"Well, we could be more like you- and not make this poor person pay for his misteakes by dying as an unborn fetus.

  "We can pay for our sins- and pay for his or her sins- so the universe is in all of our hands.  We need to take responsibilityfor each other if we are going to survive."

 "Exactly.  Paying it forward.  Not being concerned with other people being punished, but being willing to suffer for a friend's mistakes." he said.

 "So Sheila, I and the next gem bearer will have to suffer a second time?"

 "Yes." Albert admitted.

 "So we'll have to experience the pain of three gem bearers  meeting!"  I asked.

 "Yes, you do.  To save his life.  Willingness to suffer for another is righteous.  You are being forced to suffer, thus, forced to be righteous."

 Oh the thoguht of that miserable pain sent a chill up my spine.  The twisting, the stabbing!  Like a butterknife slowly, piercing the skin- dull- long prolonged pain.  Like cold ice- searing its way into the flesh.  Like a doorknob- connected to the flesh, and turning- twisting inside.

 "Oh I can't do it!  It's horrible."

 "Me neither, let him die!" Theresa shouted.

 We hugged each other in fear.  Two wimpy women.  I looked at Albert, and he had  a sympathetic look on his face.

 I thought a moment.  Well, I  always subconciously knew of this karma police system- and now that it is bluntly real, I still won't accept it.  I'm so set in my selfish ways- that even blunt reality won't steer my feet onto a righteous path.

 "I know.  It's hard to be righteous- even in the face of undeniable proof that there is a system that rewrads, and punishes based on behavior." Albert said.

 This man is such a wonderful person.  He volunteered, took up post to perform unselfish acts.  and he sympathizes with us.

 "We have to do it Theresa."

 She looked at me with desperate eyes. "No, kill the baby, I'm not experiencing that pain again!"

 "Even if we did kill the baby- finding the gate wouldn't be a gaurantee.  We'd be more likely to regain the window through the two of you suffering unselfishly."

 "We must." I told her.

 "No, no."  Her eyes were fierce and determined.

 "Is there anyway we could make you go through with this?"

 "Be my friends, in this lifetime."

 "Ah- you sacrifised friendship for your sins.  And doing something for another is difficult because you've never experienced true friendship.  I will hold your hand throughout the pain, and continue to be our friend  after this pain.  You have earned a friend in me.  If you can experience this pain you will even out your karma, and earn me as a friend."

 "Okay, lets do it then" she meekly said.

 "Okay", I said, "I'm ready" and I clenched my teeth.