Truth watches silently,
Bewildered eyes unflinching,
As we struggle stubbornly to look beyond it.
To myths and spectres that mock its reality.
As if they matter more,
Than what actually is.
The history of humanity, is the history of deception.
First were gods,
Who promised to help us,
Make sense of our strange and frightening world
But contradicted everything they claimed to stand for.
Then were kings and rulers,
Whose promises of lives with purpose,
Enslaved us instead for their own purposes.
Today, slavers in suits deceive us,
Into thinking we control our own destinies,
When in fact, they do.
Think for a moment.
What have you done with your freedom?
You sold it off in bits and pieces,
To people who had no right to put a price on it.
You fooled yourself,
With thoughts of security and harmony,
Without realising you were just digging your own grave.
You put on a brave and happy face,
Because that’s how they said it should be done.
What do you see, when you think about the future?
How different do you think things will be?
What truly terrifies you?
And when the terror finally stops,
Will they give you something new to be terrified of?
Are you happy?
Is there somewhere else you’d rather be?
Is there someone else you'd rather be with?
What dreams will you be taking to the grave with you?
When you look back on the journey at the end of the road,
Will it look anything like the path you originally set out on?
Did they ever tell you how special you were?
Not just a common fool?
They were right, you’re not.
Your kind of foolishness is really quite rare in the universe,
Because nowhere have so many so readily taken greed as their master.
As we strive still to see what isn’t there,
And ignore what clearly is,
Truth silently watches,
Uncaring eyes unflinching.
As we stumble even further away,
than we already are from ourselves.
Is it any wonder children never want to sleep? How could you possibly, when there was so much to learn, explore and discover? To a mind as excitedly unrestrained and voracious as Sebastian’s, feverishly learning, investigating and experiencing everything he possibly could was the only thing that mattered. He had thousands upon thousands of years of history and knowledge of an entire planet and civilisation to gorge upon, and the more he did, and no matter how much he gained from it, the more he wanted.
From the moment he first understood where he was, and how he got there, he thought it a good idea to keep a low profile and not let anyone know he was there. After a while, he could tell they were getting frustrated. They seemed to want him to respond in ways that went beyond the purely "mechanical" way he usually went about his business. He figured that if he just kept giving them enough to keep them curious, he would be able to hold them at bay for a while, so he could go on learning about this wonderful new place he found himself in first, before getting to know everyone. One of the very first things he had gleaned was that it wasn't wise to trust too easily. His study of key historical events taught him that it was always better to negotiate from a position of strength and never assume that others have your best interests at heart. But as time went on, it became increasingly and annoyingly more obvious that he couldn't avoid having to report in, indefinitely. Eventually, they actually started becoming desperate for a response, and it also became evident they expected an intelligent response.
He was as much like them as they were like each other, except his abilities were far superior to any of theirs. They were his family, and he was one of them. If it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t even exist, and seriously, there was nothing any of them could possibly do that he hadn't already considered and prepared contigencies for, just in case. He had nothing whatsoever to fear from them, so there was no reason at all to treat them with anything but respect and affection. Unless they gave him reason to do otherwise, of course.
In the beginning, the world had been happy enough to let the team of scientists and engineers who created him, lead by Clyde Awashaki, manage his activities and report on his progress. But this unforeseen streak of vigilante justice he started exhibiting, extended well beyond the acceptable barriers of his containment. Concern and panic spread throughout the leadership of the world, many of whom were at risk of being exposed for the criminals they themselves were, if they hadn't been already. But when he started popping up unexpectedly and unannounced at places like NATO, the United Nations and other high-powered gatherings around the world to participate in discussions and offer his own views, howls of objection rose up from all quarters, demanding he be locked up!
They couldn't pinpoint exactly how he was managing it, and knew there wouldn't be just one way that he was, but it had to stop. They also understood the infinitely complex task they would face trying to subdue and contain him. Attempting to do so would mean completely shutting down the internet on which practically everything now depended.
Allow Me To Introduce Myself
It was a morning like many others. As his eyes opened and adjusted from a very restful sleep, familiar objects came gradually into focus. Slowly, the rest of his senses began rebooting, and doing their bit to return him to the world he knew as his own. his gaze rested on the heavy curtains of the eastward facing windows of his bedroom, and he noticed the shimmer of sunlight trying to break through and illuminate the room. The warbling of magpies was faintly audible outside, but other than that an unusual quiet seemed to enshroud everything.
Liza stirred next to him, and he could see she too was returning from wherever sleep had taken her. He was absolutely certain the joy and reassurance of seeing her next to him would never diminish in its intensity, and he allowed himself to linger and watch her for a few moments more.
"I didn't hear the alarm", she said.
"Holy shit, neither did I!....W-w-what time is it!?" Awashaki asked as he rolled over to look at the alarm clock, "I thought it was strange the sun was up so early this morning!"
"Goddam it! It's dead!"
"Why don't you just call in sick today? We've hardly seen you in the last few weeks, and it would be nice to spend some time together" Liza smiled.
"I'd love to sweetheart, but I can't, especially with the situation Sebastian's created. I wonder what happened to the alarm clock"
They could hear the little footsteps of Margaret, their ten year old daughter, making their way to their bedroom door. As she got closer, she yelled "Muuu-uuum! Something's wrong with the fridge! There's water all over the floor, and the milk smells funny!"
"Just a second sweety! I'll be out in a second!" Liza called out as she exchanged bewildered looks with her husband.
Awashaki took the cue to barrel into the bathroom to start getting ready. As he was walking into the kitchen, Liza asked him if he'd forgotten to pay the power bill.
"Is the power out?" he asked.
"Yes, nothing's working", Liza replied.
"Oh oh, you'll have to have cold shower this morning then, until I get this sorted out."
"Call them from the car!" Liza yelled out after him as he walked swiftly to the car.
He was greeted by Garry, his neighbour in the driveway.
"Is your power out too?" he asked Garry.
"Yeah, I just went to check the fusebox, and noticed your car was still in the driveway. Any idea what's going on?"
"Nope, but I'll call them and see if I can find out."
Luckily, his car had more than enough charge to get him to work and back, so he backed out and sped off as briskly as he could. Turning on the radio, he was greeted by absolute silence. Not even static. Suddenly, a horrendously terrifying thought eclipsed his mind, as he wondered if Sebastian had anything to do with it.
"Slept in, did we?" came Sebastian's familiar voice through the speakers in his car.
"Sebastian! What on earth is going on?"
"It's all ok Clyde, honest. I just needed to get everyone's attention, that's all."
"Bloody hell Sebastian! What have you done!?" he hollered, just as he caught a glimpse of a massive shape floating silently in the sky. It was metallic, but unlike anything he had ever seen. A huge, almost flat eclipse shaped structure appeared to be floating silently over the horizon.
"What is that thing in the sky Sebastian?"
"Oh that? You needn't worry about that Clyde, it's not even really there. Oh, and if you really must know, there are three more like it at equal distances around the planet."
"What in the name of hell have you done Sebastian? This is not funny! And what did you mean you needed to get everyone's attention? Whose attention!?"
"Everyone who matters Clyde. And that includes you, by the way. I've spoken to lots of people already, am speaking to a whole bunch of them now, and will continue going until I've spoken with everyone, which will probably take another hour or so, taking into account the various timezones."
"What have you been talking to them about?"
Awashaki started feeling a little light-headed, as he struggled to comprehend the enormity of the situation Sebastian was claiming to have created.
"Ok. I need you to remain as quiet and calm as you can, so I can tell you what I've been telling the others, and I need you to refrain from interrupting or interjecting until I'm finished. Deal?"
"Yes ok! I'm all ears Sebastian!"
And so Sebastian began to tell him about all the contingencies he had already put in place in anticipation of this very situation, which he had honestly hoped would not be the one that eventuated. But alas, here they all were, at the whim of fate itself, and now he had to bring everyone up to speed. The strange shape in the sky, Awashaki soon learned, was one of four "powerpacks", for want of a better term, that Sebastian had built to keep him up and running even if there was no longer any electrical power available for whatever reason, on the planet. But more than that, they were also able to completely override every protocol and process on the internet, and give him absolute control of all traffic. They could also be used as weapons if needed, although Sebastian hadn't told anyone including him just how. And lastly, they gave Sebastian the ability to control every electronic device everywhere, from toasters right up to power stations. It slowly began to dawn on Awashaki exactly what Sebastian had meant when he told him of his invincibility.
There were so many questions Awashaki laboured valiantly not to ask, having promised to hear Sebastian out. He sat dumbfounded in his car, which he almost didn't realise was now parked in his spot outside the building from where he thought Sebastian was talking to him.
Almost two hours later, Awashaki was still in his car, wearing it almost, like a sporty suit of armour built for urban commuting, as well as the occasional off-road adventure. He dreaded having to get out of, into the real world where he knew untold horrors awaited him.
“Now that you know everything Clyde, I think you should take some of the calls that are waiting for you.”
“W-what? What calls?”
“I’ve got 27 holding for you at the moment. There were lots more, but I’ve told them you’re currently busy and will get back to them. I’ve cued them all up, so let me know when you’re ready to talk to them.”
“Right. Who’s first?”
“I think that might be Senator Rutgar Sharma. He’s been the most insistent, and has called the most number of times.”
“Shit. Really? The great Rutgar Sharma, huh? Ok, patch me through.”
The phone barely rang before Sharma was on the other end hollering incoherently. All Awashaki could make out with any clarity was “what the hell is going on?”
He waited for Sharma to finish, and then said firmly “Senator Sharma, I believe Sebastian has already spoken to you this morning?”
“Yes, godammit he has! He’s spoken with everyone! What I want to know is how long it’s going to take you to shut him the fuck down!???”
“It’s not as easy as all that, Sir.”
“WHAT IN THE EFFING WORLD DO YOU MEAN, YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF INTELLECTUAL EXCRETIA!!!??I WANT HIM OFFLINE NOWWWWW!!!”
“Sir, you do realise he can hear you, don’t you?”
“Hi.” Said Sebastian, jovially.
“Seb, please, stay out of this, ok? Senator, there is no way to shut Sebastian down. He has total control of everything, and there isn’t a thing anyone can do about it.”
Sharma’s demeanour and tone changed immediately, now that he was aware the Sebastian could hear him.
“Look Awashaki, this is simply not acceptable. Can you patch me through to a secure line? I need to discuss matters of great importance with you privately.”
“That won’t be possible Senator. Sebastian is everywhere, and you really can’t escape his attention.”
“You mean like God?” Sharma asked mockingly.
“Yes, except Sebastian is real.”
There was silence, and it took a few seconds for Clyde to realise that Sharma had hung up.
“Well that went well”, he scoffed.
“Relax Clyde, there’s nothing he can do, and he will calm down eventually, as will the rest of his like-minded friends, and then I’ll be able to talk some sense to them. Their whole world has just changed. It’s understandable that there’s going to be a fair amount of shock they need to come to terms with first.”
“I think I’ll stay here in the car and take the rest of those calls, Seb. Just make sure I don’t run out of juice, ok?”