The rain turned gradually to snow, happily without becoming sleet or slush, and his family returned from Minnesota without incident. It had been, all said and done, a safe trip – with or without his bromidic words. He was pleased. He was content. The holiday season had been pleasant, quiet. Everything was fine, except for the birds.
A secret communication had come to him on the air, in binary code through the electronic ether: “The owls are not what they seem.” It was an older code, to be sure, but he recognized the sender.
The owls, and all the birds, in fact, were not what they appeared to be. None of them were real anymore. None of them were birds. During the Reagan administration, when he himself had been only a boy, the birds had bene replaced. They were systematically eliminated all across the nation and replaced with surveillance drones disguised as avian creatures. From the peristeronic drones monitoring metropolitan cities to the buteonine wings swooping over the fields of the heartland, from the larine eyes watching ships in the harbors, to vulturous observers over the deserts, the entire country was being watched. Everywhere. But the birds, the real birds, were nowhere.
Hitchcock saw this coming. He tried to warn us. Lynch understood and tried to tell us. But we were merely entertained; we failed to understand.
Now it should be understood that neither Jesus nor the early Christians were communists or socialists. Not as we would use the words. They did not have a developed economic theory. They did not use the dialectic process to understand the movement of history. To call them socialists or communists would be something of an anachronism. But they were, in a broader sense, communal. Something akin to communists, they shared what they had one with another. And for this reason, they - both Jesus and the early Christians – are despised by contemporary American Evangelical Christians. Philip K Dick would have understood this. He would have seen it.
It was for this reason that the Evangelicals, acting as willing (eager, even) agents of the Black Iron Prison, sent back through time a mechanical spy of their own. Using an artificially generated time slip, the Evangelicals sent a feathered informer back to the Roman Emperors to spy on their treasonous forbears. You remember Hephaestus’ mechanical owl in Ray Harryhausen’s movie The Clash of the Titans, right? You thought it was only an amusing fiction. Harryhausen understood even if you did not.
These feathered observers, these “democracy enhancers” were considered a matter of national security, but for obvious reasons were kept secret from the general public. What we mean to say is that there is no difference between terrorism and counter-terrorism. No difference except a name. It doesn’t matter what the voters want. It doesn’t matter what the population desires. The mob, the “great beast” will be controlled. The irritable dark waters will demoralize anyone who attempts to look too closely.
 This program of avian surveillance was initiated when President Ronald Reagan failed to get the support he wanted for his Strategic Defense Initiative. Where the “Star Wars” program was mocked and openly ridiculed, the CIA went quietly about replacing the American bird population with bird shaped spies.