Mr. Winfrey in the Age of Discovery
Adomis Angellus Californicus
(Satire) A council sits around a table inside a monolithic dome. They are men and women of all races. Their ages range from teens through elders. A woman speaks.
"...and the final topic in this set, E503A2C7, which is closely related to the previous topic E503A2BE regarding power distribution and grid allowances. This is a request for a temporary increase to quarry six for one week. The vote from two nights ago reveals a strong support for marble production to increase. Mr. Winfrey has reviewed at least half of the forum entries so far and would like to report the pattern emerging. Mr. Winfrey!"
Bill begins speaking.
"Yes Susan let me summarize a few most popular and pertinent responses from the constituents. Sectors 9, 13 through 22, 25 and 39 have all agreed unanimously to divert a fifth of their alloted power to mining quarry six and have over fifty workers petitioning to mine. Every member of the masons guild and all employed stone cutters have agreed. All other sectors particularly 1 through 9 are upset by further cuts and expect compensation in metal or food due to diminishing quality of life caused by more power rationing."
He stands up and paces slowly gesticulating.
"The metals guild has already confirmed total support and is willing to contribute handsomely to those sectors in employment and materials. Food is widely known to be in good supply so an extra discount for aggrieved constituents will be no problem."
He stops and places his hands on the back of his chair.
"These carbonate materials are in demand at this time and impact to Created is warranted and balanced."
He reaches forward, grabs a green card from the table and walks over to a chalkboard at the end of the table. Names are drawn neatly down the side and the rest is studded with pins. He hangs the green card on its pin under the column marked E503A2C7 and sits back down. Everyone else places their cards. Some are yellow, a few are red but most are green. The vote is clearly in favor. People begin shuffling around and some surround a table covered with fruit, bread and cheese and begin eating.
Bill grabs some papers and his cards and walks out. He walks down an arched hallway and into a small room where he puts everything in his desk and begins changing his shoes. A workmate pokes his head into the room.
"Hey Bill, good job! Way to keep it moving in there. Say, you gonna be at Lagerhouse later?"
Bill spins around in his chair, folds his hands across his stomach and leans back with a smirk. Then he looks serious for a moment.
"I don't know, I've got civic duty tonight."
"Again? Nice! Did you get factory?"
"No, school. Civics lecture or something. Could be really fun. If I have time afterward I'll swing by OK?"
The workmate makes an impressed face.
"Good merit Bill! That shouldn't take long. I hope to see you there."
Mr. Winfrey starts out on foot. Most houses are monolithic domes. A few abandoned traditional homes without doors or windows litter the block. There are people around on foot, on bicycles and riding horses. A very sleek, modern buggy pulled by a donkey approaches and Bill flags it down. He hands the driver several coins. They are not embossed but smooth. They shimmer radiantly and are perfectly fashioned from precious metals.
"Let's see there 35, 40 here. Sector 11 school please."
The driver smiles.
"Thank you sir. Civics duty is it? I can tell. I always take factory or farm. I can't teach them kids anything for the life of me! Wicked smart!"
"They are perfect."
The driver looks over.
"They are perfect little sponges of information with unblemished merit. It is important to always be respectful of their vulnerability to those of us chronologically advantaged."
"Yeah good one. I think you'll manage. Go with that!"
He starts laughing then Bill laughs too. They pass row after row of dome houses. People are working in massive gardens all around the houses. Strong looking, jolly women walk near the road carrying baskets. They smile and wave to Bill and his driver who return the gesture.
Everything is quiet and peaceful. The only sounds are the feet of the donkey and a chorus of bird songs. They drive up to the school. It is another, larger monolithic dome. Bill steps out and the driver nods admiringly.
"Good merit sir."
"Same to you."
He enters the school. Sixty children, approximately ten years of age, are sitting in well made very comfortable looking desks. The kids have a dress code but not uniforms. They are all armed with little pistols in various holster styles. He takes off his jacket which reveals a pistol in a shoulder holster and writes his name on the board.
"Hello class. I am William Winfrey. You can call me Bill. I am employed by the bureau of earth resources. You may have seen me here before because this is my third civic duty in the school."
He looks around.
"I see some familiar faces here and a lot of you know about the work I do in the congress. So... that is not what I intend to talk about. Tonight... I would like to talk about the discovery and some history of our society."
A loud whisper fills his ears.
Bill ignores it.
"So.. do.. you... want to hear about the history of the discovery? "
A murmur of yeses and nodded heads comes from the kids.
"So what are the four existences? You say it."
The kids chant out loud almost in unison.
"Creator, Created, Creation, Creating."
"And what is Creator?"
Several kids respond with answers.
"Energy, light, electromagnetic energy and matter, everything known, the universe."
"The earth, air, water and rocks, the elements."
A girl in the front speaks.
"Lifeforms too." .
"Yes. Very good. Just matter. Known chemical elements."
He keeps talking.
Most of the kids respond.
"Life, living things"
Bill says it too. They all know it by heart.
"And most importantly, Creating?"
The kids say at once.
"So what are the virtues of the existences?"
The kids all answer happily and enthusiastically.
"Light and darkness, work and slumber, love and hatred, truth and ignorance."
"Yes, exactly! And what makes the virtues vary?"
A kid in the front row makes a guess.
"In a sense. Let us elaborate some."
"It is like a choice to figure out the harder way and go there. Take light for instance and what it means to us. Before the discovery people often believed in a god or gods and took great comfort. It is really sensible actually. They would retain a completely positive attitude based on their imaginings. It allowed them to do a great many things and expand the world. It allowed people to live densely in relative peace. The concept did finally fail because love and truth had evaporated leaving only hatred and ignorance.
"Now we call it Creator and it is similar. We think of it as light. It is deep contentment and a profound appreciation for our sun and the energy it provides our planet. It comes to us through the other existences. When we keep the related virtues of work, love and truth balanced, light will be self-apparent."
A girl raises her hand. Bill points to her.
"If we don't believe in God then what is the eye-of-god?"
"Good Question. The eye-of-god is the part of the discovery where it was realized that every human, sensation, sight, sound, smell, taste and thought defines Creating, humankind, as the eye through which a nascent god could see. All lifeforms have their own versions of Creating. We are only different because we expend energy and effort discovering, recording and speaking the truth.
"Also, Creation, to which we all belong, is the eye-of-god for all the lifeforms. All lifeforms are subject to love, the virtue of Creation, also hatred, deficiency of love. All the emotion from all the lifeforms moving through time instantaneously! The very eye-of-god."
Another girl sitting beside the first girl stops whispering something to her. She asks a question. "So what about Created? Most of it is dumb matter. Does it have an eye-of-god?"
Bill gives an answer.
"Not the same as Creation and Creating, agreed, but what it can sense, which by the way explains the virtue work, is energy expended moving matter around. Almost none of Created is subject to any sense, or logic, or feeling. It just moves downhill along an energy gradient. Things bump together and molecules repel atom to atom. To lift something, the molecules of say your hand, are placed in support of something then lifted against the gravitational energy gradient. So if collisions on a steric level and energetic influences can be considered sensing then maybe an eye-of-god for Created. But a better model is accountant-of-god."
Some kids chuckle. Bill continues.
"You can sometimes outsmart it, but cannot fool it, if that makes any sense. Have many of you swam in the ocean?"
Several kids raise their hands.
"Feeling the waves and witnessing the power of the sea and wind is a good way to sense Created firsthand. Taking a fall is another way to gain respect for Created. Exercise is an especially important way we connect with Created through work.
"There are also links between the existences."
Bill raises his eyebrows hoping he found something intriguing. Some kids are curiously waiting. Others are politely staying awake.
"They must not be broken. Photosynthetic organisms are a link from Creator to Creation, food is a link from Creation to Creating, water and air are links from Created to Creation, death and decay..."
Bill slows down. A group of boys in the back are suddenly more attentive. He finishes.
"...is the link from Creation to Created and so on."
Some kids yawn.
"We have lots of time yet. Let's say the first psalm of the discovery together now and afterward I will tell you some of the history I know of the holocaust."
They all stand and recite together while slowly dancing.
"Creator give me energy!
Let my matter move lightly about,
Make my heart feel good for all blessings,
Release my mind from untruth and sharpen my logic.
For Created, Creation and Creating,
I work and eat,
Love and care,
Think and plan.
Show me the way!"
They finish and many children perform stretches. Bill walks around and sits on the front of his desk. The kids eventually return to their seats. Bill clasps his hands together.
"So... where to begin? Let's start with an important topic. The chronologically disadvantaged. All of you. What I myself once was. In times before the holocaust there was no notion of this whatsoever. People who came before others plundered Created and Creation as freely as they were capable. People who came along later were left with very little or nothing. The world was quickly stripped of much of its usefulness and beauty.
"Individual people controlled enormous amounts of Created... with Creator stored within it! You have all seen coal. We still use coal sometimes. Well these individuals used this and liquid coal, sticky goo from inside the earth, for use as fuel and everyone burned it up and they enriched themselves by the destruction of Created, most of Creation and almost... Creating."
A kid speaks out.
"They had no merit!"
"Merit wasn't even a concept then. We will get to that. So chronologically disadvantaged people in the past had increasingly less opportunity to live normally and peacefully. The breaking point came when individual regiments formed to exploit the whole of Creator. It was a race to have it all first and a few individuals came out on top to the detriment of everybody and everything. The world became so very populated that..."
"How many died?"
"The answer to that will be revealed to you on your first day of finishing camp. Until then let me just tell you what you already know. It was a large number. But remember that the suffering and destruction of the holocaust is incalculable. All of Creation suffered. There were also several smaller and sometimes localized or chronic holocausts before the final one. They used the energy from the liquid coal extensively through them all.
"Let me remind you though that homo conscientiae existed then, even before the discovery. They made attempts to perfect society. They had congresses, schools, medicine and technology. Some of it was very sophisticated. We owe a lot of what we know today to that time in history. They even used machines to fly in space and walk on the moon and mars. I'm sure you've heard that and it is true. "They wrote endless volumes of laws. You would not believe how many. We have laws today. They are used solely for making situations more fair among Creating and to foster Creation and Created. The homo sapiens used laws for the opposite ends. Their laws were corrupted. They had laws where the less wealthy pooled their money and gave it directly to the wealthy! They had laws that allowed people to profit from killing. They had laws that allowed a very few, evil people to control all the land, all of the food, even all the water. All the power to control came from the energy of Creator, stored for a billion years in the liquid coal, all tapped out at once. The world reached the physical limit of what Creation could sustain. It fell apart rather quickly in the time before the holocaust."
Bill extends his hands to the kids.
"For us, and especially for you, it is different. For us... the chronologically advantaged, we have a promise to keep with you and your children and theirs... to maintain the viability of Creation."
Bill finishes with conviction.
"You... have a promise to keep... to listen and remember."
He looks around at them and seems satisfied that most of them are paying attention.
"Someone mentioned merit? Let's explore that. They had no system of merit only money. We use money in our lives but merit is far more important. A common system they used for discipline was forcefully locking away people inside guarded buildings for various reasons."
Some kids are looking amazed. A boy raises a hand. Bill points to him.
"For how long did they stay inside?"
"Sometimes all of their lives."
"Well to begin with most of the people, by our standards, would have had very little merit. They would use lethal projectors..."
He taps his holster. Some of the kids look down at their own. Others subconsciously place a hand on theirs.
".. to take things from other people. Many had so little love that they seethed in hatred and used powerful projectors or explosive chemicals to hurt and kill others. A near total lack of truth permeated society and most everyone was ignorant. It was a very dangerous time. A few people of merit, perhaps early homo conscientiae as I mentioned, realized it was really bad merit to destroy people. So the solution was these places they were sent to live."
A kid who is leaning his chin on his hand asks,
"Do you have perfect merit Mr. Winfrey?"
The kid then slips back in his chair awaiting the answer. Bill blushes a little.
"Uh...no I do not. I lost 15 points some time ago. I am now at 87."
"What did you do?"
"A man lied to me. He refused to stand before the council. I used my projector and it killed him. It was a very bad and tragic event. The trial was fearful. I could easily have lost 50."
"What happens when you lose so much?"
"It limits where you can go, who you can talk to, where you can live or work. When people lose enough merit they go to the Creationary and stay there."
A kid speaks. His voice cracks.
"My parents died in the Creationary!"
"Many of us will die there. It can be dangerous. It is also necessary. When you are older you will understand better. Keep your merit high. Don't lie or steal or kill. Once you lose merit before a council you never go back to 100. Not ever."
Bill feels their interest drifting. Many kids are thinking to themselves. He completes his thought.
"You cannot lose merit over an opinion. Simple bad luck can happen but most people have few problems with merit loss. When merit is lost many factors such as temperament and circumstance are considered. A person knows when he or she is making decisions that will result in a loss. Usually, bringing a problem to the council early can resolve it with no loss at all."
A kid asks a question.
"Can people of low merit form a marriage?"
"Uh.. no. A marriage is a special affair. How many of you have married parents?"
Several kids raise their hands.
"And how many have parents in a union?
Many hands go up. Bill informs them.
"I am in a union. I was once eligible for marriage but my partner had divorced and was ineligible. Do you know what that is, a divorce?"
Some kids answer.
"The end of a marriage."
"Right. It is a big loss of merit. Marriage is for a male and a female to mate for life. You only get one try to be married. Married people have money and employment preference. They are also allowed more children. Remember though there are more ways to lose merit for married people.
"The union, on the other hand, any two people can form. Your union partner is your other legal self. Do any of you have a family with a man and a femme or a mam and a woman?"
Some kids raise their hands. A murmur of giggles goes around the room. Bill speaks to a laughing kid.
"It is OK. Couples in a union can be funny. A mam and a mam or a man and a man?"
The kids are amused.
"Or a mam and a man or a femme and a woman?"
A kid speaks.
"My mother is a mam and my father is a femme."
A girl speaks.
"My mothers are both women."
"Unions are important to love and truth and therefore to Creation and Creating. Best of all, a union can be broken without merit loss.
"Some of you girls will declare mam. Many of you boys will declare femme. Your emotions will guide you when the time comes."
The kids are all talking to each other. A kid politely raises her hand. Bill quiets them and calls on her.
"Mr. Winfrey, are there still homo sapiens in the world?"
"Well yes there must be. Remember there is no genetic difference between us and homo sapiens. They are just unaware of the discovery. Tribes have been revealed which still cling to old traditions and deeply flawed convictions. Remember the law of being from the discovery 'A philosophy about all people that excludes any people is false'. If they fully accept the discovery and can show meritability they can become homo conscientiae."
"Where are these tribes?"
"Around here? In the far north and south. I hear there are many south of the Isthmus of America. The worlds major settlements, however, are now devoid of any homo sapiens. "
Bill holds his hands up high. Everyone stands up and does the same.
"Let us close together."
They begin singing.
stewards of earth,
standing as one,
the eye of God,
We are Creating,
a part of Creation,
composed of Created,
and bathed in Creator,
Truth and love,
Work and light,
The way is clear,
To last forever."
All the children file out past Bill. They each acknowledge him. Some touch him affectionately and he gently pats each one. The last kid is a little girl who stops and smiles.
"Good merit, Mr. Winfrey"
"Good night darling."
A stagecoach pulls up to a very old part of town. There are other coaches but few people walking around. It stops and Bill gets out. It turns around and heads back the way it came. Bill walks through the dusk on a deserted street. He approaches painted red stripes covering the street sidewalk to sidewalk. Large signs on both sides of the street say 'Creationary enter at your own risk'. He continues then stops to peek around the corner before turning onto a street active with people. Several establishments along the street are bustling and people are singing and making music inside. Lantern light flickers out of the doors and windows. He walks up to the door of Lagerhouse and looks away down the street. It is all shadows of half dismantled buildings. A shrill scream echoes from the abandoned city. He turns and goes inside.
Patrons are lining the bar. Some are uniformed police. Others have long hair and beards. Most are smoking cannabis cigars. The air is filled with smoke. A man at the bar is ordering a drug and the bartender gets it and fills a glass syringe. The man beside him is nodding off and trying to hold himself away from the counter.
As Bill squeezes through, a young woman brushes past and puts her hand on his belly. It makes him feel happy and he watches her for a moment. He sees his workmate and some friends at a booth and joins them.
"Hey teacher! You made it! On me Bill. Excuse me waitress! Miss!"
A waitress stops and turns to Bill.
"What do you need honey?"
"Laudanum and beer... uh, small. A small laudanum and a beer thank you."
Moments later she brings it and he tips back a tiny vial. He clutches his beer and sinks back into his seat. He begins to smile broadly. A friend takes a long puff on a cannabis cigar and comments to him.
"Looks like Creator is smiling through you there Bill."
Bill begins to talk dreamily.
"I love children."
"Of course you do. Everybody does."
"We work everyday to bestow the whole world...to them. I hope they can do it. I hope they can listen. I hope they can learn and remember and repeat the discovery... forever."
Thanks for reading Angi Cal aka GMT