Please Read With Great Comprehension

        A standard question asked of the Voices From The Umbra Organization is simply the word “how?” A group of us actually like to consider ourselves experts of a sort in the word “how”, because when we receive that question from 20 different people, they're really asking 20 different questions.

        They might want to know how the technology works, how our Organization has structurally formed and reformed over the years, how we “believe in all of this nonsense”, how we live with ourselves, how we haven't been raided by the United States Government, how we manage to support ourselves financially, how we educate the children of our members....... And on, and on, and on, and on.

        We don't discourage these questions, even if we're unable to answer many of them for the time being. We love how interested people are with how we do what we do. We're passionate about our work, and we love sharing what we can with the public. That's the reasoning that finally led us to produce the podcast, and allow the Voices to speak for themselves and be heard by the public for the first time.

        In today's history lesson, I think many of those questions will get at least a partial answer. Not everything will be fully explained, and we have reasons to keep our secrets, but you'll have a much deeper knowledge of the daily nitty gritty of what we do to bring you these voices that are so tragically distant.

        To do so we must begin where we left off, in the great joy of WINDFALL giving us the funding and support to produce the first prototype, lovingly called “The Ear”. Nearly the size of a large van, The Ear was, to the untrained eye, a staggering mesh of incredibly thin wires, all weaved together into something that often approached a pattern but seemed to break it's own rules as often as it followed them.

        This is the end of history for this month. I had to hide it here, I couldn't think of where else I could put it. I had to delete much of this month's history so that the length wouldn't raise suspicion. Normally this would be the space where you'd hear about the beginnings of our organization. The history of my Grandfather. The history of everything I've ever been a part of. But, unfortunately, that won't be what is written this time.

        We're more popular now than we ever have been. The Voices From the Umbra Organization is now known on every continent, it's touched thousands of lives, it's got a power associated with it that it's never had before. And, sadly, that comes at a time when our Organization is the most fractured and broken I've ever seen it.

        You've probably picked up on some of it, especially if you're a devout consumer of what we attempt to produce and put into the world. You know that over the past couple of months the rhetoric used is much darker than it has been before. Occasionally more confusing, as well. We are well aware of that. Well aware.

        While from an outside perspective it's a relatively new occurrence, inside the organization things have been trending this way for some time. People were reluctant to speak out about it at first, many still are, but some people have seen the changes happening and raised their voices against it.

        Not with violence. With their voices. Voices. That...concept, that we are all supposed to be working to support here. They used their voices, but they were not answered with voices. Instead, my Grandfather, and several other ranking members of the Think Tank, answered with violence masquerading as their voices. A trend which has become all too familiar, lately.

        My Grandfather is not well. We don't know exactly what's wrong, but something is very intensely wrong with the mind of my Grandfather, and it's not getting better. He also refuses to admit that anything is wrong. That he's changed at all. But you have to believe me, I've known that man all my life, I consider him, completely honestly, more of a father than a Grandparent. It hurts me terribly to have to say these things about him, which is why I hope that you get some understanding of how grave this situation is.

        The consolidating of our people into one location has not gone well. Stress is at an all-time high, and there is a constant tension in the air. Kind words have been replaced, in many instances, with silence or argument. Despite the amount of labor potential we have, things are getting done at half the rate they normally would. This was a happy home once, this was my home once, and now I can barely recognize it.

        Worst of all, and this is the most difficult thing to write, I'm not sure I'm safe here anymore. I'm not sure that if, or more likely when, this little indiscretion of mine is discovered I won't share the same fate as others. Or worse. From what I've seen of humanity, sometimes we can be the most cruel to those we say we love.

        Truly the reason that we had such scientific success in such a relatively short time comes down to nothing but the dedication and incredible minds of the entire early Think Tank team. While the Think Tank has grown and evolved over the years, there has always been something special about the forerunners, and especially those who gave their lives in pursuit of ultimate truth and knowledge.

        And that's really all there is to say about the first few years of technological advancement at the VFTU Organization. It's complex, it connects the forefronts of vastly different areas of physics, engineering, psychology, biology, linguistics, philosophy, and quite possibly even faith. The research was dangerous and hard won, but at last we emerged with the greatest of all the scientific prizes: the chance to know something that nobody else in the world knew.

        Even scientists love a good secret.