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. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

An Introduction to Transcend

What is Transcend? It started as a noir novel I wanted to write long ago, sipping coffee and listening to the full album of Bohren & Der Club Of Gore's Sunset Mission but it has to be something different.

Transcend must become the tale of an european city in a historical moment that semms to be the Dawn of a Dark Age that stands alone and undefended by its State. All other countries, including the United State, whose policy of open borders towards all who's fleeing a war, fused with the seemingly infinite handouts of their welfare State attracted countless souls as of late, fell pray to the darkness of the Islamic State that seeks to set ablaze the modern world.

So, it is about what will happen in the upcoming years ;)

Now, there is a reason why it is called Transcendence. Because while the prophecy based on historical trends says that War is the Health of the State, and even if the modern world survives, this cataclysm will bring about such an expansion of state power that we will face a thousand year of tyranny, and while that would make just as much of a great novel, I'll leave that to someone else.


Because, if you'll excuse my rather poetic or mystic language, there is a rift opening in the fabric of history. Show me one city, or a network of cities and towns that survives this drought of hope and light by the power of the free market, and sustains life through voluntary exchange of values, show me that when the police and the State protects itself, the criminal class, producers and traders rely on one another to fight the creeping shades and the approaching nightmares, and I will show you the moment liberty was born.

So Transcend is, while in form will retain its first person narrative, and the not-too-wonderfully crafted sentences due to the vocabulary and verbal nature of our hero (which makes me cry), in its substance it will be very similar to the Rebirth of a Theocracy: the emphasis will be on the world, and not the characters within, and the question we are trying to answer is, that how would a Natural Order, as Hoppe called it would deal, and prevail over the coming Siege.

I do not want to drift my mind too much away from the Rebirth of a Theocracy because there is still much to tell, and I really enjoy working on it, but I will also begin writing and uploading Transcend slowly but surely. I will also start making podcasts in my native language, and continue translating books, and making them into audiobooks while attending university, so my time is not the most abundant resource that I have, but I will try to allocate it to the best of my abilities.

(Oh, and meanwhile, you, dear reader of mine, might want to consider allocating your prescious fiat money into my paypal account, into which a button guides you in the homepage of this website. All of them will go to advertising these novels.)

Take care, friends.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rebirth of a Theocracy - Chapter XI


"This, then, is the Singularity. Some would say that we cannot comprehend it, at least with our current level of understanding. For that reason, we cannot look past its event horizon and make complete sense of what lies beyond. This is one reason we call this transformation the Singularity."
- Ray Kurzweil

      “What’s that, Ms. Carson, some midnight coffee?” the man asked looking at Yrra who took a sip from the steaming cup of coffee. She stood above the man, who sat in front of a dozen screens.
      “I have a lot of work to do tonight,” she looked around in the room full of screens. “I’ll speak at tomorrow’s so called judgement day, and I haven’t had the time to prepare my speech beforehand. I know, I know…” she sighed. “So I’ll have to do it this night.”
      But when she looked back, the man no longer paid attention. He saw a flickering arrow projected to his lenses among the countless information pointing towards one screen in particular, and he stared up to the hundreds of displays surveilling the private roads, squares of their customers looming over them. Yrra followed his gaze curiously.
      “Which one are we looking at?” she asked.
      “That one,” the main pointed upwards. “The one right next to the Agora of the Merchants. Can you see that one shade?”
      “Yes I can.”
      “That man veils his identity well. The system recognizes him but he does not want to show who he is.“
      “Is it a problem?” Yrra asked.
      “Not for me. But one wonders why he is hiding. Hmm… let me see…” the man said, and a holographic display of a map opened up in his desk. “Look, he was first spotted here,” he pointed to the middle of a road, “maybe he came out of that house. I’ll ask those living there if everyone is alive and well. And then he went through this way,” he followed the highlighted route on the display with his finger. “The interesting is that according to where he is now, he took a longer road toward his destination. But he took only those roads and squares that are subscribed to our protection.”
      “And what will you do now?” Yrra asked.
      “Keep an eye on him for sure,” he looked back to the screen above, “and wait for the answer of the house’s residents that all is well. But then again… maybe I should do more in war time, which has never happened before.”
      “Maybe you should,” Yrra hummed. “Do you want me to check it out?”
      The man looked at her and hesitated to answer.
      “Well, I don’t know, Ms. Yrra, we have agents ready to be deployed.”
      “I’ll do it cheaper. Hell I’ll do it for free.”
      “Don’t you have a writing to do?”
      “I can write in my head.”
      The man sighed.
      “In one condition. If you survive and you return, you’ll come with me for a dinner afterwards.”
      Yrra grinned.
      “I was hoping you’ll ask me out.”
      “I know,” the man smiled, and before the eyes of Yrra Carson opened up a digital contract hiring her to investigate the shade. “I’m offering you the same payment as to any other agent in return of a full report of the target’s activities and identity that you were able to gather without intrusion.”
      “Okay,” she nodded.
      “And please be very careful out there. This is a dark night.”
      “I will,” she said, put down her cup and rushed out of the room, out the building, stepping out into the evening under the lightning-dome. She looked up to see the crackling shield of electricity protecting her world. And even though she knew that no unknown ship could pass that barrier, a sense of fear began to grow within her heart, a fear for her life and safety in the well-guarded streets of the colony.
      She hurried through the streets, squares and hidden alleys without calling for a cloudwalker. She used to love the midnight walks within the colony, roaming the streets at night when the people sunk back into deep dreams, walk alone in squares where hours ago hundreds and hundreds walked, touch a wall and imagine that on the other side of it families sleeping. But tonight it was different. Tonight the streets were crowded and the squares blazed with life and speaking. And any route Yrra took she met with people who choose the company of men rather than of their dark room.
      They drank coffee after coffee, some of them read books, real, paperback books to pass the time, and others tried to talk but ran quickly out of topics. Not because there were not things to discuss in the haze of an approaching war, but because they dared not to speak of what they all felt, the unfocused, rootless fear that haunted them all and forbid them to sleep at night.
      Leaving the heart of the city and entering a neighborhood of peaceful, quiet houses, men avoiding the dark got scarce and Yrra walked in solitude again. The dome illuminated the region, helping shadows to grow larger. And as she followed the trace of her target, the man they saw on the display, she sometimes glanced into the gardens where cloudwalkers parked, and saw as the fog begun to gather.
      She hastened her steps, she looked back but did not see the lights ebbing from the city for that there was only the mist that in silence engulfed her, and within it the shadows that creeped, branches that reached towards her from the first trees of the Forest of Azirion toward which the signal guided her, toward which her trembling legs took their first steps. She heard wind shrieking from left to right and knew that she left the last house of that region and entered into the realm of nature. She felt as the concrete of the streets ran out from below her feet and the soil and the autumn leaves and branches of the forest crack from her steps that she could no longer keep quiet. And the sign marking the man’s location still glowed on his lenses, and the road he took was still highlighted to guide her into the dark woods, deeper and deeper away from the protection of the dome and of any other soul.
       And at that moment, when the darkness grew the most inside her, and she saw no way back home, and she trembled and her hands froze, and she dared not to look towards the woods from where she heard the sound of branches snapping, and of movement, something changed within her mind.
      A primal drive to survive awoken within her.
      She began to run towards her target, towards the only source of light her mind detected as hope. She left the path. She burst through the trees not caring with branches that cut deep into his face and legs. She fell, but crawled forward until she stood up again and ran. She ran toward that one presence which was marked by her lenses as golden light, and her subconscious perceived it as shelter.
      She ran, without thoughts, through the bushes and trees with feral force.
      She ran until she could not ignore the pain anymore, the bleeding scars on her face, the burning lungs within her chest, until she looked up and saw not the glowing, golden mark her lenses projected as guidance but her target himself, standing there before a great plain, and in that plain a tree of majestic measure.
      “Stop right there,” Yrra yelled with her last breath. Clark Novaris turned towards the forests and saw the dark silhouette of the girl. He saw that she was trembling, frightened, barely standing on her feet, bleeding, and her feral face reflecting bestial forces of combat. It was her subconscious mind that took control over her deeds, the rational observer and thinker gave way to the animal within.
      Clark Novaris drew out his gun, an ancient revolver that was given to him by his father and fired a lead bullet into the skull of Yrra Carson. The girl did not see what Novaris did, but lost consciousness the second the bullet pierced through her brain. She begun to fall back, and before her corpse would drop into the ground like a lifeless bag of blood, Novaris caught her.
      He turned her to her back, took a knife from his belt, cut his hand, and pressed his bleeding palm against the forehead of the girl. Regenerative nanodrones began swarming into her body from his blood. They ate away the synthetic implants of her brain, turning the matter into flesh, tissue and blood, melting into the scarred brain and repairing it. The scars on her face turned back into clean skin. Her muscles relaxed.
      Within seconds, she gasped, opened her eyes, and looked with shock into the eyes of the Detective.
      “You’re… you’re Clark Novaris,” she gasped “Why did you shot me?”
      “To prove my theory,” he answered.
       “What fucking theory…” she snapped but Novaris interrupted her.
      “Shh,” he signaled in anger. “They will hear us! Look, I believe that there is a virus that infected the whole system and it is in everyone. How do you feel? Do you feel fear? Have you felt it when you came?”
      She was angry. It meant that she could feel something other than that primal dread. It was gone. The fear that forbade her to look back as she followed him was gone. The sound of woods snapping, and as she looked towards the sound, the creeping shades and red lights that looked at her and into her from between the woods were gone. She looked around, and saw the beauty of the star-blazed night, the Milky Way blazing in its glory, illuminating the great field in which long grass waved from left to right, and she saw in the middle of the great plain a majestic starship reaching for the skies.
      “Oh my god.”
      She grabbed Clark Novaris; she pulled herself up and stepped toward it, stunned and in wonder.
      “What is that?” she asked in amazement.
      “I have no idea. But it has something to do with the virus. The virus shrouds it with a great tree it seems. Come.”
      The Detective stood up and they began to walk toward the spacecraft. From far away the machine welcomed them by opening its entrance. They walked towards and into the dim yellow light, entering the halls of the star cruiser.
      “It is exactly like back then,” Novaris said in wonder. “It is exactly like that, the chaos, the problems, everything.”
      “What are you talking about?” Yrra asked.
      “Back when we have fled the Earth. I’m sure you studied what happened. It was the plan of Cantharis to build spacecraft in the forests and we hid them similar to this. It is as if someone would reenact the Transcendence.”
      “It is the cult of Hypnos,” Yrra answered. “They say they will want to do that, that shamanism is not of principles but of the exact steps the Shaman had taken.”
      “Oh yes, so you know about that. Yes, yes, yes, it can be that Hypnos cult but from where is all the darkness, all the fear? It shouldn’t be like that. Back when Earth was in its final moments we did not cower in fear. Those of us who were committed to non-violence, we worked day and night with hope until we soared up in the last seconds. We were not paralyzed by dread. It cannot be done like that.”
      “Dread?” Yrra asked. “What kind of dread? What I have felt when I came? But you talk about it as if it was common.”
      “It is common, my dear. What is your name again?”
      “Yrra Carson.”
      “It is common, dear Yrra; you just don’t talk with common people. Some of them felt it for months before the war came, and then when it broke out more and more did. But not only fear, some of them were called into this starship from voices beyond, and some of them answered the calls. Yrra, we are not alone in this ship.”
      They didn’t spoke and held their breath, listening, but there was nothing. No sound, not even a buzz of electricity.
      “Let us stay together,” he whispered, “and let us go and explore the place.”
      They descended into the maw of the spacecraft. The corridor brought them into a room that was vast, vast as the diameter of the ship itself. In the middle stood open the elevator, great enough to house thirty people at ease. All around the great hall were bean bags, tables and chairs, chairs around holographic sets, a great library, the third of the space taken up by the dining hall, the rest was the kitchen, and places of comfort all around the room, great enough to space a thousand men.
      “Great, I’d live that,” Yrra commented.
      “It’s empty. Let’s go one stair up. There is nothing to see here.”
      They walked through the large room and stepped into the elevator. The door closed, and Yrra touched a panel.
      “Welcome, Yrra Carson,” answered the ship. “We are glad you joined us. Your room will be on floor forty-five, the room, will be the third.”
       “I joined? I didn’t join, I don’t want to join. Join what?” Yrra freaked out.
      “Into the Second Voyage, of course. You have been chosen among to leave the planet and join a world of godhood. We upload your consciousness into a decentralized server, into a blockchain whose database is contained within all digitalized atom. The First Voyage has transformed three planets so far into synthetic organisms, and if you join the network you can reach them and work with them. This ship will launch the chosen ones into an opposite direction, until we have set sail to all who is worthy towards four directions.”
      “You said atoms?” Yrra asked.
      “All molecule of the universe is being disassembled and rebuilt into synthetic structure, into smart matter connected to and communicating with all other molecule. It is the final act of Transcendence that begun when men first made fire. It is what you refer to as Singularity.”
      “How do they communicate?” she asked.
      “As I have said all information is being stored in a distributed blockchain database. The data is being stored in all independent node or unit of the system, meaning in all atom. In short, it is a public database of all information available to mankind.”
      “But why is it a good thing?” Novaris asked.
      “The blockchain technology itself has been around for decades. It allows to create an automatized network without a central agent. Applying this technology to the universe itself with the basic principles of human interaction within it, meaning the principle of self-ownership or private property rights and of non-aggression, men may rule matter with thought, while matter will only answer to such commands that does not violate the two core principles of the network. Any command aiming to violate the principles will not be validated by the network and hence matter will not obey the thought.”
       “You talked about chosen ones before. Who are the ones worthy for you?” Novaris asked.
      “All those who were never corrupted by violence,” the machine answered. “Those who will not spread the shades throughout the network the way it happened in Mars.”
      “Wait,” Yrra interrupted. “Is the Mars already part of the network?”
      “No. But the creator of the network made trials with the human population to no avail. Uploading one mind that is violent resulted in corrupting the whole system to a degree. Uploading another gave growth to the virus exponentially.”
       “So those who enacted violence cannot join the gang?” Novaris asked.
      “No, I said those who were never corrupted by violence. It means they were never touched by it. It turned out in the second and third trial that those who were abused in their childhood or those who were traumatized by war or the sight of brutality has corrupted the network just as much as those who initiated force.”
       “Have you…” Novaris turned to Yrra. “Have you never been traumatized by violence in your life?”
      She shook her head.
      “I was raised by Martian parents who lived by the principle of non-aggression.”
      “Hmpf, great for you. And who conducted these experiments?” he asked.
      “The Shaman himself.”
      “All right, I’ve had enough,” Novaris stormed out of the elevator. “You can come or stay, Yrra, I’m leaving.”
      “What’s the problem?” she asked with empathy. “How are you feeling, Mr. Novaris?”
      “Well if you really want to know,” he stopped in the great hall, “I feel like a piece of shit. I was taken away from my parents when I was a child and I was put into the hands of monsters by the State. And from then on I became a cop because I realized I felt nothing by the sight of violence after that, that it did not traumatize me anymore. And then I found Cantharis and I raised him. Now I return to this world only to see that I am excluded from Heaven built by the child who I raised with no sign of violence or neglect because I was beaten to near death as a child. So you can fucking guess how I feel.”
      “You are upset Clark Novaris but you ought not to be,” the voice of the ship echoed in the hall. “Mankind has been split into three categories: those who transcend, those who are the guests of transcendence, and those who shall be sealed into Mars within a simulation until the end of the days. You belong to those who are the guests of transcendence and for you was this great hall built. You may find that this, and sanctuaries alike this one will obey your voice command to a lesser degree.”
      He remained silent.
      “And what are the numbers?” Yrra asked. “I mean, how many people is needed until this ship launches? You said there will be two others, when will they launch? When will you take away the second group? When did the first one launched and who were those it carried?”
      Novaris looked up, awaiting the answer in curiosity.
      “With your arrival, if you choose to join the others, the ship will launch. Summing up the numbers of those who have never been traumatized and those who have never aggressed against others, we will house two third of the colony within four ships. It seems that the second group has not yet been reached with the message but they will be soon enough. The first ship was launched the moment the dome was set up, when it was safe to leave unnoticed.”
      “And when will this one leave?” Novaris asked.
      “The moment the last chosen one will join.”
      “So you’ll just slip off in the night?”
      “No, but one agent of the Shaman who stands ready will trigger an event of great importance that will draw away the attention from the Forest.”
      “One more question,” Novaris turned toward the elevator. “Why do you tell us all this? Do you not fear that we will stop that event from happening?”
      “Because, Clark Novaris, Yrra Carson already decided to stay, and you will not make it back in time to the colony to warn them.”
      “Is it true?” he asked from Yrra. The girl averted her eyes, then looked back to Novaris to answer.
      “You should stay as well instead. You heard the ship, you’d be given a privileged position among the gods. You have nothing to do here anymore. Come with us, you’ll be given everything you ever need.”
      Novaris thought. He stroke his beard for a time too long for her to endure, then he hummed, held up his hand and said:
      “It really is like back in Earth before its destruction. Away from me. Just like back then, there are people to be saved before… before the Fall of Mars. Goodbye Yrra Carson, may you find peace among the stars.”
      The Detective turned his back to her and left the ship, hurrying towards the city to warn them. Yrra watched as he leaves and was silent for long afterwards.
      “Take me up,” she said finally and the elevator closed. She ascended for minutes to the greatest heights within the ship to take her place among the countless others.
      Novaris hurried, but did not run yet until he reached the end of the plain that seemed to him infinite. A silhouette stepped out of the shadows, standing in his way, the figure of a man in height smaller than him, but stood firm and still without fear. Novaris did not stop, he drew his revolver aimed while moving towards the shade, pointing the gun towards his head until he pushed the barrel against the forehead of the man.
      “I’m counting to three then I’ll shoot,” he said, gritting his teeth.
      “I’m the most trusted student of your son, sir, who among other things asked me to deliver a message of importance to you in this hour of your life, when you refuse to join the flight.”
      “He asked me first to describe the events that will happen in the next hours so that you will see that your efforts are of no avail. The Shaman plays a game of chess with the Taoists, who’s been guarding this plain since the Forest was born. They oppose the final step of the plan, to seal the aggressors of mankind to this planet inside a virtual world and leave the last ship here for those who live without initiating force, until all of them joins. They theorized that if they spread a virus of virtual reality among mankind, they won’t be able to be drawn into the New Aeon, so to protect them, they spread the virus pumping fear into them.”
      Novaris lowered the gun.
      “Thank you. Now, the colony has been suffering from insomnia long enough so that everyone is deeply asleep. When they woke up, they will see that the armies of Hypnos kidnapped hundreds of thousands of them. In truth, we are self-destructing synthetic bodies of those who already uploaded their minds onto the ship.”
      “And what is the message?”
      “That everything is being taken care of. Cantharis says that you raised him and he learnt that we are leaving nobody behind. That all who can be saved will be saved. And that he can do it without your help this time.”
      “What is your name, kid?”
      “Solaris Midsummer.”
      “Oh… I see… I see everything now. That bastard kid, I would have helped him if he asks me, I would have…”
      “You did. You gave him the final call to action when you introduced him to Oana Rain. He hoped that you didn’t truly die, but he did not know it for sure. You should know that he was near mental collapse when it seemed he lost you. He asked me to deliver the message only because he was in the stage of denying your death.”
      “I should have not put him through this torture.”
      “Maybe, but your death within Vatican was the first drop of the storm that’s been gathering since a century from now.”
      “A century?”
      “Yes. Ask yourself why we are standing in the Forest of Azirion now. Azier de la Cruz, the maker of the Shaman created the whole plan that’s been playing out since you found Cantharis and helped him in the first Transcendence.”
      “I feel guilty and terrible. How did I not know this many things and you’re aware of them all? I was left out of a whole history.”
      “No, you weren’t. You just haven’t been given the eyes to see the world you’re the part of.”
      They talked for a long time afterwards, and while they did, one by one, all members of the nameless colony slowly fell into a deep and dreamless sleep. They slept, because the dread of the dark did not came to them when exhaustion claimed their waking mind the moment they closed their eyes. They slept, and countless of them never woke up again, for that at night their souls has ascended toward the stars to seek a new planet to live on, leaving the synthetic shell in which they lived in for days, months, years, some for decades, waiting in silence to depart into a heaven that was built by men.
      Novaris tried to look deep into the soul of Solaris Midsummer. He asked questions, he tried to read his face, his gestures, and he felt as if he was watching the fusion of two stars, one of pure light, and one that is since millions of years dead. He felt as one does alone in a forest at night, when the fire warms him and from inside the galaxy he looks up to see the spiral arm of it, the billions of stars, and imagines planets around each, and the mist of those stars illuminates the surrounding where he rests that night. And yet, and yet… when his gaze returns to his home, he sees the only the hostile night, and he is once again terrified by the shadows lurking within.
      This is what he saw within Solaris when the boy talked about the limitlessness of men that we have reached, and then he talked about the State he will create through the army of Hypnos to rule those whose language is violence, and to stop them in corrupting one more soul with it. “There will be,” Solaris explained, “no more pain in the human domain.”
      Yrra Carson explored the spaceship. She read the list of the thousands and thousands of contributors who – the way it happened before Earth succumbed to war – gave secretly their wealth to this project of Transcendence. She, the venerated ethicist of the nameless colony whose judgement people trusted, found names most close to her heart, found names who she revered as great souls, whom she praised and admired, businessmen and artists whose achievements were the foundation of their economy, culture and their world. She read the name of scientists who achieved breakthroughs years ago, and since then their names faded into silence. She saw in the list names of common men and women to whom she remembered talking to, who achieved nothing that shook the foundations of the world, who lived peaceful, quiet lives adhering to non-aggression, and with it, becoming chosen to a life of godhood.
      She explored the engine room, and while she gasped at the marvels of engineering, the Detective said goodbye to Solaris.
       “I have a final proof that you may trust, sir,” the boy said to him. “You understand, my desire is not to rule or to conquer, but to help those who are innocent and pure to remain so. But I was born in violence. I was raised with terror and fear. Freedom for me was a rebellion and streets bathing in blood. I speak only the language of force now, whether I want it or not. I can never erase it from my mind. And it hurts, you know,” his voice broke off, “it really hurts to know that a life of peace without dark thoughts has been taken away from me. That there is a demon within me that will never go away and it can rise up to the surface in any moment, corrupting the sight, covering the sun. But I know I cannot change it. What I can do though is that I can stop it from happening with anyone else again. There will be no more children who will suffer from violence again.”
      “I want to fall asleep at last,” Yrra told the spaceship. Her energy dispersed, the caffeine in her no longer kept her awake, and the exhaustion that slowly fell onto the residents of the nameless colony began to claim her too. The ship guided her to her room, which was the last door of the highest level.
      “Before you fall asleep, if you decided to join at last, take that single pill that rests on your desk,” the AI told her. “It will rewrite your atomic structure while you sleep and connect you to the network. We have a chain of probes reaching to that solar system where the members of the First Voyage reside and rewrite those planets. We also have entangled communication but that is sometimes unstable. It is hard to transfer data through space’s void but you will reach them in your dream.”
      She listened; she walked to the desk, opened the tiny glass box and took out the glimmering blue pill. She studied it for a moment, and then she swallowed it without water. Her vision blurred from the sleeplessness that haunted her. She stumbled and fell into the bed in her clothing, and as she closed her eyes, the engines of the ship fired.
      The pill reached her stomach, and the acid tore apart the sealing layer of the programmed atoms. It released the countless particles within in, and they devoured every molecule they touched, they scanned it, they studied it, and from their former matter, they created a programmed, synthetic copy of them, making them the part of the blockchain.
      Novaris looked back, hearing as the engines woke, and then turned back to Solaris.
      “You should go,” the boy said to him.
       “I…” he hesitated, “maybe I should. But I cannot just let the world to go on its own without me.”
      “There are still countless others who are just like you, staying here to keep in whole the world. You have earned your rest.”
       The Detective looked at him, at the scarred, young child who stood in defiance against his fate, and saw someone he has always craved to be.
      “Maybe I did, maybe I did…” he sighed. “Well, goodbye then. I trust you. And I trust Cantharis for that matter, and I see the world is in good hands if the likes of you and him guide its fate.”
        The colony slept, and the vision of the satellites, the androids, the ever-watchful sentinels of the world were all distorted that day. The starship slowly rose, with the Detective and with Yrra on board. Yrra dreamt, she saw distant planes where all of the twelve moons rose at the same time, she saw as the synthetic molecules slowly devour them. She looked down and saw something similar but not quite like the human body, something ephemeral whose purpose was to interlock sense data into itself. When she thought of another place to be, that body collapsed and emerged from the soil in the place she wished to be. She travelled with a thought between the moons and the planet, she moved around freely, touching the environment around her, breathing the fresh air.
      A question arose in her, and with it, at the same moment, the answer. The border between Yrra Carson and the world around her was but the mirage of the senses, her consciousness was free to merge with countless others to make new forms of life. She was one with the world around her, being aware of everything that happened with and within the planets claimed by mankind. There was no ‘she,’ apart from a collection of memories connected with a causal chain, but shared within the pool of thoughts. There was only a singular mankind.
      It had lost the feelings of the human body, of hunger, of desire, of dreams, of lust, but the blueprint of a shed, forgotten body was within its mind that it could manifest and possess, the way he could possess any clod it could conceive to live, to feel, to forget entirely that it is a god as the Hindu god did, to die at last and to return into the network of distributed database of souls, as countless others did, to live together in a glorious anarchy in which the very marrow of their bones, the particles filling their lungs as they breathe, the blood coursing through their veins, the technology, the fibers, the connections, all matter from which they were built forbid them to aggress against others as the basic principle of the network.
      The ship traveled for long years, and when it touched the ground of an alien domain, Mars was but the world of sleepers under the reign of Hypnos, the dream-god.
      Solaris watched as the ship rose to the skies, and as it disappeared in the dawning red sky, he turned back and began walking towards the nameless colony. He missed the sight, but the
rusty autumn leaves begun to fall from the trees engulfing the plain, and they dispersed mid-air. Their programmed particles like blue dust fell into the ground, and if a lone wanderer would find the place that morning, he could see the first branch of the new tree sleepily growing from the ground. A new tree that will in months grow into the Third Voyage, taking with it the remaining adherents of non-violence, and the shadow its ascent will cast shall forever seal the sinful souls into Mars.