The candle’s life was sixteen hours, precisely.
It was near midnight, start of the leap day, the allotted time. She placed the candle on its holder.
Midnight, ignite the wick, for five minutes, exactly.
‘Population set to reach 20 billion this year’ was the headline of the Tribune, followed by a statement from the World Federation about the increase in production that would maintain the standard of living. ‘Irrespective of the effect on the planet’ was the response of the Science Guild that was widely ignored. Science had been ridiculed during the rise of the Global Federation except where it supported their aims; some scientists valued their position within government and relinquished the search for truth that science demanded.