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October 24, 1982 AD, Grandview Nursing Home, Canoga Park, California, Earth

PROLOGUE
i Nursing Home



Mr. Hoo Nun's room

Mr. Hoo Nun watched two nurses unpack the few boxes that comprised his worldly goods.  He lay sunken in his new hospital bed studying them from his prone position.  The large hospital window offered a restful view of an oak tree with the orange-red leaves of autumn.  The younger of the two nurses turned to glance at the old Asian man who had a reputation for babbling about his fantasies and delusions.

He caught her glance before the other nurse, who had warned her not to get him started, could pull her back.  He asked her, “Do you know what happened?”  He spoke with a thick accent.  She assumed it was a Chinese accent, but an expert would say that it really wasn’t.

“Excuse me?”  She tilted her head to one side afraid she misplaced something of his during the room transfer.  The other nurse, five years her senior and far more experienced with Mr. Hoo Nun’s idiosyncrasies, decidedly ignored him.

He looked at an ornately carved, golden rod he had been fiddling with and asked her again, “Do you know what happened?”  Then without waiting for a response he continued, “I am not talking about the move, or what happen yesterday, or even the day before.  I am talking about this,” he held up the rod, “about what lies at the roots of human history.”

The older nurse leaned towards her and whispered out of the side of her mouth in a sort of singsong voice like a mother admonishing a child, “Don’t get involved.”  

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