BACK TO CHAPTER IV
Keloid Cole III was always viewed to be the successor to the current Child Emperor. Nevertheless, Cole would almost certainly never succeed to the throne given that the Child Emperor was an immortal child who underwent brain transplantation. Cole was immortal too, as was every child in the Child Empire. It had been that way for about 23 generations. And though it dramatically stabilized the time-space continuum, the number 23 was a prophetic number. In the I Ching it is called “Breaking Apart.” All of the child prophesies whispered across the Empire predicted a cataclysm.
Cole’s was an honorary position but not one without its risks. While the chances of his infiltration by a time-traveling saboteur mind was minimal, even the .001% chance that it could happen made Imperial Guards ultra-suspicious of Cole. Given his closeness and daily contact with the Child Emperor, Cole was the single best candidate – aside from the Emperor himself – to invade and commandeer. According to quantum computer models, a skilled time-traveler could infiltrate Cole and murder the Child Emperor in less than 60 seconds.
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