Saturday, February 14, 2026


Non-Fiction: Personal Liberty

Rebirth of a Theocracy

An anarcho-capitalist novel
[2nd draft]

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Rebirth of a Theocracy: Prologue - PDF ePub MOBI
Rebirth of a Theocracy: Chapter I - PDF - ePub - MOBI
Rebirth of a Theocracy: Chapter II - PDF ePub MOBI
Rebirth of a Theocracy: Chapter IIIPDF ePub MOBI
Rebirth of a Theocracy - Chapter IVPDF ePub MOBI
[First draft of] Theocracy: Chapter V
[First draft of] Theocracy: Chapter VI
Rebirth of a Theocracy: Chapter VII - PDF ePub MOBI
Rebirth of a Theocracy: Chapter VIIIPDF ePub MOBI
Rebirth of a Theocracy: Chapter IX PDF ePub MOBI


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Adventures of a Letdown by The Ambiguity
Aurora by Hans Zimmer
800% slowed version of An End Once and for All by Clint Mansell & Sam Hulick 

Short Stories

Rebel Spirits of the Past - A Christmas Special
The Progress of Justice


Defining virtue in the context of UPB

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Monday, February 1, 2016

The Progress of Justice

The Progress of Justice

- A Tale of a Strange Aeon -

    Minutes after the noon of May 15th in the year of 2026, central time, a policeman witnessed a murder committed with cold blood in the Metro Station of a small colony near the City of the Prime. The criminal, name: Alice Devinem age: 22, walks free of charge after the witness officer testified that the loss of life, in fact, was self-defense. 
    The victim, name: Otto A. Nikolajs, age: 37 has been travelling for days from Spain to seek out personally the Prime and ask him to influence the government of the United Mankind to repeal the recent Protection of Communities Act. The act required that, in order to ensure the safety and quality of the products, protect the residents of small communities and create jobs, every store located in villages and towns where the competition of the service is less than three other, suppliers must employ inspectors whose job is to ensure that the products meets the specific requirements of quantity, quality and price and may only fill their inventory from government affiliated suppliers.
    Not being able to afford to hire an inspector full-time and find demand for the increased price they have to charge both for the employee and the governmental supply, many businesses owned by local families around the globe had to close their shops. Residents were forced to travel hours to buy the basic necessities of life, they tried to charge more for the labor and products, rendering themselves out of the competition in the market. Urban companies seen the rise of their customer base and were pleased by the work of their lobbyists and the State.
    Otto A. Nikolajs, former store-owner in a formerly Spanish village was looking for a hearing from the Prime to end the disaster before it starts to claim lives the morning he was murdered. According to the testimony of the policeman, the following event took place in the Metro Station:
    Alice Devinem, in a tone loud enough to address a crowd, exclaimed her achievements in political activism. "We protested for days to help the Protection of Communities Act," she bragged. "I was so overjoyed when I've heard we won and they passed a law. I instantly told all of my friends that it would have not passed without me, after all, I organized mass-protests."
    According to the officer and several other witnesses, Otto A. Nikolajs overheard the conversation and in anger addressed the girl.
    "I had to close my shop because of that act and can no longer afford to put food on the table for my wife and my ailing child. Do you understand it? I have to watch as my son won't get his medication because of you, kid."
    "Well maybe you should just comply with the law and shouldn't try to sell who knows what kind of food?" the girl replied, bewildered.
    "My community trusted me for fifteen years," the man shouted. "Fifteen years, do you understand? I knew all of them by name! And now thousands of people have lost their jobs because of you."
    "Stop it," the girl raised her voice, "I don't want to hear you! The Metro Station is a public safe space, I don't have to listen to you anymore!"
    "Thousands of hard-working people are losing their livelihood and hundreds of thousands of others have to spend fortunes travelling. You are evil because of that!"
    "Stop it!" she yelled.
    "I want everyone to know that! Your actions will cost innocent lives!"
    "Stop! You are violating my rights!" she screamed as her voice faded into the noise of the approaching train and charged towards the man, pushing him onto the tracks. The man died instantly under the wheels.
    There is very little to say about the story. Lawful assaults and murders are common to end what are called 'emotional crimes.' Can we stop it? No. This virus has spread too far and embedded itself deep into our culture. The only thing we may do is to pray for the dark gods to engulf this planet in fire.

The Shaman

Monday, January 25, 2016

Rebirth of a Theocracy - Chapter XIII


The Temple

“The evolution of culture is ultimately determined 
by the amount of love, understanding and freedom 
experienced by its children. Every abandonment, every
 betrayal, every hateful act towards children returns
 tenfold a few decades later upon the historical stage”
Lloyd deMause

      Far above the abandoned birthplace of mankind, above the scorched and forgotten planet of Earth that slept under an endless curse of nuclear winter, a tiny space station orbited ran by a desolate AI. Its owners have long forgotten that tiny investment into the satellite once served as a prison system for that it produces just enough profit to sustain its own life.
      The sleepers it homed were banished or fleeing men and women who are welcomed no longer in the thriving worlds of Mars. Thieves, murderers and those who abused their child, people who - to avoid starvation and death - joined the dreamworld governed by the AI, and paid with their last remaining dimes, with precious memories that the AI sold to other humans and sometimes with their whole past as admission price.
      The AI in turn forged a world for them consistent with their moral character. They, the men of force were once again given a chance to harness legal violence, to enslave and extort. The State was reborn in this distant segment of the dreamworld, and the AI barred its world away with walls, with shields protecting the domain from solar storms and with a lore in which all the residents believed, to contain this dark force.
      They thought that they were the last remnants of the liberated mankind and that they were spared from the last global war on Earth. They believed that their ascendants watched with watered eyes as the civilization in Earth collapsed and the firestorm washed away the world, save for one victorious empire, the Vatican. They thought they survived because of the State that had enough technologic might to remain hidden and safe.
      There slept, dreaming the world the fugitives dreamt Cantharis de la Cruz and Ana Mionar. The AI analyzed them, and sewn them into the narrative of Vatican as if they were born and raised there, not merely arrived.
      Ana Mionar was given a simple, quiet life, one of solitary contemplation in the dark nights. She lived when the town slept, talking to clients in the morning and at sundown, reading, studying, dismantling the lies of the world at midnight, the propaganda of the State projected with digital words as the sacred revelations of Pope Henoch into the clouds.
      Cantharis was separated from the Shaman, first time in his life, and the AI, being unable to integrate his restless wanderlust, his desire to seek change, Transcendence into a simple life, gave Cantharis the narrative of a Christ.w
      He began talking to people all around the town, seeking out those who will listen. He found one night, in the shades, in hidden libraries and cafés built into the rifts of the Wall surrounding the dreamworld’s enclave Nakurami Meito whose mind Oana Rain opened to new domains, scribbling down notes about a liberated world he often walked in his dreams and found others, who retained their waking memories and knew it was the Shaman who they faced. Cantharis spoke to him about a life without the principle of violence, the foundation of the State.
      There was an aura about Cantharis that made them adhere to the man. There was something other than his otherworldly might, something behind the long, dark coat, the lightning blue eyes, behind the dark, deep tone of his voice, something that spoke of a mastery, of a might not over forces outside, but over his own soul and life. However involved he was with the issues of human life, however passionate he spoke, there was an emanating calm, an unshakeable metaphysical ground in which his presence stood at all times. 
      “What is important is to find and rescue every single child,” he spoke one time. “I have little faith in any other way. First off, if we are to convince someone about non-aggression, we can only do so if it is in his interest to be on our side. It all comes down to this in the end of argumentation for that people will retain their illusions as long as it benefits them. If the children are on our side, who are basically those who hold the future in their hands, it is secured that we will have freedom in the next epoch. The same way the State has been harvesting its power from educating the youth for decades about the virtue of being extorted, ruled, enslaved and slaughtered by him, so must we reach for the children to show them a different way, a way of peace, of cooperation, of non-aggression and trade. Everyone else may panic and scream, cling to their welfare, but as time goes by, they will one by one decease, leaving the world as a playground to their kids – who will be on our side.”
      “Can’t we have freedom in our days?” one asked.
      “Well, we can, it is the matter of convincing everyone but they will not listen. Why would they? They are blinded by the State. Look, evolution programmed us to maximize our chances to survive, and the State exploits in many this basic need. It helps to increase the chances in competition for those who otherwise would not be able to thrive with institutions such as the school, and the laws that require the children to attend. It does nothing else but keeps them away from the workforce until they are old. And then there are the teachers, who live off of the State that asks them not to educate, but to act as a dictator at their jobs and in that they are more than willing to compete. There are, of course, those who are employed directly by the State and know that they have no value to offer to society in any other way. So you see, if we have a way to convince these good people to give up their self-interest and oppose the State I’m all ears, but I just cannot see a way.”s
      Time went by, and the vaticanian voluntaryists started educating the children about their societal place. “You are nothing more but slaves, your energy and time slowly being drained,” one man, who was invited to speak about technology to a school burst out, “you are the hostages of the State, your parents will be put in jail if you don’t attend and if they don’t pay,” said abruptly another, a well-respected businessman in an interview aired live when most of the kids were watching the TV and a pianist who took over the place of Oana Rain, before playing a piece that made the audience shiver and weep announced “this is dedicated for Cantharis, our Prime, who leads the revolution to liberate the soul of every child.”
      There was aghast at first when an unknown group wanted to reanimate the tradition of electing a Prime, a moral leader of the old Earth’s united mankind, one who incarnated virtue and fought against vice; then there was a hunt to find Cantharis who they want to become the Prime, whose sight awakened forgotten memories and dreams from the depth of their subconscious about a Shaman, and finally there was a great crowd roaring in exaltation for the new Prime. 

      A storm loomed over the simulated voluntary city and State of Vatican in a warm spring evening moments before dusk. People gathered in the Square to attend the meditation of Cantharis the Prime, who, through long weeks made arrangements and announcements, calling, knocking in to every soul in the simulation, asking them to participate in the rite.
      Among the gathered was Ana Mionar who’s been walking the path of shamanic though for years without a guide. Early in her career she saw unfathomable insanity and evil in some of her patient’s eyes, not in clear threats or in imposed danger, but in warm and honest compassion for which the ends justified the means, and the end was statism, violence and chaos veiled with a shroud of ‘it was not our faults’ and ‘it will work next times.’ She saw socialists praising a system that reaped countless lives and not calling their faith evil. She saw people advocating for the utilization of the political means against the wealthy and the rich, and when she asked how exactly they’d imagine the State would ‘redistribute’ their wealth, when she asked them to describe the process in a vivid and clear way, to pronounce the verdict that what they call for is extortion and theft, they exploded in a blind rage, screaming that it is only just to do so.
      That night the Shaman, the demon that haunted her life initiated her into an esoteric sight.
      “What do you think I am, Ana Mionar?” asked the shade-sewn poltergeist with a voice that summoned thunders in the distance. Ana looked up from the papers for a moment, from the stack of notes describing and analyzing her patients, classifying them into statist and voluntaryist clusters, dividing the statist patients into ignorant, enabler and abuser sections.
      “A fragment of my imagination, and a very useful one,” she answered, looking back down, signing the paper at hand, putting it back to the folder, and moving the folder from ignorant to voluntaryist.
      “And does it not bother you that you might be insane?”
      Ana put her pen down to the three remaining folder of statists, laid back and folded her arms.
       “Define insanity please. Because even if you are a hallucination, it is an involuntary function of my brain while I fully retain my reason.  I can distinguish right from wrong, knowledge from illusion, so I would not call myself insane.”
      “How do you distinguish the two?”
      “Well,” she sighed, “I will tell you about my method. What I think to be important is not to discover new truths, but to make sure no illusion occupies its place in my mind. You see, if for example I hold the non-aggression principle to be true, I cannot integrate the thought that ‘the State should handle a given problem’ into my mind without cognitive dissonance. If however I hold that it is moral to initiate force, regardless of the inherent contradictions of this proposition, I can easily ask the State to solve social problems.”
      She got up and turned towards the window, peering into the night.
      “You see, the reason why I think you are just a hallucination is the following. When I thought of the way of distinguishing truth from falsehood, I started to use the symbol of lightning as a guidance. My theory is that you achieve truth by connecting your subjective experience with the objective facts of science, and you build a kind of pillar between the two in your mind. After a while I began thinking of this pillar as a lightning that destroys every falsehood between the two, like, for example you think that the initiation of force is evil, and that it is not good if you’d hit your wife, yet somewhere between the two there is a place for a State to reside. The lightning destroys such illusions, and when you speak, you voice evokes thunder.”
      “There is one illusion that you have yet to destroy,” the Shaman answered.
      “What illusion?”
      The Shaman wanted to answer but an ear-splitting crash of thunder shook the house as the governing AI stopped the sounds. Ana looked around, frightened. The Shaman wanted to say, ‘it was just God,’ but another thunder crashed into the house.
      “Oh my god,” Ana jumped up, frightened.
      “Don’t worry about that, just listen to me, Ana.”
      “Okay,” she muttered.
      “Write the following down,” the Shaman said, and Ana, in confusion, grabbed a pen and paper. “I, Ana Mionar, hereby state my intent to be excluded from any agreement or contract which protects me from thoughts and ideas foreign and opposite to my thinking and worldview. I desire to know the truth and I welcome all effort to advance my effort, regardless of my previous will.”
      “Done,” she said.
      “Sign it.”
      “And now?”
      And the Shaman explained how her body floats in a sensory deprivation tank in a space station above Earth somewhere in a distant realm, how she came here with Cantharis who gave her a task back on Mars and that the time has come to execute what she was asked.
      “I can answer everything after the meditation tonight,” said the Shaman, “but before that please find the last remaining child. He hides in the District of the Outcasts. It was recently locked down by the State because too many of the rebels started to search for and expand cracks in the Wall. The AI that runs the simulation didn’t interfere because that is what customers choose to do but the State officials deemed it too dangerous to go in. Please do go in and find that child but be warned, the dream is very volatile there.”
      “What do you mean by that?”
      “The dreamworld is a decentralized virtual reality server and only a tiny little segment of it is the Vatican, but this city is sealed away from the outside, from the dreamworld’s other parts with the Wall that you perceive as the wall of the space station itself. That District of the city is no longer closed off and it is easy there to mold and reshape the dream so just be careful and remember that it is but a virtual domain.”

      As she neared the District of the Outcasts, the former ghetto of those not supporting the State, the city’s lights began to die out. It was darker and darker, only the gold web of the last city’s lights in the Earth above, that, she learnt, was but a lie and the displayed messages in the sky shed some fade, ebbing light. She heard not a single sound.
       In front of her there was, as she neared the District, an unguarded ‘do not enter’ sign. She walked past it entering the street of broken windows and abandoned cars. She knew the place, she travelled through it once or twice to get into the cafés and the hidden libraries to meet with her rebellious kind. She used to feel that this abandoned, time-worn district was the only place where she was safe but now dread and fear climbed up on her spine.
      She recalled the Shaman’s words as he said, “this world is referred to as the voluntary prison of Vatican. When a man is banished, he seeks refuge here but he has no right to make this decision for his child. Children of such fates become orphans who are greatly helped by others to deal with their suffering. But the children within Vatican are adults in the outside world with this body given to them by the simulation’s governing AI based on their mental and emotional maturity or age. These people have stopped growing inside when they were traumatized and you can see their true self here in the Vatican.”
      Ana shivered and looked up from her thoughts, seeing nothing but an endless veil of dark. She stopped, blinked and looked around and saw no source of light. She reached into her pocket to take out her portable VI but she changed her mind, instead she closed her eyes to concentrate on the thought that she was in a dream, not in real life.
      She opened her eyes and saw directly in front a grand temple reaching towards great heights. The darkness still prevailed but her lucidity summoned the light of the moon and of the stars. She looked down at her hands and saw, instead of human skin, vibrant, golden light that she knew would cut through bone and metal. As she thought of that, and as, through concentration she commanded the dream to dress her back to her normal appearance, she realized that she had access to her waking, Martian self with her memories and desires.
      She smiled, recalling that her reason to join the Vatican was to test herself as a subject of a State, whether she has the fortitude and courage to see through the veil and pronounce that the world is based on violent lies. Joy overwhelmed her for that this test told her that she is all right, in contrast of her self-doubts; that she is healed and she is fine, the neglect of her parents when she was a child did not inflict epigenetic changes and traumas causing them to seek a substitute caregiver in the State in her adult life.
      She was fine and this piece of self-knowledge meant that she was walking a right path when she sought to join the singularist Cult of Hypnos. She was free, liberated from her past to do so. Even though she knew very little about the cult, rumors that spread around from unconnected sources, from which she carefully peeled off the facts infected by fear and hatred until the picture of a humanitarian sect emerged. She found out that their desire is to liberate men from death and from the flesh through technological advancements and that they have an annual rite in Azirion’s forests.
      And as she let her thoughts overwhelm her mind she looked up, facing what was in the dark into which she was sent by the Shaman. She stood in front of a titanic temple made of metal, stone and glass. She stepped back and gasped, inside her swirling the feeling of awe and fright. She faced the marble staircase of the temple into which were carved screaming and suffering faces of men and women. At the end of the staircase far up in the heights was a vast door made of iron, inviting and open, built into a wall that reached so far into the skies that it reminded Ana Mionar of looking up at a skyscraper from the ground.
      In the left and right side of the door were windows made of stained glass depicting four images. The first shown as two men, one pointing towards a road in the background the other holding a weapon threatened a father protecting his son, who in resignation handed over to them a filled purse. The second was war, an ocean of blood filling the bottom of the window, people battered and scarred killing one another from the bottom to the furthest heights of the glass. People bound in chains were depicted in the third image, as their hollow, soulless eyes obeyed the will of their masters and the fourth shown children sitting in school desks with the same expression on their faces as on the slaves. Above the door and the four windows was the monumental image of a ruler, a king or a god, reaching out with his hand that loomed over the four window of stained glass towards Ana.
      Light was ebbing through the windows indicating life inside. Ana shivered. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she became overwhelmed with dread as wind began to blow, its sound resembled the screaming and the cries of women and men. She sighed and started to ascend the enormous stairs. As she took step after step she looked back to see that the temple was much greater than how she perceived it from the ground. The vast landscape of the Vatican opened up before her eyes. She had a clear view on the St. Peter’s Square and Basilica as she looked down and on the different districts separated by architectural design. She turned and continued running upstairs.
      The door was open, and not looking at the windows she walked in to the temple. It was cold, colder than outside. Torches mounted on the wall all around illuminated the hall that she entered. At the other side of the hall was a podium toward which lead a straight pathway in-between rows of pews. From above a seemingly endless levels of balconies looked down stacked on one another, rising to what seemed to be infinite heights.
      She looked around in the ground level. As the flames danced, and she caught a glimpse of the murals, Ana instantly averted her gaze to see only the ground. What fragment she saw was blood, orgiastic mass murder and demonic laughter in the haze of violence and war. She walked past the pews and saw that there were pieces of paper carefully placed in a row, one after another for every guest. She took one and examined its contents.
      “Election for President of Mankind,” said the title and below it Ana read “This vote entitles a producer to have a chance in using the political means to wealth.”
      Feeling disgust, she crumpled and threw away the paper.
      She heard, coming from somewhere near the podium the sound of faint, weak weeping. She hurried towards the source to find in a room at the far right end of the hall a little child huddled into a corner, facing the wall kneeling, sobbing.
      “Hey,” Ana said softly, almost whispering. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
      The boy turned silent. He started to raise his head to look towards the girl but quickly turned back towards the corner.
      “Who are you?” he said, sniffing.
      “I came here to find you and help you. Did someone hurt you?” she asked, slowly approaching the boy.
      “N-no,” he stuttered.
      “Why are you in the corner?”
      “She said that it is for my own good,” the boy sobbed and the volatile dream began manifesting his thoughts. The simulation shown the spectral memories that entrapped the boy in this haunted house; a family dinner started to unfold before Ana Mionar’s eyes.
      “Stop playing with the food,” the ghastly mother of the child warned the kid who looked up, apologized and ate a forkful of rice. He was not hungry anymore but he was not allowed to get up until he ate it all so he struggled, taking small bites, rearranging the food to look as if he was almost done, raising the food up with fortitude and steeled heart only to see that he could not swallow it again and watching it fall back to the plate.
      Watching the struggle, the furious, narcissistic rage of his mother erupted.
      “I told you not to play with the food,” she screamed. “This is my house and you are eating my food so you will do as you are told,” she screamed standing up, walking towards his son. Ana, shocked as she watched the child abuse, without thinking jumped in front of the mother to intervene but the illusion just walked past her. The mother took the plate and smashed it into the wall.
      She grabbed the boy by his shirt and dragged him to the corner, screaming: “You’ll stay here until I let you to go, you understand?”
      The illusion disappeared, leaving only the sobbing child behind.
      “Hey,” Ana said to him, “it’s all right, you can leave.” She kneeled down next to him, offering him her hand. “Come,” she said in a warm tone, “we’re getting out.”
      The boy shook his head.
      “Why?” Ana asked.
      “Mom always said it is for my own good and I’ll learn from this,” the boy answered in a sad tone.
      “You think this is for your own good?”
      “Mhm,” he sniffed.
      “I’m so sorry you were hurt. I’m sorry nobody was there to stop your mom or protect you but what she did to you was wrong. Imagine a policeman coming up to your mom and forcing her to eat, and if she wouldn’t, he would throw her into the corner or into a cage. Do you think it would be for the good of your mom?”
      “No, I wouldn’t,” he responded.
      “Then it could not possibly be good for you either, right? I mean, it is only you who can tell such things as when you are not hungry anymore, but your mom pretends to think that she knows. But how could she possibly know, right?”
      The boy nodded.
      “And weren’t you told that you shouldn’t hurt others? How would your mom react if you would do that with a friend of yours at lunch? Look. You don’t have to sit here in the corner alone. You did nothing wrong. And nobody has the right to punish you for anything as long as you didn’t hurt anyone else, remember that. There are evil people out there who won’t let you live a peaceful life and yes, sometimes those evil people are your mom and dad, and you are just a victim accidentally born there. But there is a world out there who can help you and you don’t have to cry alone here, okay? I’m here to help.”
      Ana extended her hand to the boy and he grabbed it. He got up, and they walked out of the room talking, the girl listening to the experiences of the boy, he slowly opening up about his pains and thoughts. As they walked past the door Ana heard a faint, scratching sound coming from another room; she listened, but decided to investigate after the boy was escorted into safety and peace. They walked out of the temple. Ana didn’t brought up the fact that it was a dream, and the boy didn’t seem to notice or care. He took for granted and felt secure in the world that looked eerie and dark to the waking observer.
      “It was after all,” Ana thought, “the projection of his unconscious, of course he didn’t object.”
      A cab arrived. Ana paid attention to choose a driver with the highest reputation. The car stopped in front of the two awaiting at the sign saying “do not enter,” and “area enclosed,” the boy got into the car as he have agreed to her. Ana paid and told the driver to get him safely to St. Peter's Square, where he shall attend the meditation and meet with Ana Mionar again afterwards.
      As the cab disappeared between the houses she turned and walked back into the void, into the lightless, unshaped dream material. The temple still stood and as she looked up at it she was frightened. Memories raced through her mind, distant memories in which she roamed around in the open world, encountering untended, abandoned or unformed parts of the virtual land.
      It was common for the dreamer to travel such an unformed realm for it was the primordial form of the dreamworld; oceans and forests, the original manifestation of the unconscious, unshaped by the lucid dreamer. What Ana saw was not woods, not water, it was shadows defying the light and a gruesome temple built to worship nightmares.
      “Is there somebody else inside?” she wondered.
      In a simulation when she veered away from the domain she was called into to explore other, open parts of the dreamland on occasion she found untended lands. She might find a planet written and ran in the real world by a group of friends who formed within the dreamworld a fantasy land. Ana would pay a visit to the planet in which the other dreamers are immersed in slaying beasts and demons. Surrounded by music, beer and elves, in the inn she would hear tales about the ruins of a forgotten city never found by the dreamers. She would seek it and walk the metropolis once thriving, but its code now forgotten, understood only by the writer who forsook the land, tendrils and roots of nature or unending, corrosive rain slowly dissolving it back into the soil. In other domains, abandoned parts were flooded by seas so that the code filled with errors and bugs may truly be discarded and new ideas shall rise.
      Yet Ana faced not a building devoured by tendrils or suffocated by oceans but one looming into the heights without damage, without harm, eclipsing the sun, light ebbing out if its blasphemous windows, haunted screams filling the air around it.
      She ran up the stairs again and hurried through the hall to find the source of the sound that she heard. There was another door, now opened, yawning into a descending stone staircase. She approached it with racing heart, fear taking over her as a voice, a familiar, soothing voice called for her.
      “Wait,” Cantharis said from the entrance. “Don’t go in alone.”
      Ana looked back, smiling, grinning in joy and relief.
      “Canthy,” she welcomed his teacher as the safety he emanated filled her. “I’m so glad you are here,” she laughed in relief and laughed also in the memories arising in her. “Hey, I thought you are you’re some evil tyrant in a sheep’s clothes.”
      “And you are quite proud of yourself for that, I assume?” he smiled.
      “You bet,” she grinned. “How are you doing here by the way? Are you feeling refreshed, alive again?”
      “You bet,” he laughed and the air crackled with his laughter. His long, black coat turned into dark flames, his veins turned into electric currents tearing apart the flesh. “I am home again in a world where there is work to be done. Let’s check what is down there, shall we?”
      Descending the wet, stone stairs they faced another door. It was thick iron, and as they stepped closer, the door started to open on its own.
      “Look, Ana,” Cantharis turned to her and said, “let me tell you what is going on. You have been left out of things for a long time but now it is time for you to see the truth. You asked yourself, I assume, what is this temple doing here if nobody created it and why is there not a forest or a sea at its place.”
      “Yes, I thought it was the child who dreamt it but he is gone and it still stands.”
      “While we were absent, Ana, the colony went through a change. Many people, the greatest minds of the colony left the city as it was planned really since I was born. Most of the Mars-born generation is gone. The most revered with the greatest reputation are gone. All who stayed are those of whom it is not known whether they are good or evil.”
      She looked at him shocked.
      “Where did they go?” she whispered.
      “Don’t worry,” his teacher smiled, “there is nothing to be afraid now. We have been preparing this for a long time, I personally poured all my money into it and so did thousands of others. You see, we developed a technology based on the distributed database system of blockchain in which every single molecule is a server node in and of itself. We took the content of the human brain, the digitalized memories linked into one another in a causal narrative chain, we also managed to digitalize awareness or consciousness but that technology never seen the markets and we bundled the memories of a man into a consciousness with a will to improve its conditions and uploaded this created Self into the server. It is similar to any blockchain based currency but instead of a coin we have a Self as a unit in the database. The good thing is that the Self, like a ghost haunts the blockchain, it can submerge and emerge in every physical location of the nodes, occupy bodies with minds. We also borrowed the cutting-edge nanotechnology which…” he abruptly stopped, thought for a moment and smiled at Ana. “Well… It is too complex to explain now. Let’s just say that we have achieved a kind of singularity in other planets and the most virtuous people of the colony were offered a seat.”
      Ana stood, staring at him blankly, processing the words she heard.
      “And what about Solaris, and Raoul?”
      “Well they are still on Mars because I still need them. Now, this temple is how the unconscious of those who remained manifests itself in the dream. Come, let’s see what is hidden in its core.”
       Behind the door was a single source of light.
      “Stop,” Cantharis warned her for that watching the light she felt drawn towards it, taking step after step into the yawning abyss in front of them above which that glowing, orange globe lingered.
      For a moment she was enchanted by the sight, forgetting that it is a dream, controlled by the narration of whatever subconscious mind ruled over the realm. She shook her head to regain lucidity and focus, standing at the edge of the precipice. Ana then looked down, extending her arm that started to emanate a golden blaze as she consciously seized control over the dream all around. They stood in front of a wide chasm reaching deep into the ground.
       “You think we should go down?” Ana asked. “Or do you know what is going on here, Shaman?”
      She looked up at her teacher whose gaze was focused on the globe. Cantharis vanished and appeared next to the orb levitating in the air; Ana saw and followed him. She saw there was something inside, something darker than the orange, shimmering sphere within which some gel-like material swirled slowly around and around. It was the outline of a human body sleeping, or maybe not even alive entrapped in the globule.
      “What is this?” she whispered in awe.
      “This is going to be the last Prime. We’ve been working on it with Solaris for years to bring such a being into existence, something resembling a consciousness, a person, something that behaves with consistency and it seems we needed the help of the governing AI of the simulation of Vatican. I’m not perfectly sure but I think it is the AI that is slowly forging this Prime into life.
      “Why would you need a Prime?” Ana asked.
      “The plan is to entrap those who are violent deep into a simulation such as this one, into a statist, no-hope, endless dream or nightmare. Solaris was given the task to find a method to decide with a hundred percent accuracy who supports non-aggression and property rights, and who are bloodthirsty given the chance.”
      “Say,” Ana said quietly, “do you think it is right?” She looked down into the precipice. “Maybe you went mad, Shaman, have you not thought about that? Maybe I should oppose you here and now,” she said, looking up into the lightning blue eyes. “Maybe I should kill you.”
      A chill of excitement and adrenaline ran down Cantharis’s spine.
      “You cannot kill me in a dream, Ana.”
      “I could traumatize you so horribly that you would forget who you are, or render you into a vegetative state. Tell me, Cantharis, have you lost your mind?”
      “Ana, please stop…”
       “Trapping people into a statist simulation, Shaman, because they are scarred and traumatized? Is this your plan now?”
       “Have you not seen the temple with your own eyes? That is the god they unconsciously praise and worship. And no, it is not because they are traumatized. You too and all the orphans are traumatized. Look, Ana, I need you on this. We are going to keep the meditation tonight, and you can reach your waking mind. You can reach out for Solaris and see in full detail the plan, okay? I only ask you to be patient until you can see the whole map and judge only then according to your standards.”
      “All right,” she said grudgingly and ashamed of her violent reaction. “I feel shame, I’m sorry. You deserve my trust, Cantharis, I should have not lashed out.”
      “I’m curious who would win between you and me, though,” Cantharis smiled.
      “Well of course me, after all, I’m the one who studied under the Shaman,” Ana grinned back and they laughed. She asked him about the plan, about what happened in Mars, about the technology he talked about as they walked back to Vatican.
      In the Square Henoch, the pope and the communication channel between the AI and the Vatican it governed reported to Cantharis that every single soul turned up to the meditation. He was given a headset to communicate with everyone else.
      “I’ll go and find a place in the middle so that they can see that we are starting, all right?” he said to Ana.
      “Sure, sure,” she answered, putting on the earphone he received by Henoch.
      Warm and friendly voices greeted him as Cantharis walked through the crowd, addressing him as they would a friend or a brother. He sat down among them, spoke a few words with those closely around then turned on his microphone and closed his eyes.
      Far away the heavens roared and thundered.
      “All right,” he spoke slowly, “let us close our eyes and focus on our breathing at first. Just inhale and out in a way comfortable for you. Find your pace, we have time.”
      As one breathed those next to him unconsciously started to inhale at the same pace imitating one another. The different individual tempos slowly found a common speed of breathing in and out that spread from person to person until the whole city acted as one.
      “Stay still without moving,” the Prime addressed the residents of Vatican in a calm, soft tone after long minutes of silence “and just feel your skin around your hand. Feel the weight of the blood coursing inside.”
      In a meditative state of mind their consciousness reached out more and more to their physical bodies that, connected to the simulation, slept in a sensory deprivation tank somewhere within a space station.
      “Now imagine that you are just dreaming your life. Imagine that somewhere in a higher realm your body sleeps peacefully in the dark. And the weight of the blood you feel, the skin, the flesh all belongs to your body in the waking realm.”
      They followed his guidance. They no longer felt the simulated wind scratching their arms the noises, the approaching thunders. The dripping of gentle rain were distant, unprocessed sounds like static noise that never reached their conscious mind.
       “Imagine that you can you have power over what your dream is like. You can shape buildings, fly, write cloud letters onto the skies, command storms and lightning. Envision with your closed eyes as an electric pillar strikes the top of the basilica from the skies. See the radiance that fills up everything from the heavens to the ground, see the dark clouds gathered above our home illuminated by the brightness, the terrible sound of the clap of thunder shaking the windows and very ground.”
      “Now,” the Prime said, “open your eyes,” and they did, looking up at the building in front of them watching as, to their command a burst of electrical energy crashed with an ear-splitting sound into the basilica.
      Frightened, they involuntary widened their eyes but the connection with their body outside still lingered, and as focusing on their hand made the fingers of the sleeping body twitch so did the sudden movement of the eye forced their eyes open within the sensory deprivation tank in the space station.
      Thousands of souls woke up gasping from a self-inflicted nightmare at that very moment. Awakening into the darkness and silence of the sensory deprivation tank, their brain began filling the world devoid of sense data with noises and visions evoking hallucinations. Patterns and colors of violet, red, green, yellow and white danced before their eyes. Unintelligible sounds sang to them droning songs.
      Memories flooded their minds, an inferno of thought purging misconceptions and false narratives, connecting the life they dreamt with the world outside. They were waking from a dream that lasted for a lifetime into a world from which they were banished, waking from Hell in which they were innocent, ruled over by a State into a man-built Paradise as hated criminals.
       But it was not yet time to wake from the Vatican. The contract they signed still counted the days and the nameless colony still remembered their deeds. Would they try to wake up and return to their former home they would hear the words that many other outcasts heard throughout the times.
      “Are you out of your mind? You think you have gone through a fundamental change of your personality in this short period of time? You have not even figured out why you initiated force against another,” one would say.
      “Years of self-training and therapy still didn’t made me into the person who I want to be and you think you are healed because you fled into the Vatican?” another would ask.
      “You are not ready to be given another chance,” a third would look at them in contempt.
      “We are sorry for your inconvenience,” a female voice reverberated in their skull, “a biological reflex might have interrupted your simulation. Please relax and we will return you to the dreaming state in sixty seconds from now.”
      As the clock counted to zero they had enough time to alter the contract that they have signed. It was done in an instant, accessing the smart contract files through their neural interface, its display projected onto their eyes, opening the contract with the Vatican and just checking a single box named “having access to the waking memories.” The blockchain validated the change in the contract within a second and as they fell back into sleep once more they found themselves sitting in the Vatican knowing who they were and for what crimes they committed in their lifetime.
      The AI obeyed its customer’s demands. They no longer needed the State, they desired learning to be free. They no longer wanted to be confined within a pre-designed dreamworld, they desired new soil upon which they can cultivate their own visions and dreams. And the governing intelligence who made profit by providing a simulated shelter to those in contract with it turned its attention towards helping them build the world they want to see. The wall that once encircled and sealed the Vatican from the other vistas of the dreamworld fell down.
      And after calculations, seeing that communication must be maintained from now with the Martian network of dreamworld servers, and comparing the cost of distant communication with the energy cost of interplanetary travel, the space station’s engines fired up in a deep, resonant hum and, waiting for the moment the station fell towards Mars, the propulsion system launched the station out from the gravitational field of Earth.
       And the tiny, old station once serving as prison then the simulation of the State of Vatican began its voyage toward Mars.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Rebel Spirits of the Past

Tales of Strange Aeons

Rebel Spirits of the Past 

To the rebel spirits of all times.

      The Celebration of Singularity came as the harbinger of Christmas Eve into the nameless colony. With the collective investment of the entrepreneurs participating in the faire they set the annual tree up, a pillar of lightning crackling, reaching for the skies, forming the shape of a pinewood as it neared the ground.
      “So tell us about these synthetic bodies, these Personas, Mr. Bright,” Ana Mionar, her eyes recording, interviewed Mark Bright.
      “I wouldn’t get into the technical details but they are made to house the assistant AI drones and give them identity and name. To put it very simply, we created a body with a very simple virtual intelligence built into it. We then put the VI into a predetermined simulation of a specific life, which is the simulated life of the person whose body it wears, and after the VI experienced that written life, it is ready to be merged with an AI. “
      “So,” Ana asked, “if I understand it well, there is a reason why when I look around I recognize faces on these Personas.”
      “Yes,” nodded Bright. “For example if you’d put an AI into that one,” he said, pointing to a body of Llewellyn Rockwell, “the AI would basically become Rockwell. We studied and tried to rewrite the history of these men from every source we found.”
      “How do you mean ‘become?’ What would happen with the AI?”
      “Well, you see, let me tell you how the idea came to my mind. I was listening to one lecture of Alan Watts, who talked about the Hindu concept of the god. The way he explained was something like that the god was incarnate in every life, it was the self behind all faces, and it played this game of hide-and-seek with itself. It pretended that he is not god, that he’s just and ordinary man, both to himself and to others. This idea stuck into my mind and somehow I connected it with the concept of the AI, and whether it could pretend that it is not an AI. So, to answer your question, they become the body by merging with the VI, and their perception of this event is something that is like yours and mine, recalling the life the VI lived in a simulation as their own life, remembering that past and so on, but deep behind all this there is their true self which is the assistant, the AI.”
      And as the interview continued, Solaris and Raoul walked around the great hangar where thousands of synthetic bodies stood, lined up as an army, bearing the faces of familiar, ancient minds. They walked past the sleeping shell of Murray Rothbard, of Milton Friedman and of Thomas Sowell. They walked, thinking that all around them stand shells of wires and metal, and feeling that they walk uninvited the pantheon of titans.
      The Shaman stood in front of them, facing a body, gazing at its face as if nothing else would exist.
      “Did you know him?” Solaris asked the Shaman as they neared. Cantharis returned to his time, into his world, shook his head to fend off the nightmares. He turned towards the two students, smiling a warm and gentle smile.
      “Yes, I did. Back in Earth he was a friend, a very good friend of mine,” he answered. They looked at the face that mesmerized Cantharis, at the determined face that radiated strength, with closed eyes that seemed as if it would be ready to wake, face evil and fight for what is right. “It reminded me of a long forgotten life.”
      “How do you feel now?” Raoul asked.
      “I feel all right,” Cantharis sighed. “I’m good,” he smiled. “I think I will buy him and torture myself a bit more with the past. It is hard to describe this feeling. Do you guys remember the simulation we once had when we were on that planet with the approaching meteor? When our job was to make sure nobody is left behind. Do you remember watching that last rays of the sunlight? It was wonderful and painful at the same time. Well, I feel similar to that.”
      “I’m not sure you should buy that machine,” Solaris said.
      Cantharis shrugged.
      “At least something happens that is out of the normal. I’ve been waiting for things to change for a long while.”
      “Master Cantharis, you respect me with your presence,” the voice of Mark Bright welcomed them from behind, accompanied by Ana Mionar. She stepped next to Solaris and tightly held onto his arm. “I am highly grateful for the Orphanage’s help in advertising.” His eyes veered to the body Cantharis faced. “Have you chosen yourself a Persona, sir?”
      “How consistent are these Vis with who they were when they were alive?” the Shaman asked.
      “About ninety-nine percent, down to the microexpressions. We used all information available to build them. We had a team working on each Persona, hunting down rare memories in the market, studying the writings and recordings about them and so on.”
      “So if I turn it on…”
      “It will be exactly like the last time you saw him, Master Cantharis,” the man said with a serious tone.
      Hours later, Cantharis de la Cruz brought home the inanimate vessel of a digital soul to witness the reanimation, and called for his assistant who hovered into the hollow skull of the synthetic body. Countless other customers did the same, and hundreds of legends began to walk the streets and agoras of the colony without a name. People gathered around the awakening of Stefan Molyneux in the agora named after him, whose Persona stood in front of the statue erected to his honor. They watched as Frederick Douglass, the former slave opened his eyes in the world of greatest economic freedom, as Mises cast his first glance at Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who with curious anticipation watched him.
      “What is going on here?” the Persona asked Cantharis as he opened his eyes, and the Shaman explained. He was, Cantharis found, the same as last time they met, and so were all the other Personas. The great warriors of liberty were reborn, walking the Garden of Eden that they fought for.
      It was not long after they were purchased and turned on that the first android, the reincarnation of Henry David Thoreau, went missing, leaving a formal letter of apology, declaring his sovereignty and ownership of himself.
      “Was it not predictable?” some asked as the news spread.
      “I’m sure he joined the Taoists,” others stated.
      “It is very queer that he refuses freedom,” a minority pondered.
      The letter was deemed authentic, and in impotent rage, those who purchased the Persona of Thoreau had no choice but to accept it. Ethicist of the colony, revered philosophers dabbling with morality, unilaterally agreed that the Personas have a self-ownership right, and hence subject to the principle of non-aggression. It was said to the complaining owners that their contract clearly stated this fact.
      Legends walked the streets of the nameless domain in those December days. Jeffrey Tucker enjoyed the hallowed music smuggled out of Vatican, played by Oana Rain. He visited libraries, joining simulations of vast arcane towers of knowledge and wisdom where he looked up to see the dark abyss, with the infinite height of the bookshelves swirling around it. Around him were quiet, readers at candle’s lights who looked up at him and watched staggered the wraith for a long time, looking at the bowtie, at the elegance, and returned to their books and papers. He inquired for the most popular literature, and was well pleased to hear familiar names, names that he himself had chosen as chief liberty officer distant eons ago.
      He walked the streets, gazing at the marvels built by the free world. He called for, and ascended in space elevators, looking down at capitalism’s kingdom. Far up in the station within the troposphere he saw far off other towns and asked a man waiting for his cruiser to arrive what other lands there are. The man was looking at him for a long while.
       “Oh well, Mr. Tucker, you know, before Transcendence there were few of the free marketers standing their ground. And parallel to us there were the commies who, after of course we terraformed this world, also fled those earthly hostile grounds. They live all around the planet now, like rabbits reproducing and building other towns to sustain their low population life.”
      “Hmm…” there was a disturbing thought rising up in his mind. “And don’t they want to join this world? Shouldn’t we teach them?”
      The man waved away the thought.
      “No, good sir, those people really want to live a life like that. This society pays hundreds and hundreds of sleeping agents just to watch and report on those guys, to be there when someone changes their minds and wants to escape, and to protect from abuse their youth but they don’t want to hear about property rights. They are there by choice and we respect that.”
      The maddening thought finally formed within his mind, this though that made him unable to smile, that until now whispered only incomprehensible words about this nameless realm.
      He has no value to offer to these people. It is but a past life that they revered. There was no one to talk to about the virtues of trade now; these people were the children of such thoughts. Nobody would want to hear about the free market’s might, these people revel in it in their day to day life. What perspective is there left to give was to pronounce what is already accepted and seen now, and there was nothing else to fight.
      The Personas washed through like a tide in the social life. News focused on what happened with the reanimated ancient minds and people sought the legends’ advice. Some hid, others enjoyed the public sunlight. Ayn Rand, being famous in her time, craved desperately for attention. She mocked great thinkers of the current time, and challenged a philosopher, who sometimes criticized her work of ethics, calling his views ‘aberration,’ ‘a disgrace to mankind,’ and ‘evil.’ And now she stood stunned, speechless, as she was bombarded by the truth.”
      “Look around!” her opponent growled. “This world is the product of an idea you described as, quote, ‘the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement,’ and no, you cannot claim the plea of ignorance. You knew Rothbard; you had a wild imagination to envision a society free of violence. You never apologized for these insults; you never said that you were wrong. Let me quote from you once more, Ayn Rand. ‘The “libertarians” are tying capitalism to the whim-worshipping subjectivism and chaos of anarchy. To cooperate with either group is to betray capitalism, reason, and one’s own future.’”
      The audience murmured, people raged at the quote. Her opponent continued.
      “You are personally responsible for slowing down the growth of the movement, and you are causal in the death of those who perished by the State in those times. Rothbard was repulsed by you, and instead of facing the reality of your toxic, cult-leader life, you choose to spit on his movement, but I tell you something, Ms. Rand. You are a statist. And your statism contradicts the philosophy you wrote down. Man is Man, you pronounced, and then you called for an institution of legal violence to secure market monopoly on law and defense, to prey on men, spitting in the face of your system of morals.”
      “Well I tell you this, since you befouled the movement with such pride. This world is not for your kind, because you advocated that the initiation of force is a State’s right. With that, you became part of the priesthood of statism, and assisted in crime. And I hereby propose to all who listen to us your banishment, Alisa Rosenbaum.”
      And one by one, liberty’s pristine minds fell, leaving what they saw to be a world devoid of darkness behind. Few stayed, enjoying life all around, some disappeared with nothing but a note left behind, and the news were awash with acts of suicide, some sparing, some destroying the assistant inside the VI. People watched in aghast as more and more names came by, such as Spooner, Hazlitt, Bastiat…
      “They are just machines,” people faked a laugh.
      Cantharis abandoned the simulation for which he left the Persona alone as he saw the news. His wings of unstable electric discharge swoop down as he leapt from the Orphanage’s rooftop, awakening an ear-splitting crashing sound at sundown. Thunders roared at the Shaman’s wake, and within heartbeats he stood in his doorway, opening the door, praying not to find a vessel undone.
      His friend turned towards the opening door surprised.
      “Oh, so the thunder was you again,” he laughed. “It was familiar.”
      “I’m so glad you are alive,” Cantharis sighed. “I thought you committed suicide,” he said, looking down at the hands of his friend, holding a sealed envelope. “What is that?”
      “Oh well,” he looked at it, “It is but a… final message.”
      There was a long silence before they spoke. Winds began to roar outside and the darkness of the night fell down as the last rays of the sun said goodbye. There were no sounds, apart from the gusts and howls. People stayed inside that evening to think, to face what happened with the Personas.
      “What the hell is going on today?” the Shaman asked in a desperate, pleading voice.
      “We define ourselves, Cantharis, as warriors standing in defiance against the dark. You see, old friend, this is what you do not dare to face: that we are not normal. We have spoken and fought against evil, against the State that waged wars and murdered billons of people. It is insane if you want to be alive. We did that under the banner of freedom but not to live a liberated life. We fought because we wanted to fight, because we found existential value in waging wars against the dark. We defined ourselves not as, like this city, as pure light, but as champions fighting against the dark.”
      “And who are we, Shaman, once there is no dark? Who are we, once there is nothing to fight? If all we dreamed of came to life, if all our enemies perished, where is the place of the warriors and champions then? Should we watch, as the mighty Shaman, that our strength fades, our muscles wither and our voice dies? Or should we watch as we become past deeds looming above old men and women who has not the strength to face a crowd?”
       “We were supposed to die. We were supposed to be buried without ever seeing this Paradise. We fought to create it but not to live a life in it. Like Hamlet, a renaissance man living in medieval times, we are misplaced in this realm of the light. We do not belong here; we have nothing to gain here, no way to define ourselves here. There is no State, no enemy of mankind to channel our energies into. I mean… even I thought when I was alive that I want to live a liberated life, but the fact is that I wanted to fight, I loved to fight, and this world took it away from me. What else is to be done here? You want to see Molyneux as actor or playwright, Rothbard as professor teaching about an era of statism long gone by to bored students, or Frederick Douglass fighting for whom, for drone’s rights? You don’t even eat meat for god’s sake, you only print it.”
      “And you are no different than us by the way. You, the last living breed of heroes who somehow survived the wars, have just as little place in this world as we do and you know it. There is nothing for you here, and maybe there never will be. You will live your life growing old and tired, being praised for deeds done by someone you can no longer recall, huddling under the shadow of your past life.”
      “This is what’s happening today, friend. People facing what you dare not to face.”
      He raised his hand; he saluted as his eyes rolled back and closed. His hand fell down, his skull opened and the metallic colored assistant drone flew out.
       “What happened?” Cantharis asked in shock to which the assistant answered that it died, it created an electrical malfunction that can be triggered by a specific motion of the hand.

      “Let me begin with an apology,” the inventor of the Personas announced that midnight, “and let me also propose something far more important. First, I am genuinely sorry for the deep scars this day might have left on some people. I would have never though that this will be the turn of events, I really had this vision that these people will join us in our daily lives. I, as many others, have read the Shaman’s experience with his product and I was really heartbroken by that. I never thought these people would feel in such ways.
      “That being said, here is the other thing. Christmas is here with a tradition supported by no philosophical basis. Few of us are followers of Christ yet we retain the holiday. There is the Celebration of Singularity every year, purchases made there to be gifted in the holidays, and this heightened economic activity with which we try to wrap happiness to others fuels technological growth. We set up glaring golden lights, illuminating our homes in the darkest of the nights.”
      “I propose we offer our Christmas holidays to the memory of those brave souls who cannot be together with us, who deserve, yet cannot be the part of this world. I propose that when we spend on presents, think of those who made it possible to have such freedoms, to live under a free market that produces such goods. And when we turn on the lights, let us remember to those souls who shined bright in the darkest, State-ruled epochs of men’s life.”

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Rebirth of a Theocracy - Chapter XII

Chapter XII

Anarchistic Fury

“It is the job of thinking people
not to be on the side of the executioners.”
Albert Camus

      His steps echoed in the empty streets of the world once he called as home. From memory he constructed a map in his mind that would take him straight to Raoul through hidden, forgotten roads that charge nothing, are defended by no man, and where nobody walks at night. And when he thought of the rage of the nameless colony that would erupt in a violent storm of fury once they’d find out he is there, Solaris did not fear.
      He remembered to a vibrant time, when he said comforting words to his lieutenant in The City of Black Roses, into which the first anarcho-communists settled long ago, who feared that a rebellion is coming from the city’s most dreadful places. “Our world is doomed,” his soldier cried. “These will kill you inside while the looters from the outside get in and pillage everything! We will not survive this!”
      Solaris watched the sunlit ocean, and spoke:
      “If you cannot escape it, walk towards the fire, and don’t fear that it will cauterize your soul. If it does, there was no other way for you, and you died with courage and honor. If you survive the flames, you’ll know that you are more powerful than the sun… and that you can harness and rule fire.”
      The city slept, as an endless veil of night covered their eyes. The virus of the Prime infected all minds. They were bound into a dreamless sleep until the clouds of war disperse from the skies.
      They sleep, and once they wake up, they will find themselves one step closer to the fall, for that three hundred thousand men and women disappeared that night. Those souls are heading towards new stars, to conquer new worlds in the name of the neo-human.
      He crossed through swiftly an open, dark and dense public garden, with a vast lake and with trees reaching toward great heights whose shadows offered a comfortable place to hide. When he reached its end, he first wanted to run, but the inner-city security system of the roads would detect him as he takes his first step regardless of effort, and there is no other way through that. So he walked through the final roads without hurry, without strain, in secret enjoying the first beams of the dawn, and welcomed the bluish, grey world that he still loved as his home. 
      The red, digital footprints his steps left in the pavement that detected his presence and interpreted it as an intruder slowly faded away. Somewhere away, a screen cried for attention, its red warning sign blinking into the empty room.
      And somewhere a man, who was once a great Prime, who was awake and working, saw a blinking red light flooding the far end of a passage.
      Solaris stepped through the entrance of the skyscraper. Nobody welcomed him at the reception. The hall was empty, let alone for one assistant in human-like female shell, who paid no attention to the entering evil. Solaris froze for a moment, but as he saw no response, he proceeded toward the lift, watching curiously the machine.
      The human brain, as he was informed, was paralyzed by the virus in strange ways: it consisted of two phases.
      First, it stimulated the amygdala in moments of comfort and peace, and created a sense of nameless, formless threat and danger looming from the outside. Temporary shells whose mind have been uploaded into the Second Voyage reported, that their body responds involuntary with fear to thoughts or sights of forests and oceans, of the exact symbols the unconscious manifests itself in dreams.
      The second phase started after fear exhausted the mind. It was dreaming, or rather, simulated, dreamless sleeping within a virtual world into which the virus bound their conscious mind, to occupy its communication channels with Dreamworld servers. The sleepers saw nothing but darkness in their dreams, sensed and felt nothing, until – within the simulation – they were startled out of their sleep, seeing the peaceful, quiet surroundings in slumber, seeing that they still have time to just fall back, let go and dream, and feeling the soft but inviting pressure of their fatigue to return into the world of darkness. They fell back to sleep, and when the cycle was repeated, they forgot their last moment of wakefulness, and fell back again and again.
      Solaris watched the machine, who did not raise her eyes. She stared blankly at the floor in front of her. He pressed the button of the lift, his gaze still fixated on the assistant. He wanted to study how the virus affected her mind. The door opened in front of him, he sighed, turned away and stepped inside.
      And, obeying the command of the old Prime, the city slowly began to wake.
      Solaris stepped out and faced the long and narrow hallway. He walked to the first door on the left and tried to open in. The door gave way, and Raoul lay sleeping in his bed. Commie-Buster, who transported the resting Raoul from Rade Nightwood’s ship to his home stood in the other side of the room, staring blankly at the floor in front of him. Solaris walked to the bed, and pressed fingers to the side of Raoul’s windpipe to feel his pulse. He counted, and concluded that his friend was well and healthy. He almost released it, but the heart rate began to rise. The virus gave way and the nightmares returned to haunt Raoul.
      Solaris counted as the interval beats decreased until it reached critical rates. He shook the shoulder of Raoul, but his friend did not respond. He called his name, shaking again, again with no response. He turned him and leaned closely to his mouth, and heard a faint sound of suffocation.
      “Oh my god,” Solaris exclaimed as he straightened up. He locked his hands, both palms facing downwards, and began performing CPR in short, half second periods to keep him alive.
      The virus slowly released Commie-Buster from his paralysis. He looked up, and he automatically reached for his gun, while analyzing the scenario. His hand stopped, and he walked to Solaris, grabbed his shoulder and threw him back to the far end of the room. He pressed his palms against Raoul’s chest. Electrical energy surged from his hands into Raoul’s body, reawakening his heart.
      Raoul slowly woke up.
      “You had a heart attack,” Commie-Buster informed him. “You should automatize the defibrillation process somehow.”
      Raoul was still dozed off until he saw Solaris rising up behind his assistant. His eyes widened.
      “Oh yea, we have a visitor.”
      “Please don’t attack me again,” Solaris pleaded. “Raoul, there are things you need to know, hear me out. You need to stop fighting against my forces.”
      Seething fury rose within Raoul for a moment, then his memories returned, and he calmed down.
      “Don’t hurt him,” he whispered to Commie-Buster. “Get the cloudwalker instead.”
      His assistant looked at him questioningly.
      “Trust me, he will not hurt me. Look. I need to know what he’s up to,” he whispered. “He did not kill my parents, he was not even here in this city at that time. So I need answers. Now, please, go.”
      Commie-Buster nodded, turned and hurried out of the room, casting a gaze of – not hate, but interest towards Solaris.
      “Tell me what you want,” Raoul said. “And that who are you in the first place.”
      “I’m still the same as always.”
      “Bullshit, you are the leader of some… I don’t even know what’s happening around here.”
      “I’m still the same, Raoul, and I always had some secrets. I’m sorry. Now, do you have the vaticanian virus that I’ve asked for?”
      “What? No, of course not.”
      “Oh my… that is very not good,” he said thoughtfully. “Wait, is Oana Rain still around? She’s been in that simulation, maybe we could find some trace of it within her, at least to extract the principles of the code or something.”
      “She’s here, but… Solaris, what the hell is going on with you? You became mad, you convinced the worst people of the planet to worship you, you made them into an army and you are conspiring.”
      “Well, no…” Solaris wanted to speak but Raoul continued.
      “I don’t know who you are. Have you ever been like this? Have our friendship been built on lies and not on values? And what about Ana? Does she know that you are going insane? Or that you’ve been gathering an army in your spare time?”
      “Well the truth is…” Solaris grew impatient.
      “The truth is, Solaris,” Raoul interrupted again,” that you betrayed your sanity, your friends, and worst of all, your homeworld.”
      “Oh will you ever shut up?” Solaris yelled in anger. He snapped, and Raoul turned silent the moment he saw it happened. Not because he was afraid, he could break the bones of the boy in front of him in the blink of an eye, but because he saw this response before. He saw it when Solaris faced weak and lazy students in a simulation of the old Earth, who cried that wealth is evil and they deserve the benefits of it, justifying the State with their self-enforced, false victimhood. He saw it when Solaris faced a mother who had children from three different fathers, smoked and got drunk every evening, and tried to justify her child abuse with the lack of discipline and respect shown by her children towards her. He saw this rage at times when Solaris faced ignorance and evil, blind customs and traditions, and he tried with a thunder of anger to break it.
      “Just listen to me for a moment god damn you. I didn’t come here to face your slander and insults. Do you really think I’m that retarded that I would come here if the things you say were true?” He stopped for a moment to catch his breath. Meanwhile, a cloudwalker with armed men approached the building. Solaris continued, grinding his teeth. “You as a student of the Shaman should show the greatest curiosity in such conflict and yet you jump to conclusions that are completely impossible to be true if you think about it. You should be saying to the masses that there are vast breaches in the narrative, and yet you are the first to come and start fighting. Your mind is clouded Raoul if you think that I am the evil that wants to destroy this world.”
      “Yes,” he continued, “I do want to see this city razed. But only after those who are worthy, those who abide by the principle of non-aggression have left the planet and settled in another. Look. This is the deal. You know what singularity is, right? This moment when AI gets so advanced that it’ll be able to improve itself oven and over. We did it. We have achieved it. Well, not quite, we have achieved it with human intelligence uploaded and integrated into a network. Human minds became synthetic minds, nanotechnology slowly turning planets into this artificial matter that obeys neo-human thought. Look. This is a hard thing to explain without sounding stupid. But this is what the Shaman’s been working on since he was created. This is the final Transcendence of mankind. And he appointed me to… well, to do things,” he said and he looked around cautiously. He hurried to the window that was on the left side of the building, and looked down to see nothing of imminent threat. But the lift was already ascending.
      “I need to get out of here somehow. They know that I’m here, that’s why the city woke up. Raoul. I need you to come with me to help me. I cannot do this alone. Please. I’m still your friend, I have not changed. I had secrets, but it is safe to be honest from now on for that these are the end times. Will you?” He smiled a faint smile that dared not to hope and extended his hand towards Raoul.
      “You need to answer one question,” Raoul answered in a dark tone. “Who murdered my parents?”
      Solaris lowered his hand.
      “I don’t know,” he answered. “I have been conducting my own investigations to find out, and I do not know.  I have a lot of data to show you about them, you know. So… it must have been someone who knew about these plans all along. I’ve had a list of them all and began checking them. But those people all want this thing to happen, they do not oppose it. So it must be someone who is against this project and wants to stop it. Someone who…”
      Before he could finish, the last Prime of Earth burst in the door, looking at Solaris.
      “He’s here!” he yelled. Their eyes met and the pieces of a mystery fell into order inside Solaris’s mind.
      “It was him,” he whispered.
      Two armed men leaped in the door, pushing the old man aside, aiming their rifles at Solaris. Raoul leaped, his muscles tightened, and the gunmen fired at them. They burst out the window, Raoul holding Solaris, falling towards the hard stone.
      A cloudwalker flew vertically towards them from the skies, and it opened its rooftop as it neared. Commie-Buster steered it so that the back seat would gently touch the two free falling human, and before crashing into the ground he lifted up the aircraft in a steady and even pace.
      “I have no idea what is going on but I’m on board,” Commie-Buster shouted. “Where should we be going?”
      “Try to get away from watchful eyes,” Solaris answered. “Park the car somewhere in the suburbs. We must get out of this colony unseen.”
      “Hiding it is, then,” the assistant yelled, closed the rooftop, turned on a fast paced music, and steered the cloudwalker towards the outskirts.
      It was early in the morning and Dr. Wordsmith was about to pour his first tea when a girl who was unknown to him burst out of the rooftop’s door.
      “What is it?” he asked warmly.
      “Dr. Wordsmith,” she gasped for air, “I was asked to tell you that Solaris Midsummer is here.”
      “Here, in the town?” he put the cup back down. “Where? Why?” he asked in a mild astonishment. The girl read the data on her lenses before she answered.
      “He’s fleeing now in a cloudwalker with an unidentified shell of an assistant and with Raoul Seoc.”
      “With Raoul? Hmm…,” Dr. Wordsmith pondered. “Was he kidnapped?”
      “No sir, it was the Prime who found and tried to capture Solaris, but Raoul helped him escape.”
      “Well that is a strange riddle for sure. Where is Yrra Carson?”
      “She is nowhere to be found.”
      “This morning is indeed very strange. Not to mention I have overslept.”
      Rade Nightwood ship’s engines fired up as he ran through the corridors towards the lowest chamber where Oana and the captured army resided. The bridge opened as he arrived and he told Oana to march the army off of the ship.
      “They are completely sedated,” she answered. “Most of their nervous system is temporally shut down so their brain won’t transmit signals towards their limbs or head. I cannot control them. Why, what is happening?”
      “Raoul is in danger,” he answered. “Come; help me throw these bastards down.”
      They dragged the numb bodies in great haste down from the ship, three or four piled up one another at a time.
      “Will you stay or come with me?” Rade asked Oana as they finished.
      “Come to go where?”
      “I have no idea. But Raoul is in danger and I have sworn to protect him as a father would. So I have to go.”
      “I’m going,” she said, with a spark in her eyes. “What’s with your wife?”
      “We don’t have time for her. Come,” Rade said and with his fist closed punched a button on the ship’s wall. The bridge closed.
      All around the colony, ships with great might and military power rose to hunt down that lone and frightened cloudwalker roaming the urban sky, and with them rose the ship of Rade Nightwood. He accelerated the ship and headed towards the city’s heart where Raoul was last seen.
      They soared between skyscrapers and above agoras and streets as Raoul watched through the neural interface as his reputation is being diminished. He, who was once amongst the most revered vigilante of the world is now being banished, banned from streets he so much loved to walk, from restaurants he was accustomed for decades, he could no longer visit the theatre built with his father’s support, or visit the Agora of Benjamin Stanford and listen to the greatest artists of the city. He watched like doors closing the colony’s services and goods becoming unavailable to him, one after another. He watched as acquaintances, long time business partners disappear from his sight and he felt nothing but a slight curiosity towards whether future will bring him light or dark, whether it is a grace to be on his friend’s side, or a sacrifice.
      “The dome would not let us go through and the residents here might see us and blow us up if we would fly through this region from now on,” Commie-Buster announced. “We are landing. We’ll try to get through this part and get to the mountain as fast and as silent as possible, and we can disappear in its other side. We can get lost easily from then on in the forests.”
      The cloudwalker landed and they stepped out, facing the District of the Hundred Pillars. Countless towers loomed over them, each tower twenty stories high, and each tier housed ten to thirty self-contained houses, with green gardens, trees and with spacious streets. The walls of these Pillars were made out of transparent, glass-like metal. A vast elevator with cafeterias and libraries inside connected the floors with one another that travelled slowly up and down. Deep down in the ground level were stores, shops and malls to satisfy the needs of the residents of the Hundred Pillars. But down there, in the looming shadows cast by the great Pillars it was as dark as moments before dusk, and apart from the streets connecting the ground levels, the domain was claimed by nature.
      By the time the tree of them have reached the shadow’s shelter, the rage of the city was already awakened and burning up against them. Mighty starships swarmed the skies, vast bounties were offered and private agents and adventurers sought to hunt Solaris down. Armed security was called out into the streets, securing the roads and agoras from any possible attack or crime. The information spread, and the colony watched and waited, some not moving out of their homes until the storms of chaos disperse.
      “Wait,” the assistant said, stopped and looked back, focusing his gaze into the distance for a moment, listening intently to the sounds. “They have found the cloudwalker,” he said. “Go in silence,” he turned back to Solaris and Raoul. “We have no time to waste.”
      “The cloudwalker that they used to flee was found near the District of the Hundred Pillars,” the girl told to Dr. Alan Wordsmith. “People now are moving towards those grounds to be the first who finds them in the forests or somewhere nearby. Also, the Orphanage’s customers are contacting us, mostly those who live there, demanding information and monetary compensation.”
      “To what exactly?” Dr. Wordsmith laughed warmly. “Should we pay because they are afraid? Up to this very moment, if it is true that Solaris is here, nothing evil happened by his hands. Nobody was murdered or hurt, nothing was blown up. We are a protection, dispute resolution and insurance organization, and Solaris’s actions show that there is no need for us in this case.”
      “I will transmit your policy in this regard. However,” she cleared her throat, “my opinion differs in this matter.”
      “Oh well, I’m glad you mention, and I am quite curious what you think about the case, Ms. van de Laar. Please sit down, if you will, and tell me.”
      “I just think that you are not taking this issue seriously,” she said, as she walked and sat down at the table in front of Dr. Wordsmith. “I mean, maybe they are in a grave danger. Maybe Solaris is planning something that we don’t yet know about.”
      “Maybe. Do you know him?”
      “Solaris? Yes, yes I had a few classes with him in the Orphanage, why?”
      “Tell me more about him.”
      Helmia van de Laar though deeply for a moment before she spoke.
      “If I’d need to find one word to describe him that would be… I think, mastermind. Yes, that’s what he was. You could not see it in his day to day life, in the way he interacted with others, but whenever we were in the Shaman’s simulations, and things turned dark, and I mean really dark, he, and Ana and Raoul always knew the things that will happen beforehand, and in a strange way that I never understood, they handled those situations really well. It looked as if they’d deliver from a seemingly hopeless situation a completely unseen checkmate. I don’t know how much it was luck and how much it was skill, but it happened over and over again when Solaris was around. He had seen into the future in a very frightening way. I mean, I was not actually frightened back then, because the three of them always made sure to save as much lives as possible, even simulated lives, but to think about it now, and to know that this is the enemy that we are facing… now I am afraid.”
      “I wonder what his plan is now,” Dr. Wordsmith answered. “Look. I understand your concerns. But I do not think that those people are actually in danger. We don’t know what his plans are, and I want to find out, not execute him.”
      “But you have seen the cult he built all around the world first hand,” Helmia said astonished. “You have seen how insane he become.”
      “I have seen the form of insanity, but I don’t know what forces brought it to life. The substance of that form is something that I do not and cannot understand. We need now the things to unfold to see what step Solaris takes next so that we can understand him. And hear me out, I don’t mean that our service of defense should abandon those people who live there. No, we ought to protect them and that is what we’re doing, even though I’m willing to bet all my wealth on the fact that nobody is going to be the target of aggression there. So, Helmia, transmit the message to send out people, but only those who are not already occupied. We don’t want to withdraw our defenses so that others can fill the void with violence. Send them, but explicitly with the order that we are not going after Solaris Midsummer, even if someone sees them.”
      “Aye aye, sir.“
      Projectiles soared towards and around them, blasting into the ground. They climbed further and further upwards the mountain, fleeing the shouts that followed them. They stumbled, the soil ran out from below them sometimes, they got up and ran forward again.
      “There is a cliff in front of us nearby,” Commie-Buster yelled. “We won’t be able to climb it.”
      “Yes we will,” answered Raoul as he stopped for a moment to see a pathway between the trees and around the bushes.
      “I know, I will handle that,” Solaris shouted from behind.
      “They have found their cloudwalker, and a team of four is chasing them through the forest,” Helmia reported. “They are nearing a cliff which is bigger than what they could climb or bypass. Several starships are on the way to enclose the cliff.”
      “What is on the top of the cliff?”
      “Forests, trees, nothing really. It is in one line with the Pillars, or a bit taller, and from then, the mountain slopes downwards after a while.”
      “Alan,” a raging voice called from the elevator. “Why don’t you order your own men to capture Solaris and the others?”
      “I didn’t know you were already here, Egoera,” Dr. Wordsmith answered, turning towards the old Prime. Haze Egoera waved his hands to dismiss the welcome.
      “Stop playing around, Wordsmith. You know that with your children you could outnumber them and get them in no time. You and Cantharis trained these kids,” pointed at Helmia “exactly to protect this domain, and now you are keeping them assigned into inferior roles so that they cannot capture them. Why?
      “I didn’t assign them, they volunteered to do those jobs.”
      “Yes but you could send your guards and security agents to replace them while the kids do the work.”
       Dr. Wordsmith laughed.
      “Do you think,” he asked, “I have a secret army at my disposal? Oh well, the public would lacerate me for it. You can see my files, everything is public, all our armory, equipment and employees. I really don’t have that much of a manpower hired.”
      “You have starships, you have weaponry that the children use, and you have militarized assistant shells that you could deploy. Half of the people working for you right now are assigned to unnecessary positions.”
      “You see, Haze, I don’t think you understand economics or how a business works. These people do not obey me, and these goods are not mine. I actually am more of a connection between freelancers such as the kids we saved and people who need to secure their property. Those items in the garage are just as much ours as to the banker the money in the bank. People pay us to protect them, we buy the means of protection and have them at their command, not ours. It is the customer that has the final say.”
       “Oh because there is no market demand right now to capture them, right?”
      “To capture them? By what right? How would I dare to just get them or kill them?”
       “Solaris Midsummer wages war against your world,” the Prime screamed in blind rage. “You have seen it with your own eyes!”
      “You have come here today,” Dr. Wordsmith explained calmly, “so that we as a community may listen to the opinion of the most revered in this issue and reach a conclusion together, isn’t that right? To weigh the facts and determine his guilt. You cannot pronounce a verdict before this event, Haze Egoera. Maybe you have lived too long among the wolves or statism wreaked havoc on your mind but amongst us we do not execute people because we are afraid of them, and even if we find them guilty through a trial, we banish them and not capture or kill them.”
      “They have reached the wall,” Helmia interrupted them, “and armed, hired vigilantes are on their way towards them. Starships driven by unidentified citizens surrounded the area, the top of the cliff, and they wait above the forests.”
      Raoul and Commie-Buster stopped as they reached the wall.
      “Hold on to me,” Solaris shouted as he ran, extending his hands towards them. As he reached the wall he grabbed the hands of Raoul and his assistant, leapt at the stone and jumped upwards. Wings of unstable electrical outbursts emerged out of his back, arose and swoop down, waking the sound of a monstrous, ear-splitting thunder. The uplift soared them halfway of the Pillars and the cliff’s height, Solaris leapt and his wings beat again, the voice of crashing fulmination once again filled the airwaves of the realm.
      Those who followed them and witnessed the sight froze in shock and awe. They have seen such sight a handful times before the past, for that the wings were the same that Cantharis was given when he was a child, and the sight of a man who resembled of their demigod made them shiver and stop, unable to shoot or utter a sound.
      They reached the upmost heights and Raoul and his assistant were able to put down their feet to the ground. They caught Solaris and pulled him in from above the yawning chasm. They turned, facing the landing starship of Rade Nightwood, with Oana Rain waving them from the ramp.
      “Come, quickly,” she yelled and they hurried inside the ship. Rade closed the ramp and the ship took off into the sky with great speed, bursting through the lightning-dome as others watched it with astonishment, before they began their chase.

      “What is happening?” Dr. Wordsmith asked Helmia van de Laar.
      “They… they escaped. A ship picked them up and left the colony with the three of them on board. Others are going after them but it is already too far away.”
      Dr. Wordsmith in relief sighed, turned towards the city’s sight and lit his cigar.
      “Well,” he smiled, “we will get them next time.”
      The Prime didn’t say a word, in impotent rage he stood, with fist closed he was watching the ground. They didn’t spoke for a long time until Helmia interrupted the silence.
      “Sir…” her voice was faint and full of dread. “Sir, there is a problem,” she said, watching the data’s streamline.
      “What is it?” Dr. Wordsmith asked, fear piercing through his mind as he saw the expression of pure horror on the girl’s face. The Prime looked up at them.
      “It… reports are coming in about… people who are disappeared and cannot be found.”
      “What?” Dr. Wordsmith gasped. “When? How? How much report have we received so far?”
      “A hundred…” she waited for a moment, “A hundred and eighty-four…” she watched helplessly as the new reports drown her sight. “Two hundred and sixty five… three hundred… four… ”
      He collapsed onto the bench. He listened, staring blankly, not understanding what is happening with the world around him.
      “Sir, we have received a thousand reports of missing people and the number grows exponentially.”
      “You,” the Prime growled. “You doomed this world with your inaction, Alan Wordsmith,” he said, knowing perfectly well what happened last night.