Saturday, February 14, 2015

Theocracy: Chapter II

  As he woke up, the fading memory of his dreams lingered on the back of his mind. Everything else was secondary in nature to him, dreams came first. His consciousness was not connected to the reality, he was in the ocean of the subconscious, and the voices from the outer world, such as the laughing of the students walking past his door, faded into blunt noise, like the sounds one hears below water.
  He started to record his thoughts. Since the colony was built, his only connection with the society was  through the books he wrote. He longed for the days of Earth, when he had to fight for freedom. He was made to do that, as the masterpiece of the once notorious merchant Azier de la Cruz, who once waged endless wars against every state of the world, against every fighting force which stood against freedom. Before the detective Clark Novaris brought him to justice, he left his legacy to the world. The child, Cantharis de la Cruz intertwined with the artificial intelligence called Shaman.
  "The distinction between dreams and reality is about to disappear – he noted. – Our age, our technological progress is driving us towards to a state of ’awake dreaming’ which is the state of life, in which the observer possesses the power to shape his environment with his thoughts, travel enormous distances in a blink of an eye, defy the physical laws while he is awake in the objective reality. The waking version of lucid dreaming.
  We will reach this state of existence within the next generations, it is certain. The signs of progress are visible even now. When I wake up, it used to feel like waking to a nightmare, but now, I can barely recognize what is real and what is not.  The malfunction I was born with forces me to endure hundreds of years of dreaming every night. My father wanted me to live through this, to learn much more than a simple human would in a lifetime. After I fall asleep, I live countless lives, have countless names, lovers and worlds I inhabit. There is but one continuity in my incarnations; they always call me Shaman. I forget who I am, where I came from, what my goals are. I live through countless years of experiences, and learn from them.
  The dream is my master.
  There time is near when the realm will merge with the reality. Our task now is to eliminate all evolutionary legacy chaining us, and from conquerors of the universe, we must become the observers. Conquest is only due if our existence depends on it. Human existence depends on knowledge of, not the power over the world. We have to depart from the old paradigm, that says knowledge is power, and see that knowledge is the cooperation with the universe, while power bends it to our will. Once we achieve immortality, and the mastery over space and time, what we are going to desire is not the primitive hormones of our brain making us feel joyful, but something incomprehensible to our proto-god minds.
  Let me show you how I’ve taught my students to reflect on their legacy.”
  He attached a copy of a memory to the flow of thoughts. His first class in the academy. Students eagerly awaited the Shaman in the room. Pillows were arranged in a circle to them. Cantharis was not in the room before all of them got an invitation to a sealed, private simulation, with the server "Shaman” named in the details. They accepted it, and found themselves sitting in an almost empty room, pillows arranged in a circular order, all occupied.
  For them, it was reality, and there was nothing else. No world outside of the room, the technology, which allowed them to reach the sum of human knowledge with the forming of a mental question was beyond their reach, they had no names, memories, past or future, nothing except the room, and the ideas, carefully planted into each student’s mind by the creator of the simulation, and the consequences of those truths. They all knew that their belief is reality, and they all wanted the other students to accept those ideas.
  The first lesson.
  The weapons they had were their minds and bodies. The memory showed the students arguing for hours, siding with one another, forming groups for hours and hours, and in the end, it was bloodshed.
  While going through the memory of that first simulation, a thought struck him. Yesterday’s events started to return. After a long time, detective Clark Novaris, his stepfather contacted him, and told him about the recent events in the Vatican.
  After the nameless colony was established, and the spontaneous order of the society has become visible, Novaris decided to leave Mars, and settle in the simulation of the outcasts. He choose to be their guide, and decided to help those who desired change, but had no means to do so.
  ,,We mustn’t let anyone down” – he said to Cantharis to which he replied in anger:
  ,,It was their decision to steal and murder, they should have seek help then! Now let them pay the price. I am unforgiving in moral cases, and you should be too, for there is no other way to maintain peace.”
  "Very well - he said, giving up the argument. – Then I belong to them. Ex-cop. I cannot know how many innocent life ended up in prison because of me. This is my only way of redemption from the sins I’ve committed in the past life.”
  With that, he stepped into the spaceship, and the last time their eyes met before the door closed, the detective smiled, and added:
  ,,I might need your help once.”
  And after years, the Shaman got a message from him. He talked about a rising number of outcasts living up to the philosophy of freedom, and about a girl who was the brightest of them, who learned what’s the right thing to do, and now is lost, a pure mind amongst the thousands of mystics.
  Last night Cantharis worked for hours; trying to stop Novaris’s sacrifice.
  He was able to connect for a second to the mind of Oana Rain, and tried to hasten her exile, but now he no longer felt the conforming presence of Novaris detective in his mind. The entanglement between them, the encrypted key to Novaris’s mind saved in the Shaman’s implanted AI,was gone.   Clark Novaris sacrificed himself.
  Cold water brushed his skin, and he just stood there, enduring the pain. He got out and dressed up,  with dead, glassy eyes, his thoughts scattered. It was not until he finished breakfast when he returned to this world. He checked the school’s mission board. The retinal projector showed him cases, opened or in progress, and he read through them. He stopped at Solaris Midsummer’s current work.
  - Fuck – he said in surprise, looking at the details. The victim of the theft was the daughter of a wealthy businessman, therefore she had the most hi-tech defense system; and yet the thief broke it in seconds.
  He waved the case away,  and tried to contact Solaris.
  No answer.
  Raoul.
  ,,The recipient’s mind is fully occupied, please try again later.”
  He searched through his contacts, until he found Ana, and started an entanglement.
  - Anabelle.
  - Canthy – replied Ana, her voice echoed in Cantharis’s mind, he felt her frustration caused by the name ’Anabelle.’ Or, it was his for ’Canthy.’ He showed his thoughts to her in six or seven channels at once.
  - God – she gasped.
  - Where are you, Anabelle?
  - Twenty-eleven three to north.
  Cantharis saw the location in the map.
  - In minutes – he abandoned the entanglement, and within minutes, left his apartment.

 Before the call, Ana had been missing Solaris. Now she felt a relief knowing that his lover is in the middle of a more urgent matter than caring for a child. In the beginning, when they had no social or combat skills to sell on the market, they offered child-caring services as a couple, but Solaris outgrew it, and now he was after something monstrous, while Ana continued it alone.
  The little girl grabbed her hand and guided her to the bookshelf.
  - Pick one – she said, pointing to the books.
  - You want me to read for you? – smiled Ana. The little girl shook her head.
  - No, I will read for you. When I am sad, mom always reads for me, and now you are sad, so I’ll read for you.
  Ana kneeled and hugged her.
   - Thank you – she said, holding both of her hands – but I am fine. Its just… we’ll explore a story, okay?
  - About what?
    - Transcendence. Did you parents tell you about the humans of Earth? What do you know about the difference between them and us?
  - We are better because we live in peace, right? Because states had power over them and they were violent.
  - Yes, but the state was not the cause of their violence, it was the effect. However sophisticated and subtle, the humans of Earth used aggression to force each other to do so, and they discarded reason, as a means of trade. Even in their families they used violence to have control over each other. The state was the ultimate aggressor, the mightiest beast, ruler of the kingdom of violence.
The little girl kept nodding, while her mind stored the information.
  - So the difference is going from force to logic? Because I’ve heard they were told what to do, or at least most of them, and weren’t able to use ethics by themselves as we do. – she said with a spark in her eyes, a blue, glowing light indicating that her enhanced neurons were connected to the home server empowering her cognitive abilities.
  - You see, Lillian, I think you are smarter than any six year old child who lived on Earth. And that is a big difference, because you represent the progress of humanity from Earth to Mars in a sense. And the story I would like to explore is the story of our future. What do you think will come?
  The girl was silent for a minute while her gaze jumped from side to side, seemingly reading the air, but in fact, she was searching for predictions and information online, choosing the subjects she was interested in and uploading the information into her mind. There was a sudden fear in her eyes, but she continued with fastened pace. Ana watched her in amazement.
  - Ana – she said softly – did you look up this question on the web?
  - I think yes, why?
  - I now have knowledge about a cult and I don’t understand it. I think they worship a god called Hypnos, but it is said that this sect is a branch of the Shamanism. But the shamanism is… Ana, my head hurts, I think I need a narrative – she said with a painful look on her face, holding her hand.
  - You need to be more careful with your mind Lillian, it is easy to overload – said Ana. – Solaris cannot be here because he is looking after this cult with his friend. It seems the cult is one mind interconnected, and because of their connection, they are able to use much powerful technologies than we are. They say they are not harmful but some weak evidence says otherwise. Yes, they are a branch of shamanism, but while this rational hero cult around Cantharis is just showing an exemplar, the Hypnos cult is trying to step over human boundaries, just as the Shaman did.
  - So they are mimicking not who he is, but how he become – said the girl with now a calm face.
  -Yes, and think about it – she said in growing excitement. – With our minds collectively connected, we would have no need for our evolutionary legacies such as emotions and the necessity for language, the urge to reproduce and the enslavement of bodily desires. Instead we could reach for the stars and the very essence of our world, turning everything into knowledge and information, living eternally in the reality imbued with the dreamworld, seeing not just from one, but from billions of perspectives.
  - So is this the next step of evolution in your opinion?
  - Yes, certainly. Can I tell you a secret?
  The little girl nodded.
  - I am thinking of joining them – whispered Ana Mionar.
  The doorbell rang. Ana stood up - feeling the little girl’s puzzled look following her -, and went to open the door. Cantharis stood there, a head taller than Ana, behind him a smaller crowd watching and whispering to each other, as they recognized the legend walking amongst them.
  - Let me in Anabelle, these people has no respect regarding privacy. One more reason to hide from them. – he said, and stepped in as Ana stood out of the way.
  - You could just buy an enshrouding device you know - – Ana said, and closed the door. - It has a dozen variations of hiding functions like projecting a different face or-
  - I will not – he interrupted. His voice was calm, but serious. – Any information about Solaris and Raoul? – he asked.
  - None whatsoever. What are we supposed to do?
  While they spoke next to the front door, Lillian hid in the corridor, watching them secretly.
  - We are supposed to do nothing, Anabelle. We both know Solaris very well, he knows his limits, and has a backup plan. And he is with Raoul. Raoul has a strange obsession of arranging everything before he acts, so his assistant might have calculations about their current state, and it will call us if we are needed.
  - Then why did you came? – Ana asked. – You won’t go and help them.
  - I… I will help them if they need it, and Solaris will contact you, not me. I wanted to talk to you.
  - Me? About what? If it is about Solaris… no it is not about Solaris, you train him.
  He nodded, and started to walk toward the apartment.
  - Hey, little one – Cantharis said when he saw Lillian. – I hope you don’t mind if I am here for a while – he smiled.
  The girl shook her head. Ana gently pushed Cantharis towards the girl, and Lillian indicated the room she came from with her hand, while bowed deeply. Ana chuckled, and taking her hand, they went in.

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