Friday, October 16, 2015

Rebirth of a Theocracy - Chapter IX


Two Armies

“your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.”

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

      Solaris Midsummer lived through darkness, and vowed to end it with his might.
      Solaris saw plague spreading through his home, where there was no chance to cure the ailment. No technology was accessible to them for that they lived a world that could not sustain great expenses, where the collective owned the means of production. If they ever tried to thrive, food began to disappear from the market that used no price. Such was the nature of a system with no money involved. Not knowing the losses they made, they wasted the scarce resources they owned, like the time and energy of the fellow comrades, resources that could no longer supply the most crucial demands.
      And the plague, the dying, pleading, praying shells of souls that filled the squares reminded him of nightmares, of nightmares that he wished, but could not control. And his dreams reminded him of the truth, of the true and dreadful nightmare that shown him how frail a resource is life, and how easy it is to lose it.
      He saw child abuse from first hand. For questioning what was sacred he faced a closed door from the stormy, dark midnight. For standing up for what he deemed right screaming threats filled the airwaves. For resisting commands he was beaten until he obeyed, until he could not breathe from crying, until he had to beg for them to stop, until he learnt where his place was, until his mind went numb from the pain, and acted without control, until his soul was crushed to fine dust.
      And within all that violence, within all that pain and torture, the glimpse of hope have touched him, hope that whispered that he could become someone who rules this nightmare. Not now, not in time he could foresee, but a force existed, a force could be wielded that would repel all the darkness, all the pain…
      He saw rebellion and war, war between those who created cash, and those who hated them for it. And as chaos slowly ensued, the young Solaris departed from his homeland, following the whispers of the old god, who promised him the freedom from the chains.
      He gave in to the old god of the State.
      And when he arrived to the colony that had no name, about which he heard tales of greatness, but also of grand hate, he saw suffering even more. There wasn’t more unjust pain, the principle of non-aggression viciously purged all who caused it, but the pain was not buried under the guise of what is normal; it was openly talked about, embracing the grief they lived through.
      It frightened him. The absence of a veil that covers the madness filled him with sorrow.
      “But the time is nigh,” he thought, “when there will be no more darkness, no more pain…”
      From the seven colonies of Mars, he was connected with all the minds from six of them. The web of the consciousness that they called Hypnos has spread throughout the Red Planet. Behind it the technology was crafted with great care. It was paid by the profit Solaris made throughout the years, from the endless pursuing of missions and the selling of his past, and now only one fortress of men stands defiantly against his will, one kingdom of the old world.
      He saw through the eye of a hundred soldiers the approaching starship of Rade Nightwood. Hypnos, the vast intelligence scattered into million minds stood, they all stood waiting for the attack. The technology connecting its parts into one was designed by Solaris to retain some sense of the self. Closing on, the members of the One lost their identity the more they approached each other, and standing next to one another, they became a single conscious being. But when the parts moved back away from each other, their unique self was able to emerge once again.
      Solaris meditated in a colony far away from the approaching starship. No other soul resided in that land. He saw clearly into the minds of others, influencing their thoughts from the distance. And the minds, all the different minds who had once own dreams and future answered in one choir of obedience to their master to whom they gave their soul, who promised them a life with no more nightmares, for that that future will be one endless tale of waking dream from then on, a dream dreamt by their master.
      The starship soared above the soldiers and deployed Raoul Seoc. He landed into the front of the crowd with care not to crush a single man with the impact force. Several layers of shields have protected his body, living skin made of nanodrones, breaking apart the atomic structure of anything that touched it, magnetic force that repelled incoming bullets and the great shield itself that he held in one hand, bearing the crest of black and gold, a black sword, its blade glowing with green light made of Martian ores and cutting laser on his other hand. He kneeled down behind the protection of his shield.
      The troops opened fire at him.
       Solaris saw that it was Raoul, whom he tried desperately to keep away from the war, and his once-determined mind was now looking for all possible ways to spear the life of his opponent. “Why can’t you see that I am on your side?” he pleaded. And as the confusion grew even larger inside him, realizing the loss of his good friend, the starship dropped Commie-Buster and Oana Rain down behind the combat.
      Oana Rain was a musician, and the greatest musicians inside the nameless colony used androids as the instruments of their art. As Commie-Buster placed down a disruption device, blue threads of whips emerged out of Oana’s hand, shooting toward each member of the army. Matter, gentle as the light, capable only of transmitting data sought the computer port for each mind. The nano-drones that helped the threads to fly devoured the input device connecting to Hypnos, and replaced it with the whips.
      The connection between each other broke, and in that moment a new host breached into their mind through the implant of Solaris; the will of Oana Rain.
      The members of the army holding Raoul under fire stopped, the flame extinguishing of their eyes, turning them into puppets under her control.
      “I’m holding them,” she yelled. Raoul stood up from behind his shield.
      “Great work, guys,” he replied, taking down his helm. “Now what?”
      Commie-Buster looked at Oana, and through his eyes the whole nation.
      “Remember that they are paying us for not to kill any of them.”
      “I know, I know,” Oana replied in annoyance. “I’m thinking.”
      A voice called for them, resonating within their skulls.
      “The surface level of the city is empty; however the radar caught abnormal activities of heat and sound from below the center under surface level. I’m landing, and I’ll be waiting for you here.”
      “Oana,” asked Raoul, “should we wait for you, or go and check what Rade found?”
      She waved her hands, the tentacles followed the movement.
      “I’m fine, the gloves can hold it forever, or at least for days, so you can go.”
      Raoul and his assistant ran, leaving Oana and the hundred eyes of Hypnos. They followed the signaling light of the starship. Within the nameless colony, people gathered at home or in the squares, in the bars, in the libraries to watch the streaming of the first scouting expedition paid voluntary by the masses.
      They approached the heart of the city, a plain concrete square, connecting eight roads, roads toward each direction of the compass. Around the square and all throughout the city grey ten stories high, concrete buildings were built, forbidding any divergence from each other. The ship was landed on the square near the northern district, and Rade Nightwood stood in the middle, smoking a cigar. Behind Rade and the starship, from far away in the distance the first signs of a gathering storm cloud were seen; an approaching darkness shrouding the sunlight.
      “We’re descending,” he yelled towards them, standing above a hole that resembled of an entrance to the sewers.
      “You sure?” asked Raoul as they arrived.
      “Listen to the sounds,” he answered, and in the silence that followed they all heard the dim, repeating, high-pitched clanking echoing from the ground. They began their descent into the unknown, crawling down and down in the dark tunnel. Touching the ground, they faced an open gate and behind it a mine filled with working slaves.
      “Oh my god. Prepare to fight,” Raoul said, but there was no alarm to detect them, no guards to charge at them. The workers did not look up; they did heard but did not care about the newcomers. Thinking of the worst, of seeing more women or children being dragged down into the mines, they dared not to look up.
      “Why are they working?” Commie-Buster asked. “Are they even alive, or are they part of the cult? No, they are not part of the cult; they transmit no information to each other through any channel that is known. Why are they working?”
      “Hey!” Raoul cried out. “Stop working! You don’t have to do it anymore!”
      Commie-Buster’s eyes caught a man raising his head towards Raoul, straightening up and lowering the pick in his hand. The man next to him hissed, whispered and growled until that single source of freedom in his mind died out, and he returned to work. Those who watched the stream in the colony were outraged by the sight.
      “This is what Nietzsche called slave morality,” one said.
      “That right there is the lifeblood of communism,” another argued.
      “I wonder if they are beyond recovery,” a third pronounced the question that begun haunting their minds.
      But out of the sounds of the aligned strikes on the stone emerged a distant shouting from deep inside the cave.
      “Let me go through!” a young man demanded from the slaves. “Let me go or by the Lightning I swear I will kill you!”
      Barring his way were standing three other slaves, ranging from elderly to young, commanding him to return to the work.
      “We are in this together, Benjamin,” one of them warned the young man. “You will either go back or we will force you to return.”
      Benjamin looked up straight into his eye and said:
      “Give me liberty, or give me death.”
      “You son of a…” one of the slaves said in anger and raised his fist. As he thrusted his hand forward, Rade aimed with his rifle and shot, paralyzing the man before he struck. The numbed body collapsed into the ground, the consciousness within it forced into slumber. The other two slaves in dread jumped out the way of the young man, who walked past the neutralized body.
      “Did you kill him?” he asked.
      “No, but the projectile contained a neural virus. He is dreaming,” Rade answered.
      “Who are you?” he asked.
      “We are the bourgeoisie coming to help you,” Commie-Buster answered. “What is this place?”
      “This place is the prison of the colony.  You can find all kinds of criminals here, rapists, murderers, people who refused to work what the collective wanted them to work and so on.”
      “How did you end up here?” Raoul asked.
      “I,” he straightened up in pride, “I began teaching shamanism.”
      “Whoa, how? Why? How did you even know about shamanism?” Raoul asked.
      “The storm is gathering, and it reaches the verge of the colony in approximately thirty minutes,” Commie-Buster announced. “And Oana Rain is out there.”
      “Some rain won’t hurt Oana,” Rade said.
      “Your unintended pun is false, Rade. This is a severe thunderstorm; I estimate the wind to be at least sixty-four miles per hour.”
      “Ah, it is that time of the week again…” Benjamin said. “The guy is right; you should hurry if you want to escort your friend to safety.”
      “Do you know who is here for non-violent crimes, Benjamin?” Raoul asked.
      “I know who participated in rebellions,” he answered.
      Rade returned to the surface, awaiting the liberated with his starship, and the others rushed through the mines. Benjamin pointed at the rebels, and Commie-Buster pointed his rifle to the slaves around them until they walked out in safety and joined the ever-growing group. They found them all, but the criminals begun demanding freedom for themselves or for nobody else either. And the numbed bodies began to pile up as Commie-Buster covered Raoul and the rebels crawling towards freedom.
      The violent brutes were left within the darkness of the deep pit, with the dim lights of the torches and the automated feeding system. For time eternal they were forced to work by their peers, and enforced the work of the others. And when a soul, within the deep meditation of clashing stone with metal finds reason, finds peace, and tries to share it with the fellow human beings he deems worthy of redemption, they scorn him, they laugh at him, and if the newborn soul is persistent in carrying the light, and for a moment that light exposes the landscape of their dark souls, they kill him.
      Oana Rain marched the army of Hypnos aboard the starship. Whether it was the strength of the hardware within their brain, or the weakness of their self, she did not know, but she found maintaining control over these men to be easier than over a choir. Her mind was free to wonder while waiting, deciding to yield the final judgement over those souls to a market driven law court, and to teach those who wish to change ethics, and the history of ethics. But when she felt empowered by the volition of the act, and wanted to propose the idea to Raoul, she backed down.
      “After all,” she thought, and she thought of her daughter, “who would trust the teaching of ethics to someone who is banished.”  
***

      Within the Vatican, the Transcendence of countless souls was bursting through the barriers of thought, of culture, and those within the minds. Under the influence of such Prime Movers as Cantharis the Prime and Ana Mionar, who walked tirelessly among mankind, talking to them, reaching to their souls, connecting with them, validating the suffering they lived through, and through this validation, through helping them to face their pains, healing their scarred, violent selves.
      It became the world of thousand revolutions. Ana set children against their households - against their tyrant, abusive households that was the foundation of the State, teaching the children to reject violence and the mental abuse they went through, Meito taught them to think critically, through the scientific method, evaluate the world with reason and not faith, and Cantharis helped them to face life, the way he was forced to face it when he was a child, a young and battered child who was taught how to find strength within himself and only within himself, and now passes that lesson through to the new life.
      And behind all this, within the shadows of the nights echoed the voice of the Shaman, the voice and the distant thunders behind, whispering “when the children are set free, the State will wither away.“
      Through the education of the young came the revolution that tore apart the public school. When the children who was once abandoned, who was once stuck between the world of their home, where they faced no secure points, only the endless heaving of the world around them, the punishments and rewards, the duty to obey, and between the cold, dark world that offered no place for them until they embraced the torture of social rituals that seemed endless in time for them, now were given a third choice, the choice of joining the movement of liberty, of non-aggression, of work and prosperity, whose members helped them devoid of childism.
      “I think you are terribly mistaken, Miss Stone,” a boy stood up one day, who bore the symbol of the Vaticanian Voluntaryist movement that was given to him by Oana Rain. “I think you do not understand that we do not participate in studying these subjects anymore.”
      The women’s face grew red.
      “You insufferable…” she gritted her teeth.
      Two more students followed the boy, standing up with courage. One of them spoke:
      “We no longer believe that it is to our benefit to be here. Nor do we accept that others decide how we spend our time.”
      “Sit down!” she cried. “Sit down and shut up! If any of you speaks one more word, I will punish the rest of the class!”
      Three more children stood up.
      “We are no longer interested in your punishments. We are here for the knowledge you can offer, and only to those of us who want that knowledge. The others demand that they learn what they are interested in.  Just as it is not the cook or the waiter who decides what they bring to the table but the customers, we, the consumers of your service will decide how and what will you serve us.”
       “We understand,” stood up another, “that no one has our best interest at heart. So we take it for ourselves.”
      They planned it, they rehearsed it and they executed their revolt against their enemies all throughout the Vatican. The children stood up for themselves whose time was gradually drained, their desire to learn slowly crushed by the State Department of Education. Only when Cantharis came did they see that learning, exploring the world is not an enemy of the mind, but the mind’s engagement with the world around them, the prerequisite for change.
      “So many thousands of hours of education,” the Prime explained to them once, when the wind was cold and only tea, and the company of their friends gave them safety, “yet you do not know the nature of the world you live in. Let us start with the basics, did anyone taught you how to interpret your dreams? Because dreams are truly important in our lives, it is our subconscious communicating with us. Have you learnt in those thousands of hours how to master your selves and be creative or be active? It is a skill that must be learnt. They expect you to be great, yet the people whose responsibility is the nurturing of your minds refuse to teach you the most basic requirements of life.”
      “Now, understand, it is not at all your fault. It is the fault of a society that betrayed you. And make no mistake; they did betray you, without a sign of guilt, without second thought. Let us quickly move forward and ask the questions that we will slowly in the following days or months answer together, by observing the life. Who are you in the first place? What is it that you love, you hate, you fear, you desire? Who are the people around you? Do you know them? Do you know their dreams, their past, their scars, achievements? What is the right and wrong way of dealing with them? What is trade, and what are the effects of voluntary trade observed from a greater sight? And what are the effects of a trade that is coerced, that is forced by a State from a greater sight? Do we have a free market, or a market above which looms violence?”
      The children listened, and some adults listened as well, quietly huddled up in the background, haunted by their guilt, by self-hate, and by a rising desire to know.
      A great wall barred the city’s way towards the dreamworld. While millions of dreamers roamed the vast sever on Mars, the outcasts with the violence within their soul were locked away from the open world. And as healing took place among the residents of Vatican, as the coercion of the State was replaced by voluntary trade, the first ruptures began to appear in the wall, the first cracks towards freedom. 

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