The breeze sung through the shade trees, intentionally isolated from the nearby forest. Vince spoke with another villager in a field bordering the village.

“You see, if we put the well here, it will be more centralised as the village expands to its full size. Also, it won’t disturb anyone while we’re drilling.” Vince explained to a younger man, Aaron.

Satisfied with the survey, Aaron marked the agreed upon spot with a long spear, and the two walked back to the village together.

Vince’s role in the day-to-day work in the village had varied greatly, but he had earned particular respect as he played the role of strategic planner. The necessary scope of thought for tasks such as these was one that few of the villagers had any context to consider. Vince saw the potential for the village to grow exponentially. Especially after the event of Reconstruction, everyone may very well want to live in a place like this after their perspectives on technology and life itself were brought back into line with the reality of humanity.

“It really is great that we found these ancient digging methods. It’s going to save so much time in dry seasons!”

Vince laughed. “Yes, I couldn’t believe that you were hauling water all that way - and for all these years! When Father explained our water reprocessing process, why we couldn’t have a permanent pipeline through the forest, and how much water needed to be constantly added to the system, I knew that there must be a better way. I just hope that this groundwater still exists!”

Upon returning to the workshop, Vince saw an oddly clothed figure on the other end of the building, speaking with one of the village men.

“Carroll!?” Vince called across the building.

“Vince!?” Came the reply, imitating Vince’s tone perfectly.

The two men met in the middle of the building. “How did you get here so quickly? It took me weeks to find this place!”

“Well, obviously you didn’t know where to look. And besides, you’re not a pro GlideBoard pilot, are you?” Vince retorted, grinning in his usual manner.

You’re a pro GlideBoard pilot?” Vince said in genuine disbelief. Carroll was far too big to fit that bill.

“Well, I’m retired, and semi-pro, but that didn’t slow me down from getting here within a day, now did it? I even stopped for bed-and breakfast while my rig was being prepped.” Carroll pointed to a brightly colored, yet elegantly minimal transport which rested in the shop nearby. “And don’t you worry - I had all nine possible tracking systems disabled, and even installed an active canopy cloaking system so that those pesky satellites couldn’t have seen me come here!” Carroll proudly declared.

Vince was left speechless, staring at the rather expensive racing transport. He had never been a fan of the sport, but like every other Overworlder, knew enough to casually talk about it. After a brief pause, Carroll bellowed out a laugh, reverberating loudly in the large workshop. It seemed to Vince that his personality was too big for the small village to handle.

A moment later, another of the villagers brought Carroll a folded set of clothing, like the one that everyone else wore. Carroll accepted it with thanks, and to nobody's surprise, changed his garb without missing a beat.

“So, Vince, I heard you got married!? Why wasn’t I invited!?” Carroll said, halfway through the process of changing clothes.

“Well, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. We don’t believe in long waiting periods or even second-guessing who the right person is. But there’s also no concept of divorce here.”

“What? That’s the wackiest thing I’ve ever heard!” Carroll replied, still preoccupied.

“I thought so too, at first, but it made a lot of sense when Father explained that marriage is about living with the person, not about the actual process of getting married. The work towards unity comes after, not before! If you want to get married, then commit to the responsibility of loving one another and do so - that is all it takes!” Vince replied, evidently paraphrasing Father’s advice. “Everyone gathered for a party outside the workshop, and Rowan and I were married!”

“Well, I guess so - still seems a bit ridiculous. People don’t normally get married unless they’ve been with someone for years, and still love them...” With that, Carroll was once again dressed, and was officially a baby by Vince’s reckoning. “I keep hearing about this Father, but where is he? Isn’t this where he works?” Carroll replied, looking around dramatically as if Father was simply hiding nearby.

“Yes, well, sort-of. He works everywhere - I think he had a field servicing job to do today. But he’ll be back soon in time for the evening discussion. You know, I think we’re going to continue talking about Reconstruction! We began really getting into it this morning… I think this village and ones like it have an extremely important role to play in the world.”

Vince and Carroll continued to discuss the village and the same topics that he and Father had discussed earlier that same day. Before much time passed, the entire village gathered for the evening meal, setting up at tables all around the workshop. Vince and Carroll took their place at a table, along with Rowan, Aaron and some other villagers that Vince worked with.

“So, Carroll, you’re one of the original Reconstructionists?“ Aaron asked, striking up conversation as the group settled in for the meal.

“I sure am!” Carroll sloppily replied halfway through with a mouthful of food.

Aaron grinned widely, looking back at Carroll with wonder. “It’s so amazing that you and Vince wound up here! We younger men have been talking about Reconstruction constantly since Vince first mentioned it to us a week ago. It’s incredible to think that the world might finally be embracing the lifestyle that we’ve had for so long!”

Carroll paused, thoughtfully looking back at Aaron. He wasn’t any younger than Carroll, but the respect shown was nearly as if Carroll was a village elder. “Yes, I thought the same thing too when I first started thinking about it. But seeing you and this village really makes me think that Reconstruction might really work!” Carroll said, adding more seriously, “And I think that you may have a role of serious importance, too.”

“What do you mean?” Aaron asked.

“Well, many things have to change in order to allow this world to change the way it works. The people in power - the Overworlders - are simply not willing to change their ways of obsession with profits, power, and technology. Their AI army has taken over the means of production for the entire world, and enforces a sort of slavery through the necessary abdication of responsibility on us Underworlders - except for these beautiful villages that live outside their grasp of course!”

Vince noted that Carroll’s language had developed significantly since they last talked - even since their recent messaging on the application. “What are you suggesting, Carroll, that the Overworlders will not see Reconstruction as a good thing, and willingly promote it? Isn’t it too early to tell?”

“No!” Carroll passionately replied, slamming his hand on the table in rhetorical fury. Still, it was more than enough to startle the villagers nearby, drawing attention from more than two dozen sets of eyes. “Of course they will not even so much as go along with Reconstruction. And no, it isn’t too early to tell - Benjamin sent me the initial statistics - he managed to set it all up last night. Less than one percent of our application interactions come from Overworld sources - and of those, most of them are espionage from companies such as CorpCorp!”

Silence fell as Carroll dramatically paused, letting the facts sink in.

“Carroll!” Father’s benevolent voice interrupted the nervous tenseity. “So you made it! And so quickly! Vince mentioned that you may be on your way. Welcome to our village, baby - I see that you have been well treated?”

“Yes, I am very thankful for your hospitality - and I am glad to meet you, Father.” Carroll replied, cordially. Father’s presence tamed Carroll as well as it had tamed Vince.

“Very well, then let me sit with you, and we can continue this conversation in the designated teaching time, after the meal.”

Father’s handling of the situation, unsurprisingly to Vince, easily diffused any nervousness that Carroll, in his infancy, had caused. The meal continued with levity and normal discussions. Aaron and Vince relayed their work on the water well to Father, but after some more relatively small-talk, the conversation returned to Carroll in due time.

“So, Carroll, tell me about yourself - how did you come to be a Reconstructionist?” Father asked.

Carroll took his time to come to an answer, treating the question, or perhaps the questioner, with seriousness. “I suppose it started a couple of weeks ago with Paul, Benjamin, myself and awkwardly with Vince.”

To Vince’s surprise, Father interrupted. “No, no. Go back further, your father was a great man - powerful in speech and conduct, was he not?”

Carroll was stunned at the mention of his father. Every bit of tension returned as silence fell on the group. Word of Carroll’s arrival and odd words had spread to every villager’s attention, and a crowd of those who had finished eating quickly began forming around the table.

“How do you know… about my father?” Carroll replied forcibly, clearly emotionally struck by the very thought.

Father replied in his same, casual tone. “It’s all in the public records - he fought bravely for the rights of sovereign nations - that’s hardly a secret matter. He had one son, named Carroll Bowie. Given your involvement with this Reconstructionist movement that Vince has exposed us to, it was natural to assume that you, Carroll, were in fact the same Carroll Bowie that I saw mentioned in the records from some dozen years ago. You are this same Carroll, are you not?”

Vince saw the flash of fury across Carroll’s face as Father spoke, yet something about Father managed to assuage the the emotion as quickly as it came. Carroll remained quiet, in a trance of introspection.

Father spoke up again, saying directly, “Carroll, my understanding is that you were reborn today - into the new life found within this village. If such is so, you are free from the burdens of your past - you only have to worry about the responsibilities of today, and nothing more. None here have any judgment or even care for your past or the burdens that you still carry. Yet, my question remains, and is pertinent to our ongoing discussion about Reconstruction - How did you come to be a Reconstructionist?”

Carroll looked up, starting back at Father with a resolve that resonated with Vince’s soul. “I will tell you. And listen closely, because I don’t intend to relive these moments again.”

Father nodded in response. “You won’t have to - you’ll be free from it after tonight.” With that, father stood and addressed the crowds around the table, which now included nearly every villager. “Tonight, we have a special lesson - one from our newest member. While this is entirely unprecedented, his story will serve to illuminate the continuing discussion of Reconstruction, and what our role is in such. After tonight, we will have enough knowledge to decide on our involvement in Reconstruction. Therefore, I call a gathering of the elders to decide upon such matters tomorrow before dawn!” Father’s voice reached the ear of every person, and the crowd shifted to make a path towards the entrance of the workshop, where the speaker stood each night.

Father led Carroll to the appropriate place. The tables were already nearly cleared from eating, and chairs were positioned for those who wanted them in the front of the crowd. Vince and Rowan sat near the front, and Father joined them. No time was wasted before Carroll began.

“Good people - this is my story. It is unremarkable, except that it has brought me to a place where few have gone - a place where I can understand what is wrong with our world, and still have the boldness to try and fix it. My father was a leading member in the International Task Force, number twelve - or ‘ITF-12’. This task force was established to determine the roles that globally operating technology companies could play in the government and operation of countries around the world. Unified laws were sought in order to find some balance between having completely different operating procedures in one country than another, and simply giving away all country rights to these companies.

“The debate was simple enough - on the one hand, a country's government may be too imposing on these companies, making it economically infeasible to work there. This could, and did, cause the unintended effect of disrest and rioting amongst some such peoples since they did not share the same privileges as people in other countries - in certain instances, countries appeared to be destabilizing due to mass exodus led by undoubtedly paid-off celebrities after the announcement that some tech company or another would not be operating there due to the ‘undue restrictions’ - clearly bullying via monopolies, but we long ago forsook the enforcement of antitrust laws. On the other hand, the world could not just let these corporations decide how they would be governed. The stakes could not be higher - global technocracy was upon us.

“My father was the leading speaker for the members of the task force against technocracy. In brief, he made compelling arguments against the corporations having unified laws to work under across the globe. He drew heavily from the findings of previous International Task Forces and other political and philosophical writers to argue that global government, or one world orders, were a terrible idea made all the worse when it was controlled by corporations. He also attacked the proposition from the obvious and practical angle that different countries require different economies, and that proceeding with the unified global operating laws would assume otherwise.

“After the ITF-12 finalised the proposal, his arguments and speeches were so compelling that he was commonly credited for swaying the vote from the initial polling numbers of fifty-five percent for, forty-five percent against, to being dead-even, two weeks before the official vote was scheduled. That’s when he was killed.”

Carroll’s speech had easily captivated the crowd - his passion and intimacy with the topic was perfect for the situation. Yet, as he spoke of his father’s accomplishments, tears were flowing from his eyes. His unimpeded voice continued on, as the emotion was felt and echoed throughout the village.

“The ITF procedures for such an event were completed - an investigation was conducted and no evidence of malfiesence was found. A replacement member for the ITF-12 of similar position and opinion was found, yet no man could replace my father. The world knew that this death was too convenient for the corporations to be a coincidence. My father was made into a martyr for the cause, and national privileges were preserved by a wide margin - the final vote was thirty-seven percent for, and sixty-three percent against.

“My father was considered nothing to these soulless corporations. Our family was destroyed in an instant. I was sent into a constant state of rage. If it weren’t for a man named Paul, I would still be in prison today. Along with our local, human police force, Paul and his friend Benjamin did their best to perform an unofficial investigation, but found no more than the international investigation. Yet in spite of this shortcoming, Paul in his compassion for me did his best to lead me down a right path. It was Paul who made sure my mother and I had everything we needed. He patiently delt with my rage. Even after I spent nearly a year in prison for the destruction of some of CorpCorp’s property, Paul was there when I got out - constantly trying to bring me back into the folds of society, whilst constantly trying to make changes to such a society so that people like my father would not die in vain.

“In spite of my father’s achievement through his death, over the past ten years corporations have gradually gained power in ways that nearly nullify the point of the vote from the ITF-12. They have only really been delayed in their search for global power, and have effectively claimed it now. Over these long years, Paul, Benjamin, and myself, have been searching for solutions to this technocracy, each in our own way. Yet we’ve found that the problems are so deeply ingrained in the world that there is no easy way out. I distracted myself with high-risk activities and combat sports as an outlet for my rage, Benjamin grew ever more proficient with technology, trying to find answers there, and Paul did the best he could to make the world a better place wherever he went. We three, and by accident, Vince, are the true founders of the Reconstruction.

“It was about six months ago when we formalised the concept, and began development of an application which would be used as an outlet and resource for growing the collective effort towards creating a society where each person is not chasing after the meaningless whims of the technocracy, or worse, captivated by the AI which run the world. Today, sixteen days after the release of the application, we have some sixteen million users - a number which has grown exponentially each day. What is truly mind numbing is the quantity of content generated on this program - there are more posts and messages each day than there are members.

“It is from this ever-escalating mass of people that Reconstruction will occur. And it will not be stopped! Our estimates show that within two weeks, nearly every Underworlder in existence will be on-board with reconstruction. And if the polling numbers stay the same, these Reconstructionists will be massively in favor of drastic measures in order to bring the world back to its senses - a world without AI running it. And yet, the Overworld has yet to even notice! As I mentioned before, effective none of them have even enough interest in Reconstruction to peruse the application - they’re too proud of their achievements - too busy with building their wealth.

“I have come here because, in my conversations with Vince via the application, I have realized what a vital role you all have in Reconstruction. It is more than even Vince has seen - although he is right in presuming that you will be the leaders of the world after Reconstruction - there is more than that! You are to be the ones to show the world how to Reconstruct as well.

“There is currently endless debate within the Reconstructionists whether or not violence against the soulless AI of the Overworlders will be necessary or not. This debate has caused a rift even amongst us founders. Yet from the evidence I have already shown, it is clear that no Reconstruction will happen unless the Overworlders are awakened to the reality that is the will of the rest of the world. Thus, my message is this: We must start the attack against the Overworld - not against the people directly, because we really do want them to understand the truth of the Reconstruction - but against their companies and their AI. And your role in this is clear! None of these Underworlders have the capabilities of inflicting any damage against the Overworlders, and if they tried, they would be instantly eliminated by the police. But you do! And with so little risk since nobody really knows of your existence!

“Even tonight, we can strike a blow against the distributed communications network between cities, and sign it as an act of Reconstruction. Not only that, we can coordinate this with impassioned villages like this one over the course of the week, constantly harrying the Overworld companies, provoking them to see the truth of Reconstruction!”

With that, Carroll took a deep breath, calming his fried nerves from the passionate impromptu speech. Vince hadn’t realized the depth of Carroll’s passion for reconstruction until now - he was stirred by the call to action, and nearly ready to go attack CorpCorp himself. Father arose, stilling the crowd’s affirmations and restless discussions.

“I have always recognised the value from an outsider’s perspective, yet this is more than that - for Carroll has become one of us today. Truly, his experience has illuminated the current state of the world in a way that nothing else has for me. However, I will not condone any action performed without the prior decision of the elders. As I have already called for, we will meet tomorrow before dawn and decide what our village will do in regards to this Reconstruction. I will announce their decisions as soon as they are made, and we will prioritise responsibilities as we always do.”

The crowd dissipated after that, each ready for rest after their respective labors. Yet Vince, Carroll, Father, Aaron, and several other of the younger men were not quite ready to leave. Each of them felt as if unfinished business awaited them - each of them moved to shoulder further responsibilities.

As soon as the other villagers were out of sight, Father addressed the small group. “It is clear to me with the information that we have been presented with that we are able to aptly act for the good of the world. However, due to my prior and prioritised responsibilities, I cannot endanger this village by myself going out and exposing myself to harm without the blessing of the elders. However, if you deem the risk to your own families as acceptable, and can guarantee that no harm will be done to this village in retaliation for your actions, then there is nothing I can do to stop you from acting in any way. As you each know, you are autonomous individuals regarding anything outside of the scope of this village - although this sort of instance has never come up in my time as Father.”

Not awaiting any reply, Father left. Vince hesitated, but soon decided to go home to his wife, leaving the group, led by Carroll, to their obvious plans.