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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Chapter 1: Public is Private
Sergei Mannerheim took his seat in the middle of economy class on the passenger jet along with the other passengers. He didn’t look out of the ordinary compared to the rest of them, just a basic business suit that displayed his spindly form. If the other passengers knew who he was they would likely wonder what a member of the board of Cybertronic was doing on a commercial jet instead of his own private one. The truth was that he did not have a private jet, and he preferred it that way. Cybertronic was a corporation committed to the people, and Sergei truly enjoyed the company of the great unwashed masses of society.
Flying commercial also afforded him a measure of privacy, exemplified by the Cybertronic saying “public is private.” The other corperations just loved to lambast Cybertronic for these sayings, calling them “doublethink” but there was a greater truth in the seemingly contradictory phrases. In truth these phrases were like the old Dark Eden koans. When one examines the surface of the phrase the ideas of public and private seem contradictory, but digging beneath the surface shows a key factor of human behavior. If he had taken a private jet alone everyone in the know would be watching him, knowing where he was going. On the other hand by taking a public jet someone would have to be specifically looking for him to notice his name among the thousands, possibly millions traveling that day. It would be unlikely that it would be known he was gone before he got back. It was like trying to spot a single person in a crowd when they look just like the rest of the crowd.
A young woman with long red hair and the robes of a member of the Brotherhood took a seat next to him. He glanced over at her. To many men she would be the perfect specimen of beauty, but Sergei was uninterested in physical beauty. He extended his hand to her. “Sergei Mannerheim, nice to meet you.”
She shook his hand. He made sure not to use a firm handshake, it lured people into a false sense of security. “Anne Rose, a pleasure.” They introduced themselves to each other, then Anne asked Sergei about the Edicts of Toth and Cybertronic’s relation with them.
“Miss. Rose, the question is not whether Cybertronic follows the Edicts of Toth, but what are the reasons for the edicts in the first place?”
“well for starters they prevent man from tampering with technologies he should not.”
“and why should he not?”
“so as not to have them corrupted by Dark Symmetry.”
“there in lays the question: is it truly the machine that is corrupted, or is it the hand that makes the machine? Cybertronic has had no problems with Dark Symmetry despite all our advanced technology.”
Their debate continued well into the flight, never becoming aggressive and always staying polite. When the plane landed Sergei invited Anne to come with him to dinner at a local café. To his surprise she agreed. As they waited for the meal to come Sergei felt he was beginning to change her mind regarding Cybertronic.


Last edited by Yeri on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:25 pm 
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In Anne’s mind she could not believe what was happening. She had always been instructed that Cybertronic members were nothing but mindless fanatical drones, but here was the head of the company who seemed charming and polite, the perfect gentleman. Could she really be falling in love with this gangly, pale young man?
Then the peace and tenderness of their dinner was shattered by a man in the armor of an inquisitor entering the café and approaching their table. “first it was trying to escape from your training, then you try to spare a heretic because of the civilians he used as shields, now I find you consorting with a prince of darkness. Your past transgressions could be forgiven, this however cannot!”
Anne looked panicked when the inquisitor said she could not be forgiven. She supplicated herself before the inquisitor. Weeping she begged: “please I promise I’ll be the most pious woman ever, please just don’t send me to Dominic!”
Sergei shot up from the table. “now listen, I don’t know what you’re going to do to her, but if she doesn’t want to go with you she’s not going!”
The inquisitor cocked his head towards Sergei. “she is a servant of the Cardinal, she has no choice in the matter.”
“well I say she does!”
“you and what army?” the inquisitor challenged.
Sergei gave a mental command to the Cybertronic agents sitting around the café who sprang into action. They quickly filled the inquisitor full of hot lead, but not before he drew his pistol and discharged a shot into Anne’s spine. She fell to the floor motionless, probably dead.
It should have ended there, but soon more Brotherhood soldiers tried to storm the café. They were soon dispatched. One of the agents walked behind Sergei as he cradled the body of Anne. Through the Cybertronic sensor network he could see that there were two more teams coming from the kitchen, and a variable horde of them massing down the street. He signaled for a transport to pick them up on the roof of the building, ETA two minutes. Ordering two of the agents to carry Anne’s body he borrowed a pistol from another.
They waited for the two assault teams to make it into a long hallway between the kitchen and the dining room before they sprung the trap on them. Using thermal optical implants they fired through the walls of the café and eliminated the teams without missing a shot. They then proceeded through the kitchen and up the stairs to the roof. As the transport landed they filed in and hooked Anne up to the medevac gurney. That would stabilize her if she was still alive, and preserve her for reanimation if she was not.
As the transport made its way to Cybertronic headquarters Sergei opened a line of communication with two of his operatives: Mr. Hammer and Mr. Trick. “ah Mr. Mannerheim, so nice of you to call. We were just finishing up with that little leak you planned. Worked like a charm.”


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:26 pm 
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“that will have to wait, I have a priority mission that I need you to attend to.”
“can it please wait just a few minutes? I’ve spent all day preparing this bombe surprise to be delivered to a Mr. Broody, and I’d like to see the expression on his face when his desert blows him to kingdom come.”
“fine, you have one hour, then I need you to access the Brotherhood’s personnel files and get me anything on a member called Anne Rose.”
“oh that shouldn’t be too hard, they keep the files off site of the cathedral. Anything else you need us to do while we’re at it?”
“yes I’m sending you a visual file, I need you to distribute it to the news agencies.”
“done and done.”
An hour later Sergei stood before a hastily arranged press conference made up of every news organization on Luna. A podium had been moved to the steps of the Cybertronic building to accommodate the mass of reporters. None of them knew why they were here, but they had all been informed that Cybertronic was preparing a major announcement. They were all ready to broadcast the press conference live across the system. He tapped the microphones on the podium before beginning his speech. “good evening brothers and sisters, for are we not all brothers and sisters of humanity? We all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and feel the same feelings. We at our core are all equal; we are all members of the human race.
However some would have us be less the equal, they would deem themselves to lord over us by claiming the only connection with the divine. Brothers and sisters I speak of the Brotherhood. for over a thousand years they have lorded over us lowly humans by imposing strict control over our every action and thought. Their priests have demanded the sweat of your brows as payment to enter the Promised Land; their inquisitors have kidnapped our children, and killed without trial any who resist their power.
Brothers and sisters this has happened before, almost two thousand years ago the religious authority did many similar things, but one man would have none of this. In a fit of righteous rage he composed ninety five theses and nailed them to the door of a church. That one simple act would change the world, and usher in the golden age of man. His idea was simple: divinity is within each and every one of us, and we do not need a church or a priest or even a book to access this divinity.”
Amidst the crowd a vagabond who called himself Nathaniel had heard enough. Drawing the pistol that nice priest had given him he fired two shots at the podium. The first shot went wide, but the second hit Sergei dead center of the nose, splattering gore and brain matter across some of the closer cameras. “by the will of the Cardinal, the heretics shall be purged!” Nathaniel screamed before sprinting to find a place to take shelter.
Sergei’s attendants quickly snatched up his limp body and dragged it inside. Hopefully they could still save him. Or at least whatever they could save of him.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:48 pm 
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I was expecting to read: "95 reasons and the Glitch ain't one!"

hehe!

Great stuff mate, keep it up!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:43 am 
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Great stuff, waiting for more :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:41 pm 
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wow I didn't expect such nice responses.
@ Michal: don't worry there will be more, I'm trying to get writing it right now.
@ Rob: actually I was having trouble working out a title to this story, but then I realized I had two motifs running throughout the story: doublethink phrases and their deeper meanings, and Martin Luther's Ninety Five Theses. a doublethink phrase wouldn't exactly give me the feeling to the story that the Ninety Five Theses would, so I called it "Ninety Five Reasons" as in one of the characters has a list of ninety five reasons for something. what exactly that is I will expand upon in future chapters.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:48 pm 
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Chapter 2: answers are questions
Anne opened her eyes, something wasn’t right, she couldn’t move her body. With her limited view she tried to look around the room she was in. it looked like some kind of mechanical laboratory. From what she guessed she was on some kind of vertical table propped up against the wall. At a console directly in front of her a tech was interfacing with his desk via a jack plugged into the side of his skull. His head was nodding like he was listening to some form of music. “hello?” she called out to the tech. “please I need help, I can’t move!” the tech remained oblivious as he continued to be lost in whatever he was doing to entertain himself.
Sparks shot from the tech’s jack and he quickly unplugged himself. “sorry boss won’t happen again!” he said as a digitized version of Sergei’s face appeared in a monitor behind him.
“see that it doesn’t.” his voice sounded modulated, like a robot. “now Anne, I need you not to panic right now. Your body was heavily damaged, and all we could save was your brain.”
“what are you talking about?” she asked him.
The monitor switched from Sergei’s face to an image of a skeletal metal body on a vertical table. Sergei reappeared on another monitor.
“is that me?” she asked.
“yes.” Sergei said.
Anne screamed at the sight of her new body. “you made a monster out of me! How am I supposed to go out in daylight?”
“Anne I need you to calm down. What you see is a basic chassis of our most advanced non-combat body. Once you get accustomed to it we can make you look like your old self again, or however you want to look. Now this is going to feel weird, but I need to enter your mind.”
“why?”
“the Brotherhood has left some post hypnotic conditioning and inhibitors in your mind. If you’d like I can remove them. Also I need to download some new skills into your brain.”
“fine go ahead.” The world around her began to fade into something else. She found she could move again. Next to her a group of small blocks began to coalesce into the shape of Sergei. Anne looked around, this place seemed to have green outlined blocks for a floor, and a sky of raining numbers. “where are we?” she asked.
“this is what we call the Cybertronic Network Interface. Or CyberNet for short. I created this place as a kind of digital research playground, where any sort of experiment or research can be conducted at a faster speed than in the real world. You can spend days in here and only a few minutes will pass in reality. I also added some whimsical aspects to it, like this.” He reached his hand into her head and yanked out a fully formed figure which he chucked across the digital landscape. The figure looked like some kind of stone gargoyle, and just stood there sticking its tongue out at the two of them.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:50 pm 
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“what is that?” Anne asked.
“it’s one of your post hypnotic inhibitors. Think of the brain like a biological thinking machine, it has programs, aspects of ourselves that together make us who we are. In here these internal aspects can be externalized, then we can modify them, or get rid of them if we so choose.” A pistol appeared in his hand and he fired a single shot into the center of the gargoyle, shattering it. He reached into her head again. There was a puzzled expression on his face. “hmm, it seems removing the inhibitor unlocked part of a hidden aspect. I would guess that the conditioning and the inhibitors have repressed your true personality. Would you like me to remove them?”
“would it change who I am?” she asked.
“in all likelihood, yes, but the you right now is not the real you. The question is if you like the current you, or do you want to be the real you?”
“would I like the real me?”
“our studies have shown the implanted aspects tend to cause dissonance with the true personality. Most people who have implanted memories suffer from certain psychological issues. I’ve noticed that when you are away from a figure of authority you are intelligent, clever, and fiery, but the second someone with authority enters you become a doormat. I think that your true personality is the first one, and the artificial one is the second.”
“do it then.” Sergei reached both hands into her head and began withdrawing the conditioning, there was a woman in chains, a prostrated figure, a demagogue who spouted pro-Brotherhood oratory, and many others. Finally he withdrew a little girl in a blood-stained white dress. Sergei summoned the pistol again and began to dispatch the aspects one by one. Anne thought about joining him and then found her hand gripping a pistol that wasn’t there before. She aimed and fired at the aspects, taking satisfaction as the chains of thought that had bound her as long as she could remember were destroyed.
Eventually only one aspect was left: the little girl. She aimed her pistol at the girl, but the tears welling in her eyes made her pause. “wait, don’t shoot that one!” Sergei said. “that’s the repressed aspect we were trying to free.” He knelt down to the little girl’s level. “what’s your name?”
The little girl looked at Sergei for a moment before answering. “Anastasia, but everyone calls me Anne.”
“do you have a last name?” Anne’s file did not include her real last name, Rose was a pseudonym concocted by the Brotherhood in order to hide her real identity from her.
The little girl giggled. “of course I have a last name. doesn’t everyone? My last name is Romonov.”
“is she me?” Anne asked.
Sergei got up to look at Anne. “I think she’s your inner child. A piece of your past life before you were taken by the Brotherhood.”
Anne’s inner child flinched at the mention of the Brotherhood. “mommy, daddy, bad man made them go away.” Anne’s mind flashed back to that day, to a memory she didn’t know she had.
It was a steamy sunny day on Venus, she was playing in the garden with her older brother. Her mother called her inside. The inquisitor was waiting for them. Her father was already lying on the floor with a bullet in his head along with many of his personal guards. The inquisitor used the Art to pull her away from her mother before shooting her. The last thing Anne saw before the memory faded to black was her mother and father lying dead on the floor.
Back in the present Anne turned to Sergei. “I know who I am now. My name is Anastasia Bradley Romonov, and I remember everything now!”


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:13 pm 
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Interesting, I am in an Fine Art show titled 'Doublethink'.

Good stuff!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:56 pm 
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I want the time I wasted reading this back and the half-litre of blood I wept while doing so.

Seriously, bad English and even worse prose, not even to mention nonsensical and cheesy plot!


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