by Jonny Sutton
Soft Power is a term that distinguishes the subtle effects of culture, values, and ideas on others' behaviour from more direct coercive measures called hard power such as military action or economic disincentives.
Plot is not central to this novel and I wouldn't like to write this in a linear fashion. Different times and events may interlink with each other, correlating to the main plot.
The characters in the book are caricatures of real life stereotypes, and the world in which they live is intended to be a dystopian parody of our own.
The novel does not take itself too seriously, and doesn't even have to reach the length of a novel. All genres are borrowed from, but adapted to fit the novel - elements of sci-fi, western, adventure and crime are all available in small doses.
Plot outline Edit
Pursuit for Knowledge - describes both our enemy and our narrator, their shared goals etc
Trapped - our narrator is captured, show how he, the people, the enemy are all subject to control
Escaped - resolution to trapped. living on the fringe
Contacted - contact from 'The other side' explain shared goals are the destruction of a shared enemy etc
Accident - things do no go to plan Accidents will happen
Hiding - go into hiding to avoid further pursuit
Narrow Escape - hiding falls apart.
Seek Help - realisation that you cannot survive alone
The Constant Struggle - final sequence 'the great battle between good and evil n all that'
Liberation - all become liberate! yay. lets all be gay
Resolution - end the novel
Character List Edit
Narrator as yet unnamed
Leesey and Francis the telepathy twins
Marcus the editor
the vigilante ???
Mr (Michael) Conroy
Agent Rose Pantapon
PLEASE NOTE: This story is a work in progress. Some of this story may read in a controversial way, while this may or may not have been intended, it has no connection to the views of the authors.
Welcome me Edit
In the far corner I can see a girl hiding, crouched under the desk, looks likes she's crying. I want to reach out, hold her; they say trouble comes in threes, don't want to push it, I may already be out of luck. I feel its time for me to leave, after all, I need time to prepare for what might happen. I dry her face and stare into her sorry eyes. Her glazed expression draws me into a trance. I want to shout out. I'm against the wall, on the fourth floor. Hiding. It might take a while for them to notice. Wish I was too nice to notice.
I open the window, it's stupid hot in here. Pull down the covers; it's roasting. All cool like the enemy. I smile at the TV. No time for sleep - I've got a life in me. I pad down the stairs, walk past slowly. Pass it to me. Feeling quite frightened, falling away. Recognise anything? Drinking the essence to the airport. I feel I'm floating, there's one drink, and its....
Research and development. Third floor. Conference starts at 3.15. Professor Leesey and Professor Francis on the subject of telepathy as a means of communication.
A small crowd has formed around Leesey and Francis. Their long white lab coats make them stick out like a sore thumb. A strange pair. Twins. Look almost indistinguishable. They talk amongst themselves without moving their lips. Their inane patter would quickly become intolerable if it were not for the fact they are two of the worlds greatest geniuses. Leesey stands holding a clipboard, her head poised like a vile headmaster, staring down his nose through thinned rimmed glasses. Not the usual scientist look, cropped white hair, somewhat lesbian, a single pink streak hangs above her left high - just in case you thought she was a man. Its unusual to find a grown woman looks so much like a young boy, no breasts, no womanly hips. Her brother is much the same, although a blue streak through his hair, just in case you were to forget that Francis is a boy. His face is soft and juvenile, not a single hair protrudes from his skin.
Leesey starts up, "Welcome all, thank you for coming and please first allow me to introduce my self. For those that don't know.." "You shouldn't be here," quips Francis. "...I am Professor Leesey, Head of Parapsychology. This is my brother Francis, Head of Development in Communications. Together we oversee the cutting edge of Research and development. Please all bear in mind that while we have taken the time to come see you all, we are busy people, and not even we can be in two places at once."
"Not yet anyway."
Leesey's stare momentarily raises from her clipboard and burns into the back of her brothers head. "Today we wish to introduce you all to telepathy, as a subject for long term development. To understand the purpose of our plans we need to ground you in our circumstances. Currently, we all stand together as human beings, sharing the same earth, sun, rain and wind. You may not realise that every human being also shares the same, vast web of knowledge, with every other human being. Everything we know, is shared with others, otherwise there is no purpose - or proof - for the knowledge."
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
"Shush. This knowledge, our knowledge, is therefore mostly recycled. Old, repeated, continually chattering away between us. A small fraction however, is new, fresh, young. This is then shared again and extends our web, builds it stronger. We can all access the knowledge, and those who have developed the best methods of accessing it, are perceived to be the most intelligent. Just to note though, a common misconception is that we are learning, we are not. We are mearly repeating and regurgitating what is already known. So, to progress, we all access this shared pot of knowledge by communicating with one another. So communication you see, becomes vital; how we communicate defines our ability to gather knowledge. Methods of communication vary but the most common, are the most obvious. Speech, is the most common method of communication, while writing is another favoured form, art another. While these admittedly do the job, we consider them... somewhat... archaic. They are slow and tiresome. These methods communicate only part of the message, that which we consider of importance. This is our downfall. The whole operation becomes Chinese whispers and our great web becomes only as strong as the weakest link."
"The web becomes tangled."
"Telepathy is not magic. There is no secret to what we do."
"Nor can it be taught, at least not directly."
"Telepathy must be learnt by instinct, most of the population are capable of learning, but they do not realise the fact. A baby learns to talk by mimicking others, but isolated from society it will remain mute, as the need to talk is extinguished."
"As you might expect, in a world were telepathy is relatively unused, few have the chance to pick it up from others. Its like our web. Common data becomes even more common, while the mysterious eventually becomes the unknown."
Francis looks up at the crowd, his sea blue eyes staring mystically, "This is how our game of Chinese whispers has turned the ancient world into mythology and legend. I digress. With age one loses the ability to learn, and to grasp a new idea becomes harder with age. Being in the presence of those with telepathic ability is the easiest way to become adept in their language; the younger you are exposed, the greater your chances."
"Fuck you terrorist!" A member of the crowd lunges forward with some form of sharpened tool. Nobody moves. A second passes. Pure. Still. Silent. Leesey gazes up from her clipboard, the insurgent falls away and a small pile of grey dust emerges where he stood.
"There's always one. As if we didn't see that coming."
"No element of surprise these days," Francis retorts.
"We do apologise for that, some people have no class."
"Like talking, telepathy is a two way street. It can be manipulated of course - what can't these days - but a one sided conversation becomes a little dry. Ideally, to learn something of value, both subjects should be familiar with the language, otherwise, things are lost in translation."
"Drawbacks are minimal, we shan't allow them to deter us. Once implemented telepathy is an amazing medium. Knowledge is instantaneous. Conversations can happen in the blink of an eye. The possibilities are endless. We could all share the web without a moments thought, allowing us to concentrate not on sharing, but expanding our knowledge. That said, I'm not going to teach the world to sing, not even if I wanted to. It would take many lifetimes."
"As I said, it can be manipulated. When a man sleeps he allows himself to become passive. With the right skills it is possible to walk into his dreams and take his knowledge from him. When he wakes he has little memory of the event and what he does have soon fades as if it were a dream. We call this dream eating. To eat a man's dreams is not the same as talking to him. The information pours around you; suffocating. You must separate the wheat from the chaff. You must avoid being consumed by his unconscious mind."
"Whilst this may sound like a great idea - a breakthrough in spying - some caution must be taken. Beside the obvious pitfall of becoming trapped in another man's mind and forever being a dream, there is the risk that you take too much. You leave nothing but an empty shell of a man, who exists only in an animal form. The brain remains alive, but all knowledge is gone. The human becomes an instinctive animal, interesting you may think; just remember that it is instinctive to defend yourself when attacked, and telepathy can only be performed in close proximity..."
"Telepathy of course, is not the only method of communication, but it is the least abstract and perhaps the simplest to explain to a modern audience."
"Other techniques exist, and we are in no doubt that they could be equally, if not, more useful. We must remember. This is not a weapon. It is a tool. How we use this tool is up to us."
I awake to a think red dust which hangs in the air, fogging my vision. The window blinds cut into the fiery sunlight, casting bars down to the floor. The sharp light pierces the mist and captures the faint glow of the fallen angels who walk here. The room is clinical, yet the smell of death is upon me. As I squint at my arms I see the instruments which they have attached to my frail skeleton. When will they see that I am just like them, no amount of experimentation will ever locate what they seek. I tear the masses of cables and needles from my arms and prepare to stand. A large buzzer sounds shaking me from the bed. I see I have outstayed my welcome once again. It is here I would like to say that the hunter becomes the hunted, and conjure some unforeseen might that would save me, but alas, I am too weak. I pull the plug on the various contraptions next to my bed. The buzzing stops. Now I must leave before anybody notices. Naked, I step to my feet and make my way off of the ward. The other patients are all too doped to notice me leave, and the angels have evaporated. Ghosts perhaps. I take jeans and a t shirt from next to some young man and walk through the swing doors. Not the best of disguises I admit.
As I walk down the corridor I can feel them watching me. I turn to look. Nobody here. I don't want to take any chances though. Better keep moving. I walk past ward after ward, they all look the same to me.
I reach the end of the corridor. No stairs. No exit. Just one set of swing doors with no windows. What other choice do I have? I step into the room to be confronted by a hundred eyes. All staring. Staring, but vacant. Nobody moves. In front of me stand rows of men and women, propped up by metal frames, wires and drips attached to their bodies. All look the same; cropped blonde hair, vacant blue eyes, ageless faces. They all wear white gowns. At the front of the room sits a large machine, at the rear, a single door. The door swings open. A tall lady dressed in black and a gentleman in a suit walk in. I assume I am done for, and plan my escape, but nowhere to go. Just back from where I came, no escape that way, just endless wards. I stand still as the woman's eye's wander in my direction. I receive a cold, librarian's glance, but alas, I am not addressed. She turns back to the man;
"So, Mr Conroy, this is the display model. Feel free to look around. I do apologise your visit is not in solitude," she looks at me again, and I feel compelled to look around, "but Professor Francis is so proud of his work. He insists that everybody sees what we have here, this is used as the lobby to the 14th floor on his strict instructions."
We all wander around the room [desriptive needed, room, people, womans voice]
"So, Mr Conroy, any questions for me?"
"It's intriguing. Certainly. How does it work?"
"Well Sir, that is of course highly complex, but in simple terms, they act like a large bank of computers, only of course, more powerful."
"And how long do they work for before they need a rest?"
"They stand here indefinitely. The system allows them to rest while they work, thus increasing productivity."
"When do they eat?"
"The tubes you see suspended from the ceiling maintain all their dietary needs."
"What about, ahem, bodily functions?"
"The same tubes carry away the waste, again, we had cost as our main priority when we considered this method. Toilet breaks are very unproductive, don't you think."
"So, this machine," he taps the large computer seated on the front desk, "controls them does it?"
"Oh gosh no! The machine is here to maintain their physical selves. It responds to their dietary needs and bodily functions, as I have just explained. You understand, the most efficient way to keep the brain alive and functioning is with a live body. We monitor hormone and stress levels and maintains the correct levels of [drug x for fuel] and [drug y for anti ageing] in their blood, and automatically correct them. We take good care of our workforce here."
"So, this machine also collates their thoughts? Keeps them working as a team? I assume?"
"No, that would be terribly expensive to operate, she does that," she points to an indifferent woman at the front of the room, "in that sense the machines only function is a gateway to the outside world."
"So how do they store data?"
"Data is stored across the tissues of the workers Sir."
"What would happen if something happened to a worker then? Would I be compensated for my loss of data?"
"Well Sir, the workers should all remain fit and healthy for at least two hundred years. The system we have developed extends their lifespan much past that of the average human. In regards to your data, in the unlikely event that a problem occurs, the head worker will assimilate the lost data and redistribute it among the remaining tissues. Meaning your data is safe, if however, you wish to take out a separate insurance, that would be your choice."
"This all sounds very convincing, but what if the fault lies with her?"
"Should the head worker be impaired in any way the worker units will assimilate her data and a worker unit will replace the failed head, essentially you see, they are all made from the same fabrics, and they all share the same data."
"Hmm, this certainly looks like a good system, but I do find all these wires and tubes are rather unsightly."
"Well, we did at first consider using telepathy, of course, that requires training and a highly paid workforce. Costs were estimated to be too high to continue the project. We took great care in choosing the interface we use here, which can of course, be hidden, either under the skin or with cosmetics; we have chosen to leave this model 'Naked' so you can see it working."
"Ok then, lets talk costs."
"Cost are somewhat circumstantial, dependant on the sort of package you wish to receive from us and the level of support you require. We can guarantee you though that the start up costs of this system are only marginally higher than a more standardised set-up. We can also guarantee that hourly costs will be lower than any other call centre per volume of calls taken are dialled. Of course we can also guarantee you their understanding of language is as good as the best translator, unlike the current up rise of Chimp operated centres in Tibet, no matter how well trained they might be. Market research has also shown that 98.2% of people prefer doing business with corporations which use human-only call centres."
I step into a small room, four white walls and a single bed. A buxom lass sits before me. Offering her milk. Naturally, I oblige.
A siren sounds.
Either way, I'd rather not edge my bets. I take off down a flight of stairs and begin to navigate the maze of corridors.
Glancing through the small round windows I see scores of them. All tied in by cables and connectors. ...connected, connected, connected... ...I'm so dirty and the light blinds my eyes...
Jumping isn't my only option, but it certainly looks like fun. Time is of the essence, there is no time for time travel here; so I jump. Pavement and cars below leer towards me. Gracefully I fall forty feet from the window, to my death. Of course, I do not die. To die you must first be alive; a good magician never reveals his tricks. No better cover story you understand.
And so I escape... ...escape to Oz...
once again I am the fugitive
"there has to be a balance".
No more holding thin hands.
The Freedom Party Edit
There has to be a balance, trouble is, there generally isn't. Fitna, stands before me, her gaunt face displaying the usual strife. I've never met a woman quite so troubled.
"What is it?"
"They commit a gross sin, then say, 'We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it.' I say, 'GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?'"
"They do not see they are mislead!"
"So we shall guide them?"
"It's certainly an option,"
"You have others?"
"Of course, but for your safety and the safety of your mission I cannot divulge them to you. I am sorry."
"Its fine. I don't need to know. I understand."
"They said you would."
"So what is the plan for me?"
"You must help us,"
"You must provide guidance to the unguided."
"I don't follow."
"If you can't keep up, then I suggest you pull out. Things aren't going to get any easier."
"How exactly can I help the cause?"
"Anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people."
"Who must be saved?"
"I was told you would understand. His name cannot be mentioned here."
"If I am to do this for you, I must know why."
"Anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people"
"All the more reason for me not to save him?"
"You don't see the bigger picture. Sparing his life - they will see this humble gesture - and ours will also be spared. Else Allah will so them no mercy."
"It will be done."
Courtroom: The Freedom Party vs. Allah and Mohammed
"The Freedom Party has called for the Koran to be banned, along with Adolf Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'."
"Dutch culture is superior to the 'retarded Islamic culture'"
"Immigrants must assimilate by getting rid of the intolerant and fascist parts of the Koran."
Exhibit A: [Mr Van Gogh's film Submission included verses from the Koran shown against a naked female body.]
They hate freedom; that's what they hate. They hate the fact that we worship freely. They don't like the thought of us living side by side in peace, Christian, Jew and Muslim. They don't like that at all. They, since they resent our freedoms, they destroy innocent lives.
we will not be free until we put our trust in Allah and the ones that are elected by us and not the ones elected by others.
We will not be free until we are all free.
We will not be free until Egypt becomes a Muslim state
The Editor Edit
And so I have been summoned. Four walls and a large oak desk. Atop the desk sits a tarnished gold plaque, engraved Marcus Potter. A short fat bald man with spectacles. You know the sort - no life in the world outside his office. His pot belly props up the table, and a grey halo sits atop his head. Clearly he was installed here by some rich uncle - as payback for a childhood of buggery. His piercing glare sets and he walls are closing in.
Convention must be followed to the letter. No deviation. Deadlines will be met, and deviants will be dismissed. Creativity is banned. The ban amounts to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut; but who am I to judge.
My office. typewritter. font. etc.
I stand for freedom. Praise Freedom. Praise Allah
Mr. Fox Edit
Dinner with the fox
I sit down to eat.
Large oak table
six of us
I glance at the fox
I glimmer in his eyes
I can see where this is going
Not wishing to edge my bets I politely say goodbye.
As I reach the door I extract my crossbow from its hiding place and swiftly place a bolt in the centre of the fox's head. Silently, I turn my back and leave, safe in the knowledge I will not be followed.
Sometimes, things don't go as expected.
You have got to be the last one standing. I kiss you in vein.
No more holding thin hands.
I'm not drowning, I'm simply waving goodbye.
The Bureau Edit
It is not out of choice that I have come here. I need something; this is the last place anybody could wish to be when in need of something. My needs are simple, unlike most.
[OPPORTUNITY FOR STORY]
I am dead, and any good dead man will have the paperwork to back that up. So I come here to sign my own death certificate and close the matter.
In a statement, a spokesman for the office said: "We are currently reviewing this information. We are also in contact with people who are working with people and we are discussing this issue those people."
The immigration secretary is holding a press conference Edit
"This is probably the largest alleged syndicate that we have smashed," Immigration Secretary said. "By closing in around this ring of prostitution and drugs we have made our world a safer place. We have disrupted the flow of illegal monies into our cities from corrupt parties, and we have managed to capture and deport 200 of the foreign scum. Corruption has been destroyed, and we have rid our land of those with dirty faces."
Of course, we all know a functioning police state needs no police.
Need disguise for escape.
Alternative medicine. Parody?
Experimental doctor obsessed with killing patients 'how long we can keep them alive without say, their lungs.' By better understanding death, we can better understand life.
Mention sound of chase but see nobody???
Run past leesey n francis
The fat bitch, I've seen her running of to the toilet to eat the paper when she thinks nobody's looking.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentalism - explain
Turn telepathy into a speech by Prof Leesey head of Parapsychology and Prof Francis head of communications. Telepathy twins. letter T repetition. Assonance??? White hair, pink + blue stripe (girls wear pink and boys wear blue). Long white lab coats.Talk together with a silent language only they understand. Previous meetings. Being twins does not increase potential for telepathy neither is a pregnant woman more capable. Although close proximity increase the speed at which one can learn from another, increasing the speed of development. Universal language without words. See another man's thoughts. .
Life insurance in hosipice ward. Use real sales info. Comment back to it at jump. Excuse me son, could you spare a moment. Would you be interested in donating your body to medical science. I wouldn't go that way. Dr Hans the blade. Has a hobby of cutting up patients for the fun of it. Prevention is not a cure. For example, you can't prevent a heart attack. And a medication to stop a heart attack in mid flow is not effective, oh I'm having a heart attack, let me just go get my meds. But we can cure it by removing the danger, a patient would feel no effect from a stopped heart. To understand a disease we must see how it afflicts the body. A heart attack stops the heart. So how can a boy live with a stopped heart. Lets stop his heart and find out. Nurse: I think he's gone. A boy fitted with a pace maker. Stabs through the heart. Massive blood loss. Fountain. Volcano. Death due to massive blood loss. Clearly, the problem is man's dependence on blood. A robotic man. All robot except the brain. Brain back-up up to a chip, should death occur we replace the body.
I take a jar of morphine from the side. Nobody will miss this it seems. Security is obviously not high on the agenda here. Escaping will not pose a problem, not that it normally does.
We've learned this lesson many times. Fake left, go right, They read minds! Tail lights shine beautiful, they make halos on the road. Don't give our codes to the sharks
I left the code at the code check. [Code On my neck] [Gay concierge-spy high fives me.]
It's all cool enemy style, smile at the tv while you download her file. Watch for the quick slip, money shot, vid clip. Walk past slowly, pass me the nurse kit. to the airport.
[Bureau] Bureau for death cert. Character there corruption etc
They taped over your mouth, scribbled out the truth with their lies, you little spys.
Carrot, stick, co-op
thought that time stopped moving when you last walked out my door
said you felt so sorry but it didn't matter any more
wonder why you spend so long, pretending you still care
the more I rub my eyes the more you were not there
did you notice the welcome sign when you walked through my path.
under the bushes
we nestle in the long grass
being in hiding
i want to shout it out
'darling i've found it
all that i've ever wanted
wish that it hadn't
taken so long to figure out'
When we talk about freedom
We will not be free until we have incarcerated those
I have a dream
The masses have tightened their wallets, and we're wearing stonewashed denim again. City, Lhasa, Chinese state media have something wrapped in plastic. Harsh punishment had been threatened to those who stood in their way. Blue velveteen again emerged of other protests in Chinese yellow high-rise bethel green. Chinese flag flies in Gansu province. UK wet. Ten tons slowly sinks, then again we open to dialogue. With his glass eyes and a blue halo transport minister Sanders stood proud "Tibetan activists are asked not to arrive pissed and leaning against each other." The Tibetan regional government said “Sanders fingers! Name the killer boy!” 15:00GMT on Tuesday. Running from the state. Easygoing west, nothings going east. We had all been involved in beating, smut, and scandal. Needed to straighten out, make up for all their messes. Vice-Chairman of the regional government caught a laughing fit. Cut me, I bleed like you. Ha ha. Serious unrest was reported in your teeth, I love you, don't bite me. Sanders has emerged from nearby Gansu, shopping in Europa on Brook street, replacing the Tibetan flag. Hundreds of protesters can be seen on paper, pissed in a tube hole, captured on Canadian film. Whispering your name.
You want control of me? With the enemy of the Jews, the Americans and all those? It's just another trick you've participated in. My mind! I wake up. “Muslims” the voice said. Chase down the corridors. Monitor my thoughts. Let me escape. You blindly snap “collect the money, prepare the equipment.” It's clear cut, “plan accurately and then attack.” You spend days yet have no specific targets. Try controlling me, the voices are accusing. All these pills forming a satanic alliance. Invade the US. We move to blockade. It's a dirty trick.