed toward the mountains. I seen some go in and winter it out, and them that made it home… well, they wudn't the same. It changes a man, more ways 'an one. There were few areas in the world as brutal with rain and cold, and as unforgiving of fools.
He knew that if he was injured and forced to survive in those mountains for months, sheer determination would be his greatest ally. Pain could be ignored but any wound must be very carefully tended. Just as food would have to be attentively protected and harbored; it would be endless work to stay alive. Patience and discipline would be vital, as would whatever tenuous grip he managed to maintain on his sanity. Although under the current conditions of this trip there would be little chance of a disaster, he had learned to always be prepared: conditions, no matter how certain they seem, could change completely and without warning.
As Hunter surfaced from his thoughts he was suddenly aware of the dull thundering engines of the military C, its four huge jet engines roaring outside the fuselage. He smiled at the sudden awareness, for absolute concentration to the point of ignoring everything else was a faculty he had unconsciously perfected. And it was a vital skill when he was tracking. Amazingly, although Hunter could effortlessly ignore a loud conversation directly behind him, he could simultaneously pick up the whispered clicks of a woodlark a quarter mile away.
To the uninitiated, the sound would mean nothing, but it could tell Hunter what the bird was experiencing, what it was looking at, whether it was searching for its mate or just frightened, and of what. For instance, the woodlark, more than any bird, hated water snakes like cottonmouths. So when a viper was moving in the water the woodlark would virtually set the forest on fire with that distinctive, hysterical high-pitched cry — a sound far different from its other songs and calls.
And, just as Hunter could identify the call to know that a snake was moving close, he knew that particular snakes would not be moving at all during certain times of the day unless something was forcing them. So, in a thousand ways similar to this, the forest could tell you about hidden movement and unseen activity. One had only to know the language of the forest, the native calls of the wild. Ghost, sleeping soundly, lay beside him on a tarp and Hunter reached out to caress the wolf's thick mane. Military officials had refused to allow Ghost among the other passengers, fearing the massive wolf's potential for violence if, for some reason, he decided to demonstrate his prowess.
And, rather than engage them in a doomed debate, Hunter elected to travel in the cargo hold with what he knew was his closest and most loyal friend. He remembered when he had found Ghost. The wolf was only three weeks old, and his sire, an enormous gray wolf, had been killed by poachers, along with the mother and siblings. Though wounded by a bullet graze, Ghost had survived by hiding beneath a deadfall, buried deep beneath tons of logs. Starving, sick and wounded, the cub would have died within days but Hunter coaxed him out with a piece of raw meat and carried him back to the cabin.
It was a month before the malnourished cub could clamber around the three-room structure, but after that he grew rapidly, eventually surpassing the strength and size of his gigantic father. Yet it was his spirit that caught Hunter's early attention and made him laugh; something he rarely did. Hunter had never attempted to train him, but the wolf's keen intelligence was evident from the first moments. Without being taught, Ghost knew where to find food, how to communicate his needs, when he wanted to go outside.
And his curiosity was endless, as was his unconcealed joy every time Hunter returned from a trip. When he was six months old Hunter let him sleep on the porch, sheltered by a fairly luxurious doghouse that Hunter built from spare lumber. Hunter filled the bottom with a thick layer of straw and an old blanket and installed a heat lamp for cold nights, but he never leashed the wolf.
If Ghost wished to leave, he was free to go. For endless nights Hunter went to bed knowing Ghost was staring and listening to the calls of the wild, summoned by the wolf packs that surrounded the cabin. And then when Ghost was two years old, near full size, he began disappearing for days at a time, often returning with bloody wounds — slash marks of other wolves. Hunter suspected that during the nocturnal forays, Ghost had declared his own dominion over a part of the forest — of which the cabin was the heart.
And after those nights, Hunter distinctly noticed, the surrounding howls of wolf packs came from a far greater distance. Ghost had, alone, won his territory. His relationship with Ghost had not so much developed as it seemed to flourish full-born. And Hunter suspected it was because he himself had never been close to anyone or anything, except perhaps the old trapper who half-raised him.
Just as Ghost had never really had a family. So it came naturally and easily that each had simply accepted the other, each of them needing someone. In fact, Hunter had mostly raised himself, spending long endless days trapping and tracking, living more like an animal than a child. Before he was ten years old he could see a single track and identify the species, the size, how old it was, and where it was going. He could lift his head and find the scent of what had passed this way hours ago, or make shelters that would keep him warm in frigid winter nights.
At twelve he could snatch fish from a stream with his hand, or silently sneak up on a deer so that he could touch its flank before it could sense his presence. Yet it was not until he was sixteen that he did what every true tracker considers the ultimate challenge. It had been a misty summer night, and he had come upon a slumbering grizzly, laid his hand softly on its massive side, and then stolen away, having never awakened it. Sometimes, lying in the somber light of the cabin with Ghost beside him, Hunter remembered the days when he would spend more time in the wild, alone and living — truly living — than among people.
He remembered how, as a child, the white look of bone would catch his eye in the bright light of day, and even now the fascination felt fresh. He could still feel the coarseness of red dirt as he sifted it from the white pitted relic of bear or elk or wolverine. He remembered how he would craft barbaric ornaments and necklaces of bear claws or wolverine fangs, looking not unlike a long-haired ten-year-old wild child of prehistoric Homo sapiens as he walked half-naked out of the forest.
The thoughts made him laugh; he ruffled Ghost's mane. Hunter made no demands — Ghost knew he was free — but they were each other's ally. And, in time, Ghost had taken to sleeping inside the cabin again, sometimes clambering slowly and massively into Hunter's bed in the middle of the night to lay a paw as wide as a plate on Hunter's chest. Or sometimes Hunter would simply awaken to feel Ghost's nose at his throat; the wolf checking to ensure he was all right. House patrol, Hunter called it with a laugh. But he realized it was only once in a lifetime that a man found an animal he truly loved, just as he knew he could never replace the great wolf.
But, then, Ghost was only three years old, and would live a long time. In a sense, Hunter regretted bringing him on this trip.
But he knew that in the harsh terrain of that hostile interior he would need every advantage. Because, while he himself could be deceived, it would be much more difficult for this thing — whatever it was — to deceive Ghost. Together, Hunter thought, they stood a good chance of tracking this thing to ground before it reached more innocent victims. He wasn't naked, as he had anticipated. But he was shirtless, and his boots were gone.
The prickly green of forest was beneath him and the deserted shade thick, almost gloom, as he slowly rose. He touched his head, feeling, and noticed nothing amiss; no alteration, no transformation. But he knew what it…what he…had done. Memories of last night were like an unfocused, scarlet-lit dream. But he recalled the visions much better than before; the sight of men running wildly across his perfect red-tinted vision, screams that roared with flame.
He remembered how he could visually register the body heat caused by their stark terror, could palpably scent and taste their horror as he struck, and struck, and killed, moving through them to slay without effort. And in the long quenching slaughter he had found bestial pleasure in the power much, much more than before. He realized that he was gaining with each transformation, becoming stronger, purer.
The first transformation, brought about by his maniacal violation of procedure, had been a shocking and painful experience — a black blazing maze of taloned hands sweeping laboratory equipment aside and devastating whatever or whoever had been unfortunate enough to encounter his fury. Yet there had also been addictive exultation in the pure animal pleasure, fed with adrenaline and lust, and a thirst that was quenched only with killing. It had lasted long, and longer, bringing him on that tide of bestial might into the next day when it faded and he fell, leaving him alone among the dead in a facility in ruin and aflame.
He understood now that, yes, his risky experimentation had been a success. He had not expected to take on the fullness of the creature, not in feature and form. But he did not regret it, though he felt somehow that he was losing more and more of his personal identity — whatever he could be called — as the infection continued. Just the glory, the triumph of possessing such bestial supremacy made him feel like a lion among sheep.
Yes he had been successful, no matter the unintended after-effects that seemed to become more progressive with each transformation. He laughed as he recalled his shocked mind when he had recovered from the first unexpected alteration, not knowing that he would soon glory in it more than he ever gloried in his old life. Stunned at the carnage he had wrought, he had transmitted a hasty emergency message to the command center and informed them that the experimental DNA had been successfully fused with his own.
And further, he had told them that further testing would confirm that their secret goals had been satisfied. Although they were shocked and enraged that he had grossly and dangerously violated procedure by injecting himself, they had been openly pleased that the serum could indeed be transferred to humans. Within hours a secondary team arrived to replace the dead. And although they were also shocked at such a gory spectacle of wanton, wholesale murder, they were indifferent to the loss of life when measured against the stunning success of the experiment.
Yet they did take prudent measures to ensure that they would not follow the fate of their colleagues. So restraints were set in place to contain him should the transformation occur before the expected hour. A steel-reinforced concrete room was selected and locked with a steel door that was in turn reinforced with a niobium-titanium brace. Then blood samples were taken for analysis as he waited through the long day, wondering what night would bring. Deep beneath the level where he had been imprisoned, they would be feverishly searching the DNA strand for the genes that had evolved so rapidly, and had indeed evolved without warning to doom his former coworkers.
Thinking of their deaths, he sensed faint remorse over their coldblooded execution, but strangely did not feel the full measure of regret that he anticipated. It intrigued him as the hours passed, and then his ruminations were broken. The massive steel door opened wide, and within the frame stood the white-haired man who was responsible for the operation. He knew the man well, just as he knew the man did not approve of his reckless violation of proper procedure.
But it did not matter. He had what he wanted, the power of the creature…. He thought back to how it had all begun, remembering the unexpected discovery of the creature. Clearly an ancestor of early homo-sapiens, it had been miraculously and magnificently preserved by the glacier that had hidden it for 10, years in an icy tomb. Even without analysis of its DNA, the creature's superior qualities were obvious. Such as its fantastic strength and speed, or the size of its brain and the incredible ocular space dedicated to nocturnal vision.
The only disappointment had been to discover the reduced size of its temporal lobes, which indicated a lack of higher thinking ability. But that was something nature had obviously sacrificed for the amazing physical attributes. And when it was carefully chipped out of its icy coffin and the frozen carcass of a saber-toothed tiger was discovered beneath — a seven-hundred-pound predator whose neck had been snapped like a rotten branch — they knew it had been a creature of truly unimaginable physical power, undoubtedly the fiercest, strongest, most enduring ancient ancestor of modern Homo sapiens.
Debate ensued for a logical explanation to explain the startling presence of viable DNA after so many centuries, and they discovered that the creature's chemical composition at the time of its death consisted of a strange combination of unidentifiable organic substances. Probably part of its floral diet, the chemicals had acted within its system as a form of genetic antifreeze, preventing the cells from expanding as the water froze. Therefore it never completely froze, even despite sub-zero temperatures. Yes, it was the discovery of the century, but it had not been for science.
Hunter knew they would be landing soon and reviewed what Maddox had told him about the support team. It had been an informal and enigmatic briefing, the colonel volunteering as little as possible. But Hunter had gleaned enough to know that this Special Response Team wasn't standard military. Maddox had said, in a rather strange tone, that it was out of the CMC — the Central Military Commission — which was an operational center under the authority of the National Security Agency.
The CMC, he learned, was the only federal agency not restricted by Posse Comitatus —a doctrine that prevented the government from using U. That alone to Hunter was intriguing and distinctly disturbing. For some reason, it seemed, they were afraid this might require active military mobilization. And that didn't make sense. Even stranger, this hunting party seemed bizarre. Hunter had perceived that much when he asked if this was a singularly American event. And Dixon, eyes hidden, had replied with even more vagueness that it was a unique team assembled from half a dozen nations. In essence, he said, they had recruited professional soldiers who were reputed to be highly trained at hunting not only men but animals as well.
Hunter hadn't pushed it. He suspected already that anything Dixon said was a lie. Even asking him a question indicated a lessening of awareness. Then it was intriguing how Maddox had seemed to spend an excessive amount of time assuring Hunter that helicopter transports would be on constant standby in case of a disaster. Hunter grunted as he recalled it.
Sure seemed like they were spending more time preparing for a disaster than for success. Rousing himself, Ghost sat and turned his huge wedged head for a brief moment before locking on Hunter. With unnatural alertness the wolf then scanned the empty cargo hold before it blinked, yawning. Hunter wrapped an arm about the huge neck, feeling the iron strength locked deep as the stone of a mountain in the dark frame, and laughed.
He turned his face away as Ghost tried to nuzzle him with his huge black nose. Go on, now. Lie down. We ain't there yet. It'll be soon enough. With the distinct impression of great weight, the wolf settled on the tarp. His eyes, wide-open now and as black as his mane, stared into the sixty-foot cargo hold, always alert. Despite his self-confidence, Hunter felt safer knowing this great beast was with him, a bodyguard that never truly slept.
Even when Ghost was asleep, which was rare, nothing could approach him without his acute senses bringing him to his feet. Hunter had researched wolves after he adopted the cub and discovered that wolves were very much different from dogs or even coyotes. For one thing, far more of a wolf's brain was dedicated to hearing and vision. Not only could they hear ranges far greater than any other animal except a cat, they also had the ability to purposefully block particular sounds that they didn't care to hear.
It was an incredible natural endowment, as was their sense of smell — the scent pad within their snout was so large that, if removed and unfolded, it could cover their entire head. And their night vision was superior to every mammal but a bat, a necessary faculty for hunting at night that wolves were prone to do. But the most amazing ability of wolves, and what truly separated them, was their ability to hunt by either sight or scent, or both, simultaneously.
vizadehuru.tk Most creatures depended upon one faculty or the other, sight or sound, to hunt prey; it was instinctive. But wolves could, and would, switch in the middle of a hunt from scent to sight, or back again. And they were the ultimate hunters — once they locked onto prey they wouldn't stop until they were successful. But Ghost was special even for a gray wolf. One of his distinctions was his strength, incredible by any standard. Another was his size. Hunter knew from experience that most wolves were remarkably lean and limber because excess body weight diminished their ability to go for days and weeks without sustenance.
But Ghost, by genetic design and perhaps partially because of the care Hunter had given him since birth, was far more muscular than the average wolf, almost overpoweringly muscular. His shoulders swelled with thick muscle, as did his flanks. And his neck was like corded iron humped behind a massive wedged head. Gingerly, Hunter reached out in the half light of the cargo hold and felt for the closed fangs, and Ghost lowered his head.
Then Hunter touched the incisors — they were thick as a boar's tusks, sharp and set deep in hardened bone, and Hunter remembered when he had taken the wolf on a track last year in British Columbia. Hunter had eventually found the tourists deep in the Kispiox Wilderness but it had been a difficult four-day track.
The couple, not having the simple presence of mind to just bed down, conserve energy, and wait for help, had wandered dumbly, burning up precious calories in the cold and forcing Hunter to begin foraging to maintain his own energy level. He finally found them and called for a medical helicopter, but then Ghost had vanished.
Concerned, Hunter had tracked the wolf into a tall stand of birch to find Ghost squared off against another wolf — a large gray alpha, leader of the pack. A bull elk had been brought down by the pack, and the alpha, by definition as leader, would eat first. But Ghost would have none of it. He waded in, and the alpha warned him off. Then Ghost emitted an ungodly growl that made even Hunter feel a thrill of fear, and the alpha attacked.
Ghost evaded the first lightning-quick lunge, struck a shoulder on the larger wolf and was gone again before it could react. And for an amazingly long and savage battle it was blow for blow, Ghost retreating and attacking, leaping and striking with feral fury. Hunter watched in fascination as they joined in combat for six hours, neither surrendering, neither striking a mortal wound until Ghost finally slashed a crimson brand that savaged the alpha's neck and the gray wolf fell to a knee.
But there was no mercy. Not now. Ghost moved in, slowly at first, and then, in a movement too quick to follow, hit again, and there was a flare of blood, and the alpha lay deathly still. Ghost stood only a moment over the carcass before he went tiredly to the elk and began to feed. The other wolves let him feast until he was done.
Then, as he turned his back and moved away, the rest of them moved in and devoured what was left. Hunter never forgot the episode, or the awesome, utter savagery Ghost had embodied. It had been a display of the purest primal fury, truly awesome in its power and awesome in its ferocity. Hungry as he was, Hunter didn't interrupt as Ghost fed alone, though afterwards he fired a shot into the air to drive off the pack.
Then he moved in cautiously beneath the uncaring gaze of Ghost to cut several large steaks from the hindquarter. He ate one raw, cooked another, then air-dried twenty pounds of jerky for the long journey back. And by cutting off one of the massive legs, stripping the skin at the socket, and tying it back to the hoof, he made an efficient shoulder strap of raw meat — enough to sustain the wolf until they reached the Ranger base. The forest, all that was in this land, would completely consume what remained of the elk; nothing was wasted.
Hunter had often thought of the incident, wondering what savage pride had driven Ghost to continue the fight. But, from the first day, it was clear that he would die before he walked away. Hunter smiled as he reached out to ruffle Ghost's mane once more but noticed the wolf was staring away intently, as if perceiving a slowly approaching threat. Suddenly sensitive, Hunter turned his head to gaze into the cargo hold. But he saw nothing.
Standing half-naked in the shadowed gloom, he was amazed that he could not remember his name. Faintly troubled by it, he slowly raised his hands before his face, frowning slightly, for they were slightly different than before. They were wider, thicker, and tipped with what remained of claws. The transformations were lasting longer, and taking longer to fade, he thought. But that was something to be expected. Soon, he assumed, they might not fade at all. That was well with him; he had grown to prefer that superior state of being — that matchless measure of might that he alone enjoyed.
No, never again would he be one of them — the weak, the puny, the prey. No, he would forever enjoy a higher realm of existence — a physical glory not seen on the Earth for ten thousand years, and which he alone possessed. Strangely, though he could not remember his name, he remembered so much else. To test himself, he attempted to recall everything he knew about the alien DNA he had injected into his body.
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Electrophoresis, he remembered clearly, had categorized the recombinant DNA as ninety-nine percent Homo sapiens. Yet it was the one percent that had demanded their attention and launched the first stage of the experiment. An aggressive immunity to every disease tested against it had been discovered in that DNA, which contained the very building blocks of life. It was like a battery able to recharge endlessly.
Yes, there was not just life, but virtual eternal life hidden within. For death, he well knew, was simply the aging of cells — a progressive mutation of the body until the cells could simply no longer reproduce. But this creature, Homo scimitar, was not cursed with such a fate as modern man. Although the DNA hinted that there was ultimately an end to the recombinant strength, it was at a level far beyond modern Homo sapiens.
Yes, this Lord of the North had possessed a life span of hundreds and hundreds of years. Theoretically, he realized that a thousand years was not beyond hope. Although the true biochemical essence of its phenomenal longevity was, despite their calculations, a mystery, its immunity system had been readily understood.
A breakdown of the coding had revealed the astonishing level of restrictive enzymes that prevented a foreign agent, like a virus or bacteria, from infecting and interfering with the host DNA. Literally billions of various restrictive enzymes were locked in the helix, a clear indication that this creature had been as invulnerable to virus and bacteria as he was to age — a superior species from a superior realm.
Then the time came to see if the DNA could be copied in modern homo-sapiens. And after performing his own series of tests, he had decided to experiment on himself. He never even debated his right to inject himself with the coding. He knew that, if successful, he would share those superhuman qualities, and he had judged the potential triumph worth the risk. His motives had not been pure, nor did he care. What he wanted for himself was justification enough for his actions.
But he had not anticipated the transformation to be so overpowering. And he could even now feel the strength growing again, flexing solid muscle that was increasing moment by moment. He could even sense the increasing bone density in his arms and chest and legs, and realized he would soon change again. He did not know what had compelled his rampage on that first night when he changed within the chamber. He only remembered a dim transposing of visions, screaming faces and hands raised in appeal as his own hands — black claws there — swept left and right with the scarlet world falling before him.
Then morning had come and he was himself, in his own mind and with his own eyes. And after the next research team arrived, replacing those he had massacred so joyfully in his rampage, he had felt it building within him again and knew without question that, when night came, he would be as he had been. They screamed when the steel door exploded before his blow, and a cloud of concrete dust arose as the deep-set bolts were ripped from the wall. It was a single thunderous impact of his forearm, smashing down with the irresistible force of a wrecking ball that reduced the concrete to chalk and laid the steel flat before him.
Then he saw them through the familiar red haze. He saw them backing away in horror, screaming, always screaming. But on that second occasion, everything was clearer, and he gained bestial satisfaction from the sheer exultation, the uncontainable exultation of his omnipotent power. He knew in that moment that he could bring down a charging rhinoceros with the strength of his arms, that he could kill anything living — anything — with the massive might and claws that found no resistance in earthly substance. It was the best of all worlds; human cunning, the fierce blood of the beast, and prehistoric power.
But then his human mind was fading, he knew, with each changing. And the changes were becoming more frequent, the beast slowly overcoming what he had been until he would be man no more. He thought of it a moment, and decided he did not care. Whatever he had been no longer mattered. Tests no longer mattered. Nothing mattered but the power, the endless life, and the freedom to kill, and kill, and kill.
It was midday when Hunter climbed off the plane. Standing stiffly in the bay, he stretched for a moment. Then he hoisted his small pack, shouldered the Marlin and, looking out, saw Maddox dressed in a camouflage uniform walking toward the ramp. Authoritative but more casual than anticipated, the lieutenant colonel stopped and clasped his hands behind his back, nodding. Hunter saw a pistol holstered at his waist and glanced at the grip: a Colt. Standard army issue for World War II.
Maddox's expression altered slightly when he saw the wolf but he had the fortitude not to display the barely controlled nervousness of their first encounter. Still, his eyes shifted jerkily, as he tried to watch Ghost as well as Hunter. It was a method he'd perfected in the forest, reading everything at once, concentrating on nothing in particular. If something important appeared, instinct or reflex would lock his gaze on it. This place required no reflex or instinct to see what was important.
The compound resembled a battle post more than a research station. Within a high wire-mesh fence sat six Blackhawk helicopters, all armed with rocket pods and M's hung from bungee cord in the open bays. Squinting, Hunter counted eight Light Personnel Carriers — heavily armored vehicles mounted with deadly 25mm Bushmaster cannons. There were at least fifteen Humvees, each carrying an M machine gun mounted on the roof, and maybe six personnel trucks. Hunter estimated at least sixty personnel, which was a lot for a research station. Tin-domed winter huts were set well within the compound in a tight square, and there was a single-level tin structure about two acres in size that was reminiscent of Arctic research outposts located farther north.
Yeah, Hunter thought, they were expecting to be attacked soon.
He could almost smell the fear in the wind. Hunter gently grabbed Ghost by the scruff of the neck. The commissary remained open for you and the crew. It caused slight consternation at the commissary when Hunter requested thirty pounds of raw meat for Ghost, but Maddox smoothed it over. And before he himself ate, Hunter stationed Ghost outside the door with a shank of beef, knowing the wolf would eat it through the long day and night, storing up for a time when food might be scarce.
It was a wolf's way, he had learned, to eat continuously on prey for a period of a day and night, knowing it might not eat again for as much as a week. So, leaving Ghost in view, Hunter listened to Maddox expound on the importance of the mission. We have assembled the best support team in the world.
Every conceivable emergency is anticipated. All you are required to do is…well, what you do best. Hunter, chewing slowly on a steak, cast a glance at Ghost to ensure that no one was approaching him — an unlikely event in any case. He saw several soldiers standing about fifty feet away, staring with fear and curiosity.
But he doubted anyone would bother him, which would be a tragic mistake. Suddenly Maddox raised his head and Hunter sensed a presence. He heard the voice and turned to see a short, square, white-haired figure behind him. Tipler was dressed like he was going on safari, hands stuffed deeply in the pockets of a well-worn fishing vest. The chain of a pocket watch dipped on the right side.
He was smiling broadly. Were you injured at all? Hunter had not had an opportunity to speak with the professor since returning from Manchuria, where he had narrowly escaped death after being trapped in a cavern by two Siberian tigers fighting for territory. Caught between them as they raged through the cave in battle, Hunter survived only because they had killed each other in the conflict. I guess it came close. Please finish your meal. It might be the last time for a while that we might enjoy a calm moment of relaxation.
For most of the year temperatures are freezing. Could have been genetic, or an adaptation to the cold, but it had a mane like a Caspian, right down to the color. The misidentification is understandable. Big, though. Went about seven hundred, maybe thirteen feet. From a distance it might have looked a Caspian. But it wasn't. Tipler nodded, solemn for a moment, as Hunter ate in silence. Hunter knew he would need the energy because he would burn more calories in the altitude and cold.
In fact, up here he would probably burn four times as many calories just remaining warm as his body would consume in a temperate environment. We certainly have enough to deal with! Gesturing impatiently, Tipler continued. In fact, I am probably too old to be accompanying your men on this trip. So do not deny me my eccentricities. Hunter looked up sharply at the professor, then across at Maddox.
He had suddenly realized the air of danger in his stillness. And, be perfectly assured, should any mishaps occur, we are very well prepared to deal with them. We can have him out of those mountains and to a hospital within thirty minutes. The old man's hand settled on his shoulder. I have been, as you know, on several arduous expeditions in recent years. And if I suspect at any time that I am slowing you down I will demand my, uh, what do you call it, a…". And you know how I move. You can't keep up with me. Even this so-called support team couldn't keep up with me if I didn't allow them.
Besides, we don't even know what this thing is. We just know it's dangerous. More dangerous than anything we've ever seen. Maybe more dangerous than anything anyone has ever seen. We don't know its habits, its instincts, whether it's territorial or nocturnal. We don't know what it will do when it's wounded or cornered. We don't know if it will counterattack or hunt us at the same time I'm hunting it.
I know you're still in good shape for your age, but this isn't a bone hunt, Professor. We're going after something that can kill like a tiger.