Foreword

    Everyone knows the story of St. Stephenson.  We learn it at our parent's knees.  But recently, while renovating the Rediscovery where St. Stephenson came to First Life, a strange machine was discovered hidden in the hull.  At first no one knew what it was; our investigations were not able to determine its function.  At last St. Stephenson was consulted as to the purpose of this machine.  His exact words were, "Oh, that?  It's nothing, just a black box.  You can throw that away."  We were about to do exactly that when someone wondered aloud what was a black box, and why it was not black, but bright orange?  We consulted our old records, from back in the early centuriess of space flight, and we found that a recording device called a black box, was used, amongst other things, to record on tape any words that were spoken in the cockpit, in case a problem developed, so that the problem could later be investigated.
    It was lucky for First Life that we looked into this, for when we decided to listen to the recording, we discovered on it, in St. Stephenson's own words, the mental processes that he went through that took him from kangaroo-court-criminal to Prime Representative of First Life.  St. Stephenson was contacted again, to see how he wanted those words preserved, but he said to destroy them.  In almost every case his orders would have been carried out, but in all consciousness, and in responsibility to First Life, we agreed that destroying these words of his was impossible.
    Instead, we wrote them down, in the format you are about to approach them, so that everyone could know what he went through for us, but most especially what St. Stephenson went through to reach First Life.  For we who first heard his words, the experience was incredible, as if we were there in prison with him, and he were talking to us as if he could see us.
    We hope that in this presentation the experience will be equally moving.  Making this transcript was both fortunate and unfortunate for humanity.  Unfortunate, because as we copied the words, the tape from which we were making the copy began to disintegrate from its great age; fortunate, because we got all the words down in print before the tape finished disintegrating.  So, while we do not have St. Stephenson's voice to present his words to you, we do have his words; this is the best we can ever have now, because St. Stephenson outright refuses to re-record these words for us.  Therefore, we present them only in this format, for your edification and enjoyment.
    We have tried our faithful best to present the following poems to you, and for you, in the manner which he chose to speak them, or sing them, as he sometimes did.  As St. Stephenson went through the process of learning how to compose poetry, we went though a similar process of how to best transcribe it in its pure form.  The language is an archaic form of Canadian English, the language of St. Stephenson's youth, and the language he used on the recording.  We, your transcribers, hope we have preserved the simplicity of the poetry, and brought forth all the meaning with which it is endowed.  But this is enough of us.  Here then, is St. Stephenson:

The First Life Revelation Society
5368 F.L.